Heightened Senses

Hello. I'm Imraan. This is the only thing I own outright; I write from time to time, in the hopes that free-association might save a trip to a sanatorium.

Category: psychotherapy

On Tennyson, and on M.E.

“‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
——-

Tennyson wrote that. (I think!) It made me reflect on what resolve my family and other loved ones wish that I had. But what could they see of it when Will alone is not reversing the treachery that is M.E?

I am not terribly eloquent, so you’ll have to excuse my musings tonight.

I’m sorry that it seems to you that I’ve given up. I know no other way to keep the symptoms at bay – I am literally trapped in my own body that betrays me at every hurdle.

Sometimes, I see no way out from myself.

Despite my best efforts.

The physical pain is unbearable and I have borne it. The exhaustion is inexhaustible and I’m exhausted by that fact.

Being ceases to ‘be’ in any meaningful sense sometimes, yet I have no choice but to exist, awaiting its passage from me. At least in this world.

Often this seems the most pragmatic. But it lets me reflect on the blessing that it is to ‘be’ at all.

You claim my bed sucks me into an abyss, sometimes you see in me no more than my physically debilitated self. You identify me with this bed.

The bed that I despise. Or, as I once heard said, I try to unshackle myself from her bondage, yet the symptoms Amplify and I’m filled with anxiety.

Your Will clouds your Vision. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though; what right have I to ask you of anything else – you persist in feeding and sheltering me despite your Will for me? How dare I?

Life speeds on ahead at thundering pace, and is leaving me behind, and holding you back as you care for me whilst I lay, almost always limp, yet tense, in my bed.

I fear sometimes that your comments hold a great deal of Truth. Yet the relentless illness, that strikes with such caprice in her manifested symptoms, are the only kernel to which I cling that convince me of what is Real. Or at the very least, what seems Real to me.

Though the fear of the Next Life haunts me – did I really fail to do my best to rid myself of this state?

Often I wonder what His Will holds for me; and what vision I can manufacture of it. It’s hard to know the Mind of God.

Tell me what choices I have, and I will tell you that you have freed me.

What is it like to have M.E?

I thought I’d share an excellent video by Giles Meehan – speaking about the condition from which I suffer severely.

Yes, it’s a downer. But it is so important for other people to understand…because the last fifty years of clinical abuse, misunderstanding and mismanagement, have devastated and cost the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of us. This needs to change.

Please watch, and share in a bit of the experience of what it is like to live with this treachery, truly a ‘Modern Plague,’ that is M.E.

With thanks, and love,

Imraan

http://about.me/gilesmeehan

A Great Rant on Fibromyalgia

If you’ve fallen prey to this awful condition, I must recommend this video to lighten your spirits! It is so tragic that there is a tremendous amount of disbelief and abuse out there in the world…but this is something that made me laugh a great deal and inspired hope in my day! And it’s just really funny, too.

Sweet dreams, pray hard …you scumbag politicians, complicit and bought-off media, and Godless institutional oligarchs…

‘Let’s be clear what it at stake: services, people’s health and even lives. As Professor Terence Stephenson of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges put it last week, doctors’ warnings had been ignored, and “unnecessary competition [would] destabilise complex, interconnected local health economies, in particular hospitals, potentially having adverse effects on patient services.”‘ Owen Jones, The Independent.

Please read this article – and if you’d rather not – here are my thoughts on the reforms to the NHS in a slightly broader context.

For those of you who voted Tory (that’s ‘Conservative) at the last election, and New Labour at the previous ones…thank you so very, very much.

As a disabled person who is in need of NHS services regularly, I have experienced first the sub-standard care that comes when you turn healthcare into a racket based on the coldest, most dehumanising economic principles…from being unable to see the specialists that I need fourteen miles away from my home, in the very city in which I live, as ‘there is not enough funding in the PCT to justify it’; to waiting over a year for an application to be heard with regard to getting in-patient rehabilitation (as yet with the case in limbo sandwiched somewhere between a bureaucratic fat-cat’s wallet and pool of blood resting in his chalice..)

..to being discharged by physiotherapists and occupational therapists repeatedly because my recovery has been ‘too slow’ to justify me ‘being kept on the books’ (how’s that for economic?) –  maybe four times in the last year – twice after just two visits…. – my being forced to see psychiatrists because the institutions were at a loss (both in terms of finances and morale, and even expertise) to be given drugs, effectively to shut me up and stop complaining (incidentally, these drugs have only had a negative effect on my health)… as I said, thank you, dear comrades.

…Yet there are countless others who have both lost their lives or have suffered the most dehumanising cruelty at the hands of an institution, and a government, and a complicit public, whose responsibility has been to protect the vulnerable. I didn’t plan on falling sick at 18 and not being able to contribute to the services on which I became forced to be reliant (no, I don’t have a sense of entitlement – just had a hope that I might be able to leave a better NHS behind for my own, and your children)… but thanks to those of you who justify propping up a godless financial behemoth, killing millions in far-off lands with money you have stolen from your own fellow citizens to fight for natural resources that you were never entitled to… you know what….thank you again.

…Forget just the atrocities committed against those of us reliant on the ‘welfare state’, and what grief we have to go through to ‘prove’ we are sick or in need, with less than 0.5 percent of us as fraudulent claimants to disability support… think how many months we are cut off from financial support etc, to be forced to rely on people who can barely afford to feed themselves…. There is blood in your hands, in all of them, in mine too… in your bellies because of the unjustified sustenance procured at the hands of your soldiers, in your wallets because of the circulated wealth that has come from robbing it out of the pockets of those who needed it the most through ‘savings’ (not ‘cuts’)…

But of course if you know not of anyone who is in desperate need of these services which were a birth-right to them, and to you, a part of the compact they have made as contributing citizens to this country, and to each other (that’s you included), you will sleep in relative peace tonight as the lives of millions of them are ravaged further after today. Sweet dreams, comrades.

…Hopefully Hell won’t spit you out in disgust… I say this not flippantly – but if you happen to believe that Christ died and arose for your sins this weekend…Happy Easter to you. Enjoy the festivities with your families… but think about this… how many others are you killing off for your sins? That you will never be able to be vindicated for nor redeemed, without an act of all-out sacrifice and nothing short of Grace… pray hard for your souls…pray very, very hard indeed.

A Struggle for Compassion – (Please share, reblog, etc.)

There are those beings that have touched our lives in profound ways – guiding us with that torch of Hope where we only saw Darkness. Emily Collingridge was one such being…a Saint…a human manifestation of Mercy, of Patience, of Love.

Yet I had never met her – but the hope and help that she provided through her invaluable book on Severe M.E let me know, when I relapsed almost two years ago to the day, that I was not alone. When I was cast into a very dark and scary world of Severe M.E.Today marks one year since she passed away at the age of 30 – after a long-fought battle with Severe M.E – a disease which had crippled her since the age of 6. Yet in her ‘later’ years (and it is such a tragedy just to call it that), she wrote a book from her bed, over the course of a few years, even when she couldn’t physically write, to inspire both hope and pragmatism to the lives of the so many who have had to endure this vicious, crippling illness, not just because of what it does to their bodies, but the emotional trauma it causes to them, their families…and perhaps most tragically, to the strain it puts on the humanity of those who are supposed to be working in the compassionate profession.For me, Emily – through her book – provided as space of hope, of empathy, of understanding, where the medical establishment could do no such thing and shrugged their shoulders in bafflement.

I periodically post things about this condition – not only because it has contributed to making my own life extremely difficult these past six years, but because there are those whose suffering is much greater than mine. This condition has a way of ravaging almost all of your resources – where the physical act of living can be a struggle for your sanity. There are those who cannot raise their heads from their beds, who are fed through tubes, whose physical pain would be deemed unbearable if a ‘healthy’ person would experience it just for an hour.

Yet this disease is constantly mischaracterised in the press, is dismissed by much of the medical establishment, and is granted virtually no funding to help to find treatments that might take the edge off, or help to promote recovery. Please read Emily’s Appeal today, if there is one thing you can do – I am a firm believer that change will only come for this community if we start from acts of passive compassion. Just try to understand it first…be ‘aware’, pray if you can.

If you can then do more, please do so; yet if you ask many patients, the first thing they’d say is that they would just appreciate some awareness. Not because they’re martyrs – they are already living with such a plight – but because they are systematically victimised and betrayed by the institutions that are supposed to protect them, and all those that are vulnerable.

May she be at Peace, finally.Links:
Emily’s Appeal:http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/mt.php/2011/05/28/me-awareness-emily-collingridges-appeal

An Obituary for Emily Collingridge:
http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/mt.php/2012/03/20/emily-rose-collingridge-1981-2012

http://www.stonebird.co.uk/contributors.html#lifewithme

Silent Screamsmy account of life with Severe M.E for M.E Awareness Week 2012.

M.E Awareness Video by Daisy H.:

Why I love Alex Jones…

Weber defined the State as that entity which “upholds the claim to the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force in the enforcement of its order.” I imagine that in the logic of a state, it means that it is, or ought to be, the sole claim to legitimate physical force. I mean, why shouldn’t it be? Could you imagine what the state could do to you or me with that kind of power. I say this all rhetorically, of course; however speaking as a minority in an increasingly hostile West I give it ten years before the mass-deportations begin.

Maybe I’m turning into something of a conspiracy-nut (I wonder if Webster Tarpley has a ‘collected essays’ volume…?); I, too, given my experience these last few years given up really on institutions such as conventional medicine , and have begun to wonder what else I might question. The government seems like an easy-enough target – in the wake of the blatant lies told about the WMDs in Iraq, many Americans joined the 9/11 Truther movement – after all, if 9/11 could be the pretext to an illegal war of regime change in two sovereign countries, what else might they have been lying about?

Perhaps I’m too far a Leftist to actually be able to tolerate the likes of Jones, but I honestly have a soft-spot for him (probably right over my cerebral cortex). I think he raises some very valid concerns in his theorising – I am very sceptical of psychiatric interventions, for example…or vaccinations…the economic crisis affecting us all is another; moreover the alternative media has a great way of bringing to the public attention issues which don’t get a second look at in the mainstream…so what I’m saying is, despite not agreeing with everything this fellow and his ilk have to say on various subjects, they constitute and serve a critical function which cannot be provided by the corporate media (except on the odd occasion when they let people like Jones on their shows, as you will see below!)

This is an hysterically-charged interview in which Jones was perhaps most effective in the first four minutes – just watch those if you can’t be bothered to watch more!

I’m not sure what 9/11 had to do with the recent spree of mass-shootings – perhaps this was an attempt to discredit the guest, and thus very unprofessional – nonetheless Jones has a pretty broad church and no-doubt his points of view will resonate with large numbers, perhaps millions of Americans (not that millions are necessarily watching CNN…) when they get to hear about it.

I can understand how Jones fears that there will come a time where the population will have to bear arms against their government – I can’t decry him for his lack of patriotism -considering that there are now armed drones flying over the US and much of the rest of the world, moreover the NDAA has essentially created a state of martial law in the States – we know how wicked the US Government can be toward those whom she captures or wants killed – GTMO, Predator Drone strikes, Bagram, Renditions are just examples of the last decade…however for some reason I cannot but feel utterly sick when I think of guns and the harm they cause.

I loathe them with every aspect of my being, and I hate the culture that has emerged surrounding them. But then, I don’t necessarily approve of the culture surrounding states generally, and in particular, military institutions today. Leo Tolstoy once said of nationalism being:

the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers

A call for a ban on assault weapons or handguns is a red-herring; I’d much prefer calling on the banning of production of armaments, and the banning of exporting guns to international markets…so that they don’t then end up back in our hands, and nor can others kill because we enabled them by not insisting that the same taxes collected from the arms trade are helping to pay for our welfare state or Health Service, or feeding the hungry though international aid be rejected outright; the stigma should be such that these corporations might pack up and go elsewhere (I’d accept that as a start, but this would of-course take concerted efforts from activist groups across the Global North; we might then consider financial aid or some other mechanism to incentivise other governments to not allow these bloody corporations from starting ip elsewhere).

Our bodies should be temples; for metaphysical reasons I cannot grasp how we can feed ourselves with, or benefit from the effects of, funds gathered through such barbarism. Gun culture isn’t enough to explain such violence, especially given that the numbers of stabbings and muggings are on the rise in states even with such bans…this goes right to the core of our souls. As much as guns themselves have the power to create culture which manifests in the world, we tacitly do the same to our souls…

Maybe the Hobbesian or Weberian conceptions of the modern states, and world, ought to be done away with in favour of a new model of governance.

Or maybe I should be a pragmatist and support Chris Rock’s idea:

———————————-

On a side note here’s an extract from an interview with the always prescient and logical Noam Chomsky in 1994 found here:

Q: Advocates of free access to arms cite the Second Amendment. Do you believe
that it permits unrestricted, uncontrolled possession of guns?

It’s pretty clear that, taken literally, the Second Amendment doesn’t permit
people to have guns. But laws are never taken literally, including amendments
to the Constitution or constitutional rights. Laws permit what the tenor of
the times interprets them as permitting.

But underlying the controversy over guns are some serious questions. There’s
a feeling in the country that people are under attack. I think they’re
misidentifying the source of the attack, but they do feel under attack.

The government is the only power structure that’s even partially accountable
to the population, so naturally the business sectors want to make that the
enemy–not the corporate system, which is totally unaccountable. After decades
of intensive business propaganda, people feel that the government is some
kind of enemy and that they have to defend themselves from it.

It’s not that that doesn’t have its justifications. The government is
authoritarian and commonly hostile to much of the population. But it’s
partially influenceable–and potentially very influenceable–by the general
population.

Many people who advocate keeping guns have fear of the government in the
back of their minds. But that’s a crazy response to a real problem.”

Simon Wessely gets courage award (from a bunch of his mates)

Simon Wessely gets courage award (from a bunch of his mates)

How tragic is it that such people, who shouldn’t be allowed to work with the vulnerable in the first place, are treated with such high esteem. I’ve heard of countless cases of patients who claimed to feel as if they were tortured under his department.

For how long are the community going to stand for this? Marginalised when we protest the inhumane treatment under the model devised by this doctor, or treated as malingerers when these treatment protocols fail to help us (as in my case – I relapsed during the process of being treated using the protocol devised and favoured by him) – what ever happened to patient-focussed medicine? Or rather, care-focussed treatment.

Consciousness

I’ve just discovered a few lectures by Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor at George Washington University, eminent scholar,  ‘traditionalist’/perennialist, often called a polymath and probably the most important Islamic philosopher of modern times.

The topic of this talk is Conciousness‘; a term that’s often whitewashed out of the modern discourse which Dr Nasr agues is what will lead to man’s ultimate destruction (I’m paraphrasing, and these are just my interpretations of his talk); we have been alienated from ourselves, and our place in the Cosmos, that we see ourselves from the external rather than the internal, which is what has caused such blind arrogance of the ‘scientistic’ world view.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy it! There’s another great talk on YouTube which further expounds on his worldview labelled ‘God and Man’ which I recommend highly as well.

They’re very easy to follow (as far as philosophy talks go) because of the clarity of his speech, I managed to sit through the first one in one sitting without too many ‘brainfog moments’. So to all you fellow sleepy people reading this, don’t panic!

Love, and best wishes,

Trapped

An unfinished-extract from my diary from a couple of weeks ago.(edited a little bit):

 

“Whilst I was resting today, though I cannot remember if it was early this morning or when resting in the afternoon…I had a little time to think from my bed. Anyhow, it was to do with whether ME is a physical or mental illness. Some months ago, one of the BBC radio stations broadcast a programme where an ME-researcher said that she received death-threats for suggesting that ME might be a mental condition, or have a mental-health aspect to it…in fact, it was because she was researching whether there was a psychological aspect to it. It was revealed that this was the case for manyother reasearchers.

 

Whatever this might reveal (or let’s be diplomatic, indicate) about the prejudices of the “institution” against ME-sufferers -or whether these incidences give a bad name to the ME-afflicted – my thoughts were more focussed on what the state of understanding of mental-health illnesses is.

 

Though I do not in the slightest believe ME to be rooted in psychological origins, or at the very least that psychology or psychiatry cannot explain why ME occurs in patients (convincingly anyhow), what if ME was proven to be a psychiatric condition? What would be so bad about it? What difference would it make to our suffering?

 

Of course- the sometimes latent but often explicit agenda of medical researchers and medical professionals could discourage patients from coming forward to receive the help, or it could result in patients receiving types of treatment and care not suitable to their very-delicate conditions; but if that agenda didn’t exist…

 

Is it a taboo still to have a mental illness?  Though wwhen we hear that someone has a psychiatric condition (I’m using mental-health/psychiatric condition interchangeably), we mighht imagine them in a white gown, strapped to a trolly in a padded roomm at the end of a ward in a sanitarium; we know that mental-health issues are fairly widespread and do not necessarily warrant such imagery – their manifestations may be subtle, but to the patient, they are still very real.

 

I think that part of the ‘fear’ of having a psychiatric condition might cause the afflicted to believe that their suffering is subjecctive, and therefore less real! And it doesn’t help that medically there are few, if any biomarkers for their conditions; this is compounded further by the prejudice of the medical professionals we so rely on to help us manage our condition, and offer at least support if not sympathy, as it is rarely gotten from others.”

 

But if you were in the state where you really, truly believed your body to be malfunctioning and others suggested that it was all by virtue of the tricks your brain played upon you, you might start to doubt all your thoughts, all your motivations, and the very fact that you were sick. If it was in fact the case that your mind, ego, brain  – whatever you would wish to call it – was at the root of your illness, and that the only filter you had to view the world was through this mind and you were a slave to your consciousness, doesn’t that warrant even more support from those who were paid to care for you? But it goes beyond this. We are trapped in bodies that are unrelentingly uncooperative – the extent to which they malfunction are magnanimous (just ask an ME patient who gets temporarily paralysed or experiences seizures or blackouts randomly) – what care couldbe provided to patients who suffer so. Part of the fear must be that if a psychiatric cause was found, then ME patients would be subjected to conventional therapies. So far as I can tell, I’m not sure how you can think yourself out of paralysis or stop a seizure midway by changing the way you think about it.

 

Isn’t it a testament to our mental and inner-strength that we live our lives in acceptance of this grim reality?

 

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