Meditation: the foundation of wellbeing
Since I am Mentally Well, I decided that it was time to shift the focus of my pro-bono work into applying what I've learnt through my own experience into the area of mental health and recently met with a charity advocating in this field to offer my wares.
As I told my story the words, "I am recovered," and not "I am recovering" just fell out of my mouth quite naturally. However, as it's only been a few months since I've been completely meds-free and symptom-free, a little disclaimer to this effect followed. Although I am more stable and at ease than ever, as there wasn't a single healing modality responsible for my recovery and no one involved has an holistic view, I suspect I will need a good, solid year of wellbeing to believe that I am truly well. I know that, as my dear friend Matt told me in the beginning of the process, the scars will always be there, but I also know that wounds heal with time and so I'm being patient and sensible about it all. As I further explained how I arrived at this wonderful place of wellness, I realised that I wasn't the norm, that my self-constructed healing plan may just offer alternatives for others, so I thought I'd share it here.
My psychiatrist offered pharmacological treatment only and would not explore any other healing modalities, and when I sought private treatments, he would not acknowledge the fact that I actually had the wherewithal and tenacity to find my own way out of the fog. The medication was helpful initially, as it suppressed the symptoms and allowed me to explore the root causes. As far as the NHS are concerned if there are no symptoms, treatment is deemed successful, but I disagreed.
The first step, and the bit that my whole 'treatment plan' rests on, is my meditation practice. It is without a doubt that meditation provided the space for healing, enabling me to develop the capacity and resilience to face the tatters of my emotional life fearlessly, but I couldn't do it alone. So, next was intensive, and I mean intensive, core process Buddhist psychotherapy. This is when the depression checked out. I just woke up one day and it was gone, and gratefully so it has continued. Nevertheless, I got to a stage in therapy where I just didn't want to talk anymore. I knew my issues were trauma based, embodied and well beneath conscious thought. I tried acupressure and reiki, but they weren't right for me.
And my research led me to biodynamic craniosacral therapy. Quite a mouthful, and since it is the one thing I don't really understand, of course it's the one treatment that has yielded the greatest results. Session by session the trauma was released. It was pretty intense at times, but is now seeing me through the detoxification process and stabilising my nervous system in a way I would have never thought possible.
I know that healing, wellbeing and wholeness will be a lifelong pursuit and once this stage of recovery has stabilised, the one thing that will remain is my meditation practice, my trusted friend along life's journey.