Dr David Dybdal, Boston Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist

David Dybdal, MD, PhD

Compassionate, Effective Psychotherapy and Medication Management


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Welcome to My Blog!

Posted on 11 December, 2021 at 14:50 Comments comments (694)



Hello! My name is David Dybdal.


I am a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, artist, and healer, currently working and playing in Boston, Massachusetts.


I am also a middle-aged, over-weight, grey bearded, somewhat narcissistic, and sometimes compassionate man, who has perhaps been gifted with the ability to sense and speak about a bigger picture; particularly in the context of connection, to a deeper sense of self that includes each other, and the universe around us.


Feel free to add comments and....Enjoy!

 

*Note: the writings contained in this blog are derivative of multiple experiences working with mentors, peers, friends, and clients.   The use of the first person perspective (i.e,. I. me, my or mine) is chosen to protect the identities of those with whom I have worked.

All writings displayed in this blog, unless otherwise indicated, are copyright protected by David Dybdal, 2020. (David Dybdal © 2020)


Metamorphosis

Posted on 6 January, 2021 at 11:15 Comments comments (13)

The cords are cut, the skin is shed,

Sloughing off layers of fear and dread.


 

No longer any contracts to be heeded,

for there's nothing one must give or take that is needed.


All that's required is already given for free.

All so simple, yet still so hard to see (or be).


 

As we release our grasp from what our fear says we need, in mysterious darkness stirs a tiny seed.


 

Soon sprouting forth from the nourishing abyss, into golden sunlight to show us now, how to joyfully exist.


-David Dybdal

 

 

 

One for All

Posted on 31 December, 2020 at 14:35 Comments comments (0)

It's true that we each exist in separation;

Individuated and unique with our own calibration;


alone in our intense sense of drama, joy or sadness,

love or madness, or victims of trauma;


Yet without any balance, this ultimately leaves us disconnected, disoriented and dry;


putting so much effort into seeking "success," without truly knowing why.


If we think this to be the summation of all,

we surely are heading for a fall.


Yet too there is another truth, which may surprise you;

that you are one with all, that every single thing that is contains the light of you that's always shining through.


All is you, you are we, and we are all that you can see.


Now here's the part where it gets tricky. For as separate or connected as you may feel, there is truly no polarity exept in what you believe, and see and say is real.


A particle? a wave? it makes no sense, how can one be two?


Still you can be both I and we, one with me, and dance and play in waves of infinity.


 -David Dybdal

The Pain Game

Posted on 31 December, 2020 at 14:30 Comments comments (1)

If you should start to sense deep pain,

You might be tempted to search for the source from whence it came, so you may find someone or something else to blame.


Or instead, perhaps we could make it a sort of game.

For our Universe is infinitely complex, and it's ways are impossible to fully know or explain.

 

But if we but look within ourselves at the reflections of what we see, we may try a simple waltz of 1, 2, 3.


First, you may become AWARE of the pain, then you may ACCEPT it, as just something that is happening in you, like falling rain,


that just now there is likely nothing that you need do, for you may see in this instant that this pain exists almost entirely inside of you.


And just then you may already start to feel that it's already beginning to heal.


Finally, having accepted that, just for now, that this pain lives in you, you may consciously CHOOSE what next you want to do.


You can choose to be gentle and empathic with the parts of you that hurt,

or distract yourself, for that too has worth,


or with authority say "not now, take heed"

go with my blessing to find some other place that can meet your needs.


And so you may now see, that though healing may not be easy, the path is as simple as 1, 2, 3.


AWARE, ACCEPT and CHOOSE, and no matter how it goes, you will learn and grow, and come to know and follow the Way you wish to go.


- David Dybdal

 

Heart Break

Posted on 31 December, 2020 at 14:25 Comments comments (2)

"Your heart must break," she says to me,

And then you shall be free.


But, in truth it has broken a thousand times before,

How does that which is shattered, break even more?


Barely held together with strands of thread, old patches and glue,

I wonder what it is that I'm being led to do.


Perhaps the fear of another fall,

Led me to build this invisible wall?


If no one can get close enough to hurt me,

It would seem that's as safe as I could possibly be.


But over time one begins to see

that living apart from others is devastatingly empty,


And there is a great pain inside

from living in separation and trying to hide.


Perhaps she is right,

It's time to release my fright,

To slowly and gradually let down the wall, to walk out into the dark night.


Knowing that, though there may be pain, especially at first,

in the end, that love will flow in to quench my thirst.


-David Dybdal

Soul Power

Posted on 20 December, 2020 at 0:10 Comments comments (0)

When Soul is balanced and whole,

Without drama, or force, or needing to play any particular role,

from Its core It may simply say, "Yes" or "No."

 

For It knows from where It comes, and to where it will inevitably go,

and that in between It gets to say what is so.

 

Perhaps It may choose to join dark with light, wrong with right,

decide if and when, to join here with there, and now with then,

To own It's power to create Itself anew,

over and over again.


- David Dybdal


Justice

Posted on 20 December, 2020 at 0:10 Comments comments (0)

an imaginal figment,

a small splotch of colored pigment,

 

held in the eye of the beholder,

it allows righteous anger to smoulder,

 

a lie for an eye,

a tooth for the truth

 

that punishment never replaces what is lost,

always it fails at great cost.

and a man dressed in robes, be they black or they white,

doesn't have the power to declare what's wrong or right,

 

to punish or demean the miracle of a life

that's already horribly ravaged by so much pain and strife,

 

sure, it may be ok to take someone away from hurting others with a violent act, who break the social contract,

 

but we don't need to become what we hate, and create a painfully recalcitrant state,

 

I wonder, can we become aware of our hateful human passions, and slowly practice steering them towards compassion.


- David Dybdal


Fake Flowers

Posted on 20 December, 2020 at 0:05 Comments comments (0)

We are literally dying from an overabundance of information, as we experience an atrophy of imagination through a world of sharply defined objects, street sign, traffic light, door, fence, wall, television, hospital bed, coffin.

 

We strive to deny change, in ourselves, or in the objects around us, so all remains inanimate, fake flowers, that gather dust indifferently and indefinitely until they are discarded. 


- David Dybdal

 

 

When You Die

Posted on 20 December, 2020 at 0:05 Comments comments (0)

It's said that you experience your entire life at the instant when you die,

as others watch you fade away, with a final gasp and sigh

and maybe that's what's happening right now, though we know not how or why.

 

still the infinite one has gently closed its sleepy eyes,

to imagine a certain forgetting that lets us live and die.

 

relax my little one, for there's no need to cry,

for it's not just nothing, or a white bearded man in the sky,

and the infinite dreamer that will awaken when you die also happens to be You and I.


- David Dybdal

 

 

10 Years Gone By

Posted on 20 December, 2020 at 0:00 Comments comments (0)

10 years ago I inadvertently, and perhaps unavoidably fell into a great darkness, the well of being and non-being, where I stood naked and without protection, exposed to infinity. I was completely dismembered, depersoned, suspended and dissolved into the ocean of the allness/nothingness around me.

 

I fell into a psychotic haze, walking in circles, and repeating the same meaningless phrases, over and again.

 

And I was alone. Most people, bless their hearts, didn't understand what was happening to me; some tried to make suggestions, some blamed me and labeled me; some, with humility, explained that they did not know how to help me. And thank the heavens for the one or two who sat with me, singing me lullabyes and sending me recorded sounds of the sea to listen to when crying in pain and unable to fall asleep.

 

For 10 years, I explored the dark, making maps and bringing back souvenirs from the land of the dead. Following crows and ravens, forging a black viking ship to carry me back and forth across the river Styx. And like Theseus, I offered myself to enter into the labyrinth to kill the evil Minotaur, whilst the golden thread, a gift from my beloved, tethered me to the entrance of the labyrinth so that I could find my way back out of the maze.

 

I learned the importance of being willing to sacrifice that which is most precious to me, like Abraham and Isaac at the sacrificial alter.

 

I learned in the wake of violent and horrible storms at sea, to bind myself to the mast, to keep myself safe until the storm subsided.

 

I learned to make a bridge across the terrifying and dark abyss, using stones made of loving acts and intentions.

 

And I dug down into the earth, tearing my fingernails and breaking my back whilst digging deeper and deeper, intent upon fashioning a foundation strong enough to prevent me from ever falling again.

 

And now, I notice a new scent in the air. Feelings stir within me that I have never sensed before. It's time now, time to stop trying to understand, time to stop trying to find my way out of the darkness, time to lift my head and look up, into the light.

 

The foundations are now firm and deep. It's time come out of the hole, and begin living in sunlight and rain, in joy and pain, and always in love.

 

It's time to now finally build my house and return home. Amen


- David Dybdal


Pain and Suffering

Posted on 11 December, 2020 at 11:20 Comments comments (4)

Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional.


With patience, pain begins to take on a certain quality of brightness. One must cultivate a wholesome relationship with pain to experience profound, unadorned beauty.


Suffering is a cage that we fashion from our very own brains and bones.


Dogs don't suffer.


Infants don't suffer.


Yet with just a touch of development, the human brain creates a vision of a past and future which can seem more compelling than the current moment. It is here that we may create and observe an illusion of a life that has, and always will be painful.


We desperately want to escape from it, yet we can't stop staring at it. We can't stop thinking about it. We can't stop trying to push it away. We can't stop trying to figure a way out. We can't stop worrying. We find it nearly impossible to stop feeding into the cycle of our own suffering, for what we resist persists.


Suffering can be an addiction. We may believe it gives us some degree of control over our pain. We may try to push our pain away. We may try to nurture it, adding wood and carefully tending to its flames. We may reactively hurt ourselves or others to escape it. We may reactively seek to help others to escape it. In these actions, it seems, one way or another, we only create more suffering.


Indeed, many of us have matured to this point of trapping ourselves, but not far enough to reliably know how to let go and once again find our freedom.


Collectively speaking, our sapient species may evolve to find this freedom, or it may not; only time will tell.


As for me, in this moment, I am more or less content, as I know I will always have the eternal now in which I may rest and rejuvinate. In other words, I am practicing an acceptance of the reflections of the external world on my inner experience (a sort of death) so that those reflections take their rightful place within me, and with that comes the momentary gift of freedom....A freedom to be more fully alive...


Sometime, likely soon , I will inevitably experience a forgetting of this pattern, and I will find myself suffering again....yet, even then, deep down, I am beginning to trust that I will sense, and on some level, even know that I can, and inevitably will, return to the eternal now, which is waiting patiently for me, always.


- David Dybdal


 

The Warrior

Posted on 11 December, 2020 at 11:20 Comments comments (1)

I'm a warrior who often loses,

its routine for me to be covered in bruises,


jingled and jangled and inside I'm tangled


yet through wave after wave I persist,

And still I breathe and walk on to exist.

 

So far I’ve come, so far to go,

and sometimes somehow stumbling into flow,

Where I can let all the bull shit go.

And little by little, coming to know


when to push, when to yield

when to welcome, when to shield.


amongst golden ribbons of the setting sun,

comes a poignant feeling of a day well done,

like a mischievous thief, 

stealing precious moments of joyful relief

 

for though there's struggle, there's no need to fight,

no real wrong or right,


life is not a competitive game, not a destination for which we aim,

the point is to find the path on which we can stay,

where we can chose now, again and again, to create our own play.


- David Dybdal


These Are the Good Old Days

Posted on 11 December, 2020 at 11:10 Comments comments (20)

Often we look upon the past as golden

remembering the joy we've had like so much sand we're holding

 

and the tighter our grip

the more we feel it slip

the passion of living drains away

drab by drop by drip

 

the love and endless hope we've lost

as age creeps up on us with such great cost

 

still let's give the past its due

just be careful not to let the past live you

 

and it's just as empty if in the future we're caught,

filled with all varieties of shoulds and oughts,

still never finding the lasting happiness that is sought.

 

(I need this or that to be happy,

amounts to naught but a lot of crappy)

 

present experience is where it's at,

to the eternal now we bow and tip our hat.

 

if there we invest in, and practice freely chosen action,

especially some element of compassion,

we may become free not just to be a door mat,

but to harness the power of "I am That"  


then we may just find the joy we've been dreaming of,

that exists in our hearts and is nurtured through love.


- David Dybdal


 

Life is But a Dream

Posted on 5 December, 2020 at 0:55 Comments comments (2)

there once was a solitary Giant,

so big, It could see Itself only,

so big, It was immensely lonely,


so big that nothing else could be.

and It mused,

"if I am the only Is that can be, how can I ever be a me?"


gently It closed Its eyes to dream that It was fragile and small.

tasting joy and pain, It now could experience the All.


a dream of separation, where time and space felt real,

and death was always chasing, nipping at Its heels.

 

and then It dreamt It was fading into a final gasp and sigh.

and Others cried,

dreaming It had died.

for They could not see or remember the other side.


how It had just woken from Its slumber,

and opening Its sleepy eyes,


It was released so lovingly from it's mortal disguise,

and out came a big fat belly-laugh,

as It awakened now again to this somehow stunning surprise.


- David Dybdal

 

Darkness

Posted on 5 December, 2020 at 0:55 Comments comments (0)

has that which once made me so exceedingly bright

the same as the dark veil that falls upon me, night after night?


the shadowy wind in my sails,

that seemed to carry me always forward without fail?


and for all those around, I put on a show,

half-pasted smile and a warm hearted glow.

but somehow I didn't seem to know

that it was the darkness inside me that was pushing me so.

 

now I walk often with a heavy heart,

something is missing, so lost in the dark.

 

cherish the rare moment of beauty and joy from above,

or the brief flash of patience, compassion, or heart-felt love.


where did I go?

have I sunk under waves,


gasping for air or a quick clean breath,

before I'm spun back into the depths,

and into the throes of my living death?


where I feel alone, trusting so few,

ever searching for something to carry me through


to my next breath,

as I am crushed again by the pressure of depth,


am I in the midst of growing?

do I have some kind of incurable disease?

 

and I wonder, will I ever again find myself floating with ease?

embraced by sun-sparkled water and a gentle summer breeze.


- David Dybdal

 

The Bottom of My Heart

Posted on 5 December, 2020 at 0:50 Comments comments (0)

It's often said, "I love you from the bottom of my heart."

But it seems the top is where most start,


where cupid's arrow casts no shadow,

with smiles and sighs and star-struck eyes,

 

projections of what we want to see,

or being what others want us to be.

And for a time, we dance through life so easily.

 

Like a butterfly on a summer day,


that flashes beauty briefly

before she falls away.

 

And the bottom's deep and dark and still,

the dregs that sink and settle, each time it gets filled.


Always in shadow,

where lost hopes and dreams lay fallow,

a place one must learn to stay and pray, to discover that it is hallowed.

 

For if it's touched, caught by surprise, then shame and anger may arise,

 

to protect from so much sadness,

we fall headlong into madness.

 

And there we may stay,

for forever and a day.


Many times we try, many times we fall.

But if we stay aware, persistence takes us through it all,

 

to hone the art

of nurturing the darker part of our longing heart,


which like a lotus flower,

arises from murky water with all its beauty and power.


- David Dybdal

 

Complex PTSD

Posted on 5 December, 2020 at 0:45 Comments comments (0)

Caught in a groove that runs deep in my brain,

violently trembling and drowning in pain,

in that trapped and helpless place

where I'm drawn, again and again and again.


but now aware

of the pain that I often think that comes from out there,


slowly l learn

that it's mostly the feelings in me that make me tumble and turn,

 

from something that happened some time ago,

and what's left broken in me needs tenderness so,


I sand down the edges, one inch at a time, what once seemed huge walls that kept me in line,

I polish down smooth the darkness to a luster and shine,

 

to an opalescent reflection of the colors of the sky,

as a new world shimmers with tears in my eyes,


my body and mind finally at ease,

now knowing the nature of this so-called disease.


- David Dybdal

 

Two Wolves

Posted on 5 December, 2020 at 0:30 Comments comments (0)

A quirky old wise man once told me, “follow the scent.”

Though I was then too naïve to know what that meant.


Still, I listened, and grew, more than I ever thought I could,

Just as he had said, and always knew I would.


His faith crossed my path again and again,

Across time and space much love did he send.


Two wolves, one love, one fear,

“don’t be afraid to come near,”

they whispered softly in my ear.


- David Dybdal

 

Little Golden Boy

Posted on 5 December, 2020 at 0:25 Comments comments (0)

Mommy's little golden boy soars high up above the gloom,

With fisted flying teeth and splintered shards of wooden spoon.

 

Feet dangling high above the floor,

as two meaty hands pin him to the door.

Yet in his mind he’s made of gold and believes he’s born to soar.


Reigning down upon him, with coffee stained teeth and cigarette breath.

Corner him, like some helpless prey ..frozen at the moment of its death.


With words of love she proceeds,

Until she finds exactly what she needs,

an innocent love, a beating heart, on which she ravenously feeds.


And Never is there space for pain,

as violent waves crash over again with a silent sad refrain:


 Mommy’s little golden boy,

believing what he seems to feign,

that mommy loves him, and it won’t ever happen again.


 Still what goes up… must come down,

and so this little boy comes to drown,

his laughter and his joy are buried deep in the cold, hard ground.

 

Yet not for nothing was the pain,

to learn to soar was still a gain.


Searching, striving to find again all that he had lost,

for deep inside he came to know that life goes on at any cost.

 

And somedays, there's a chuckle, or even a belly laugh,

and he deeply breaths the fresh forest air as he finds a new path.


- David Dybdal


Around the Sun (a viral interlude)

Posted on 4 December, 2020 at 14:40 Comments comments (0)

Empty streets and playgrounds in the grayish mist of early spring.

Brightly colored buds push forth, dreaming again of Persephone's return,

With the promise of blue sky sunlight and brilliant hues to come.

Blissfully unaware are they of the ghostly apocalyptic haze in which we now exist.


Then silent-bright, siren-red-light flashes in my eyes...

 An old man wrapped in ragged blankets is carried slowly from his home,

gurney-bound and tenderly wheeled away,

metal doors shutting softly, quietly behind him,

as he gazes perhaps for the last time, upon his loving wife.

 

On the doorsteps of their humble home she stands,

the very spot that they had crossed together a thousand of times before,

bracing herself, staring blankly forward in dismay,

for her beloved one who now has been taken away.


Yet, unbeknownst to her,

right below her very feet,

the earth moves and tilts slowly and steadily towards the sun,

which even now brings warmth, and light, and the hope of spring and life so sweet.


And now I have shifted too,

back to the comfort and wisdom of the trees,

who gently whisper to me the secret that they know,


"My little child, come closer here, for there is no need for fear.

With heart and breath, we know life and death,

One in the same,

Will always together dance and sway, in this magical game we play!"


 - David Dybdal


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