Conformity

curled, twisted
broke and bent
pulled and pushed
torn and rent
pieces dropped
limbs lopped
all to shape
a perfect figment
of feminine
accomplishment

Good News on Psilocybin for Major Depression

Scientific research on cptsd

Not that anyone following me on Twitter will be surprised to hear this – but – in case you haven’t, there is research coming out of Johns Hopkins Medicine that is good news for sufferers of major depression.

From the article –

The findings of a small study of adults with major depression, published Nov. 4, 2020, in JAMA Psychiatry, suggest that psilocybin may prove effective in a larger population of patients with intractable depression than previously appreciated.

This is great news. Do remember that it is only a very small study. Only 24 participants. But, the findings mean that there could be more trials and greater acceptance (and knowledge) of using psilocybin to treat major depression.

Griffiths and his colleagues reported that two doses of psilocybin during medically supervised treatment — supplemented by supportive psychotherapy — produced rapid and large reductions in depressive symptoms.

Milestone Study Shows Psychedelic Treatment with Psilocybin Relieves Major Depression

Tragedy

My Brother

My brother
A name
I simply moved
From
One column
To another.

Another Day

The fight to live

Another day
Another ten rounds
Even when you can’t
You don’t want
To fight.

Any more.

No mas. No mas.

Those are the days
To fight the hardest.

We fight to live.

An Analogy: the Wetsuit

When you grow up in a minefield, it seems normal.

People often find it difficult to explain, or to understand Complex PTSD. I often find myself falling into metaphor or analogy to explain the experience. The reason for using an abstraction is because in Complex PTSD the particulars from one person to another vary – greatly. I have found that trying to paint a detailed picture often results in becoming lost in the need for exactitude. It is impossible to be be ‘exact’ for everyone. Enter the analogy.

One question I have seen repeatedly about Complex PTSD is “Why am I having to deal with all this NOW? Why not when it was happening? Why 10/20/30/40 years after the fact?”

In the past I have often explained that when disfunction is your norm – you don’t see it as dysfunction.

Recently I thought this idea needed to grow. While comparing the environment to a minefield works it doesn’t go far enough. The minefield only addresses the environment, while Complex PTSD is the product of how we adapted to that environment.

Think of all those adaptations we learned or created to keep us safe as a wetsuit. See it in your mind and make it as thick or detailed as you like. Maybe you have one of those ‘survival suits’ for the North Sea, light blinking on the top and bright orange. Perhaps your wet suit is more like the body glove of neoprene we often visualize on Navy Seals and Frogmen.*

No matter how you envision your suit to look it all served one purpose – to preserve your life in a hostile environment. By ‘hostile environment’ any diver will tell you – you don’t need sharks to make the water dangerous. The water itself – everything surrounding you – is quite capable of ending you.

That is the mental state in which many of us grew up. Life itself, our most immediate environment posed an imminent threat to our survival. Perhaps there was a shark – a person(s) with the ability to harm you. Perhaps there was not – but your surroundings were as cold as Arctic waters. And some of us endured both.**

To survive we adapted. Those adaptations became the ‘wetsuit’ we wore to help us survive.

Our ‘wetsuit’ served us while we were in those dangerous places. But as we grow, age, we leave the environment(s) that caused us to make those adaptations.

When we no longer need that wetsuit because we have left the freezing water we don’t abandon it. Primarily because we are unaware of it. Those adaptations are integrated. Our ‘wetsuit’ is an intrinsic part of who we are.

Over time, out of that hostile environment, that wetsuit – our adaptations – no longer serve us. The neoprene becomes hot, binding, restrictive, and could even become more than an impairment, but a danger. ***

It is not a sudden appearance of Complex PTSD. We have carried it with us since we entered that hostile place. The reason for the sudden appearance is not because the wetsuit has changed, but because they have changed their environment and no longer need it.

Now – comes the work of peeling that sucker off. And that’s part of the reason you always have a dive buddy. It is easier to get out of the wetsuit when you have help.

At least, that’s one way to think about it.


*Note: I met one of the original ‘frogmen’, once, years ago. His stories were beyond impressive.
**Note: Just imagine a shark wearing a wooly knit jumper.
***Note: Good friend went to a Halloween party dressed as a ‘diver’ – full suit 5mm – almost cooked himself into heat stroke.

Counterpoint

Poetry Counterpoint Complex PTSD

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the shadow
~TS Eliot
(The Hollow Men)

That space between
A point
Of precarious balance
Where we exist
Both alive and not.
~ M.Stewart
(on complex-ptsd)

By Jove – I think I finally get it.

white clouds and blue sky

This post is probably going to sound a lot like bragging – but I promise there is a point at the end…

I am challenging myself to do ‘one big thing a day’.

Why? Because I stand in amazement at what an ordinary human can accomplish in a morning. For decades I have watched friends (not so much family) just soar through their days. They get thing, after thing, after thing done. They just crank out the minor jobs of day-to-day living.

And I stand there stunned and mystified as to how they can do it.

HOW?

Then this morning…

I was up early.

Made my bed.

Ate breakfast.

Did a little social media.

Decided that my ‘one big thing’ challenge was going to be to clean my desk off.

So I went upstairs with my plastic grocery bag of cleaning supplies – and a bag to toss garbage into – and a bag for donates. A couple of rags to do some dusting. And my cup of water.

But that turned into –

You know I could use a chair in here.

(Into the spare room) (Look! A chair we aren’t using)

Moved the chair into my office space.

Went back to the spare room and moved my husband’s inversion table closer to the window. The mirror isn’t in danger now and I can get to the linen chest. And he has a window to look out of. Win-Win-Win.

Noticed the floor needed spot cleaning… grabbed a rag dumped some water on it from my cup, let it sit.

Felt like some music – had to clear my desk anyway – so set up a place for the computer and hit Pandora.

And on. And on. And on.

By lunch I had moved a set of shelves from the basement to my office. Reorganized my desk. Tamed all the cables. Danced. Made a bed for the cat on the shelves…

And I stopped dead in my tracks when I realized that I had been more than just ‘functional’. Damn, I rocked this morning.

The point to all this is I noticed WHY this morning was so productive.

I GOT OUT OF MY HEAD.

Everytime that little voice said… AUGH – I’m overwhelmed!

I would pause – and talk to myself.

“Really? We’re mopping a spot off the floor. This is a problem?”

And – that voice of being overwhelmed quieted a bit.

“OK, just this.”

Next time. AUGH – I’m overwhelmed!

“We are just brushing the dust off the shelves – nothing says we have to do anything else. Is this really a problem?”

A little quieter.

“OK, just this.”

I managed to “Ok, just this.” my way into having a bloomin’ productive morning. And it was all because I listened to that anxious little voice – responded to it – and just did one more little thing.

I’m guessing all my ‘productive’ friends don’t have that almost instant anxiety always in their heads stopping them from doing most anything.

I think/hope I have tamed mine a bit more this morning and more importantly – learned how to work around it.

I hope this helps someone else.

Divided

Siblings and Complex PTSD

I cannot describe
how deep
the wound goes.

When I lost my
brother – he was
only seven and
I was only three.

After that
we shared
the same house.

We fought
and shunned
one another.

Neither one aware
of the poison
that forced us apart.

Bone Deep

Single candle

We were never meant to carry
The shame that goes bone-deep
for any reason,
for every reason,
for no reason.

It is not ours to keep.

Images to help explain Complex PTSD

To explain Complex PTSD to someone can be difficult. I hope these images can help educate people to what we live with.

I composed these images to help in sharing information about CPTSD. They are listed in no particular order. I have included with them the source of the image, as best I can. All images I have used from Pixabay are non-royalty and free for use in non-commercial settings.

Please feel free to use them without alteration in your own efforts to bring awareness to Complex PTSD.

Many thanks.
Mari