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Feeling Lost Again

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  • #367752
    Maven
    Participant

    I feel lost again. It was only a month ago that I reconnected with my inner child and inner self. I had gained a perspective that I thought was lost forever. I felt whole, and still feel whole in some ways.

    But I’m finding success without joy or pleasure. I find myself getting stuck in hobbies I have a passion for. If I imagine success, nothing really changes. If anything I’m more scared of success because it begs the question ‘now what?’

    I mean look at all these things I have done this year alone:

    – I quit smoking
    – I am going to therapy for complex and childhood trauma
    – I broke up with my long term relationship that I was unhappy with
    – I reached out to other people about what I was going through and have a genuine connection with them
    – I cut off ties with my abusive family
    – I processed years of trauma in a few months
    – I found enlightenment in psychedelics such as Marijuana and Psilocybin
    – I started exercising for myself
    – I cried for the first time in 15 years
    – I connected with my inner self in a way that could be described as ‘Finding God’
    – I had a composition performed by a musician for the first time
    – I got my elite smash ranking in Smash Ultimate Online
    – I got my elite ranking in Dirt Rally 2.0
    – I have a strong connection to my inner self and a strong sense of self love like never before
    – I started reading books again after many years
    – I went back to my doctor for ADHD diagnosis. Now after several weeks on Vyvanse I am fully functional like never before in my life

    I mean, I did all of these things in 10 months. Yet there is a restlessness in me that demands more. If there is one thing I have been struggling to do, is relax. I find relaxation and calmness stressful. I struggle to sleep almost every night. I have a hard time unloading and unplugging from whatever it is I am doing. Then after a few weeks of not engaging with an activity or hobby, I find incredible resistance starting it up again. It feels as though my body and mind cannot tolerate the quick acceleration of changing tasks or focus. Without an immediate focus on something, I feel stressed and lost.

    When I succeed at what I focus on, the pleasure or gratitude only lasts for a fraction of a moment. When I experience a setback, there is great emotional turmoil as I begin to question why I am making myself so miserable on something that is meant to be enjoyable. But I have nothing left to prove to myself or anyone at this point. I have loving friends that know the real me and accept me for who I am. I sometimes wonder if this is a sign that I have accomplished what life has to offer, and am wondering what do with myself for the next half of my life?

    I have been trying to listen to my inner self, but the only message I am getting is that I have a moral obligation to help others with the knowledge and wisdom I have now of my recovery. But I fear that putting myself out there puts me at risk of being doxxed or cancelled. I fear losing my job or career if I say the wrong thing, or someone misinterprets what I am saying. My therapist agrees that I should be patient and exercise some restraint, as all of this stuff has only happened recently, and it feels too soon to start putting myself out there for others.

    Hence I feel lost. I’m scared of taking this leap so quickly. I feel it in my gut that this is the path I must go on, but it feels way too fast and forced. I’m also not sure how I feel about giving up music or other passions.

    Also, I don’t know how you do it, but you must be super human to respond to so many of these posts with such compassion and wisdom.

    #367794
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Maven:

    If you were referring to me in your last sentence, thank you.

    You shared that you have suffered complex trauma in childhood, and that you suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Recently you went back to your doctor and got on Vyvanse (a derivative of amphetamine, used to treat ADHD). After several weeks of taking this drug, you are now fully functional like never before in your life.

    In the last ten months, you “found enlightenment in psychedelics  such as Marijuana and Psilocybin” (a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by fungi, effects include euphoria, visual and mental hallucinations, changes in perception, a distorted sense of time, and can also  include possible adverse reactions such as nausea and panic attacks).

    In the last ten months you also cut off ties with abusive family, ended a long term relationship you were unhappy with, reached out to and made genuine connections with people, started exercising,  got your “elite smash ranking in Smash Ultimate Online (a series of crossover fighting video games), got your elite ranking in Dirt Rally 2.0 (a racing video game), cried for the first time in your life, quit smoking, read books, and had a composition performed by a musician for the first time.

    You wrote: “Yet there is a restlessness in me that demands more. If there is one thing I have been struggling to do is relax. I find relaxation and calmness stressful. I struggle to sleep almost every night.. Without an immediate focus on something, I feel stressed and lost… When I experience a setback, there is great emotional turmoil.. I sometimes wonder if this is a sign that I have accomplished what life has to offer, and am wondering what to do  with myself for the next half of my life?”

    You also shared that the message you received from your inner self is that you have the moral obligation to help others with the knowledge and wisdom you gained, but you are afraid of being doxed (having your real personal information, like name, address, discovered and revealed on the internet, destroying anonymity), or cancelled, and you fear losing your job or career if you say the wrong thing, or if what you say will be misinterpreted.

    My input today:

    1. Congratulations for all the achievements you listed, including quitting smoking and cutting ties with abusive family.

    2. I agree with your therapist, that you “should be patient and exercise some restraint, as all of this stuff has only happened recently”- better not try to help others for as long as you are afraid that helping others will cause you harm.

    3. You suffer from ADHD and you mentioned taking Vyvanse (an amphetamine), prescribed by a doctor, as well as marijuana and psychedelics. If you haven’t yet, I suggest that you tell your doctor about the use of the latter two, and receive your doctor’s guidance regarding your total drug intake. I understand that you found enlightenment using these drugs, but better see to it that long-term, your drug intake does not harm your mental/ physical health, including sleeping better at night.

    4. I understand that you have a job/ career- make it a very high priority in your life, as you make various choices-  to keep your job, income and benefits, such as health care benefits.

    5. “what to do with myself for the next half of my life?”- I suggest that for the next part of your life, however long it takes, learn to relax, which is your current biggest challenge . Considering and adjusting your drug intake with a competent medical doctor will help in this regard. Daily aerobic exercise will also help.

    There are plenty of guided meditations with the theme of mindfulness that can help you. I used to find it very difficult to relax and resisted guided meditations, but my therapist at the time insisted that I listen to those (Mark Williams’ series of mindful meditations), and over time and persistence, it worked for me.

    There are plenty of mindfulness exercises that will help you slow down not only your physical, visible movements, but also that invisible mental rushing in the brain. Tai Chi is a discipline that does just that, slowing you down physically and mentally. You may want to look  into that.

    – Let me know what you think of my reply if you want, and we can communicate further.

    anita

     

    #367812
    Maven
    Participant

    If you were referring to me in your last sentence, thank you.

    Yes, it’s amazing what you are doing.

    Thank you for responding. I think part of the conflict in #2 is me getting emotional over my own healing and acting before thinking at times. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how my trauma is trans-generational, and the connections I am making between how I used to think and behave with how I see things playing out in society. In a way, it feels as though I’m in this process of reframing my past traumas from specifically targeting me (why me?) to understanding that I am just a node in a complex causal web of traumas being spread from individual to individual. Talking about these things online and with others has also helped lessen the hold these memories have on me. Yet I still get scared putting this information out there every time. It feels both stressful and relieving at the same time.

    For #3, I should have clarified – I have only taken psilocybin once, and that was 3 months ago before I got on Vyvanse. It was a small dosage (1g) that I did with my ex-girlfriend. I think that experienced has rewired parts of my brain because I was never making such connections between disparate ideas as I am now. I think prior to that experience I was still hopelessly lost trying to come to terms with my traumas.

    The marijuana was also a core part of the healing process too, as strange as that sounds. It felt as if getting high would activate an old bridge between the left and right hemispheres of my brain, as I was suddenly experiencing a flood of different emotions that I never noticed while sober. Even simple things like worrying about my job, feeling accomplished, worried about what I said to someone, or my unhappiness with my then girlfriend – all of that was revealed to me while high. I suddenly had to acknowledge long held emotions that I was never consciously aware of sober. My emotional flashbacks only ever occurred while high. Crying and reconnecting with my inner-self happened while high. I was able to process a lot of painful memories and realizations while high. None of this would have been possible without Marijuana. I only started smoking it this year more regularly. I was in therapy for many years with many different therapists, and never experienced such breakthroughs.

    However that’s not to say it’s all been good and well. I think I have developed a habit with it and sometimes use it as a means to escape my boredom. Now that I am on Vyvanse I am not taking it until late in the evening, long after the effects of the medication have worn off. My doctor is aware of my drug intake, and I’ve mentioned that I will not be combining both.

    For #4, yes this is my current strategy

    For #5, I am focusing on regular cardio exercise and a somewhat regular routine to counteract the chaos that I was living in before. I think the frustrations with slowing down are the tremendous burdens I seem to keep hold of. I’m constantly reminding myself that I ‘didn’t practice writing music this week’ or ‘I didn’t read this book that week’ or ‘I need to eventually go back to playing piano again’ or ‘I didn’t practice X for these past 2 weeks’ or ‘I didn’t finish project X or Y’. I know I’m overloaded with too many personal obligations, but I can’t cut myself off from them. I can’t just do one thing semi regularly for a long time. My focus and concentration seems to last a month at most before I have to drop everything and switch my focus on something else. I really cannot comprehend how someone can just do the same thing for the rest of their lives, even if they enjoy it.

    I have tried meditations in the past, and the thoughts that come up, combined with the constant need to micromanage my breathing and focus tire me out. I tried a different method where I would just write the same sentence over and over again. I had to stop after the 5th repetition as my entire body and mind was frazzled with stress. There’s something about repetition that causes me great discomfort and stress. It almost feels OCD like where I feel a compulsion to stop repeating.

    Thank you for hearing me out and your advice & suggestions. I’ll try to find a time to invest in Tai Chi, as I’ve always had an interest in trying it.

    #367817
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Maven:

    You are welcome and thank you. I will respond to your recent post part by part, that is, I will not read your whole post and then respond. Instead, I will read a sentence or a few sentences, respond to those, then move on to the next part.

    “part of the conflict.. is me getting emotional over my own healing and acting before thinking at times”- it is very important, in the emotionally-charged context of emotional healing, to not act impulsively. Emotional healing is not solely about re-experiencing forgotten emotions, but to re-experience our forgotten emotions and to think.

    We can’t think clearly at the same time that we experience intense emotions; therefore, we have to put time in between the emotions and our actions/ reactions, time to calm down and thoughtfully choose how to react to the emotions, and if to react at all.

    “I’m in the process of reframing my past traumas from specifically targeting me (why me?) to understanding that I am just a node in a complex casual web of traumas being spread from individual to individual”- well written, impressively articulated.

    “Talking about these things online and with others has also helped lessen the hold these memories have on me. Yet I still get scared putting this information out there every time. It feels both stressful and relieving at the same time”- pace yourself then, talk a bit online and with others, here and there, just a bit, see how it feels, take a break, if you feel okay, talk a bit more.

    You shared that you took psilocybin only once and that your use of marijuana was “a core part of the healing process” as you experienced “a flood of different emotions” that you did not notice/ were not consciously aware of when sober.

    “Crying and reconnecting with my inner-self happened while high… I was in therapy for many years with many different therapists, and never experienced such breakthroughs”- certain chemicals are powerful and make it possible for us to experience what we are not able to experience otherwise. Certain such powerful emotional experiences made possible by chemicals can move us in the direction of emotional healing, but it always takes painstaking, long-term work to continue to heal. Chemicals are never all that it takes, and often they are in the way of healing.

    I wrote the above just now, before I read: “that’s not to say it’s all been good and well. I think I have developed a habit with it”.

    Good to read that your doctor is aware of your drug intake and that you are aware of not combining Vyvanse and marijuana, that your job/ career is a very high priority in your life, and that you are focusing on regular, routine cardio exercise.

    “I can’t just do  one thing semi regularly for a long time… I have to drop everything and switch my focus to something else. I really cannot comprehend how someone can just do the same thing for the rest of their lives, even if they enjoy it”- do one thing a little longer today than you did yesterday. Progress or change in this regard can happen only in one way: very slowly, very gradually, bit by bit.

    “I have tried meditations in the past, and the thoughts that come up, combined with the constant need to micromanage my breathing and focus tire me out.. I would just write the same sentence over and over again. I had to stop after the 5th repetition as my entire body and mind was frazzled with stress”-

    -the key in accomplishing an activity that causes you stress is to not get to the point of your “entire body and mind (being) frazzled with stress”. Stop the activity when you feel way lesser stress. Again: very slowly, very gradually, bit by bit.

    anita

    #368145
    Maven
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I appear to have relapsed into severe depression again. Last night I experienced debilitating depression while Vyvanse was still in my system. I have not smoked Marijuana in 3 days. The Vyvanse is not helping with adhd symptoms anymore. I only exercised once this week, and had to stop after 20 minutes because of chest pains, and my heart rate did not go down after 10 minutes of light walking and rest. I was consistently exercising 3-4 times a week for the past 4 weeks.

    I feel abandoned spiritually too. I can’t hear or sense my higher self. I feel old symptoms re-emerging again. I was feeling suicidal last night, and the thoughts were not even mine.

    It feels as though all of my hard work and progress has been undone in a single moment. As if these past 4 months were just a glimpse of light, before entering another long and dark tunnel. I don’t know if I have the energy to go into another tunnel like this again. If this is an actual depressive relapse, it would be my 4th one.

    I’ve been experiencing anhedonia for the past 4 days, something that I was dealing with chronically for the past 3 years. I feel defeated that this has come back.

    I feel powerless in my adhd and inability to keep any routine or habit. I still struggle with brushing my teeth and taking regular showers. My temporary exercise routine is going down the gutter again.

    I feel chronic joint pain in my hands and feet. Typing at work hurts. Laying down hurts. Playing games or doing the things I used to do hurt.

    This sudden struggle with cardio is scaring me.

    What was the point of all this work? Why shouldn’t I just relapse and start smoking again? It seems that what I do doesn’t matter in the end anyway. If nature is intent on me suffering with chronic illness, why should I try to fight that?

     

    #368160
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Maven:

    I am sorry to read that you are feeling badly.

    “I only exercised once this week, and had to stop after 20 minutes because of chest pains, and my heart rate did not go down after 10 minutes of light walking and rest”, and because you “feel chronic joint pain” in your hands and feet, and even “laying down hurts”, I think you should see a medical doctor as soon as possible, make an appointment and get seen by a doctor.

    I am concerned about your use of drugs, Vyvanse and Marijuana, and any other drug you may be taking in. Please let the doctor know of all your drug intake.

    I hope to read from you after you see a doctor.

    anita

     

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