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In January of 2018 I had a vision. I was falling to the floor, with things falling off off me. Melting into the ground, until there was nothing left. But something would spring up out of that nothingness. I knew that. Somehow.  I also knew I was dying. Somehow. It was fine. I didn’t feel any kind of fear, just numbness. I was too weak to fight anything that was happening, so acceptance was not really my choice. It was the kind of acceptance, I suppose one feels as they are robbed. I can speak of it as it has happened to me. As many describe it , it is quite an out of body experience. It occurred shortly before this vision in January.

I went completely numb and stepped outside , somewhere in the background of this body being robbed, to watch. It was all happening to me, there was a gun on my stomach, an aggressive man in front of me and yet I felt nothing. Emotions were useless here.  There was only a silent agreement . Yes, this is happening and I only need to hand you my bag and money .  I saw “her” do as she needed.  And when it was over, I stepped back in. Emotions returned. Actually, one emotion. Shock. It kept me paralyzed for a few seconds, until I could process what had occurred. After, I fell to the floor crying, despair. I had almost lost my life, due to money.  In that process, I became fully controlled by my limbic system and in a state of freeze, until the incident was over. I then went into fight and flight. Crying and running to a police station for safety.

This is exactly what has been occurring the last two years.

The robbery occurred in Colombia in July of 2017. The “vision” occurred in January of 2018. I had not known that due to trying different things to heal my body and mind, I had developed metabolic  encephalopathy (doctors diagnosis).    My brain was being affected by high levels of ammonia.  Something was affecting normal brain function, yet in that state I felt this “dying” needed to happen. It was an inevitable consequence of the road I had been walking down.

When I say “dying”. I am unsure if I thought I was physically dying. I knew only that the past me was gone and would no longer be needed here. In fact, she could not return. Life had to change and in that thought I found a strange whisper of joy (since emotions are very dulled in a state of survival.). In both instances I have been in a state of survival. It had been my limbic system in control, keeping me stuck, or flying or fighting.  And, I absolutely have been stuck for the last 2 years. Chronically ill, I have been working to get unstuck.  My method may be different than others with chronic illness.  You can read about the limbic system here and here.

For a good part of 2 years I was numb . I was in a state of freeze . My only job was survival. Some months after leaving a primary toxic exposure i alternated between this freeze and flight state. Today, I’m slowly finding center . Leaving these survival states to rest and digest with use of brain retraining .
Each morning, I wake up now, it is this same limbic system in control.  Each morning , it has been this way for a long time.   I wake with thoughts that were deafening roars before. Thoughts of WHERE I should run, HOW I can be more successful, WHO I would like in my life, WHAT I should be doing. WHY I am unhappy in this moment. WHEN I need to do all of this “stuff”.   And since it is completely overwhelming (this spiral of thoughts), I used to beat myself up over it. I am failing as I am not listening to my inner self. Seems normal? I have a feeling many people are waking in a limbic state, chronic illness or not.  Before these past 2 years when my brain seemed to go “offline”, these thoughts were a spiraling loop ending in emotional breakdowns and exhausted , wishing to never  think again. There was no way to stop it. It was  a product of limbic system control (which I did not know) and these were thoughts created to cope with the symptoms of my illness. If I do all of these things I will be free of what is happening to me.  

Trouble is, in a limbic state one cannot produce anything new. It is impossible to do anything but survive. Being in a survival state, does not offer one the chance think clearly and produce. It offers only the opportunity for your body hand the thief everything you have, as “you” watch somewhere in the background . Obviously, I cannot write a new symphony while being robbed.

Teetering in between this state of survival and living, there lies a great confusion. The limbic system can be very resistant to change,  I still have those thoughts in the morning and throughout the day when sick. How do I know these thoughts are not my inner guidance? Why would I give them up? Why should I change them?

How do I know they are not the truth of my experience and my body and mind are trying desperately to hold on to send this message. How do I know that I am not silencing the part of me that is there for my well being? They tell me I need to run ,to let go of the past life, why haven’t I listened? This is part of the fear. I can never go back to the way I was when sick – therefore these thoughts of escaping must be the healthy way. Or maybe there is a middle way, a center . Somewhere , there is a middle path to health, mind , body and soul.

As I practice more brain retraining, these thoughts  fade more and more – along with the physical symptoms they were created to cope with. I see the body and mind rest more, being able to create more – such as this piece of writing.  That is how I know. Consumed by thoughts, nothing can come out. Consumed by thoughts ,I am incapable of writing. When I become aware that this is the limbic system and try to comfort it, I can actually work to achieve some of those thoughts. Limbic system injury results in apathy . So , I can think all day long, I still cannot force myself to even try to accomplish any of these goals. Confusion also lies with which goals are beneficial  and which were formed in a desperate state?  I have not figured this out yet.

To a degree these thoughts are mine. I did create them to survive what I was going through. I just didn’t expect obsessions about them. (Also, it has recently been discovered that OCD is a result of brain inflammation, which I suffer from due to toxic exposure). So, yes they are mine. I have been unable to tame them. However, the fact that I am writing this and hopefully making sense is a sign that I have taken control enough in between this rest and digest state and this “danger state” . Just by writing when engulfed by thoughts and symptoms, I am healing. I am becoming the version of myself these thoughts screamed for , just balanced.  So, yes my vision was very much in line with reality. I have died. A very old version of me continues to die, daily while I watch a brand new version come out.

 

 

Stefanie