Mental Pain

When I find myself caught in a dissociative mess of thoughts how do I get the writing done? Well, this is a good question, because with the mental pain comes physical pain. I remember going to a men’s group in 2016, we all had anger in common, and we were all there to find some peace from that anger. For the duration of the class I was an emotional mess and my body ached all over, I had almost no energy, and sleep was a stranger. I broke down in the first class. A crying aching blubbering mess. That’s therapy folks! It ain’t easy.

It was in that men’s group that I found out what a relief cognitive realignment can be when you are at your wits end. This is by no means a silver bullet, but it is better than drugs or alcohol. Now, it seems that when my emotions are all over the map, I am more open to exploring the emotion. When I think about my emotions I eventually come back to my roots, and where I came from. Those times do not exist anymore, but my mind and body are a living memory. As that recollection occurs there is a feeling like, it’s happening again. Most days I can gently press on the breaks, and bring the memory to a stop.

My family doctor thinks I need antidepressants but I’m not a believer in Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s). I have tried a few and they made me an unnatural man; I felt numb inside and had no ambition to write –and besides, from what I’ve read about SSRI’s, the science is on shaky ground because not even the chemists know how or why they work. As a writer I need my emotions, they are what guides me through my writing. This is my body and mind, and to me, the risk to my brain is too great. I can’t afford to be stifled by these drugs, I refuse -I’d rather eat powdered glass. Sorry Doc.

When the mental pain is really bad, I call my psychiatrist, and I use my tools: I hug my girlfriend, I use my writing therapy, I meditate, I play my guitar, I snuggle my cats, talk to my friends, read a good book, ride my motorbike, visit someone or some place, or I sleep. For me there is no reason to be alone, and sad. Admittedly I haven’t been really depressed since last year. I admit that I was suicidal, and my girlfriend took me to the hospital because of it, then I saw a therapist. When the pain is really bad, I lean on my friends, and used every tool I have except alcohol and drugs. I confront my own anger and fear, I faced my past with brutal honesty, and I use that moment to say what I need to say and do what I need to do. If all that fails me, I cry. It’s amazing what a good cry can do for the spirit.

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