Friday, January 17, 2014

My Immunization Record is Finally Current

Friday, January 17, 2014

When I secured a good health insurance plan on June 1st of last year I had no idea what a roller coaster ride I would find myself on as I became the most proactive I have ever been in regards to maintaining and improving my health.  As I consulted with a variety of doctors to address the list of health concerns I had I initially felt overwhelmed by the list of diagnoses that eventually formed in my online medical record.  I can easily access my record online and sometimes still laugh when I look at the listing.  But I certainly was not laughing last summer.  No, I was quite angry at the time.

Many of my closest friends know just how angry I was then.  My PTSD diagnosis was quite a shock; I spent much time in therapy earlier in my life only to discover the therapy I had undergone had not successfully completely addressed my issues.  Psychotherapy in particular and medicine in general is still both an art and a science so I don't hold any grudge now towards the practitioners I saw in the past.  EMDR, a therapy I have successfully used to treat the impact of the trauma I experienced early in my own development, is still a relatively new therapy.  But having used it with such great success I can say now that I am a great proponent of it.  Nothing has radically revolutionized my life as much as EMDR therapy.  The shamanic journey-work I did with local practitioner Mary Rutherford was also tremendously helpful.

I completed another important process this morning.  My immunization record is finally complete and current.  I do not need anything outside of the standard annual flu shot until the year 2018.  It's such a relief to have this process finally complete.  No I have only three major processes left: 1) Address the issue with my left foot that has been troubling me since the summer of 2012, 2) complete my physical therapy for my left shoulder and 3) complete my treatment for PTSD.  Compared to the litany of issues I had going on when I first began seeking treatment last summer my remaining list is quite light!  I feel very proud of myself for remaining committed to my healing process in the midst of such a challenging pile of problems.  A related intention I have is to never find myself in such a scenario again.

The days are growing longer now but there is no evidence yet of any significant change in the weather. This is typical considering how the coldest and warmest days of the year lag behind the corresponding winter and summer solstices by several weeks on average.  And yet it appears next weekend might be nearly as cold as the Revenge of the Polar Vortex episode we had in the first week of January.  But at least the darkness is receding!  One day it will be spring and the trees will emerge from their dormancy and burst forth in green splendor.  I am so excited to see how I will feel when this particular spring arrives.  I sense it will be like no other.

Yesterday I finally did something else healthy as well.  I distracted myself with some informative reading while riding the bus around town.  I read about the phenomenon of loss of dreams in a pamphlet entitled 'Loss of Dreams: A Special Kind of Grief' written by Ted Bowman.  This pamphlet provided me a good template to begin to better articulate the grief I have been carrying around for so long.  It was my deepest grief that was awakened last year when I traveled to Germany in May.

The grief of losing my mother to schizophrenia was (and is) such a deep grief.  It found a place within me so early in my life and remain there all these years.  When my parents separated and my mother returned to Germany I was not able to grieve the loss of her presence in my life.  But then again how do you teach a child who is only about four years of age to grieve?  Grief is difficult enough to create a space for when you are a healthy, happy, high functioning adult.  But being four years old and dealing with such a loss is incredibly painful and demanding.  And I didn't exactly have the most functional father to instruct me in the ways of grief.  He was naturally also deeply impacted by the loss of my mother.

It's my sense that our culture (America) and many others would be much healthier if men were better trained to deal with the phenomenon of grief.  The inability of men to confront and work through the experience of grief is such a tragedy and, in my opinion, it scars all too many people's lives.  Emotional crippling of youth has so many unfortunate implications.  And so does inadequate mentoring of boys.  Can you even allow yourself to contemplate the loss of quality of life so many men suffer because they cannot even bring themselves to that edge of the ocean of grief they may carry and whose contours they fear exploring?

I don't know about anyone else but I have decided it is time to dive in.  I would rather drown while discovering what is within my grief than walk always along the shore of my ocean of grief and never allow myself to explore the lessons and healing I might find by jumping in.  I salute the courage within me that I am drawing upon as I jump in.  Courage is the companion we must welcome when we wish to live amazing, productive, memorable lives full of love, friendship and prosperity.

Time to leap!

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!