Mental Pain from Weekends Alone: The “Gap”

Mental pain is quite different from physical pain, and if you are anything like me, you have felt its presence intensely …..It flows into your chest and tightens your muscles with the sorrow and heartbreak stemming from over 600 Saturday nights spent alone within the same four walls….

Mental pain is quite different from physical pain, and if you are anything like me, you have felt its presence intensely during the wee hours of countless weekend nights spent alone.

It flows into your chest and tightens your muscles with the sorrow and heartbreak stemming from over 600 Saturday nights spent alone within the same four walls, while those you know are out enjoying their lives in some sort of social setting that you yourself used to frequent. When it is someone close to you who is out, such as a significant other, it is the fiercest of reminders.

Intense physical pain may almost seem preferable, as it forces you into the present and allots no room for thought.  Thoughts, from this kind of pain, are abundant and dedicated to the stories of your past and the illusionary ones of a mind made future.

This type of pain –mental pain felt while alone in the dark of the night- debatably brews greater suffering than that of intense physical pain, as it creates a gap between the past, the future and the present.  

It is in this gap, and only in this gap, where fear, anxiety, and your darkest mind made nightmares prowl. What can you learn from this?

…To stop trying to learn, to stop desperately groping for answers to “fix” everything, and to instead rest in the gap ….because from the outside looking in there really is no other logical choice.

The gap of which I speak, of course, is but a synonym for suffering. Either way, you are in the gap, whether or not you choose to drop resistance to it. However, in the aforementioned you multiply your suffering and widen the gap by remaining active in it.

In the latter, you close the gap, because once you rest in it you rest in what is, and the negative emotions controlling you evaporate into the thin air from which they came -and if fear, anxiety and the like are crowding your mind at the moment, then the gap is what is, and what is right now is all there can ever be.

Journey Through Pain: Distinguishing Between What Matters and What Doesn’t

While enduring a pain filled night induced by the full moon of 2014, along with Bartonella and many other factors, I decided to do something different. Rather than worry about the fact that I must sleep in order to heal, I decided to use it as an opportunity. Either way, I was up with insomnia, so why not use the time productively? Being productive,  for me, is about working towards healing your inner self because all else follows, and I truly believe there is a definite difference between healing and curing. Healing has to do with your spiritual journey, curing has to do with your disease.

Long story short, I spent my time reflecting on what matters most. What I found is that many negative things that I thought mattered did and do infact matter, but for a distinctly different reason than I thought.

They matter because they each hold the potential to act as doorways to wisdom, insight, and spiritual growth -thus making them essentially positive. Of course, how we deal with negative situations is our choice. We can stay stuck in them and dwell on their occurrence, avoid them altogether out of denial and fear of further pain, or we can go beyond them.

By going beyond them, rather than ignoring them or getting stuck in them, we must go through them. I found that when we do, the hidden meanings behind things dramatically change. Personally, this is what I found to be true:


Journey Through Pain: Distinguishing Between What Matters and What Doesn’t

It does not matter how many times we are humiliated, it matters how humbled we become from our humiliation.

It does not matter if the people we thought were our loved ones leave us, it matters that we halt our hearts from leaving with them so that we may continue to love, refusing to abandon ourselves because we have been abandoned.

It does not matter if we are outcasted by cowards, it matters that we transmute their cowardice into our own bravery.

It does not matter if weak people, deliberately or not, try to tear us down, it matters that we use the energy emitted from their actions to motivate us and build ourselves up, allowing ourselves to become strong  not only from our own weaknesses, but from theirs as well.

It does not matter how painful the tragedies striking our bodies are, it matters that we use them to learn that we are more than our bodies, thus enabling ourselves to separate our true selves from pain, preventing us from inflicting further suffering on both ourselves and the world around us.

It does not matter how many parts of ourselves we believe we have lost,  it matters that we allow the openings left by their absence to serve as windows for the universe to shine through, ultimately creating a life in which we gain much more than we lose.

It does not matter if we break down and feel sad at times, it matters that we use our breakdowns as vehicles to remind us that others are experiencing the same thing, signaling we must build ourselves up so we may help them, rendering both parties unbroken.

It does not matter how many people leave us during our darkest moments, it matters that we use those moments to pay gratitude to the universe for showing us the parts of our lives filled with illusions rather than love, thereby ridding of us unnecessary negativity to add some degree of light to all that is dark.

It does not matter how often we cry, it matters that we use our time spent crying to reflect on all things from a point of objectivity, so we may come out on the other side with deeper insight and an authentic smile.

It does not matter how horrific and seemingly unfair the things we see and feel are, it matters that we stare them in the eyes rather than shrinking away from their existence, so that we may drop the veils between the doors of perception and reality, essentially exposing all truths once hidden.

It does not matter if we put on a brave face of cool aloofness in front of others in an attempt to create an image of grace,it matters that we realize there is no aloofness in genuine bravery, rather there is intense emotion in which we unashamedly and fearlessly feel, as that is what it means to be human, that is what it means to show true grace.


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For the Sick and Overly Driven

Too often, we make the mistake of focusing so much on curing ourselves that we become counterproductive and wear ourselves out, making our bodies retaliate and shut down even more. On the other hand, once we do manage to get well, we tend to be just as overly driven with our hearts set on doing anything and everything possible to prove, mostly to our own egos, that we are “good” enough. That we are successful. That we are “somebody” in society. Honestly, after years of laying in bed, how can we not have this urge? If you are anything like me, the thought that you are a “loser” or “lazy” and are doing “nothing” with your life has crossed your mind at some point, or many points, throughout those years. It is understandable, but it is simply not true.

Can you relate to this? If you can, then the part of you observing the fact that you can relate to this is who you are at your core. The real you. The you that is content with simply being, and who never needs to prove anything to anyone. The you that already knows you are somebody because despite external matters, you do in fact still exist. And while we are talking about external matters, that part of you, who you are at your core, will stay the same whether you are bedridden, famous, or anything in between. The only thing affected by these matters, the only thing that will change, will be your ego. And it will always be this way, because your consciousness, your soul, or whatever word you use to describe who you really are at a deep level inside will never cease to exist.

When I hit remission, the first thing I did was move to an entirely different state where I did not know a soul to work at my dream publishing company. I went to live by myself and be independent in every aspect of my life in what was a foreign land to me, one I had never even visited, after not so much as spending a single night alone for years. I went to be all alone and entirely independent, after having a caretaker to depend on 24/7 for the past two years. Was I crazy? Clearly. But more than anything, I was and am human, which is to say my ego got the best of me. With the return of my health came the return of my raging ego.

While sick, I only had so much energy to spare. I was given two choices: use what energy I had to focus on my inner self in order to heal, meaning the complete shedding of my ego, or cling to the identity of being “sick” and thus enhance my ego and venture further away from the possibility of healing.To be fair, I suppose I did not really choose between the two. At some point, I naturally shifted into a state of being stemming from my consciousness rather than my ego. Perhaps it was an inherent instinct to survive, who knows. Either way, one thing is clear: that I did not consciously have to make this choice ended up working against me, because it was not until I healed and had all my energy back that I fully had my ego back and realized its former absence. It had left so effortlessly, without my knowing, and was able to come back in same exact way.

As a result, I fell severely ill within one week of moving and had to call my parents to come get me; because within one week I had gotten so sick again I could not even drive. By the time I got home I could barely walk, read, write, or even have a conversation because my speech and cognitive centers declined so rapidly that I could not understand much of what people were saying, much less formulate even somewhat of an intelligent response. Furthermore, even when I was able to follow what someone saying, I forgot most of it by the time they were finished saying it.

I have spent an embarrassing, but entirely normal and human, amount of time mulling over why this happened, convinced there was some divine “lesson” I was meant to learn from it all. I was stuck on the frequent notion of “everything happens for a reason.” You know, the one we can never prove but cling to when something does not go our way? It has been close to five months since I fell ill again and came back home. Only now, as I write this actually, is the big “lesson” I was supposed to learn becoming clear: there was never a mystical, predetermined lesson laid out by some greater force for me to learn. The only lesson in it all is that after years of unrelenting physical and mental pain, I gave myself no time to rest.

As soon as the pain diminished, my ego took hold and I set out to “make something of myself.” I suddenly forgot about the body that fought tooth and nail to save my life, even when my mind was ready to throw in the towel. I owed, and still owe, my body all the respect in the world for carrying me through such hard times. This fact was easy to recognize when I was in excruciating pain, but with the pain gone, there was suddenly an immense amount of empty space in my head that was not there before. I immediately filled it with endless thoughts, the very act that keep us from feeling the inner aliveness within our bodies.

So, in regards to “everything happens for a reason,” I am going to have to disagree on this one, at least in the sense that some omnipotent force or being caused it to happen (if I am wrong, then I cannot help but argue that such a being is somewhat cruel and toying with our lives, a statement that may or may not piss off many religious people because it shatters the veil of comfort allowing us to be lazy and not take responsibility for our actions when things go wrong). The truth is, my own actions are the reason I fell ill again and lost my dream job in my dream environment and had to move back to my parents at the age of 24. Divine intervention played no role, only physical intervention. I needed to rest and I refused to, leaving my body no option but to shut down in order to get what it needed to survive. It was simply my body’s way of saying:

“For god’s sake Shelley, give it a rest already. Stop worrying about becoming enough and realize you already are enough.”

What it is Like to Have Lyme Disease

Imagine everything that’s old always feels new.

Imagine what was once familiar is now unfamiliar.

Imagine waking up to an existence more surreal than your dreams.

Imagine losing everything rendering nothing as everything.

Imagine all of your lies meeting your truth.

Imagine you would die to live what you once considered a nightmare.

Imagine becoming so alone, that you are no longer lonely.

Imagine suffocating in order to take your first breath.

Imagine consciously lingering on the brink of the unconscious mind.

Imagine you live where darkness meets light.

Imagine dying, to finally be alive.

Imagine you are me, and that I am you.

New Book on Lyme and Cannabis: ‘Cannabis for Lyme Disease and Related Conditions: Scientific Basis and Anecdotal Evidence for Use’

cannabis for lyme
Click the above image to read excerpts, view a detailed outline of content covered, read the Foreward and Preface, and/or purchase it in eBook or print.

My new book Cannabis for Lyme Disease and Related Conditions: Scientific Basis and Anecdotal Evidence for Medicinal Use is now available. You can learn more about it and read excerpts, table of contents, and more at You can get a print copy of the book and/or an eBook via BioMed Publishing’s website (, or Amazon (

Taken from the back cover: Cannabis for Lyme Disease and Related Conditions aims to answer frequently asked questions regarding cannabis and Lyme disease, and to offer a foundation for developing a personalized treatment plan. The book also covers various aspects of cannabis and its medicinal uses, including its antibacterial properties, chemical constituents, strains, forms and methods of use and recipes, safety, and legal factors. White addresses how different cannabis strains and methods of consumption can ease discomfort during treatment by reducing some of the most prominent symptoms present in Lyme disease and related conditions.


Read more…