Around 44,000 people each year in the United States commits suicide. Each suicide is like a nuclear bomb dropped into the middle of a family. Devastating those closest and leaving emotional scars that last a lifetime. I once heard someone say that if you are considering suicide and you have any children in your life that love you and if you take your life it’s the same as hitting them in the skull with a hammer. It’s that devastating.
If you are thinking of killing yourself please talk to someone – stop reading and go to the resources below to get help. Make it to the next sunrise – its always better in the morning.
Below is a site that has helped me get through some tough nights.
This site is a little corny but its also been helpful when I’ve been struggling.
This site has statistics as well as phone numbers to call for help.
I’ve thought about killing myself more times than I care to admit. I’ve been really close about three times. Fortunately I had family there who helped me get through those horrifying moments of unbearable pain. That’s what suicidal thoughts are. Unbearable pain. My mind spirals out of control and the only way out to avoid the pain, to make it stop is to end my life. I figure if I’m the source of my pain, then there is only one solution to end this pain forever.
Fortunately I’ve not followed through on those suicidal thoughts and I’m still here today. I want all those 44,000 people who kill themselves each year to still be here as well. Ketamine is a miracle drug that could help to make that happen.
Ketamine acts like a chemical life preserver for those who are considering suicide. Study after study as well as anecdotal evidence is mounting that Ketamine can end suicidal thoughts in as little as twenty minutes and the effect can last weeks. I’m never going to talk to a shrink about my suicidal ideation because I know mine is clearly linked to pain and the body wide inflammation I suffer from. I can feel my mind slipping away and the darkness consumes me.
That is why I propose that Ketamine should be like all drugs, (see my post on My take on the Opioid Crisis for the reasoning behind that) should be readily available to be purchased by anyone. Ketamine is a life preserver that anyone who has ever had trouble with suicidal thoughts should have at their home. Just think instead of reaching for a gun to shoot themselves a person suffering from suicidal ideation could inject themselves with Ketamine and live to see the next sunrise.
The next five minutes or the next hour or the next sunrise is all I can hope for depending on how bad I’m feeling. Knowing that there is this life preserver I could reach out for when the darkness consumes me would provide a level of comfort and confidence that I can continue on even in the worst of times. Suffering is part of the human condition. If you are alive you will suffer. FOrtuntaley our biological architecture is positively and powerfully aided by synthetic and natural substances that can help us suffer less and even prevent us from ending our life prematurely.
Right not there are clinics offering Ketamine infusions for those who have treatment resistent depression. In emergency rooms many ER docs are using Ketamine as a first line treatment for those who are afraid they are going to harm themselves. I don’t want to have to go through my lengthy medical history or incur thousands of dollars in medical bills to get a substance I should be able to buy over the counter and administer myself.
All the time we here about the dangers of drugs. Drugs are a tool and if used correctly they can help people live longer, happier and healthier lives. A hammer is a tool as well. It can be crush a persons skull or it can help build a house. Ketamine and other drugs such as opioids are the same, simply tools. I am responsible for my own behavior and that includes when I ingest a substance.
I believe that each individual owns themselves and has a natural right to ingest what substances the he or she sees fit. It is an innate natural right no different then freedom of speech, freedom of religion or the freedom to defend oneself. I reject the argument that drugs are too dangerous. Those in power also thought having the Bible in a language the masses could read was too dangerous. When individuals don’t hold their destines in their own hands bad things happen.
Suicide has been described as a person exceeding their ability to cope with the pain of life. Having Ketamine available as a life saving device for anyone to purchase would help those who are struggling. This powerful tool to can help those suffering in the now and help them see the next sunrise. Then they can get help, talk to their families, make the changes they need to lead a healthier and happier life.
Pain is horrible. No matter if it’s emotional or physical, it is terrible. Having more tools to alleviate and ameliorate pain is a good thing. An individual feels pain. An individual should and does have a natural right to purchase or grow substances without third party authorities interfering which can help ease their suffering of in this life.
Whenever the radical idea of getting the government totally out of healthcare is brought up along with the idea of legalizing all drugs, people always say what about the addicts? What about them? Now they no longer have to go to the black market and risk death or injury from adulterated products. No longer will they have to pay the black market upcharge which prohibition naturally produces. Now they can buy the drugs they wanted at a deeply discounted price because market forces will be at work. Better yet they can buy different drugs that can stop addition in its tracks and actually help to rewire their brain. Psychedelics have been known for decades and even millennia to do this.
Very few people become addicted. Addiction is a result of genetic predispositions and malformed brain architecture. It is something that can be cured as well. Psilocybin has been shown to help people end their addictions so has Auyascha, and LSD. The very substances that are now prohibited show the most promise in helping those locked in the grips of an addiction to be rid of it forever.
Freedom allows individuals to make their own choices. Currently our health choices are being limited by politicians, government bureaucrats, the FDA, the DEA, medical licensing boards, doctors, pharmacies, insurance companies and publicly traded pharmaceutical companies. When we have Medical Freedom in this country we will be able to buy without restriction what we choose to ingest to help treat our pain or whatever disease we may have.
Information is open to everyone now. How many times have you seen your doctor pull up information on the internet to check for side effects or drug interactions? We have the information to make informed choices about what substances we choose to ingest. We would still be able to see doctors and even shrinks if we chose and they would no longer be these all powerful health authorities. They would become more of a health consultant. Patients will become consumers. The power will be returned back to the individual, health outcomes will improve, health care costs will plummet and more and more people will avoid taking their own life.
Along with having Ketamine available over the counter another business could start up. Home health care nurses who would be on call 24/7 and who could deliver an infusion of Ketamine in the comfort of your own home. I’ve been in and out of doctor offices and hospitals for thirty years and they are the least hospitable place to recover. Being at home is the key to feeling better and truly recovering. If someone can the dangers suicidal thoughts kicked out of their head in less than twenty minutes at any time of the day that will definitely help save thousands and maybe even tens of thousands of lives each year.
Until that day, talk to your family, go to the emergency room or call a suicide helpline if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts. Make it to the next sunrise. Just focus on that.
I had an odd experience the other day. I visited a pharmacy and a health food store in the same day for the same reason, relief of pain. The difference was that I was able to buy the Kratom I needed at the Health Food store from friendly helpful folks, and at the Pharmacy which I’ve been using for years, told me I couldn’t get my monthly pain pills renewed because they couldn’t correctly read a calendar.
Two totally different experiences highlights what is wrong with healthcare today. In fact the U.S. Federal Government wanted to put Kratom on Schedule I last year and that would have prevented me from buying it last week. If it wasn’t for Kratom I would have suffered from the physical withdrawal symptoms that comes with stopping abrubtly opioid pain medicine.
This is my quick take on Kratom and my experiences.
(correction: in the video I mistakenly call The American Kratom Association “The Kratom Association of America”, my apologies.”
If anyone wants the real information about Kratom and the Legal battle that still is going on go to: https://www.americankratom.org
The American Kratom Association have done amazing work and still are working to keep Kratom legal. They are headed by intelligent accomplished individuals who know how to organize to stand up to government tyranny.
I highly recommend to anyone interested in advancing the cause of individual liberty, bringing down health care costs, and keeping Kratom legal check out the AKA’s press conference on 11/29/17.
It was the non-regulated market that allowed me to ease my suffering while the State mandated health care system failed to do it. I believe that every individual has the right to ingest what substance in what amounts that they deem necessary to ease their pain and suffering. The current state sanctioned medical system has failed me over and over again to help me treat my pain over the last thirty years.
Even when I’m in the hospital I don’t have my pain managed correctly. Doctors are scared to give opioid prescriptions, pharmacies are under more and more scrutiny and they even lock away their pain pills in safes and have only one staff member who can order them.
The irony is that the banned and tightly controlled substances are some of the most effective and have the least side effects of the medicines that are currently prescribed. Kratom is a perfect example of this. Drug companies are scrambling to come out with the newest “safer” opioid pain killer. I think that is why a lot of the hysteria about the “opioid crisis” is being ginned up.
Kratom actually activates the Kappa opioid receptor. Over the next five years you’ll hear more and more about the K opioid receptor. Kratom is safe. I’ve taken it. It doesn’t help with pain as well as Trammadol and definitely not as well as Oxycontin. But it did take away the physical and mental misery of going through opioid withdrawal which I’ve been forced to go through in the past.
This time around I was able to sleep, I was able to take a daily walk, and function as a human being. If I was prohibited from buying Kratom by the DEA I would have been bed ridden and would have contemplated killing myself. I’m not exaggerating. Being in chronic pain plus going through opioid withdrawal is something I will never do again. Kratom helped me when the government regulated and licensed systems would not.
I hope that the issues that Kratom Prohibition is brining up will help others see that we should all have the ability to purchase what we want when we want. Before I took Kratom I read tons of reviews online and watched tons of testimonials of people who have used it. Suffering makes life unbearable. Being able to ease my suffering is the only reason I’m still alive.
The Politicians, the DEA, and the FDA don’t seem to care about the sick and the suffering. They would rather grandstand and repeat half truths about the Opioid Crisis while favoring the drug companies and insurance companies. I am the only one who feels my pain. I’m the only one who has his life extremely limited by my pain. I own myself and I own my suffering. I and everyone else has the natural right to ingest what substance they deem fit to help ease their suffering.
I am responsible for the relief of my suffering as well. If I choose to ingest a substance its because I’ve done my research and believe that its side effects are less than its benefits. It is truly miraculous that we have the biological machinery that benefits from synthetic and natural substances that can ameliorate pain and keep misery at bay. I don’t want to get “stoned” and do nothing. I like most people who take pain medication do so, so they can simply live.
I’m alive because of opioid pain medication. If my access to it is decreased or eliminated I will end up dead. I can’t live in pain. I won’t. And this is totally unnecessary for me even to contemplate killing myself because of pain. There are incredible medicines available that can relieve pain, help reduce anxiety, and lower inflammation. In the future we’ll be able to buy what medicines we choose without restrictions and even grow our own pharmacy in our back yards.
Once Medical Freedom is recognized health care costs will plummet. Market forces will enter the health care system and competition will drive down costs. Kratom will especially go down in price. Right now its pretty expensive because of the threat of government action against those who are importing it.
The DEA backed off when The Kratom Association of America along with millions contacted them concerning the scheduling of Kratom as a Schedule I drug. If millions demand that all drugs be made available for purchase without prescription, which is in reality a government sanctioned permission slip, they will have to submit. There are a hell of a lot more of us then there are of them.
Humans for our entire history until the last hundred years have tested medicines by using them. Cannabis, Kratom, medicinal mushrooms and extracts of the poppy plant have been tested for thousands and thousands of years by our ancestors. I find it arrogant and condescending for the head of the FDA to say
“While we remain open to the potential medicinal uses of kratom, those uses must be backed by sound science and weighed appropriately against the potential for abuse,” Gottlieb wrote.
I like many people have a pioneer mindset. I don’t need a thousand studies or a panel of industry captured government officials to tell me if something is safe or not. I will weigh the evidence of my fellow humans and decide to take the risk or not. If I’m wrong and I get even sicker and die that’s my fault. More than likely I won’t.
The current hysteria over the so called Opioid Crisis is not meant to help anyone except politicians, rehab centers and pharmaceutical companies.
I’ve been suffering from chronic pain for over thirty years now. In the last three decades the only way for me to function was and still is by taking pain killers. My main relationship since I have been 11 has been with pain. Believe me that’s not a great way to live.
Government is always looking to grow. Politicians are always looking for ways to use the righteous idigination and ignorance of the masses to further their career while at the same time gaining brownie points with big business. This is exactly what is going on with the Opioid Crisis.
The 55,000 number of deaths linked to opioids is extremely misleading. The majority of those deaths have been the result of a combination of substances ingested which include alcohol and barbiturates along with the demonized opioids. Other deaths are linked to adulterated black market drugs, many pain patients are driven to this horrible alternative because they have been denied treatment. The opioid crisis is not caused by doctors prescribing pain pills to people who are in chronic pain.
This type of misinformation is always used to take away our rights and to enrich the few at our expense. A new wave of opioids that targets the Kappa opioid receptors will hit the market soon. I think that is another reason why the media attention on this is being ginned up as well.
There is no one speaking for the people who are in chronic pain. I’ve lost days, weeks months and years to pain. I’ve missed out on most of life because of pain. The more my access to pain killers is reduced the more pain I suffer and the less life I live. I believe that every individual has a god given, natural or innate right if you will to ingest whatever substance they see fit to consume.
That is why I advocate for government to get out of my healthcare all together. I don’t need a politician or my neighbor determining what I should or shouldn’t ingest. I propose what I hope will become the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution that would simply read:
Every individual has the innate and natural right to ingest, grow, consume, trade, sale or gift whatever substance they see fit.
Just because someone consumes a substance doesn’t mean they are not responsible for their actions. It doesn’t matter if I kill someone whether I’ve just smoked a joint, taken a shot of Jack Daniels or drank a strong cup of coffee, I’m still responsible for what I’ve done.
When all substances can be bought “over the counter” Pfizer and Merk and other drug companies will be just like Apple or Microsoft. I can envision them opening their own stores and even having doctors on staff that will provide medical consultations and blood work for free. That way they will attempt to keep you in their ecosystem just like Apple and Google do.
Other businesses will open up and will be the Best Buy or the Walmart of medicines. Amazon could be, if they are forward looking enough, to become the number one seller of medicine in the world. Health care costs will plummet and the first time in a long time individuals will not only be able to buy what they want to treat their specific health issues but will also be able to grow their own pharmacies in their back yard. That is real freedom.
Think about growing just about all the medicine you need in your backyard for pennies per dose? A medicinal garden could include poppies, cannabis, and medicinal mushroom. It is a miracle that our bodies have the architecture to be positively and powerfully influenced by compounds made by plants and fungi. By combining the best of synthetic and natural medicines we can all live a happier, healthier and longer life.
The behavior of Pharmaceutical companies will have to adapt to this new era of medical freedom by providing a better product at a much lower price. Without the FDA and government sanction the drug companies will have to start dealing directly with consumers. They will be on the hunt for lower side effect drugs and price them competitively due to the huge explosion of natural medicines that would be available. Research money would more and more go into natural solutions because of their safety profile and lack of side effects. Overall medicine will become cheaper, more effective and cause less deaths and injuries.
Having ready access to pain medicine would change my life for the better. I’m tired of going to the doctor with hat in hand hoping that I’ll get a prescription, which is merely a government sanctioned permission slip. I’m tired of going to the pharmacy and getting hassled because they aren’t able to read a calendar correctly. I’m tired of having to go to multiple pharmacies to get a prescription filled because their out of the pain medicine and their pharmacist is the only one who can order narcotics and he’s on vacation for the week. When you are sick and in pain these type of hassles add to your already mounting misery.
Those harping on the Opioid Crisis may care about those that are dying. But if they really wanted to use their time to the best effect they should be talking about Cigarettes which kill around 400,000 people a year, or alcohol which causes the death of around 90,000 people or so per year, or sugar and grain which can cause cardio vascular disease which kills millions per year. It’s clearly not about the numbers of dead that the opioid crisis do gooders are concerned about or they would be going after the big killers in this country.
Sick people are easy targets. Doctors are easy to manipulate because of the state licensing they are subject to. With the new era of Medical Freedom I’m proposing doctors could become health consultants and no longer be beholden to the current state monopoly on certifying health professionals. If doctors want to continue with the current model they could. They could be paid directly by the pharmaceutical companies and become doctors at the Pfizer store. Once doctors and patients are no longer tethered to the prescription pad or state licensing boards, politicians will lose the power to interfere with our health choices and people in pain will not have to suffer needlessly.
Its time we get government out of health care. Its time for adults to take control over their health, to exercise our innate right of self-ownership and buy whatever medicine or substance we choose to. Individuals suffer. And individuals pay the consequence of their actions. We all have the right to ingest what we choose. If the First Amendment of the Constitution protects our right to eject words out of our mouths, shouldn’t the Constitution protect our right to put into our mouth whatever we choose?
Suffering is part of the human condition. We all suffer emotionally and physically. On this space ship Earth we have synthetic and natural compounds that can help ease the suffering. Psilocybin has proven to help with anxiety and can help end addiction, MDMA can help with PTSD, LSD can help end alcoholism, Ketamine can in less than twenty minutes end suicidal thoughts, Cannabis that miracle plant, is full of beneficial compounds that work together to help lower inflammation, reduce anxiety, increase well being, end seizures, reduce tumor size and help with sleep, and new and old opioids can help end the physical suffering of millions. Why can’t I go buy these chemicals off the shelf or order them off of Amazon? It’s not because they are expensive. Why can’t I grow medicinal mushrooms, poppy plants and Cannabis in my backyard? It’s not because they are difficult to grow.
The real reason we don’t have Medical Freedom is because we’ve forgotten that every individual owns themselves and that we have a natural right to treat our pain or our diseases as we see fit and so we must demand our innate right to ingest what we choose and bear the consequences of those choices.
I’ve been hospitalized many times due to small bowel obstructions caused by the combination of adhesions and exercise. The paradox I find myself in is that when I attempt to get stronger I can actually end up becoming a lot weaker. I’ve had a bunch of abdominal surgeries that have left me with a ton of adhesions, three severe narrowings in my small intestine and an ileostomy. Whenever I begin to feel better I have to be extremely careful how much I exercise or else I can end up balled up on the floor in excruciating pain.
I’m not a doctor and this protocol has been helpful for me. If you think you are having a blockage (painful cramping, nausea, vomiting and no or limited output) call your doctor or go to the emergency room. I’ve had almost 30 years of experience with bowel obstructions caused by adhesions and I know when to go to the emergency room. Once I reach that point of the panicking pain I do go to the emergency room. But this protocol I’ve come up with has helped me to avoid reaching that point and kept me from having my guts completely shut down on many occasions.
Adhesions are the number one cause of small bowel obstructions. And for me any exercise that uses the abdominal muscles causes my adhesions to pull and cause extreme pain and inflammation. This inflammation can then cause further problems with the narrowings and that’s when the blockage can occur. There are no good solutions for adhesions. I’ve been advised by my surgeon that he could go in and fix the narrowings and clear out the adhesions but it only had a 50/50 chance of improving anything. And every time they go in more adhesions are actually created. I’ve held off having another surgery because I’ve learned how to manage the adhesions I already have.
I have found a few things that have helped me to manage my adhesions while still striving to get stronger. I am in the process of getting over a bowel obstruction that occurred in May along with a severe case of pancreatitis. Now I feel well enough to start exercising. I’ve been doing pull ups lately. And I’ve had two instances in the last two weeks that could have led to complete bowel obstructions but I was able to get output flowing without going to the hospital. Through breathing techniques, epsom salt hot baths, abdominal massage, and cannabis oil I’ve been able to stay out of the hospital these last few times while still being able to get stronger.
The breathing techniques I’ve found most helpful are pulled from The Wim Hof method and from a Ted Talk by Alan Watkins. Wim Hof has a whole program of breathing and cold exposure exercises that help with resetting the mind body connection and increasing one’s capacity to control the autonomic functions of the body. I’ve used the Wim Hof method which consists of breathing in deeply and exhaling only a little, then repeating this for up to thirty breathes many times in dealing with pain and also with improving bowel motility. At the end of the thirty breathes you take a big deep breathe in and exhale completely twice then hold your breathe with empty lungs for as long as you can. I’ve found this technique to be very helpful in getting my bowels moving again, relieving soreness from inflammation and reducing felt pain.
The other method of breathing taken from Alan Watkins is one I do all the time. It’s a simple exercise that you can do anywhere. I use it to create a calm and peaceful mental state as well as help get my bowels moving and lessening pain. It is simply breathing in for 3 or 4 seconds then breathing out for 6-7 seconds. The amount of time of the inhale and exhale is your choice but it must be consistent. And the force of breathe should be consistent as well. Do this for at least three cycles and focus on your heart while your breathing. It usually takes me two sets of three to get some noticeable relief. By the fifth cycle my mind is clearer and my body more relaxed. By the sixth breath I am feeling better. I do this exercise when I get up in the morning, while I’m driving, as well as when I’m in a lot of pain.
These two breathing techniques have been an amazing tool that I’ve used to help keep me out of the hospital and to greatly improve my experience of living. These techniques help to reduce inflammation in my body and in my brain. The heart sends signals to the brain all the time. By breathing deliberately in these ways we calm the heart and this in turn calms the mind. I read today that “Meditation will be the next health revolution” and at the heart of meditation is breathing. When I use these techniques it calms the brain and the body and helps to get my system working again.
Along with the breathing I also have found epsom salt hot baths to be extremely effective when I am hurting or on the verge of a small bowel obstruction. I’m always low on Magnesium and this mineral is critical for people who have ilesotomies because low levels can create problems with intestinal motility. When I’m in the hospital due to a small bowel obstruction I always get tons of magnesium through my I.V. The large amount of magnesium in epsom salt also helps to relieve muscle soreness. When my abdomen is inflamed from exercise it creates stress throughout my body. I am unable to relax even when I’m laying on the couch or in bed. But after an hour soak in hot water filled with epsom salts I feel better. When the abdominal cramping gets really bad with a bowel obstruction that’s brewing I take off my bag and just sit in the hot bath with toilet paper over the stoma and I breath. I also change positions in the tub regularly, lift my legs up, pull my knees to my chest, and massage my abdomen that correspond to where the narrow areas are that help to get things moving. This has helped me on more than one occasion to get my guts working again
http://www.tummytemple.com/massage/abdominal-self-massage.html (I’ve not tried these yet but I’m starting them tonight)
The extremely hot water also helps to shock my nervous system. Even when I’m in a lot of pain the almost too hot to stand water, is somewhat painful and creates a tingling sensation that shoots through my entire nervous system. This is momentary but does help to give a modicum of relief and if you’ve had a bowel obstruction or suffered from abdominal adhesion pain you know that is a welcome feeling. With the nervous system occupied with the overwhelming sensation of heat it distracts my mind from the abdominal pain. I’ve found this also helpful when dealing with withdrawals from pain pills and dealing with pain from pancreatitis.
The breathing and the bath have helped me tremendously. And recently I’ve added another tool in helping me to avoid hospitalization and that’s cannabis oil. I take up to four infused Cannabis Coconut oil Capsules per day depending on my pain and inflammation level. It has become a regular part of my pain management strategy and it has been a life changer. Cannabis is a powerful anti-inflammatory. For instance last night I had horrible pain due to a previous exercise session as well as a very slow exit time for my ileostomy due to the inflammation from adhesions being pulled on. After doing my routine of breathing and taking a hot bath with epsom salt I took four of the cannabis capsules. After a couple of hours the pain was improved and I was able to get some sleep. I woke up feeling great this morning. The soreness and pain are almost gone. In the past if I had a partial bowel obstruction or exercise induced adhesion pain I would be sore for at least a week. But after taking the cannabis capsules the inflammation is nearly gone today. Cannabis is an amazing plant. It is a medicine that helps me sleep, helps relieve pain, helps relieve inflammation, helps me to relax, helps me with anxiety and helps me to live a fuller life.
There are almost no treatments out there for adhesions and small bowel obstructions from the medical field besides bed rest, pain management and surgery . But I’ve created my own treatment protocol that has helped tremendously. I no longer fear working out as I did before. I no longer feel powerless when the pain and inflammation comes due to my adhesions or when my output begins to slow. By simply breathing in a different way, taking a hot bath with epsom salt along with self-massage of my abdomen, and taking cannabis capsules I have found a powerful anti-inflammatory protocol that has helped me weather many potentially devastating bowel obstructions and sleepless nights. This has saved me not only thousands of dollars in medical bills but also hours of mental and physical suffering and has saved my family from having their lives disrupted as well. It also empowers me to know that I have powerful tools that can help me to feel better and live a better life. These techniques aren’t 100% effective and I know that I’ll be back in the hospital one day due to a bowel obstruction. But hopefully by using these tools it will be a long time in the future and I’ll have done a lot of living before it happens again.
This routine I use to help get over severe abdominal soreness due to adhesions, avoiding bowel obstruction, or to help sooth a pancreatitis attack also works wonders for everyday life. I have inherently a ton of inflammation due to adhesions and scaring as well as the state of my small intestine and autoimmune conditions. I’ve begun taking a hot epsom bath soak almost every night even when output is normal as well as one or two cannabis capsules. I also do my breathing exercises throughout the day for mental calmness and peace of mind and physical relief. These are tools and practices I will do for the rest of my life. I’ve had over 50 bowel obstructions , some requiring hospital stays and some requiring surgery. I wonder how many of those bowel obstructions and surgeries I could have avoided if I discovered this protocol thirty years ago.
My health is my responsibility
When I read a book I look for at least one thing to take away and incorporate into my life. If I can find that one thing then it makes purchasing and reading the book worth it. In “Liminal Thinking” by David Gray I did get the one thing and it has greatly influenced how I think about what I think. The big take away for me is not to conflate belief with reality and that I have the power to interrogate and change the “I believe” ideas that govern my behavior.
Liminal Thinking is the art of creating change by understanding, shaping and reframing beliefs according to the author. Nothing in the book is ground breaking or has not been said before. Even the author admits to borrowing heavily from other people’s work. And some of the stories he uses are one’s I’ve heard before and the rest are corporate “turn around” stories about the rebel who helped changed a company’s culture. Not really what I’m interested in reading about.
But the book does have some useful exercises that helped me identify, challenge and begin to change how I look at the “governing beliefs” which I have. Here is one the first exercises: “think about something in your life that is problematic, but you don’t think will ever change. Consider the connection between how you see the problem and how you see yourself. What if you saw yourself differently? If you were the kind of person who should change this situation, what you be like? How would you act?”.
This is a powerful tool just by itself especially for someone who is dealing with chronic pain and chronic illness. In the past I saw myself as chronically ill or suffering from an autoimmune disorder or was cursed with severe unpredictable chronic pain that would always torment me. This is a very limiting belief and it’s kept me from living life. It’s prevented me from making real connections with others, because I believed that my illness prevented me from entering into the dating pool because of my flawed DNA and my current inconsistent behavior and I always felt never good enough to be loved. And I also held onto the belief that I would never be able to contribute anything of importance to the world. Needless to say I was living in misery.
After reading the book I thought its not real useful. How could these simple exercises help me? Then the idea began to soak in, my thoughts about myself aren’t concrete. There are merely a belief. The first step I took to distance and begin to change this view of myself was to say “I believe that I am chronically ill and limited physically, emotionally and socially because of it.” That does reframe the whole issue for me. It was if I took a crowbar to this huge megalithic structures that had become my internal world and the huge almost immovable doors labeled “You are sick and never will be better”, “You’re not good enough to be loved” and “You will never contribute anything useful to others” were now easily unlocked and effortless opened. With these megalithic beliefs I had constructed an almost impenetrable wall with massive heavy doors locked from the inside, that separated me from the outside world. This fortress of belief had become my dungeon and if I didn’t change things soon it was going to be my tomb.
Once I placed the simple term belief in front of these thoughts that I’ve thought a million times it took away their concreteness, they became weightless. They no longer were concrete, immovable, megalithic stones and horrendously heavy locked doors. Reality is a funny thing. We limit ourselves greatly by what we believe. I now believe that I am mostly well, most of the trillions of my cells have no defects and are working just as they should. I believe now that I have now and will in the future have more and more control over my pain and my inflammatory response and that I can live a life with a calm, enthusiastic, curious, loving, open mental state. Once the heavy negative stones of thought became weightless with merely the words “I believe”, I can now consciously shape new “I believe statements” that create my inner and outer world.
I’m done spending any more time in the dungeon. My inner world is no longer dark and protected like a medieval keep, or a dungeon and especially no longer a tomb. It is open and airy. The internal thoughts are full of hope, love and curiosity about the future. My new beliefs are now based on scientific and anecdotal evidence that I can have control over my nervous system and my immune system a This may sound ludicrous but it has been scientifically proven that through mental and physical training this can be done. Wim Hof is an amazing man and has been studied extensively for his ability to control his autonomic nervous system, pain response and immune response. He has done this with many other people as well and his claims have been proven time and time again. I’m starting up again the Wim Hof program along with studying the effects of Flow on Chronic Illness.
Flow is the state in which all thoughts flow from one to another without anxiety or the perception of passage of time and your body and brain are working harmoniously at peak performance. It is mostly associated by those in the sports world and its often referred to as being in the “zone”. I recently listened to a Joe Rogan Podcast with Author and Science Reporter Steven Kotler. He suffered from Lyme disease for three years and was so sick he almost killed himself. He has since dedicated his life to studying “flow”. He became fascinated with the concept of flow and credits this state of mind for helping him to heal his Lyme disease and saving his life. He achieved the flow state by surfing. His theory is that the flow state releases positive neurochemicals that reduce stress and help the body to heal.This further strengthens my belief that another proof that my belief that I’ll be able to control and heal my body more and more.
Along with Wim Hof and Steven Kotler I listened to Alan Watkins TEdx talk recently about using breathing to be brilliant everyday. This guy seems to want to be a corporate guru and even bragged about spending time with top CEO’s blah blah blah. I shut off when I hear that. But later on in his talk he got to the good stuff. In simple terms our prefrontal or advanced cognitive skills are shut down under stress. The brain receives signals from the heart and if it becomes elevated due to stress there are only two options as the brain sees it, Fight or Flight or play dead. This made perfect sense to me. When I feel my worst I don’t feel like myself at all. I can feel these higher levels of thought being stripped away – and since my source of stress is my own body causing me pain and torment Fighting it or Fleeing from it are useless. That is why I play dead. I disconnect form the world into my dungeon with and seal the heavy doors and hope by playing dead long enough my body and brain will get tired of tormenting me.
But there is hope and I believe now the tormenting has ended. Through changing my beliefs about who I am and the outside world I no longer see myself and social situations as threats. Yes no matter where I go I carry with me a possible threat (my adhesion filled abdomen, my three major kinks in my small intensive and a gall bladder that likes to lodge stones in my billiard tract plus an immune system that likes to attack my skin and other organs of my body) but this threat is manageable and I believe I soon will be able to completely eliminate it. Yes to completely eliminate what I’ve been told all my life is incurable or that there is nothing anyone can do for me. I reject that thinking. In Alan Watkin’s talk he stresses about the importance of controlling your heart rate with simple breathing techniques to quiet this flight, fight or feign death response.
In fact there have been amazing new imaging studies on people who have practiced meditation and breathing exercises that have created structural changes in their brains simply by breathing and thinking differently. It was done by scientists and doctors at Harvard. This is not woo-woo hippie dippie stuff this is real science, measurable and repeatable. I believe that if Wim Hof and these folks in this study, and Steven Kotler can achieve real measurable positive results in their physiology so can I.
Now I believe that I have more control over my mental state and that I believe life is worth living. I’ve been filled for so many years of self-loafing and self-hatred because I had stuck myself inside this dungeon and all I could do was wait to die. Through first prefacing my thoughts with “I believe” I was able to change some fundamental beliefs I had about myself and see the world and myself no longer as threats. I believe now that I can live a life full of love, adventure, peace, excitement, and accomplishment. I am done being miserable. I do have the power to change myself for the better.
Having a lot of abdominal scarring and pain causes me to take a lot of shallow breathes throughout the day and have to force myself to take deep breathes. But this is critical for me to relax and reduce the amount of stress chemicals throughout my body and brain. I believe now that I have an amazing future ahead of me, that social interactions are not threats, my body is not the enemy, and that I can create a sense of calm, sereneness free from anxiety any time I choose and that one day I will be able to have total control over my nervous system through breath work, exercise and mediation. This is my new reality.
In the past my problem was that my flight or fight mechanism was constantly being triggered by my body. Constant pain, fear of the pain worsening, and the ever present fear that the pain I felt everyday could at any time lead to a hospital stay kept my body in a perpetual state of fight or flight. The issue being I was the source of the threat, I couldn’t fight or flee from myself so I would spiral into depression and cut off all social ties and be absolutely miserable. I hated vacations and traveling because no matter where I went there I would be. I carried around the greatest threat to my emotional wellbeing inside my body.
This constant level of stress takes a toll on a person. I’ve lost 40 pounds, I’m currently not working, and I’ve almost cut out all social ties to the outside world. But I’m done living this way. In the past I believed this would be my fate for the remainder of my life, but that has changed. This is not delusional thinking. I am aware that pain will return, I’ll probably end up in the hospital again in the future, but I will not be held captive by the pain any longer.
My mental state and not the state of my body is what I’m focused on for the rest of my life. Creating a flourishing mind unperturbed by fortune or by pain. That is the goal. I’m reading Seneca’s Letters on the Shortness of life and he wrote to a friend “What is greater than a man who is above fortune?” Stoicism and Buddhism both seek to reduce or eliminate suffering for individuals. My mental state is something I now believe that I can have a greater and greater command over. I believe that through different breathing techniques, different natural medicines, continually challenging and updating the way I perceive myself and the outside world, I can become an ocean of calm in the midst of the storm of life.
That is my task and that is my journey. To create calmness, clarity and peace where there was once hate, fear and pain. I used to believe that I could never love myself or that I would never be good enough to be loved because of my health and my financial and social status. That belief is no more. I now believe that the past is gone, there is only now, and I can take steps to increase the flow experiences in my life, change what I believe and in the process change my reality and love others and want them to be happy and at peace as well.
I am a big fan of Wim Hof and I’m also staring up his program again. He has been able to take conscious control over his immune response and pain response. That is what I believe I can do as well. I want to end the tyranny of pain and be at peace with being me no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I’ve struggled most of my life with trying to avoid conflict and maintain an emotional equilibrium but that is a false hope for happiness because it relies on others. The Stoic and the Buddhist relies on his or her own mind to create calmness despite the chaos of the physical and emotional world around them. Though I will never fully eliminate pain or emotional distress I can greatly reduce its influence over my wellbeing.
I believe now that my chronic pain, autoimmune conditions are not a life sentence. I believe that fundamental amazing change is possible and is happening now. I believe there are ways to create positive mental states in the midst of the storms of illness and all I need to do is to breathe to make that happen. I’m on that journey now and I believe that my trillions of healthy cells are ready to assist me in this endeavor and to aide the few cells that are having some malfunctions so that I can create more flow states in my life and a produce a calmer and more peaceful mind and a body that is strong, vibrant, capable and able to rest. My mental state is all that I have. I am not my scars. I’m not my ileostomy. I’m not my psoriasis. I’m not my adhesions or my pain. I’m excited to see who I will become with the dungeon walls now destroyed and the doors between me and the world are like the automatic glass doors that open merely with me walking up to them. And all this has occurred because of believing and breathing.
The Joe Rogan Experience has changed my life for the better. My older brother turned me on to the podcast about five years ago and I still look forward to the new ones when they come out. He has over 800 episodes now. Even if you are not an mma fan, a fan of his comedy or if you hated “Fear Factor” you can still get a lot out of listening to his 3 hour long conversations with some of the most fascinating, positive, informative people alive. I’ve learned a ton of helpful information from him and his guests. He has had people on from Mark Sisson the Primal Blueprint Author to Neil Degrasse Tyson the famous scientist to Joey Diaz a stand up comedian (who in my opinion is the funniest man alive). Joe Rogan’s podcast is unique because it’s a three hour conversation in which there is time for guests to reveal who they truly are and share their knowledge on a vast variety of topics which include a lot on health and human performance. I’ve gotten a ton of inspiration from the most unlikely of guests as well as helpful information. Here are three podcast guests that I’ve found incredibly helpful in my life, plus a bonus one at the end.
Joe is an athlete with a high level martial arts background. He is all about human optimization and because of this he has a lot of guests on that are investigating how to maximize human potential, and most are involved with working with top athletes. The one thing that chronic illness sufferers and top athletes have in common is how to manage chronic inflammation. Dr. Rhonda Patrick focuses a lot on ways to mitigate and lower inflammation with a focus on nutrition. Autoimmune diseases, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are just some of the disease that cause chronic inflammation and maybe are caused by it. She is always a great guest and appears on Episode #459, #672 and #773.
Another guest I recommend listening to is Justin Wren AKA “The Big Pygmy”. This guy is amazing. A current MMA fighter in the Bellator organization, he suffers from recurrent Malaria, and has devoted his life to helping build wells in Africa. His appearance on the JRE podcast blew me away not just because of his work in Africa, but because he went into detail about being bullied when he was younger which led him to struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. He retells how he overcame these dark feelings by finding a purpose beyond himself. His organization he founded is “Fight For The Forgotten”. They help dig wells in Africa so villages can have clean water. I was struggling mentally because of feeling terrible, like I usual am, when I heard his story and it immediately turned my attitude around. It’s amazing how you can change your neurochemistry and your thought patterns by hearing another person tell about how they’ve gone through similar struggles in life. I highly recommend anyone who needs some inspiration to listen to JRE episode #826.
The third guest in which I’ve gotten a lot from is Wim Hof. He’s also known as “The Iceman” for his amazing feats withstanding cold. He holds 20 World Records including longest time in an ice bath. He is able to accomplish these amazing feats because he uses a specific breathing technique (which he teaches in The Wim Hof Method) to gain control over his autonomic systems in the body. Scientific studies on him have confirmed that he is able to influence his immune and other once thought purely automatic responses through breathing and cold exposure. His story is truly amazing. He went on a search for truth after his wife committed suicide leaving him with his boys to raise. From this tragedy he rediscovered (according to him) the amazing benefits of cold exposure as well as the ability to control his body through manipulating his breath Even if you don’t try his breathing technique, just listening to him talk (especially in his first appearance) is inspirational. He has been on the podcast twice now. I recommend you watch Episode #712 before Episode #865,
This is Wim’s program. There is a lot of free information on the site but its mainly a portal to his program. I’ve actually completed his breathing, cold exposure, and exercise program up to the tenth week and had some great results. I’ve used the breathing technique to help me deal with severe pain and to even get a bowel obstruction to pass, which saved me a trip to the emergency room. The breathing technique is simple and can be done by just about anyone. The exercises and cold exposure were challenging for me. My adhesions and abdominal pain stopped me from fully completing the program last year. Now I’m starting up the program tomorrow. I’ve gotten a ton more value out of the program than the $199 price tag. I’ll be chronically my experience with my second stab at completing the program. My biggest advice to anyone who has abdominal issues or other limitations is to start slow and do as much as you can. The great thing about the program is that once you buy it, you can access it at any time on any device.
There is one guest which is by far my all time favorite. That is Joey “Coco” Diaz. He is one of Joe’s best friends, who is also a stand up comedian, and in my opinion the funniest guy on the planet. When I want to laugh I listen to one of the podcasts he’s on. What I like the most is when Joey gets going with a rant about something and Joe will be giggling uncontrollably. It’s not just the laughs that draw me to the Diaz episodes, but its also his words of wisdom. Behind the cursing and the outrageous stories that sometimes include reminiscing about committing felonies, are nuggets of true wisdom. In just about every podcast he’s been on there will be something that he says that sticks with me. Either it will be something extremely motivating or something so funny, every time I think of it I almost laugh out loud. I quit my stressful, unfulfilling, health damaging job at a bank because of the conversations Joe and Joey had on the JRE Podcast. I’m forever grateful for those guys and what they are doing. They are both individualistic, hard working, empathetic, intelligent, loyal, strong, family men who have blazed their own trail.
Joey Diaz has been on too many Episodes to list so I’ve linked to volume one of his best clips on the JRE. It is a good introduction of his humor and what he likes to talk about. And after you go through all four volumes of the best of Joey Diaz go to JRE Episode #803 which is his most recent conversation with Joe.
The JRE podcast has greatly improved my life. I became a Primal Health Coach because of it, I quit my job I hated because of it, I started doing kettle bells because of it, I did a 30 day Yoga program last year because of it, I signed up for the Wim Hof program because of it. Most importantly I’ve become a better friend and brother because of it. It’s brought me closer together with my brothers because we all listen to it, we’ve gone to see Joe live because of it, we all listen to Joey Diaz’s “Savage Dad” because of it. The JRE podcast isn’t preachy, pretentious or overly produced. It’s simply Joe talking to his friends or people who he wants to learn from. It is always full of positive energy, laughs, great information, and amazing individuals who share their life experiences and how they’ve overcome life’s challenges.
The JRE podcast has been and continues to be my main source for motivation, inspiration, and cutting edge information concerning nutrition, health, and human optimization.