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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

Recently I have become once again aware that i don't feel complete regarding my sense of "selfhood." It seems some essential component(s) is missing.

As some of you may recall i have in the past stated that I have been diagnosed by several "psychiatric authorities" as exhibiting traits referred to (in the literature) as a Personality Disorder. (there are multiple types)

Personality Disorder is a condition generally brought about through very early disruptions or defiencies experienced during the basic structural formation of the "ego" or sense of selfhood which often results in a distortion of ones perception of self and of "reality."

Most of my horrific experiences of DP/DR occurred long ago in the past during an incredibly stressful time of my life, from 18 to 22 years old. ( I won't go into all the details) That was when it was most intense for me.

It was as though i didn't have the psychic resources or strength of "will" I needed to cope with all that life was throwing at me during this crucial stage of development as i moved into adulthood, and i was sort of forced back in upon myself and experienced areas of emptiness which I would sometimes fall into which made me feel "unreal" "disconnected" and shattered my kinesthetic (body boundaries) sense of self.

All this as a result of an overload of stress and inadequte "ego structure" so in my case i have never really been able to buy into a brain chemical imbalance as the cause of my DP/DR. Of course we are all unique individuals and what may be true for me may not be true for you and vis-versa. (?)

Anyway, something i have become aware of recently is this feeling of "incompleteness."

For almost thirty years I drank alcohol to fill up this emptiness inside. This is a structural emptiness not to be confused with the emptiness which depression may often bring. For me at least, that is a different feeling of emptiness and rather hard to define the distinction between the two. Perhaps one could say that with a "structural deficency" there is a sense of grief for the missing parts, for those parts of ones psyche that for all practical purposes have never seen the light of day so to speak. And without these parts or aspects of ones "self" one can't help but feel incomplete.

I enjoyed drinking as it made me feel more complete. It gave me something to look forward to at the end of the day. No matter what else happened during the day I knew that "succor" in the form of a sense of completeness was only a few swallows away. In many ways the structure of my life was built around my drinking pattern. I was a maintenace drinker and I never drank in the mornings only in the afternoons and evenings. I never drank to "drunkeness" but simply sought a certain comfort zone where i would feel complete. my anxieties definitely center around these "structural" feelings of incompleteness.

I was motivated for health reasons to give up the alcohol, and surprisingly i had little problem "cold turkeying" it after drinking everyday for all those years. I was helped by doubling my Xanax dose from 1mg a day to 2 mgs a day (which is the amount I am still taking) i was averaging about 8 drinks a day when i quit.

Well I have noticed that although my Xanax usage has stayed constant over these last six months (in regards to the amount consumed) the pattern which I take it has changed somewhat in that I will take it twice a day saving the larger half, say one and a quarter for the evening and take only one half or three quarters mgsin the afternoon. In this way i can look forward to an adequate amount that will give me the similar feeling of completeness from the Xanax that alcohol used to bring me. BTW for those who don't know I have been taking Xanax for twenty years, so I am no doubt very habituated at this point. I recognise this fact and i have made minute changes in my usage level (one sixteenth of a MG less than a week ago) but i am realizing that it will be very difficult to stop the Xanax entirely unless i find some other means to negate these feelings of incompleteness. I don't feel i really need the Xanax anymore for anxiety as i generally don't feel all that anxious unless I am DPed, but the Xanax helps prevent the DP by reducing the anxiety of the feelings of incompleteness which in turn reduces the occurences of DP.

This is one of the reasons why i have never been attracted to "steady state drugs" that stay constantly in your system. There is almost a sensual quality about experiencing the contrast between the unmedicated (incomplete) state and the sense of relief brought about by the "rush" of a chemically induced sense of completeness.

Anyway I would be interested in trying a non chemical approach to fill this sense of "structural emptiness" if anyone would care to offer some suggestions. I can't afford the type of deep therapy that would be necessary to produce strucutral modifications so I have pretty much ruled out therapy as a means to this end. Although i am currently seeing a cognitive therapist to learn some relaxation techniques which i hope will help me feel more comfortable as i continue to try and reduce my dependancy on Xanax. I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in repalcing Xanax with a different drug. The devil I know is wicked enough for me. And like i said i feel my core problem is "structural" rather than "chemical." Am i in a "no win" situation?

regards
john
 

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hi john

i can relate to the use of alcohol to be at ease with myself. i've done this myself for years-knowing i can have a couple of drinks and relax in the evening. for the last few months i've limited this and am only having a couple at the weekend.
i find calms tablets (hops, valerian and gentian) to be of some benefit for a good nights sleep.
i've also started to have complementary treatments. planning one every 2-3 weeks. i've started withcranial sacral treatment which felt good. once i've had a few of them i'll try head massage, acupuncture etc. reflexology is great.
if i go swimming i fell pretty relaxed and content after.
have you any hobbies?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi pdr

you ask whether I have any hobbies. Well no I don't really. I do enjoy reading "Classical Philosophy" especially Plato. as i tend toward the "Idealist" end of the philosophical spectrum rather than to the "materialist" perspective. But really I don't have any particular outstanding interests at all.

I remember when I and my ex wife were going to see a marriage counselor my wife complained to the therapist that I had no interests whatsoever, and she stressed NO INTERESTS AT ALL! I guess she felt this was some sort of a condemnation of me. Although unfortunately true!

I guess you have heard the old anecdote (SP?) about being sure to take two cars when seeing a marriage counselor.

Thanx for your comments. And what is reflexology? Doesn't that have something to do with the eyes?

I will check back later as I have work activities planned this afternnoon.

BTW I like you pdr. I have gathered from your posts that you seem like a very nice person.

Thanx
john
 

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Maybe it's not something you are waiting for, but when I practiced yoga I did get an actual rush from it, I followed classes wich realy helped reducing my stress. I'm thinking of joining the classes again.
It's good for your body and mind, it relaxes and takes you back to earth.
It's difficult though, you got to have the discipline to do it
 

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thankyou john :)

reflexology is where someone massages your feet. different parts are meant to reflect different parts of your body. i don't know if that's true but if feels great. you're meant to drink water and relax for a few hours after. i'll think of some hobbies to try
 

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mushroom hunting: it probably depends on where you live but you might catch the end of the season.
you need a good reference book to make sure you don't pick poisonous ones. i think roger phillips does a good one. different types grow in different conditions. some are nice fried in butter. 'chicken of the woods' is particularly good if you're lucky enough to find some.
 
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