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AbbyElfie

Confusing spiritual experiences in withdrawal?

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AbbyElfie

As I tried to describe in my intro topic today, I am very confused by my experience with spirituality in withdrawal. I was never brought up with any kind of religion, just open-mindedness. My Mum is a little spiritual in the sense she believe we're souls incarnating, learning lessons etc.

 

When I found Buddhism, my entire life changed. Things also began this way after 2 shamanic ceremonies I took part in where I drank the plant medicine, Ayahuasca. Even after years of mental torture with OCD (prior to withdrawal), and years of asking 'why me?' after losing pretty much everything, I suddenly saw the purpose of it all. That I had to go through it, of course I did. On a deep unconscious level it became all so clear, I laughed a lot at that time because I'd taken the suffering so seriously but knew it was all exactly what I had chosen in this incarnation. It all happened exactly and perfectly as it was supposed to.

 

Picking up the pieces wasn't always easy at that time. I had left an 8 year legacy of chaos. But it was joyful work, even when difficult. There was now choice, opportunity, manifesting left right and centre, synchronicities, profound meetings and experiences. Stuff I'd never imagine happening.

 

Then came withdrawal. Since the last few severe waves, all have that has blown to bits. I have 'highs' in withdrawal, not just windows and waves. I don't know if that's unusual. Waves are a torturous level of suffering, feelings of being in hell, my whole life being a lie, images of torture, rape, murder, there's no end to the depth of it. It's a place you can't unsee no matter how much 'recovery' you have. I experienced something similar before medication, during my first random 'episode' of Pure-O OCD as a teen, but withdrawal obviously makes these things a million times worse. My confusion comes from feeling 'split', like I have two completely opposing personalities. In w/d I've gone from being utterly convinced I'm seeing myself as I truly am, and it's way worse than I realised, to feeling blissfully connected to everything. This can happen very rapidly, and has done from the start.

 

I've pretty much abandoned most spiritual practice at this point. Yet I still have these experiences and days where I see things this way. At this point, I'm more concerned that I have completely deluded myself. That I have somehow managed to confuse spiritual awakening with plain old mental illness and delusion, to compensate for being actually a very dark or even dangerous person. My entire life, every action, thought and behaviour has been thrown into constant question, often to the point of paralysis.

 

I also know it's common in a Dark Night of the Soul to experience these 'temptation' like thoughts, the shadow self trying to make itself conscious. But the switches and craziness of the whole thing has broken my ego structure in a way that leaves me totally confused. Another 'voice' will tell me I'm just making all this up on some level for attention, or boredom, which would be even more disturbing.

 

I know a lot of this makes no sense. Thank you if you read this far. Can anyone who experienced any kind of awakening prior to withdrawal (or even during) - through any avenue - share their experiences or give any insight?

 

Thank you x

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ChessieCat

google survivingantidepressants.org spiritual

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MRothbard

Makes perfect sense in that i can relate. Your post reminded me of this quote, "when you are relaxed, that's who you are." I wouldnt interpret your symptoms as your personality traits.

 

Having a closer connection to the spiritual world can be facilitated by the things we go through with this withdrawal stuff. But personally i dont try to analyze these occurences when im not feeling well. Might be best to just accept them and put them on the shelf for the time being.

 

Seems like every time i fervently pray for help, the prayer is answered by other people--something they might say, or maybe i get connected up with a good doctor of holistic health practitioner. Or i "stumble" on some really helpful info. God usually speaks to me in a still, small voice, never yells even when i wish he would.

 

You probably know this but mindfulness is a great tool. Brushing your teeth? Pretend you are at the teeth brushing olympics and your mission in that moment is to only focus on giving your teeth a championship cleaning. Apply that focus to anything. Really helps with the ruminating.

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AbbyElfie

@MRothbard thank you so much for your reply. It resonated a lot. Especially about finding God through random people and situations. There have been many times in withdrawal where ive prayed for help, believing i was totslky permanently lost, only for someone to say something that saved me in that moment, or like you say, a therapist or healing opportunity to just arise out of no where. There have been so many little miracles. My battle is to try and let my over analytical mind not to touch them as much as possible.

 

One day id had a terrifying panic attack and withdrawal episode and was staying at my sisters. We stood outside and i was shakey, exhausted from crying, feeling desperately suicidal, and a woman in a mobility scooter literally drove past the door and stopped to say hello. She started talking about how she found god and how he'd provided everything for her since. I listened politely and my sister said something about me not feeling well and that was why i wasn't very responsive. And the woman said 'dont ever give up, god always provides' or something similar. She was so happy and full of gratitude, i couldnt believe someone like that had appeared at one of the worst times in my life. 

 

Mindfulness is what I'm focusing on right now. Just being alone and quiet and doing simple things. It's the only place i feel safe. My huge fear this year as been that i am not a spiritual person, and too bad or undeserving to be connected spiritually, that it's an illusion. I think why me, why would I have that when everyone else in my family doesn't (there's a lot of mental illness, pain, negative behaviour). What makes me think I'm special etc. But i know I need to let go of that. 

 

Thank you for your response, it's very reassuring to know I'm not alone. 

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FarmGirlWorks
On 10/11/2018 at 4:55 AM, AbbyElfie said:

Things also began this way after 2 shamanic ceremonies I took part in where I drank the plant medicine, Ayahuasca. Even after years of mental torture with OCD (prior to withdrawal), and years of asking 'why me?' after losing pretty much everything, I suddenly saw the purpose of it all. That I had to go through it, of course I did. On a deep unconscious level it became all so clear, I laughed a lot at that time because I'd taken the suffering so seriously but knew it was all exactly what I had chosen in this incarnation. It all happened exactly and perfectly as it was supposed to.

I relate to that. I have not had that specific experience with ayahuasca, however a yoga teacher was talking about the concept of "good" and "evil" and how quick humans are to judge someone as a"evil." He told a story of a bunch of souls in a holding area before being reincarnated. One soul said that it had done a lot of forgiveness but hadn't done a transformative act of forgiveness. Could anyone help? Finally, after silence, another soul said it would reincarnate and murder the soul's child. So, is the soul that reincarnates to murder evil or heroic?

 

The point being that you deeply knowing that your suffering is part of this incarnation and not to be taken so seriously is brilliant. I am agnostic about reincarnation but I often wonder if somehow I chose two major brain traumas and "going crazy" as part of this incarnation.

 

On 10/11/2018 at 4:55 AM, AbbyElfie said:

At this point, I'm more concerned that I have completely deluded myself. That I have somehow managed to confuse spiritual awakening with plain old mental illness and delusion, to compensate for being actually a very dark or even dangerous person.

I think that neurodiversity can sometimes be spiritual... and sometimes not. In spiritual emergence, a spiritual awakening as I understand it, often extreme mental states come into play. There is a thread on BeyondMeds.com called MadSpiritual which talks about this.

 

On 10/11/2018 at 4:55 AM, AbbyElfie said:

Then came withdrawal. Since the last few severe waves, all have that has blown to bits. I have 'highs' in withdrawal, not just windows and waves. I don't know if that's unusual. Waves are a torturous level of suffering, feelings of being in hell, my whole life being a lie, images of torture, rape, murder, there's no end to the depth of it. It's a place you can't unsee no matter how much 'recovery' you have. I experienced something similar before medication, during my first random 'episode' of Pure-O OCD as a teen, but withdrawal obviously makes these things a million times worse. My confusion comes from feeling 'split', like I have two completely opposing personalities. In w/d I've gone from being utterly convinced I'm seeing myself as I truly am, and it's way worse than I realised, to feeling blissfully connected to everything. This can happen very rapidly, and has done from the start.

I can relate to this too... in occasional windows I feel the web of life and my place in it. But mostly, in waves, it's horrible. I have absorbed the message of Acceptance from Claire Weekes (there is a thread on her anxiety advice here), kundalini gurus, AA members, and even motivational stuff on YouTube. And, occasionally, I hear it deeply and surf these waves instead of getting swallowed by them.

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AbbyElfie

I'm so glad you can relate @FarmGirlWorks. I love that story about the souls, spiritual exploration definitely makes you consider the real nature of good and evil. And how our minds are so rigid in their division of everything.

The extreme mental states in both withdrawal and awakening are confusing, especially when they overlap. But it's good to know I'm not alone in asking these questions. Maybe I chose this as a vehicle to that awakening, I think I would a lot more selfish without it! And probably complacent. 

 

I'm going to look into the claire Weekes stuff because I've heard it's good. I often use radical acceptance in times of crisis and it sounds like it could help with this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, I hope you're holding up ok x

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FarmGirlWorks
30 minutes ago, AbbyElfie said:

Maybe I chose this as a vehicle to that awakening, I think I would a lot more selfish without it! And probably complacent. 

I would definitely be more selfish!

 

@AbbyElfie, this helped me yesterday; it gets kinda redundant in the last third but another way to say Accept, Accept, Accept. This addresses the Claire Weekes' method that says that by layering judgement on an emotional state it just makes it stronger. Hard in WD, of course.

 

https://www.rohiniross.com/emotional-wellness/the-counter-intuitive-approach-to-less-emotional-suffering/

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AbbyElfie

Thank you, good article. I'll pass it on to my mum too as I think it'll help her right now. 

 

I remember the first experiences of letting go, and seeing how things naturally align when you do. Since withdrawal it feels as if i 'lost' that ability, or moved backwards spiritually. It's often a struggle to not see it that way, but in reality you can't 'lose' anything. It's more related to my high expectations of myself, and inner criticism. I do get occasional bursts of waking up from this though, and remembering again. I guess withdrawal would be a much worse experience without those moments. 

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MRothbard

Love  that article.

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