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Re: [Asatru-U] Here's a thread...

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  • KDymott@aol.com
    Hi all.. I am sort of in the same boat. i ve suffered from bipolar (manic depression) since i was 11 (7 years ago and 3 months but hey whos counting :P).. and
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 30, 2006
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      Hi all..

      I am sort of in the same boat. i've suffered from bipolar (manic depression)
      since i was 11 (7 years ago and 3 months but hey whos counting :P).. and i was
      constantly on medication. I found asatru after i was on them, and i looked to
      the gods and goddesses to help me feel confident that the decisions i made
      were the right ones for me, and then protect me if i had made a big boo-boo
      haha.
      I eventually stopped the meds and tried to pull myself together and have done
      a successful job so far.. all you need to do is look at your situation.. do
      what you feel is best and believe that you know what is best for you. The
      decision is a hard one but if you have to have confidence in anything you have to
      have confidence in yourself.

      Hope that helped in some way..
      Disa xx


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • arlie@worldash.org
      Hi Lissa, It s always good to exchange email with you. Like many of the people particularly drawn to this list, you _think_. ... I tried to avoid making any
      Message 2 of 13 , May 1, 2006
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        Hi Lissa,

        It's always good to exchange email with you. Like many of the people
        particularly drawn to this list, you _think_.

        On Apr 30 2006, Lissa wrote:
        > On Sat, 2006-04-29 at 21:18 -0700, arlie@... wrote:
        >
        > > First of all, dealing with things includes using whatever tools are
        > > available. Refusing to use available tools - because one "should be
        > > strong enough not to need them" _isn't_ dealing with things. To make
        > > an analogy, some of us are stronger than others, physically. There are
        > > things I can't carry any distance - so I use a cart, or a wheelbarrow,
        > > or a helper. I don't leave them sitting there, because I ought to be
        > > stronger. I also don't (if I have sense) risk injuring myself by
        > > attempting to lift and carry things too big for me, except perhaps in
        > > an emergency.
        >
        > I agree, but, Arlie, I think you could have picked a more efficient
        > analogy in this case. Depression is a chemical imbalance. I have to take
        > thyroid hormone or I will die (painfully). This is because my thyroid
        > doesn't pump out the right chemicals.

        I tried to avoid making any statement about the correctness of the
        diagnosis and the potential treatment, partly not to muddy the waters
        about the religious question, and partly because I am *not* a doctor
        or therapist, so my misgivings about the effectiveness and general
        suitability of anti-depressants is merely one lay opinion. I have,
        personally, refused to take them.

        When my depression was at its worst, I was incapable of navigating the
        medical maze to acquire a prescription, except perhaps by presenting
        myself in such an extreme way that I'd probably have been hospitalized
        involuntarily. On a good day - which was the only time I could cope
        with doctors - I appeared too functional to need anything but a pep
        talk. On a bad day, I couldn't work, couldn't eat, and had trouble
        getting out of bed - but managed to drag myself to work and fake some
        amount of efficiency, sometimes pulling myself out of it in the
        process, at least briefly. And on _no_ day could I communicate my
        situation as clearly as I just have, being enmeshed in it emotionally
        - and incapable of doing the research to learn the language, or what
        part of my experience would be seen as relevant (symptoms).

        I gave up trying after two or three attempts - I apparently "didn't
        need" anything but talk therapy, which didn't work. I eventually got
        sick of paying for it, and dropping the therapy got rid of one more
        stressor, thereby contributing to my recovery.

        These days I'm less depressed - and unwilling to have yet another
        influence on my emotional state. Whatever is wrong with my
        biochemistry is bad enough, without some drug that I'm pretty sure
        will neither put things 100% right nor even move backwards on a
        familiar trajectory. Meanwhile, I recovered to the point of being able
        to find a decent regular doctor - and get several years of unattended
        medical problems addressed. She promptly offered me anti-depressants,
        when I pointed out the problem with mood swings - but I'm afraid that
        unfamiliar would be _worse_, and I'm no longer desperate. (Also,
        identifying the migraine problem has made me much less afraid and
        hopeless...) So no anti-depressants for me, and a very skeptical
        attitude.

        > Does this make me a bad heathen? Well, it happened before I got roped
        > into this circus, so either the gods wanted a broken heathen, or they
        > don't care. It is simply a chemical imbalance that, if I take the pill
        > every day, doesn't affect how I live or what I am.
        >
        > Now, when I found out I was going to have to take medication or die, I
        > was really angry. I also started worrying about things like how I would
        > survive if civilization collapsed. But, at the core of I, I felt weak
        > and impotent because I had to take medication. This was irrational, but
        > it was (and is, on the very occasional bad day) real. Thinking it
        > through helped me to realize I was being irrational, and that helped,
        > but, basically, I had to just get used to it.

        Ditto, but I *also* feel that way about not being able to be a mighty
        teenage hero. Aging hits a lot of people that way. I don't like having
        to ask for help with things I could once have done alone, and a lot of
        my identity is/was tied up in being physically strong and fit,
        probably beyond the level that was ever true. (I fantasized about
        being a mighty warrior as a child...) Aging has forced me to face up
        to being what I see, emotionally, as a weakling, and I really don't
        like it. And that's a _physical_ weakling; the depression doesn't bug
        me in the same way.

        > Thordis' actions imply to me that Egil was left to his depression to see
        > if he could work it out himself, and, when he couldn't, the family acted
        > to help him. I suspect this was both because they cared for him, and
        > because he was a needed member of the community.
        >
        > My own sense of the way Icelanders worked was that Thordis would have
        > gone charging in with a bottle of Prozac or Ativan if she'd had it or
        > been able to steal it.

        I think you are quire right.

        > > But that's the smaller part of this. The real question is whether
        > > heathens are required to be supermen. Is this a way of life for
        > > everyone, including not just heroes and the potentially great, but
        > > also their more ordinary families, neighbours, and friends?
        > >
        > > My experience, cynically speaking, is that modern heathenry too often
        > > attempts to be a religion for supermen, and ends up instead with a
        > > collection of poseurs, each trying to show themselves worthy, with
        > > emphasis on "show" - rather than _be_.
        >
        > Oh, gods, yes. And, if the phrase "religion for supermen" doesn't run
        > chills up your spine, you don't know your history.

        *grin* Nietzsche himself seems to have been an example of much of what
        I was alluding to - not a superman himself in any way but fantasy.

        Now I really sympathize with those fantasies, and tend to share them
        myself. I do, however, flatter myself that I can tell the difference
        between day dreams and reality, and don't usually make decisions based
        on day dream logic. This superman stuff makes a great story - and much
        of it leads to seriously dysfunctional behavior in real life. This is
        partly because most of these superman fantasies ignore actual human
        nature, abilities, etc. (I'm currently reading a fantasy series by
        S.M. Stirling which falls into a lot of these problems - but makes a
        lovely escapist yarn.)

        --
        Arlie

        (Arlie Stephens arlie@...)
      • yngona desmond
        Jenn shared [[I ve been dealing with another cycle of depression. [snip] I left with a perscription for happy pills. I don t want to take the damn things,
        Message 3 of 13 , May 2, 2006
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          Jenn shared [[I've been dealing with another cycle of depression.
          [snip] I left with a perscription for happy pills. I don't want to
          take the damn things, [snip] .. history of the Norse people, [snip]
          They didn't whine .. they simply accepted thier situations or fought
          to make them better. I feel like, but taking a pill for being 'sad'
          all the time, I lose honor in the eyes of the Gods. [snip] To me,
          part of being Asatru is having the strength to deal with daily life
          issues in addition to any religious or spontaneous occurances. Is it
          weak to take these medications, even for a little while?]]
          ** No.

          Depression leaves one feeling desolate, and this needs be worked out
          through expression, which frees the body for improvement-progress.

          Doubt and fear is often naturally cast off by recognizing that they
          are self-inflicted or self-imposed limitations, so that once realized
          they are easily let go. However, this does not assure that
          rearranged doubt and fear will not emerge in their place.

          The entire body-mind-soul is stimulated to seek growth, development
          and satisfaction, which is why the mind is able to grasp a seemingly
          small event that will spontaneously release itself from - even if
          momentarily - depression or despair.

          If you are depressed bear in mind that it is natural and probable
          that every problem will be solved, that every problem has a
          solution.

          Many who suffer from depression tend to devote themselves to the
          miseries of the world, which then creates more depression. But more
          so, this scenerio creates a highly prejudiced view of reality, one
          that negates the positive in favor of the negative. Creative,
          worthwhile and achieving moments exist in abundance, are ever
          present, and thoughts on them will bring about refreshment and
          release from tension.

          If you are depressed about world events then volunteer at a local
          level. If you are lethargic then resolve to perform a specific task
          everyday.

          Nature does not know damnation, and because we are all part of nature
          we cannot be damned. Instead we should consciously seek to activate
          those coordinates that promote our own peace of body-mind-soul, to
          quicken the healing process.

          No one can advice you to take or not take medication for your
          depression. However, when the mood is regulated chemically the mind
          may become confused - which is why your doctor is, I will assume,
          extremely cautious about giving your medication and hopefully you
          have related to him your reluctance to accept them.

          I have suffered from crippling depression, brought on by the death of
          my son. I never took medication, but then, I never had a history of
          depression prior to that event. Therefore, my advice to you is:

          -Refuse to worry about the future or the past or what your ancestors
          would have done.

          -Remind yourself that it is NOT inevitable for the most unfortunate
          of situations to take on the darkest tones.

          -Concentrate on the present moment, especially upon the pleasantness
          of what is pleasant. Always bring your mind back to what is
          delightful and pleasing.

          -Remember laughter and sunshine, the smell of spring flowers and the
          feel of cool breezes, the smell of homemade cookies and the sound of
          crisp snow underfoot - these simply pleasures will alleviate fear and
          doubt at least momentarily, which is all they need to be alleviated
          for - in the moment, right here in the Now.

          And at all times ...

          Live Deliberately!
          Yngona

          Völuspá - Seiðr as Wyrd Consciousness
          http://tinyurl.com/h75d6

          Thuleheim – Wanderings of a Wise Woman
          http://thuleheim.blogspot.com/

          Vinland's Völva – Daily Mystic Musings
          http://vinlands-volva.blogspot.com/
        • Lissa
          Hey, Arlie, ... Quite a valid point. Everyone reacts to depression in different ways, and needs different treatments, no matter what that mental health HMO I
          Message 4 of 13 , May 3, 2006
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            Hey, Arlie,

            > I tried to avoid making any statement about the correctness of the
            > diagnosis and the potential treatment, partly not to muddy the waters
            > about the religious question, and partly because I am *not* a doctor
            > or therapist, so my misgivings about the effectiveness and general
            > suitability of anti-depressants is merely one lay opinion. I have,
            > personally, refused to take them.

            Quite a valid point. Everyone reacts to depression in different ways,
            and needs different treatments, no matter what that mental health HMO I
            used to work for says.

            Fighting depression is a damned hard fight, with or without medication.
            But, it isn't a moral issue. It is a health issue. Which also means it
            isn't a religious issue for heathens, since we are concerned with what
            people do, not with what they are, what they "believe" or what they do
            or don't have "faith" in.

            Yes, I'm oversimplifying grossly. But I fear that some heathens might
            apply the "suck it up, and get on with it" approach to a health issue. I
            generally admire that position, but not when it means rejection of
            necessary tools.

            (And, I'm very much glad you are doing better, Arlie.)

            > > Does this make me a bad heathen? Well, it happened before I got roped
            > > into this circus, so either the gods wanted a broken heathen, or they
            > > don't care. It is simply a chemical imbalance that, if I take the pill
            > > every day, doesn't affect how I live or what I am.
            > >
            > > Now, when I found out I was going to have to take medication or die, I
            > > was really angry. I also started worrying about things like how I would
            > > survive if civilization collapsed. But, at the core of I, I felt weak
            > > and impotent because I had to take medication. This was irrational, but
            > > it was (and is, on the very occasional bad day) real. Thinking it
            > > through helped me to realize I was being irrational, and that helped,
            > > but, basically, I had to just get used to it.
            >
            > Ditto, but I *also* feel that way about not being able to be a mighty
            > teenage hero. Aging hits a lot of people that way. I don't like having
            > to ask for help with things I could once have done alone, and a lot of
            > my identity is/was tied up in being physically strong and fit,
            > probably beyond the level that was ever true. (I fantasized about
            > being a mighty warrior as a child...) Aging has forced me to face up
            > to being what I see, emotionally, as a weakling, and I really don't
            > like it. And that's a _physical_ weakling; the depression doesn't bug
            > me in the same way.

            This can feed my depression. Perhaps that is why I laugh so hard at the
            mighty warrior heathen types. Someday, they'll be old like me, on
            medication and walking with a limp, and we'll see how they deal with it
            (not gracefully, I suspect. I didn't, after all).

            > > Thordis' actions imply to me that Egil was left to his depression to see
            > > if he could work it out himself, and, when he couldn't, the family acted
            > > to help him. I suspect this was both because they cared for him, and
            > > because he was a needed member of the community.
            > >
            > > My own sense of the way Icelanders worked was that Thordis would have
            > > gone charging in with a bottle of Prozac or Ativan if she'd had it or
            > > been able to steal it.
            >
            > I think you are quire right.

            Probably mixed it in his skyr.

            > > > But that's the smaller part of this. The real question is whether
            > > > heathens are required to be supermen. Is this a way of life for
            > > > everyone, including not just heroes and the potentially great, but
            > > > also their more ordinary families, neighbours, and friends?
            > > >
            > > > My experience, cynically speaking, is that modern heathenry too often
            > > > attempts to be a religion for supermen, and ends up instead with a
            > > > collection of poseurs, each trying to show themselves worthy, with
            > > > emphasis on "show" - rather than _be_.
            > >
            > > Oh, gods, yes. And, if the phrase "religion for supermen" doesn't run
            > > chills up your spine, you don't know your history.
            >
            > *grin* Nietzsche himself seems to have been an example of much of what
            > I was alluding to - not a superman himself in any way but fantasy.

            Yep, but he wasn't the only abuser of the superman concept I was
            referring to.

            As heathens, our actions are the critically important thing. So, we need
            to make sure we can act as thoughtfully and strongly as necessary.
            Depression tends to rob one of the ability to act. Therefore, if we have
            to make a religious issue out of it (which I'm loth to do, although I
            certainly understand the temptation), anything that impairs our ability
            to act in ways useful to those we've consciously built bonds with must
            be minimized or eliminated.

            Therefore, taking medication for a chemical imbalance is just like
            making sure one's horse has the proper shoes, one's sword is sharp (or,
            in my case, kitchen knives) and that the computer is plugged in.

            Of course, we should also be leery of the One True Answer, but that is
            another tendency for another day.

            Be well,
            Lissa

            --

            Why didn't the world come? Because there was no
            self-interest....No oil. They didn't come because some
            humans are [considered] less human than others.

            Gen. Romeo Dallaire on the Rwandan Genocide
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