Baby Talk

I don’t baby talk to my dog. All my friends do. When they see my dog, their demeanor and tone of voice change. I look at them as if I didn’t know them. I love my dogs and I take great care of them. I just don’t talk to them.

I don’t remember anybody baby talked me when I was a baby.

I’m not motherless. I grew up with three mothers. All of my mothers lived under the same roof. My mother and my father’s bedroom was upstairs. My spinster aunt and my grandmother share a bedroom on the ground floor. And I don’t remember sleeping upstairs with my parents. I slept downstairs with my aunt, my father’s older sister. Since my mother worked as a nurse, she was not home during the day. She also had night shifts.

During the day my grandmother took care of me. She was not a talker. As a widow, who brought up her four kids mostly by herself, tending the family paddle field, growing rice, she was a hard working superstitious matriarch. I remember her always working, silently. Most of food we had was what she grew. She made everything from scratch. I spent most of the day with her. She might have talked to herself, but I don’t remember we ever talked.

I spent the night and weekend with my aunt, when she was home. She sometime came home late drunk. She took me into her bed and cuddled me till I fell asleep. I loved being with her. I was a little princess to her. (I still is a little princess to her. She is 96.) But she didn’t baby talk to me.

I don’t remember my mother’s touch. I don’t even remember her presence even though she was never absent. To me she was a nurse, who took care of me when I was sick. And I got sick often. She didn’t baby talk to me.

I think I didn’t learn to speak “parentese”. And I think none of my three mothers knew how to speak baby talk. It doesn’t come naturally to none of us.

Love is like baby talk. If you didn’t learn how to express love from your original family, it won’t come naturally. You have to learn how to express love.

I think each of my three mothers loved me in her own way. They had their own limitation. I shouldn’t judge their capacity for love. I have to accept that was their maximum capacity for love.

Sometime I feel like the Terminator/machine in T2, who had to learn to be human taking, baby steps.

Just a Thought about BLM

When I was married, my then-husband used to say, “Why didn’t you tell me if you wanted something.” I did. I told him what I wanted. He didn’t hear it.

“I didn’t hear you. You should have said more clearly,” he said. I said again and again. He didn’t hear me. Eventually I screamed and yelled.

“Why do you have to scream at me? You crazy woman!” he said. “What do you want to me to do? “ he said. I told him to help me to do something. He said, “I don’t want to do that.”

And I was the short tempered always angry bitch. If you are not heard, again and again and again, even a mostly peaceful auntie like me could be violently angry.

Weight Belt of Gold

A woman and her husband were on a boat. She saw her friend struggling in the water to be afloat. Her nose was barely above the water. She reached out and tried to grab her friend’s hand. Her hand was slippery and she was too heavy.

Her husband noticed the drowning woman wearing a weight belt. The belt was loaded with gold. It was clear that the weight of the belt was pulling her underwater. “She needs to ditch the belt!” The husband said. The drowning woman would not let go of the belt of gold.

The boat was small and had no room for another person. “I have to rescue her,” the wife said. “She needs to ditch the weight first,” the husband said.

This was not the first time they saw the woman struggling in the water. This was not the first time the wife reached out to rescue her friend. The drowning woman had never let the weight belt go.

She probably could swim, only if she didn’t have the weight belt of gold pulling her down.

“If she let the weight belt go, there are many ways to help her to swim to the shore,” the husband said.

When I was married to a passive-aggressive narcissistic husband, I moved out of our marriage three times. Every time I moved out, my ex found a way to get back and I let him back. On the third time, I finally ditched my weight belt of gold. Looking back, the weight was not made of gold. It was my fear of unknown, insecurity about living on my own, and fear of walking my life by myself. Once I ditched the weight belt, I found I could swim first tentatively and then very well.

We can't rescue somebody who wants to hold onto the weight belt of what they think is gold, knowing that it is the cause of their distress.   

It is very difficult to find ourselves helpless in the face of suffering of our friends. We tend to try to rescue them. It might be more helpful to sit with our own sense of helplessness. When we befriend with our own helplessness and learn to tolerate it, then we might be able to be compassionate in the face of other’s suffering without rushing to rescue them.

The Flayed Hare

“What should I do?” my friend, Mia, said. Her younger sister is not answering calls from her family nor responding to text messages nor emails. “Does she still see her psychiatrist?” I asked. “Yes. And she seems to manage to go to her office everyday,” Mia said. Mia’s sister has been suffering depression on and off for a while and occasionally locks herself in.

“She can go to work. That’s a good news. What is the issue?” I said. “She doesn’t respond to anybody. My big sister has also been trying to contact her. Our niece will be visiting her from Australia with her baby. I’m going there to see them and we want to have family get together. Our parents are getting older, you know,” she said. “Why she doesn’t want to see her family. Isn’t it selfish of her?”

It hits me. She doesn’t understand. Mia has never been clinically depressed.

So I explained. I am Mia’s “How to deal with your family member’s depression” coach.

“Family gathering is one of the worst things when you are depressed,” I said. “Doesn’t she feel guilty not to come out to spend time with her aging parents? I would. That’s why I’m going. I would love to see my niece’s babies, too. They are coming all the way from Australia,” she said. She is flying westward across the Pacific Ocean to Japan to see them, while her niece is flying eastward across. She seems to be half concerned and half annoyed by the depressive sister.

“Do you know the story of a flayed hare?”  I asked.  It is a folk tale everybody knows.  A trickster hare befooled sharks and was stripped of its fur.  In pain he asked a group of passerby for help.  They told the hare to bathe in saltwater and dry in wind.  The hare did as told and ended up in excruciating pain.  Then a kind man found the hare in agony and told him to bathe in freshwater and then roll in the pollen of cottontail.  Eventually the hare’s fur grew back again.   

“Your sister is a flayed hare now.  When you don’t have skin, everything hurts.  Being with your family is the worst.  It’s just like bathing in salt water.  Phone calls are like wind blowing on the flayed hare.  It gives her excruciating pain,”  I explained.  “Then, what should we do?” Mia asked.  “Wait until her fur grows back.  Don’t call.  Just check in.  Texting and e-mailing are gentler.  Don’t expect her responding.  Just make sure she is alive and o.k.  Let her know you care, and let her heal in her soft bed of cottontail pollen.”

I’m not sure if Mia understand what I mean.  If you have never be a flayed hare, you don’t understand how it feels.

The hare in the story was actually a god and the kind man was rewarded.  

Everybody wants to have a Jedi Power

In the last Star Wars film, I saw the heroine lay her hand on a wounded creature and healed it. It was an a-ha moment. “That’s what everybody wants to. They wants to have a Jedi power,” I said to my friend.

I often spend time with those who are in hands-on “healing professions.” I am also a licensed massage therapist, because I had this urge to lay hands on people who were suffering. When somebody is hurting, I wanted to stop it, heal them, and make them feel better. I felt my hands aching, desperately craving to touch the hurt, eager to give “healing energy.”

Then I got a chronic “incurable” illness. For about a year, I suffered from debilitating symptoms. Fortunately, currently I am in a remission. And I stopped offering an unsolicited healing works to people who suffer from other chronic “incurable” condition.

If you have a cluster headache, I know I can’t help you. I’m happy to give you a foot massage if it will help you to relax. But I can’t heal a cluster headache.

And “healers” would still offer to lay their hands on you, as if they couldn’t accept their own powerlessness. It is difficult to be present in the face of pain and suffering without being able to do anything.

During the period I suffered from severe symptoms of Meniere’s disease, many people laid hands on me, trying to heal. None of them stopped or eased my suffering. I just had to endure and wait for the Meniere’s attacks subside. People who had never treated Meniere’s disease offered one kind or another treatments. People gave me pieces of unsolicited advice as if I didn’t know how to google. When people offered energetic healing of one kind of another, I felt obligated to tell them it made a difference. I didn’t feel better. Meniere’s is a bitch from the hell. Only the sufferer knows how bad it could be.

I believe they had good intentions. However, I am not sure if it is for the sufferer or for my own being a Jedi fantasy when I offer a “healing” touch.

So I stop and think if I really know how to help the person feel better, even by my mere presence to witness the suffering, before offering to lay hands.

I don’t have a Jedi power and I don’t have to have a Jedi power to be compassionate.

It was not Love but not to Feel Guilty

I was having dinner with Sookie, my high school BFF, now a psychiatrist, in a local restaurant.  Her phone constantly buzzed.   We reconnected a couple years ago after three decades of being out of touch, mostly on my accord.  I moved across the Pacific and I didn’t want to be found by anybody from my hometown.

“It’s my mother,” she said.  “Sorry, but I have to go.”

Sookie was taking care of her mother, who was on a wheelchair, at home.  Although her kids were all grown up, she had a full time job, as a professor and clinician.

“You are lucky.  You left home early,” she said to me.

At that time, I visited my elderly parents once a year.   I spent more time with them than my younger brother who lived in the same country.   I usually got badly depressed before and after the trip.  My original home was toxic to my soul.  I called it a tour of duty.  It’s my duty as a daughter to show my parents I cared, or at least to pretend.

Later, Sookie told me what was going on.  She prepared breakfast and lunch for her mother before she left for work, then she cooked dinner after she came home.  I asked, “Why?”  “My mother only eats what I cook,” she said.  “Once I ordered food delivery service because I was too busy.  I came home and found the food in a garbage bin.  She said it tasted awful.  She didn’t like aids I hired.   She refuses to go to a day care service because she doesn’t want to mingle with “those people.” ”

So Sookie took care of her… as her mother, a perfect housewife, took care of her husband and her children.  Now Sookie’s mother demands the same from her daughter.

Sookie has a younger sister.  She left home and live in another city with her own family.  Sookie’s sister calls her mother once in a blue moon.  They chat and her mother loves her.  Her sister won’t even visit her.  “Don’t you feel it’s not fair?” I asked.  “I do, but that who she is.  I don’t dislike her,” she said.  I didn’t understand.

“Why?”  I asked again.  “Why you have to take care of your mother by yourself?  Why you  accommodate her unreasonable needs?  You have a career and your own family to take care of.”

She pondered for a moment and said, “Not to feel guilty.”   It made a sense.  She was honest.  She didn’t say because she loved her.

I traveled 24 hrs door to door once a year spending thousands of dollars that could have been used for a vacation not to feel guilty.    Sookie cooked for her mother every day juggling her career and family life not to feel guilty.   We were doing the same.

Both my parents and hers did their best to take care of us and at the same time planted the sense of obligation.   It was not love.

I decided to do what I could do for my parents, as long as it wouldn’t destroy my life.  My mother constantly tells me to come home to take care of her.  (She also tells me to come home so that she could take care of me.  I don’t know why she thinks I need to be taken care of.)

No.  I set a firm boundary.  That’s the line for me.  Once a year visit has become three times a year visits since my mother needed my help after my father passed away.  It has wrecked havoc on my financial, physical, and emotional health but hasn’t destroyed me yet and it spared me feeling guilty.

As for Sookie, her mother passed away in a hospital from in-hospital infection and she was feeling super guilty for a long while as if she killed her mother.  (She chose the hospital when she fell ill.)

This is what happens when parents treat kids as their territory.  Colonization doesn't foster love.

If you love your parents, you are the lucky one who experienced unconditional love from them.

We did not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family as a Bootcamp

“It sounds like you were brought up by a pack of wolves,” the teacher said.  “I guess I was,” I said.  I took a semi-private class to explore family dynamics.  We were doing show and tell of old family photos.  I don’t remember which story or photo led to that remark but it made a sense.

Nobody taught me how to be human, how to communicate, how to deal with feelings, how to foster relationships, how to love, etc.  My father taught me how to survive in a hostile world.

It was the world of his construct.

My father didn’t say, “Don’t show your vulnerability.”  He just pounced on me when I was vulnerable.  He was the kind of person who instinctively knew where it would hurt most and push the spot hard.

My father didn’t say, “The best defense is offense”.  I just learned to attack back harder, verbally and energetically– if I were a big man, I would have fought back physically but I was a petite girl — and retreat fast so that my father wouldn’t catch me.  I ran back to my room and block the door with furniture, since the door didn’t have a lock.  He yelled from the other side of the door.   “You have your father’s temper,” my mother said.  I was just defending myself because I didn’t want to be eaten by the wolf.

He never hit me but his verbal attack was violent enough.  “I’m gonna beat the shit out of you!” he yelled from the other side of the door.

“I’ve learned watching you and Dad,” later my younger brother said.  “I just stayed in my room and didn’t talk to Dad.  We didn’t have any interaction.”  I guess he was smarter than me or just adopted a different strategy for survival.

When I got hurt or felt weak, I didn’t cry.  Crying would attract wolves and they wouldn’t come to comfort you.  I learned to lock myself in a cave and wait until I regained strength.  I felt like an injured dangerous animal, licking the wound in a dark cold place, with body tightened, claws out, growling.

My father made sure that I understood the world was out there to get me.  He made sure that I knew I was ugly, unlovable and worthless, so anybody who might offer a hand to me must be trying to get something out of me.   When I was proud of something about myself, he spat at me, “Got a bighead, haven’t you.  Who do you think you are?”

I had beautiful hair when I was a teenager.  It felt like expensive silk threads.  That’s the only part of my body I was sure I could be proud of, because I got compliments all the time.   So I kept it long.  “Your stinking loose long hair is everywhere,” he complained.   I had my hair cut very short.  “What a stupid haircut. You look so ugly,” he said.

Home was not a safe nurturing place for us kids but a bootcamp.  It was as if he was preparing me for being ridiculed and shamed by the world outside of my family.  If he could harden me and toughen me enough, I wouldn’t be beaten down by anybody else.

If you are a wild beast to be afraid of, nobody would come to you to take advantage of you.  Being asked of a favor is in itself the sign of weakness on your part.  Don’t be off guard.  Let them know you are somebody not to be messed with.

My father told me again and again never to be a guarantor of anybody.  Actually it makes a sense since many people he knew lost everything because they trusted somebody and co-signed their debt.

He did a good job.  I grew up a woman who saw everybody a potential aggriever.  When somebody wanted to be friends with me, I thought, “What do you want?”   I didn’t understand that somebody could want to be friends with me just because who I was.

My high school BFF called me a barbed wire.  Somebody I worked for called me a naked blade.  I thought it suited me and that I was satisfied.   The message was loud and clear.  Don’t you dare to come close to me.

My father passed at the ripe age of 86, after suffering several years from Alzheimer’s.  At a nursing home he was slightly paranoid delusional but most of time pleasant old man.   However, once in a while he suddenly yelled, “I’m gonna hit the shit out of you.”   The staff thought it was Alzheimer’s disease that made him say such a violent thing.   “No, it is how he always is,” I said in my mind.

And I grew up to be an angry she-wolf.  At one point I really believed showing my kids having power over the others was the best defense.  I called it a baseball bat strategy.  I imagined myself threatening them with a baseball bat, to make them follow a line.  It was because I loved them.  I had to teach them how to survive.  The threatening energy of my father’s yelling was registered in my psyche as a destruction of a baseball bat blows.

It was fortunate that I just had imaginary kids.

This is how a family trauma is inherited through generations.  I was locked up in the world his negative paradigm shaped.   My father painted over his daughter’s vibrant world with his gloomy palette.  I don’t know what made his world so grim because we didn’t tell stories about ourselves.  But I’m sure he thought his life sucked.

It took me 20+ years of therapy to attain paradigm shift.  The world is not dangerous.  (Fortunately I don’t live in a war zone.)  People just want to be friends with me because they are interested in who I am.

I had to peel the old paint chip by chip to reveal the original vibrant pallet of mine.  I had to demolish the wall that confined me a brick at a time.   Next to me there always was a ghost of my father putting back the brick that I took out.

I had to learn giving up anger wouldn’t make me a victim.  I had to learn I could be open to the world if I knew how to set a firm boundary.  I had to learn acknowledging my vulnerability would make me more strong.  The skillset I learned in the bootcamp would be with me no matter.  And I could be a tough cookie and an emotionally vulnerable person at the same time.

Don't paint your kid's world with your pallet, just teach them skills and let them paint theirs.

 

 

 

 

 

Family as a Cult

“I always wanted to have a mother like yours.  Somebody who is waiting for me coming home from school, baking cookies,” I said.  My mother was a nurse, who worked her entire life.  Nobody ever greeted me when I came home.  My friend’s mother was a stay-home mother and wife of a prominent professor and well-respected surgeon at a local medical school.  They moved from a big city and settled in the small city.  To me her family looked an ideal upper-middle class made for TV family, while I was from a working class one.

“My mother never baked cookies,” Sookie said.

“But you were very close with your mother,” I said.  “You used to talk to her on phone a lot.”  When we were teenagers, every time we were away from home, we called home to let our parents know we were safe.  My phone conversation was short.  “Hi, it’s me.  I’m here. Everything is O.K.  Bye.”  “Is that all?” she asked me when I finished the call.  She chatted with her mum as if she were talking to a close friend.   In my emotionally dysfunctional family, kids were not supposed to be seen nor heard.   Having a conversation was unthinkable.  Every attempt to communicate ended with yelling at each other.   So I learned to keep communication at a bare minimum.

Sookie, my high school BFF, was talking about her difficult relationship with her late mother.  Her mother has become totally dependent on her, who now is a prominent psychiatrist/professor of the same medical school her father taught.  “She turned out to be a mistletoe, a parasitic organism,” she said in an detached tone.

“But she was a perfect professor’s wife,” I protested.  “Yes, she was.  My parents were deeply in love with each other.  They were co-dependent,” she said.  “When my father passed away, my mother chose me as the next host and expected me to provide for her as her husband did.”   As she now had her own family and career to take care of, her mother’s demands were millstone around her neck.

“I always wished to have a mother like yours,” she said.  “Your mum was professional.  I respected her for building up her career up to the head nurse of a major hospital.”

“Yea, all the women in my family had a career,” I said.  “But my mom was a terrible cook.  Our home was always in a mess.  I was always by myself at home.”
“She is independent,” she said.
“Yes, that’s always how it was in my family.  Women need to be independent,” I said.  

I still didn’t understand.  I thought Sookie and her mum had a girlfriends-like relationship, like a pastel colored cotton candy.  “But I remember you loved her when you were a teenager,” I protested.

“I did,” she said.  “I was in a cult.  I just didn’t know it.”

“Then, when did you realize it?” I asked.

She pondered for a moment and said, “After I became a psychiatrist, ” and added, “I realized I could diagnose everybody I know with one or more mental disorder.”

In a nut shell, her mother couldn’t understand her daughter and she were different individuals.  Her daughter was part of her just like her husband constituted her identity.    For Sookie it was a normal family, until she realized it was not.  “She tried to make my son her next host.  I couldn’t let her do that at any cost,” she said.

I was in a cult, too.  My mother didn’t understand I was a separate individual from her.  She still does not understand I have my own life. “Come home,” she says all the time.   Come home to take care of me as I took care of your father.  That’s what I hear.   She doesn’t understand I am home.

Our family is the only family we know.   We grow up believing our family value system is the only one, and often try to recreate it.   We are programmed to act in a certain way.  It could be good for us or it could be inconvenient for us.  If we couldn’t or is not allowed to examine and assess if the value system of our original family is still suitable for the present life, we stay in the cult.

To get out of my family’s version of cult, I had to move across the Pacific.  Now we have thirteen hours time differences (and 20+ years of therapy on my part) between us.

P.S. I grew up in an Asian country when stay-home wives were norm.

Invisible Disability

I thought I was lazy, weak, and useless. When depression closed in, I felt worthless. Once I shut myself in for three months, only ventured out to walk my dog and it was so painful that I thought of jumping in the East River together with my beloved dog. It was my dog who grounded me. I was only worth to live for him.

I spend most of the day and the night in bed, streaming something on Netflix.  I watched the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer twice and moved on to Angel, just to forget I existed.  I was worthless.  Every morning I hoped it would be different and every morning  I found myself drowning in molasses of dark, heavy liquid of depression.  I couldn’t get out of bed to take a shower.  Sometime I manage to go to grocery shopping and bought a combination of food which didn’t make sense.  I survived on a pint of ice-cream at a time.  I was worthless.  

I don’t know how but I managed to finish all the work assignments at hand on time. (I’m a freelance).  I even managed to attend dinners to entertain my clients.  Inside I was hurting as if I ingested shards of glass.  I came home to collapse for days.  

I was not lazy. 

Eventually I came out.  Nobody but close friends noticed that I had depression.  Since then I have been on standard doze of SSRI even when I feel like a million because I accept it is how I am.  And my friends call me a powerhouse.  I am not useless. 

Then I got Ménière’s disease.  I joined a support group and found out that most of the sufferers got depressed with anxiety.  Ménière’s disease robs you of the life as you knew.  I didn’t get depressed.  I decided to fight to manage it.  I am not weak.

When in remission, I am still a powerhouse.  However, when I have flare ups, my life is just like I was depressed.  I can’t go out.  I spend most of the day and the night in bed.  I don’t function.  A small chore exhausts me.  Dizziness caused by inner ear disorder renders me confused.  But I don’t blame myself.  It’s the illness not me.  

One day I woke up and I didn’t have dizziness, but couldn’t feel like getting out of bed.  I wasn’t sure if I was depressed or it was because Ménière’s disease.  I had a bad attack that night so it must have been Ménière’s disease.

People with this disease are real warriors.  They are not weak.  They are not lazy.  They are fighting and enduring for every breath.  They are mothers and fathers.   If you are weak, you won’t survive with Ménière’s disease.

Ménière’s disease is (probably) mechanical disorder.  Depression is chemical.  Both are invisible.  But we are fighting all the time.  So please be compassionate if you are lucky enough not to suffer these afflictions.  And please be more compassionate to yourself if you are a sufferer.

P.S. Ultra low salt diet is required to manage Ménière’s disease.  I love potato chips but can’t take a risk of having an attack.  

A woman sat next to me on a subway and started to eat potato chips.  I understood how the vampires in the Twilight Saga felt when they sat next to humans.  

Unless you experience it, you will never really feel it.  So please don't judge people for what you've never experienced.

I feel I want to die when I have a bad episode.  But I know it will pass.

Silver Bullets

My friend, who is a professor of psychiatry, believes in the art of psychopharmacology.  It is not a cure.  She believes that the right combination and dosage of medications will alleviate the suffering of patients and their caretakers.  Her patients are not the standard dose SSRI consumers like myself.  Her art is to find optimal combination for the individual patient afflicted with deep sufferings.  She is not a drug dispenser like my shrink, who writes prescriptions away.  She is deeply compassionate.

A pharmaceutical company tweaked inactive ingredients of the drug her schizophrenic patient was taking.  As the active ingredient was the same, she kept him on that medication.  On the next visit, the patient begged her to make “them” stop staring from the air-conditioning unit.  “He was so scared,” she said.  “I was so sorry for him.  Who would know the inactive ingredients had an effect on his condition.  I changed his prescription to the one with that ingredient and no more staring eyes.”

There is no silver bullet that works for everybody.  If there were, there would be no suffering.  That’s why we keep on seeking for the right combination of measures for the particular condition for the particular individual at the particular time.

Meds won’t cure personality disorders, though.  My “difficult” 93 year old aunt is a patient of my friend.  She put my aunt on standard dose of SSRI.  My aunt stopped seeing creatures in the middle of night.  She doesn’t scream and wake up her aid anymore.  Now she is manageable for her caretakers.  “But Doctor S., she is still mean,” the caretaker and my mother, who accompanied her, said to my friend.  “Unfortunately, medication won’t change personality,” my friend said.  I believe my aunt, who loved me like a precious doll, has narcissistic personality disorder.  In her mind, everything is somebody else’s faults.

Because of complicated and fucked up family dynamics, I was diagnosed with a personality disorder unspecified (mainly for insurance coverage of therapy sessions.)   While I saw therapists for 20 years on and off, I explored and sought for the silver bullet.  I befriended my inner child.  My soul was retrieved, (oops I didn’t know I had lost one).  Death arrow was burnt at a fire ceremony.  I drummed and journeyed many times.  I was saged and cleansed.  I had my chakra balanced.  An entity was extracted.  I was gestalted and talked to a chair. I meditated and vipassanaed.  I saw channelers, a sound healer, psychic healers and energy healers.  While each worked in some way, there were no silver bullet.

It is the process of seeking, which led me where I am.

I’m still seeking, not for a silver bullet, but for something that would free my soul at this particular stage of my life, so that I could keep on seeking.

Beware of a healer bearing a gift of silver bullets, claiming it is the cure.  

My friend, who was diagnosed with ALS, told me that she bought “miracle healing water” from a random guy, who claimed it would cure her illness.  It was obvious that she was fooled.  I doubt that the guy even knew what ALS is.  But what can I say?  She was desperately seeking for the cure of one of the most cruel illnesses.

Since I was diagnosed with Ménière’s Disease and joined support groups, I’ve learned that everybody with this affliction is seeking for the silver bullet desperately.   However, a “cure” of one Ménière’s sufferer not necessarily works for others.  So we start to look for the right combination and dosage of whatever works for that particular individual sufferer at that particular stage of illness.

Also I realized when people found somebody had a chronic or incurable illness, they wanted to offer the silver bullet.  I happen to know many practitioners of physical and/or spiritual healing, and they offered to treat me.  It seems that people believe or want to believe they have some control over my condition, or at least they wish to mitigate my suffering.  Each of them did something and probably affected something, but nobody has “cured” my condition.   Then a woman with Hashimoto disease recommended me to use “Hydrogen Water.”   For a moment I thought of buying it.  Then I felt for my friend’s desperation.

I would say if it works for you, placebo or not, good for you.  But I don't believe in silver bullets.