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Navigating Spirituality After a Manic Episode

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willow tournesol

New member
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
3
Location
New York
Hi all,

I'm new here and I've never done anything like this but I figured maybe someone out there is struggling with the same thing and can help. I'd like to provide some background as to what led up to my hospitalization and my journey after. I hope you'll have the patience to read through all of it.

About a year and a half ago I was in my last semester at college. I was reading and watching a lot of mind expanding content, including documentary series about nature and religion and how everything is interconnected. I was taking a course called Psychedelic Anthropology where we were reading and discussing topics like consciousness and the psyche, neuroscience, spirituality, and the advantages of using psychedelic plants mindfully and intentionally. I was also taking a Movement course in which I was learning how to become embodied and listen to my body as well as my final seminar in Film Making. (I promise this all is important) At the time I was on Effexor for depression and was smoking a lot of weed.

One night I couldn't sleep and I had the urge to return to a screenplay I was writing. I stayed up all night researching and finishing it. Throughout the next few days, I continued to get increasingly more and more euphoric and deeper into a state of psychosis. In this state I was experiencing what I called a spiritual awakening. Everything was significant and synchronistic. I felt the universe within me and me within it. I embodied God and had such a strong vision for unity amongst all people, especially my family.

There's so many details I could go into, but perhaps they're not important. What is important is that this experience was so powerful and beautiful and sacred to me. However, I was very public about it- posting on social media, reaching out to family and friends, professors, and employers. I even got int front of two of my classes and ranted about my spiritual awakening and how we could all come together to put on a music festival/ form something called art church. It wasn't until I was on my kitchen floor seemingly "giving birth" and claiming to be the second coming of Christ that my friends called my Mom and my therapist and we all decided it was time to go to the hospital.

While I was in the hospital I was still experiencing these intense synchronicities and experiencing myself as Christ. Every person and word being said, every painting, every picture, every song was somehow a reassurance of what was happening in my head. As if there was a very thin veil separating my internal experience and the external world around me.

I was in an agreeable, happy, excited state until the doctor came in to speak to me. The moment I looked into his eyes I flipped and became very aggressive and tried to attack him as I believed him to be the Devil who was trying to end the world. I have never in my life been aggressive or over taken by anger. I was restrained, sedated, and locked in a room. I believed myself to have "lost the game" and that the forces of evil defeated me and the world was to end. The moment before I went unconscious from what I now understand was the Haldol, I experienced the universe coming to a single point. I was everything and nothing all at once.

I was released after a week, but despite being on heavy antipsychotics I was still experiencing these synchronicities in everything- songs, books, billboards, conversations happening around me. What once was so comforting, reassurance that everything is interconnected and that God exists in all things and within me, now terrified me. In the following weeks after my hospitalization the intensity of the synchronicities decreased and somehow I finished school, continued to work, and live on my own.

After working with multiple psychiatrists and trying multiple medications, now almost two years later I am on 125mg of Lamotrigine and stable. I haven't had another manic episode and only experienced one deep depressive episode around the 1 year anniversary of my hospitalization. I've spent this time trying to understand my experience both from a scientific, Western, medicinal point of view and a mystical, spiritual, Eastern philosophy point of view.

I still see these synchronicities all the time.
In a different way than before though. It's hard to explain, but I believe everything to be happening for a reason and that sometimes the movies I'm watching or the music I'm listening to or the conversations I'm having are exactly what I need to hear. I so easily find lessons and insight in everything.

These synchronicities bring me comfort sometimes and sometimes they terrify me. I'm terrified that I'm losing touch with reality and that I'm going to go into psychosis again. I do believe that God exists within all things, including myself but I'm terrified to embody my own Divinity. I feel like I can't move past this. I'm ashamed of having been so public about it all and I feel so misunderstood by those around me. I've never read about or met anyone who has had quite the same circumstance as mine. Sometimes I wonder if I am Bipolar or if it really was a Spiritual Awakening, perhaps both.

Any reflections, questions, or insight would be so much appreciated!

-Willow
 
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timing

Active member
Joined
Jul 6, 2020
Messages
32
Location
Indiana, USA
Perhaps both, sounds most likely. I have found there is an ebb and flow to just about everything. I had a strong faith upbringing and slipped away from time to time. There was a time I went back to church and literally everything made sense. I desired more and more. Every scripture spoke to me. Every song had meaning. I had a sense of never being alone whether making decisions or going about my day.
I spent a year catching my children up to give them just a sense of what I thought I had. I was introspective in my journey and never dared to preach. I did teach religious education for awhile to young children which gave me great joy. I would have to say it was the most stable I felt in my life.
I understand now that a lot of this time I was manic. It consumed my every waking hour. Then one day it was gone. I have never felt such a drive again. After several years came the diagnoses, depression and bipolar. I have always been able to pray and do so everyday. My last hospitalization, two years ago, I forgot all the words. That's what scared the hell out of me.

I believe that most revelations are tempered with time. I will carry bits and pieces of that and often look back and see the truly meaningful lessons.

I am not sure if this makes any sense to you, but I hope it does. I find the experience has forever changed me.
 
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Emm

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Canberra, Australia
Wow I had a really similar experience. I had a manic episode and I was trying to explain through metaphor that the church needed to change from masculine to feminine. I told my husband to ring mother Mary. I was also experiencing synchronicity everywhere.

Our spirituality is different to other people's. Maybe the best thing to do is find a tribe who can scaffold these experiences. I am saying this to you but also giving the advice to myself.

Thanks for sharing, I loved reading your experience.
 
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Am33

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Messages
210
Location
Fiji
Any time you use drugs you tune yourself into a lower realm its not the spiritual realm . It may appear to be cause its so different than our normal consciousness .Taking drugs or other practices where you force it will take you to lower areas like the Astral plane where people have described as hell as they used to say in the 60's having a bad trip . Using force based practices the term " Taking heaven by force " as they say can cause mental illness many people have damage themselves from that . Being conscious means being in control of your state of mind at all times , drugs make you lose control of your consciousness and opens your mind up lower energies. Attaining higher consciousness is a slow gradual path where you work on your self just like therapy seeing your beliefs and overcoming them many tools out there to do that.
 
floater

floater

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Messages
3,404
Location
The North/South Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
I'd say I was spiritual. Dropped God on account of all the arseholes who preach and bitch in his/her/its name. Can't be doing with God after or before mania/psychosis. Worst drug in the world, promises heaven and provides hell.

People choose what they want, or think they do, but reading the small print is essential with any contract that hints at too good a deal
 
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