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Clavicula posted a topic in General DiscussionI want to update you guys since some of you messaged me asking how I was. One week ago, I relapsed on a stimulant. Not Adderall or my DOC, Benzedrex inhalers, but another inhaler that has levmethamphetamine, the non-euphoric isomer of methamphetamine that can be bought over the counter. I chose that because I didn't want to get high, I just wanted to alleviate the withdrawals. But it was a mistake because it turned me into a depressed, lifeless zombie even worse than Adderall and even worse than Adderall withdrawal. So after the drug wore off, I went to the monastery run by Catholic nuns, because I have been Catholic all my life, deepened my faith a couple years ago, but still did drugs because I was in denial. But one thing I noticed was that on the days I received or adored the Eucharist (the bread and wine that we believe physically turns into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ) I actually had no cravings for Adderall. I consider myself a mystic because I have had three powerful visionary experiences in which the Virgin Mary commanded me to stop using drugs. This is my psychospiritual motivation for quitting, among other things. Three years ago, I started to discern the priesthood, but put that on hold when my mental illness and Adderall addiction took over my life in August of last year. Anyway, when I receive or sit in meditation with the Eucharist, I actually feel a high very similar to Adderall without the downsides. I feel euphoric, yet peaceful. For me, I have had psychedelic experiences of profound wisdom just from going to church and eating the bread and wine. This week, I have come to rely on God alone for peace and joy instead of drugs. This means that every day, I go to the chapel run by the nuns and pray to Christ in the Bread. After the drug wore off a week ago, I wrote a lengthy journal entry examining the psychospiritual reasons why I fall victim to my mental illness and also use drugs compulsively. I found through meditation and prayer and journaling continuously, that both my letting my bipolar/schizophrenia control me, and using drugs, are caused by a maladaptive coping mechanism in response to childhood trauma, a perverse quietism, a turning inward of external chaos, resulting in a catastrophic and disordered interior life, caused by my inability to sit still with my own unaltered thoughts. I realized that I have only ever felt true peace sitting in front of the bread and wine. My life has never known peace. When I was twelve, my father started using meth and beating me severely about every week or more frequently. I learned to run away from him when he was coming towards me, and I would fumble with the lock and if I opened the door in time, I would run into the street until he calmed down. If I failed to run away, he would beat me. This biological, physiological response to imminent danger, flight, has led to a psychological and spiritual maladaptive response, which causes me to re-enact the events of the abuse over and over again in every facet of my life. I run away from everything. I had very poor attendance at school because I would literally run away from school. I would run away from doctor's appointments. I would moreover avoid and run away from every challenging moment in my life, sensing a danger real or imagined, leading to disastrous consequences on the quality of my life. This is where the drug use comes in. I'm running away from the suffering and pain caused by my childhood trauma, and later my twin brother's drug addiction, and my mom's current alcoholism, all of which have caused severe dysfunction in my home, which my mom's alcoholism continues to do. I am able to forgive and move on. My dad has sincerely apologized to me, and moreover completely changed everything about his negative behavior, and I have a great relationship with him now. But my mom continues to drink and not acknowledge the pain she is causing me, which is why I will be moving in with my dad to see if my peace can be continued in a healthier home environment. Since quitting Adderall, I have felt true peace and happiness. Because of the intensive psychoanalytical journaling and meditation and prayer that I have been doing, I have been learning to sit with, tolerate, and accept the suffering of my own thoughts in such a way that I am absolutely certain I will never use drugs again. The only way to move past suffering, I have found, is to COMPLETELY embrace it. The Catholic Church has institutional and political problems, as we all know, but I have found so much wisdom in the writings of Catholic saints and thinkers. I think the various theologian nuns are incredibly wise. There are a lot of young women nuns who wrote amazing and powerful treatises on the meaning of life, suffering, beauty, and God, and I am finding great value in that. Since I quit Adderall about a month ago, I have been taking kratom. I know it can be addictive, but I am taking a very small amount per day, and my doctor is okay with it and I believe it helps me with the withdrawals. I have also been taking ginkgo biloba, and sarcosine, a very effective supplement for depression and the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. In schizophrenia, it treats very effectively the symptoms like inability to experience pleasure, lack of motivation, flat affect, et cetera. The biological mechanisms might be different, but it could help people here because Adderall withdrawal causes those same symptoms. It's an amino acid that is found in foods and in your body already. Almost immediately after quitting Adderall, I finally felt like I was ready to take the next step with my vocation to the priesthood. I found out from the priest at the church I go to, about a monastery of monks very close to home, and everything about them seems perfect to me. I sent them a letter, telling them about myself,my vocation, prayer life, and specifically about my bipolar disorder. After church, I had an interview with the head monk, and I was accepted despite my bipolar disorder! He was overall very impressed with my intelligence and knowledge of theology and contemplative prayer. He was also really impressed that I could play the pipe organ and he wants me to accompany the chanting of the Divine Office when I'm a monk. Theyare going to have me come in for a retreat after Easter. I told him that I am going to take a little longer to recover, spending time with my dad, doing a semester over the summer, before joining. When I join, probably in August, I will be attending the same college I was going to, while living at the monastery being a monk. Things are going well. I will never use drugs again, because for one thing I cant when I'm a monk, but also, I just have no desire or need to do it ever again. I have learned that peace is possible without drugs, and that in fact drugs deny us the peace we are searching for. I am done running away from challenge, commitment, and my own thoughts. I am learning to sit with the suffering.