Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Feeling discouraged...

I'm feeling rather discouraged lately, in general, as a healer, and as an herbalist. I had a client last week whom I'm not sure is coming back. I feel like I wasn't able to help in the right way for this person at this time, even though I KNOW what I have to offer could be of help.

I also fell off the gluten free wagon this month, a couple of times, and said to hell with it, and I spent half the night awake in pain last night when my menses came and in full force inflammatory cramping at 3 am. I had a stash of various herbal tinctures and homeopathic remedies next to the bed to take when the cramps started ( see I KNEW they would come, since eating inevitably makes it so much worse.) but after taking about 8 droppers of california poppy and corydalis, I felt sick to my stomach, completely unable to relax, and still in a great deal of pain. So much so that Darin actually got up out of bed ( and he's a heavy sleeper, waking him up isnt easy!), got dressed and went out to the store to buy me Advil for my pain.
I feel like a bad herbalist, none of my potions seemed to even TOUCH the pain of menstrual cramps aggravated by inflammation from a food intolerance, and I took the "evil" NSAIDS, which, inevitably helped. It took about ten minutes and laying there, trying to breathe through the pain, I suddenly felt a wave of relief and relaxation wash over me as the NSAIDS began to take effect. 5 minutes later, I was conked out, while Darin was left wide awake after running to the store and taking care of me.

I am so tired of work, selling crap supplements and herbs in capsules to people as band-aids for what really need changes in diet and lifestyle and mental patterns, but I can't even stick to what I know is better for me ( if only because it relieves my pain once a month for 24 hrs). Goddammit, sometimes you gotta have a beer! We did try a gluten free beer this week, which was alright. Kind of thin and weak...but not BAD. Doesn't hold a candle to a guiness though. (Slurp!)

I have all these jars of herbs and tinctures that sit in my room, and dont get used, cause they aren't in the kitchen accessible. I live a filthy crowded house with no space to work or even really LIVE.

I dont seem to attracting any clients at the clinic, even though I've talked to dozens of people through work, and handed out my cards all summer and made connections who say they will refer people to me. To no avail....


Heather said...

That's the question of the season, it seems. How to attract clients? I keep hearing that we should teach classes, and the people who resonate with us will come to see us. OK, but we haven't gotten to that part yet! I just keep handing out fliers to everyone who even might be interested, stressing that I work at this really cool sliding scale holistic clinic that not enough people know about. Today it was a woman who walked past me at the coffee shop, and the girl working at a different coffee shop. I keep them in my planner.
That bit about the mirror keeps coming up. Are you seeing a clinician? Like attracts like kind of thing...?

Livia said...

Hang in there! You obviously know what you're doing and the clients will follow. Don't feel too bad about NSAIDS, pain is a hard thing to endure and everybody needs a backup plan.

Tara said...

Way back I had a professor who said "you are your greatest tool." And it's true, even if we aren't tools. *hugs* and loves, and take good care of you.

Kiva Rose said...

What kind of Corydalis? Chinese or Rocky Mountain?

Ever tried Silk Tassel?

I don't think anyone stays on the "wagon" all the time, lord knows I have times where I still eat food that makes me sick, hard to avoid in a culture of plastic food. Holding yourself to some perfect herbal standard is not only silly, but harmful for you. Relax, woman!

If Advil is helping you then how can you somewhat imitate that in acute situations? Maybe a blend that includes a super strong anti-spasmodic with willow family pain relieving herbs would be more useful than cali. poppy and corydalis?

And clients come and go, I don't have many right now either, it's that time of year. Just wait, you'll end up with a huge rush that you won't even be able to keep up with. And it will be better when you get out of Boulder for many reasons.

Enjoy the plants, enjoy what you're learning and don't be so damn hard on yourself.~~~Hug~~~

Shamana Flora said...

Thanks for the kind words friends. maybe it's partly a healing crisis, or just a life crisis. Im not happy with the way things are, and they need to change...but I'm willing to quit school to move and make things different. yet.

kiva, i've tried both kinds of corydalis, neither seemed to help. I really need to make myself a good cramp formula, and probalby in tea form, since tea works much better. the next morning i had red peony and ginger decoction which kept the cramps at bay most of th morning....until i ran out at lunch time.

i left work early every day this week, making myself poorer, but I'm getting to the end of my patience with it all. i dont have the energy to tackle anything else right now, probably why i dont have clients. but i still cant figure why i'd pay to sit in clinic and not have any clients. ....
seems like a waste...i should be rolling around in piles of crispy leaves, and baking apples and duck.

Shamana Flora said...

that was supposed to read I"m NOT willing to quit school, to change things, yet.

Kiva Rose said...

chinese red peony? That's a nice combo, helps warm up the peony's cooler nature too. I think a small amount of silk tassel tincture added to the tea could help the most acute episodes. It's disgusting but helpful. Lemme know if you want some, I can harvest some leaves for tea or send you some tincture.

and have you tried an antispasmodic liniment externally, with something like datura? You can also use very small amounts of datura internally for bad cramping, I wouldn't recommend that to most people, but it's fairly common in the UK and works great if you're ~careful~ with dosage. Probably better added to a tea as a potentizer.

I don't know about the chinese corydalis much but I think that the native kind is better for pain associated with the nervous system and hysteria rather than cramping.

LOL that's probably enough of that.

Life crises are good, even great, if they take you closer to you now rather than in twenty years. Natural motivation ;)

Shamana Flora said...

I d love to try some silk tassell leaves for tea. I had just finally found the plant when i was getting ready to move from arizona, and never collected it. Lobelia tincture topically helps, but at 3 am, writhing pain, i couldn't really think enough to get out of bed,turn on thelight, find the stuff etc...
the chinese corydalis is supposed to be good for pain caused by blood stagnation. but i can't really figureout what my pain is caused by, prbably inflammation, but something more too, because anti inflammatory protocols aren't covering it. It was a pair someone at school reccomended after it worked for her....didn't help me much though!
I've tried the native corydalis too, with not much effect either. just isnt right for my kind of pain. i always thought of it as a nervous system herb as well, and never really used it much...for whatever reason.

i feel like right now i just dont care...i just want out. bah,.. probably some flwoer essences for this, but I dont care enough today to bother. LOL.
* unless it involves eating walnut cheese and gluten oat crackers with pears and cranberry kombucha! *

tansy said...

willow is my number 1 choice for pain. i don't know how it works from cramping though.

i feel very discouraged with life and trying to find clients. it is hard to get established. worse yet, i have a friend who's also an herbalist and any time i try to treat mutual friends, she jumps in and tells them to try totally different herbs tan what i offer with a casual remark of 'if these don't work, THEN try what she is suggesting' as if what i am recommending isn't good enough. i don't think she means any malice by it but it really hurts my feelings when she does it.

and, like everyone else said, don't beat yourself up over taking advil. i used to be that way but really, it's a balance. sometimes, there is a justified need for conventional medicine. unfortunately, in our society, it is out of balance.

hang in there. we are on a big spiral so soon, things will spiral back into the good.

Cindy said...

Wow, I was just searching Menstrual cramps (for my daughter) over at Henrietta's...quick, go do the same! You'll be ready next time!

I feel your pain...I used to barf, and then pass out for 3 hours.



Anonymous said...

Hi Darcey,

Ahhh...the feeling of "am I a fraud"/how can I *possibly* help others when feeling like I'm such an herb-y gal but I have to take meds. Yup. I don't have any western meds in the house for myself or ds. No NSAIDS, no nothing (dh does have some advil and I think cough drops). HOWEVER, I still use an asthma inhaler. EVERY day. And yeah, there are things I eat/do occasionally that I *know* make it worse (especially right before my moon).

Such is the life of a very human human ;-)

I don't know *why* I still have asthma after all of the things I've done/not done over the last 15+ years to help it. I may never know.

Such is the mystery of the goddess ;-)

But I *do* know about all of the things my family and I *don't* experience like other households because of the grace of the herbs, and most especially, because of what I've LEARNED about herbs from you and so many other wise women/men who are gracious enough to share what *they* have learned along the way.

That being said, I know that it's all too easy to get down on ourselves when we feel that somehow it's all "amiss" (to put it mildly ;-) )

So two suggestions from me - take them as you will...

1) St. J's wort tincture and ginger helped me *tremendously* during my miscarriage a few years ago. Wild Yam root tincture is also helping me a lot with inflammation related crampy and/or spasmodic stuff lately.

2) I just adore this page with words of wisdom/short bits. I have many of these stories printed out in a notebook that I refer to when I'm feeling as you describe and at least find a warm glow *somewhere* in my muddled self. (I particularly like the fable of the water bearer). May you find something delicious here for you:

Blessings, dear Shamana, for the gift that you are.


~Dreamseeds~ said...

Darcey just wanna send soem love your way. I ahve been in this place so many times and it is hard. But typically you grow through it and you are such a commited herbalist, I know good things are in store.

Hara said...

Severe, debilitating Asthma inspired 3.5 decades of research and alternative healing methods that did everything from complimenting the modern meds to almost killing me...

I remember beating up on myself for not being able to rely on completely "natural" methods alone.

What really moved me most was Susun Weed, Healing Wise (the Wise way)...I was such a warrior. Perhaps rightly so considering I was Surviving...
I survived long enough to experience singulair and advair (modern meds) Now, I am free from asthma symptoms...
Anyone who has been intibiated or experienced a NDE from lack of O2 can tell you (unless they are mentally challenged)
Whatever the combination is that works- that is what you can do.

Asthma led to to Yoga early enough in my life, that I think that may be the reason I am the only woman in my family who does not experience cramps. I went without yoga for a few months- and began having mild cramps. I'm pretty sure you practice yoga, but, in case you don't already, perhaps adding that can assist your process...

have compassion for yourself.

"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~