2012 July August
Out of the darkness, into the light: a case of Firefly
It has been 6 years since my proving of Lamprohiza splendidula, the magical firefly. It has been rewarding to see the essence and core elements distilled from the proving verified with good cases of my own and those that others have shared with me.
The following case is one that I could appreciate a lot in this sense. The expressions coincided with what I understand of the remedy, and it brings clarity and repetition.
A woman now in her early 40’s, a massage therapist, first started seeing me 12 years ago for bad moods that included lethargy, melancholy and withdrawal. She feels scattered, confused, irritable, and feels that she’ll never get beyond it. She is worse since doing psychedelic drugs. Her moods can be brought on by the cold and darkness, lack of sleep, hypoglycemia, alcohol, and they can be a part of PMS. She is better in the summer heat and in light. Depression runs in her family.
She has to keep eating and drinking coffee for energy. She can be sensitive to noises. Alcohol and fruit give her gas and/or bloating and diarrhea. Her bloating was the worst in university and seemed to start after the pill. She gets yeast infections 3-4 times a year. Acne is worse before the period.
She enjoys a large social life, but gets bothered by dominating, immature or gossipy friends, and needs her alone time. But she still feels rejected even if her relations are charming and she ends up feeling intimidated.
She finds it difficult to make decisions and doesn't know where she stands on things. She gets anxious about the future, unsure if she can make the right decision. She can get wound up, nervy, fight or flight/weakness and she startles easily; she is susceptible to anxiety attacks with hyperventilation. She can get muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, scapulae, lower back and SI joint, as well as tension headaches before the period and with pressure changes.
She is addicted to things like coffee, wine, sugar and salt, but then wants to cleanse her liver. She dislikes being sick and wants to do all she can to be healthy. She’s susceptible to colds, ‘flus and lingering coughs and has seasonal allergies which can turn into sinus infections.
As a child she was a tomboy trouble-maker. In her late 20s, she broke up with a fellow who she was in an on/off relationship with, feeling that he never really wanted to grow up. Subsequently she felt numb for a time. With major stressors in her life she goes into denial and wants to toughen up, yet at the same time she knows that she is sensitive and doesn’t like change. She found another boyfriend, a music producer whom she married and had a child with. She says more than one child would be suicidal as it takes so much energy. She has had trouble with her husband; he gets depressed, smokes too much pot and she feels he is not responsible. He says insulting things which belittle her. She can’t stand up to him, she goes into shock. It’s a layer of freezing, a young feeling, as though she has done something wrong. She holds it in and then it comes out in unbalanced ways. She lost her libido.
She is a very cosmopolitan/urban type, but battles between that and being more rural. She also wants to feel more settled and responsible but then wants to escape somewhere, travel, to have fun and party. She becomes discontented when life starts to feel hard, and she stresses about needing more money. She doesn’t want to have to work all the time and she envies others who get paid more by their parents. She is trapped by a mortgage and child, and is bitter. Her friends have more choice, more freedom, but she feels there’s something ‘cool’ about the struggle; there’s a depth to it.
During the first years, she received Natrum muriaticum, Lycopodium, Phosphorus and Adamas, all with partial results. Then, she received Limenitis bredowii, a butterfly remedy, 4 years ago, which seemed more successful than any previous remedy. In a follow up after a butterfly dose she had the following dream: “I was a teenager and my dad caught me with a boyfriend. I could have lied, but I told him the truth and then felt guilty for his disappointment. He said “I’ve failed as a father”, and I said “No, it’s me.” She also had a dream of an old friend who had a mental illness and jumped off a bridge. In the dream she could only see her back, and she appeared strong, tall, and together, as she did in real life. They had a good time together in the past: she was smart and funny, but my patient became detached when she became schizophrenic.
Her dreams have been mostly rich and many; very meaningful, reflecting primary issues, and as time went on they reflected healing of those issues. She has dreams of abandonment, being snubbed, drowning babies, children in adult roles, old boyfriends, dogs, her child being kidnapped, and many more. One dream was of a young colt trying to find its legs, sniffing every corner of her house, and then she feels exposed.
After doing the firefly proving and seeing my first case in 2006, it was clear to me what she needed. She nicely demonstrated my understanding of the remedy: her immature, vulnerable, small and dark side had to be protected or covered up by a hard elytra, resulting in a cold dark numbness and a stagnation of growth. Thus she was compelled to escape to a light, childish, creative, adventurist and partying side: stuck in Neverland, now with the dichotomy/paradox of dark and light. Striving for metamorphosis or growing up – figuratively and literally – is daunting, too painful with too many challenges. It’s the theme of Puer aeternus. Her relationships reflect this stagnation to mature, keeping her stuck in the dark, redeeming it, but yearning to get through it into the light in a real and lasting way. She has a dichotomy between the settling that comes with maturity and the escapism that maintains her young and bright side. Not wanting to face the dark side, but stuck with it in her environment, she doesn’t want to face her feelings or her body. She strives to do so, but is unable to transform or to free herself permanently by balancing her duality of hard and soft, body and mind. Her vulnerability makes her susceptible to shock, to neurasthenia and to invasion.
She responded well after every dose of Lamprohiza splendidula, slowly but surely, gradually resolving the duality. At first her hormones balanced nicely, and her digestion and depressions improved, as well as other symptoms. She established better boundaries, made better friendships and gained confidence. There were ups and downs however, and sometimes it was confusing as to whether the improvement was due to other treatments or the Lamprohiza splendidula. There would also be fairly large gaps of time between visits. The remedy strengthened her immune system as well as her son’s, who received the same remedy. It helped to alleviate any colds that would arise, which became less frequent, along with her allergies and sinus problems.
Then, close to 2 years ago, her husband became very depressed. He hid himself in his shop, was stoned a lot, wanted to be rid of her and became more verbally abusive. She hung on, not wanting to divorce, as she felt protective of her son’s feelings and could not imagine herself having to go through the change.
She became anxious and started sleeping poorly; she was foreboding the end, hanging on and trying to get marital therapy. She did not want to face the ordeal. She did not repeat the remedy, later telling me that she was afraid of the change that it might bring in her thinking and attitude. She said “it’s too strong; when I don’t have it, who am I?” I convinced her that a 30C would have a very mild effect and help her gently. She took it and started getting through. She gave up on the marriage, which she had been in denial about, and got a lawyer. She faced having to explain things to her son.
I hadn’t seen her for a year, while she went through this process, but she followed up this past month to summarize things to the present. She’s steadfastly focused on the future stability she will have when she gets through. She’s still angry and resentful that her ex-husband didn’t grow up and that she’s been stuck with the responsibility of the divorce. But she said, “I’m not so obsessed and I’m not acting out the anger. I’m making healthier, more mature choices of how to deal with it.
I’d ruminate in the past, not able to get control of the thought or the goal I needed to achieve. I was like a dog with a bone, overtaken by my obsession. Now I’m not … none of the anxiety is there.” Her mother died just after the beginning of this process.
She says “I’ve been dating a bit, and instead of losing myself like in the past, I’m able to be more mature; I’ve got my life and they have theirs, I’ll take it slow - that’s a big change.”
Physically she’s doing very well: no infections, steadier energy, her digestion is good. She is not depressed and she sleeps well.
A friend of hers commented that she was too light, flaky and frivolous. She then dreamt that the friend told her she should be heavier. Straight after this dream, she dreamt that this friend had a red blotch, which was taken off and healed. There was a sense of amazement that whatever was done had worked.
She said this friend is incapable of letting loose, but that it’s fine. Her friend can live her life the way she wants, but she’s going to keep having champagne here and there, being light and frivolous. She’s reconciled about it and says, “…she can be heavy, but I can be who I am.”
The blotch on the heavy friend was healed in the dream, as the ‘blotch’ – the dark side – on our ‘light’ patient – was accepted. It appears the duality had been reconciled.
Differential diagnosis: Adamas, Luna, Sol, Phosphorous, Rainbow, butterflies, other beetles
The firefly proving is available on Reference works and at: www.homeopathycourses.com
Marty Begin lives and practices in Toronto, Canada.
Photo: Flickr; urjsa
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