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Stuck in dark night post shrooms

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Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/8/18 11:40 AM
Hi there,
i posted a few months ago about a mushroom trip gone wrong and thought I would follow up as it is consuming my mind extremely.
i took mushrooms alone over 3 months ago and this is what happened: I felt fear immediately and reacted very negatively, then wished I would die, thinking if I died I’d be enlightened. I eventually went home to sleep the pain away but ended up in this full dissociative state, with abstract thoughts / images in my mind: at first it was pleasant and thought  I was dead, then it became unpleasant and I panicked about letting myself die with unresolved karmas.
For awhile I went back and forth between extreme fear and suicidal ideation (mostly fear of going crazy) to blissful feelings and the aspiration to attain enlightenment thinking it was the only way out of the pain. 
I started taking seroquel, an antipsychotic and went up to a high enough dose where I was going back and forth between worrying I was crazy, and wanting to kill my self before shit hit the fan and I’d be hospitalized, and believing I wasn’t crazy and everything was going to be ok.
I went up and down the meds, at the lowest dose I had an evening where I felt amazing and thought I was awakening. Then when I realized it was delusion, this sent me into a panicked realization that I was crazy that lasted almost 2 weeks until yesterday, when my psych told me it’s all just anxiety.
all I have been able to think about he past few months is my own mind , worrying where it is going. And thinking obsessively about the dharma. I was a serious practitioner before this, and I keep thinking I need meditation to find equanimity again, and to “purify” all these I generated, but knowing I am far from a stable place to meditate.
Nearly the only things that cheer me up are when I believe I’m fine and will become normal again. But even in this state I fear re-entering the place of mind where I am worried my mind is going to shit and wanting to kill myself before that happens.  The only reason I don’t kill myself is because I know my mind will live on.
Further, my ego has gotten much louder and I am having problems accepting it. Loud criticisms of myself, and other people. Overthinking and evaluating everything. I know that all I can do is accept all this but it’s been tough, layers and layers of chatter to accept. Another thing is that everything I do I associate with pre-trauma and have this longing for for my old self. In the bad mental state, this makes me want to  escape life, in the good state it makes me just hope and long for everything to go back to normal.
one more thing.  If anybody can speak about this dissociative state is like to hear more. I’ve done research and it hasn’t come up really. I had zero awareness of my body, all it was was super abstract incoherent images in my mind. First a general sense of pleasantness then unpleasantness. Can this happen when not on drugs. Can this happen when you die. Lol so paranoid. So so paranoid.
I just wanted to share this for some sort of solace, and anybody who can relate to this I would love to hear from you. Thanks emoticon

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/8/18 11:42 AM as a reply to es pro.
Oh yeah and one more thing, ever since I have felt quite empty inside, a heaviness. I have had happy times the past few months when I was thinking I wasn’t crazy and everything was going to be fine, but even during these times, I was pretty heavy, not really enjoying the moment. I don’t really enjoy socializing anymore. I was always pretty introverted and didn’t LOVE talking but I did really value connection.

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/8/18 11:58 AM as a reply to es pro.
Hey , 

I do relate and had a similiar, though less severe, episode years ago after an LSD trip.  

First, you are not crazy.   You threw a big old rock into the waters of your mind and created some mental chaos.  Time will heal it if you just go about your normal everyday life and stop worrying about it.  Hard to do, but that is the way out, just being everday.  

I would probably stop meditating all together now and get into a hobby that is physical and challenging and let yourself get lost in that pursuit for a year or two before returning to some simple concentration meditation.  Being enlightened means just realizing there is no reason to be unhappy or afraid.  It is not a supernatural state that you have any reason to need or desire.  If you are having fun playing competitive dodge ball, that is the same as being enlightened.  Do you own a dog?  Dogs will usually help alot with this kind of anxiety attack - which - not to diminsih the majesty of the feelings of bliss or the depths of despair that you experience - is all it really is.  You are worried about nothing. 

If you are ever in doubt or fear, have faith that it is just your own mind setting off false alarms.  I like to ground that faith in something - I use gravity.   If you want to, you can too.  Just check anytime you are feeling in anyway afraid or in need and if there is gravity, you know it is happening in your physical brain, it isnt really important and if you just wait, it will go away. 

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/8/18 12:35 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Hey, thanks Seth this is really helpful. Believe me  I am trying not to worry about it. I have cats and they help emoticon all the best to you

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/8/18 1:37 PM as a reply to es pro.
The exercise thing is important, I think.   Raquet ball? 

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/8/18 1:47 PM as a reply to es pro.
aloha es,

   If your therapist can tell you, "it's just anxiety" and then you feel fine, then, let me say, "it's just anxiety."

   Let's go back to simple meditation, and think about it. It is not going to solve your problems right away, it is about developing habits of mind which give you better control over your thoughts, which sounds like what you need. To gain concentration and control of thoughts, a meditater can practice emptying the mind of thoughts as much as is feasible and then letting thoughts come and go without commenting or feeding them energy, getting back to emptiness whenever possible. Over time, emptiness of mind in meditation becomes easier and increases, and the persistence of thoughts dies down and away. After a year or two you will be presently surprised to find that you can easily avoid anxiety, at least. Even rational fear can be controlled, with practice. 

   While practicing assiduously and awaiting the benefits of this practice that will no doubt come, there is still your current condition to deal with. You have probably had enough shrooms for the time being. More frantic activity to correct what are essentially non-existent problems is not indicated. "Killing the dream tigers" - dealing with irrational fears as though they were real - only entangles you further.

  Give yourself space, and time; be gentle with yourself, as you would be with a Close Friend. Don't feed the dream tigers. And never fight tigers bare-handed.

   Good luck.

metta, terry

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/8/18 1:52 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:

If you are ever in doubt or fear, have faith that it is just your own mind setting off false alarms.  I like to ground that faith in something - I use gravity.   If you want to, you can too.  Just check anytime you are feeling in anyway afraid or in need and if there is gravity, you know it is happening in your physical brain, it isnt really important and if you just wait, it will go away. 


aloha seth,

   What if you check and there is no gravity?

terry

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/8/18 1:59 PM as a reply to terry.
Thank you terry! It’s hard to tell from your pic but you’re not terry from surabhi are you?
i like the Tiger quote

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/8/18 2:04 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Without a doubt, I'd say explore doing vigorous exercise.  Pragmatically speaking, do this every day.  Like 30-60 minutes minimum.  The side product of this would be to get into wicked shape.  You should be patient here...this will be a long term help I surmise....given yourself 3-6 months minimum of comittment here.  If you aren't athletic, ease your way into this and make sure you don't hurt yourself!

I don't know your age or interests....I'll throw out doing some martial arts.  I'd point you in the direction of something very active, rather than quiet/internal/slow arts like Qigong or Taichi. (I agree on the recomendation to take a break on hardcore meditating; slow/pensive/internal martial arts are the wrong direction for your state)  Do Shaolin, any external kung-fu, karate, tae kwon do, etc.  You don't have to be fighting people....hardcore forms/drills will do the job.

Stop doing drugs and stop drinking alchohol.  Get sober asap.  Not sure what communities or influences are on you, but hear me clearly: go cold turkey without exceptions.  (and maybe think about doing that forever as well!)  That includes "herbal" remedies btw --- not sure if you smoke pot, but if you do, stop it.  All this stuff is feeding your paranoia and delusions. 

Final tips: look at your diet.  Eat healthy.  You are what you eat.  Don't put garbage inside of yourself.  Cut back on sugars, and processed food.  Eat lots of your fruits and veggies.

Be around good people, and good friends.  Get therapeautic professional help as well if needed. 

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/8/18 5:15 PM as a reply to es pro.
Really good advice above. I would just add that maybe it would help to work with a therapist who specialises in integrating psychedelic experiences? E.g. check out https://www.maps.org/resources/psychedelic-integration-list

Metta
Anna

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/9/18 2:36 AM as a reply to es pro.
es pro:
Thank you terry! It’s hard to tell from your pic but you’re not terry from surabhi are you?
i like the Tiger quote

not from surabhi, no...un homme sans affaires...

terry

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/9/18 11:23 PM as a reply to tdiggy t diggy.
Read your original post and saw you mentioned sleep problems.  Again, intensive physical exercise will cure that.  Wear your body out with workouts and getting in shape!  You will sleep, trust me.

Mind-body connection is strong and works both ways.  You have zapped your mind with hallucinogens...and its affecting your body (sleep issues, heaviness, etc.)  My prescriptions for body work will bring your mind back, but you need patience and determination to stick with that daily regimen.

In reading your past post, you mentioned you were doing shrooms periodically.  I'll be blunt, if you are using any substances still, all cards are off the table as you are subverting your recovery. (and likely damaging yourself way more)  You are essentially pouring oil on a burning fire.  I mention this as I've seen it first hand with substance users who think more substances will take them out of their hole...its just a sign of serious addiction frankly. 

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/11/18 4:29 PM as a reply to es pro.
es pro:

i like the Tiger quote


aloha es,

   I had to get back to my cabin to source the quote; physical books are like snail mail. It's from john minford's (excellent) "I Ching," p556, and minford credits the ancient chinese classic "the book of songs," predating even the yi jing itself:


Song 195

Never fight a Tiger 
   With bare hands.
Never cross the River
   Without a boat.


   Other paraphrases I have made about "dream tigers" come from discussions of the neo-vedantist circle of ramana maharshi. I'm just a 'flower thief.'



terry

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/14/18 11:40 AM as a reply to terry.
This is great, thanks everyone for the comments and advice emoticon 

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/14/18 8:21 PM as a reply to es pro.
Let us know what you decide to implement and do from the above!

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/20/18 3:39 PM as a reply to tdiggy t diggy.
I found the above advice really helpful. I took the advice to pick up a hobby and started playing volleyball again, ad I’ve continued going to work. The exercise thing I haven’t been so good about . Haha, maybe when the weathers better. And the advice about gravity really helps sometimes to ground myself. I made a commitment to go to therapy for the next 3 months.
Thanks again for the comments !

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/21/18 1:45 AM as a reply to es pro.
es pro:
Another thing is that everything I do I associate with pre-trauma and have this longing for my old self.

Offering reassurance, I've been through similar experiences and come out the other side feeling like my old self but even better than ever. In my experience, there's no before/after self in that context; I was concerned about that as well a little over a year ago, but it's more like self or self plus existential/ethical wtf am I thinking/feeling, and when the wtf becomes less obsessive the more I felt like myself. Be patient, very very patient with yourself, internalize the solidarity that many people have been there before and come back from the brink.

If your metaphorical pattern-recognition is in extreme overdrive, avoid reading details from other people's dn-esque experiences until you're feeling mostly calm/stable again to avoid feeding the mind unnecesary extra ideas when it's overloaded. I don't know about you, but I also had to go on a low media diet and avoid movies/shows/etc that contained even the tinyest hint of metaphors because my mind would take some of the strangest things and build elaborate nonsense out of it and then feed it through some intensely ethical dilemmas which (by the way) don't ever need to be answered or taken seriously if that helps put your mind at ease.

After stabilizing, I still have access to all of the memories pre/during the change in experience and can even consider all of the thoughts I had back then without any relapse; if anything the big takeaway was I acquired an extra ability of intuition that I didn't realize I could access for most of my life, and can dip into in moderation rather than running away from, but I needed to learn where/how to draw the line and that took some time. I'm not sure if it helps, but Secret For The Mad by Dodie Clark is inspired by her experiences with derealization; also wrote a book, but it might be best to wait until you feel a bit stable even though it's down to earth. I definitely also recommend immersing yourself in simple things, exercise, a healthy sleep routine, and most of the things others have already mentioned. Out of curiosity, has your doctor taken a blood panel test?

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/21/18 3:51 AM as a reply to es pro.
As far as I understand it, the crazy thought loops and worry you'll go mad during psychedelics is a result of anxiety. I.e. anxiety happens during the trip for some reason, and in response to anxiety, the mind generates these kinds of thoughts, which in turn may make the tripper more anxious, leading to a positive feedback loop all the way to mental hell.

I have had the experience a few times, the first time during a trip when we talked about death. This trip led me to a state of deep depression, punctuated by short periods of euphoria (which it sounds like you have, as well). I often felt very crazy during this period, including a couple of episodes of auditory hallucination, borderline paranoia, and frequent anxiety. It was this condition which started the whole meditation project for me, and it took a couple of years to calm down.

Also, it took me a few years to find out what works to deal with anxiety. I now have a bag of tricks which seems to be able to negate anxiety whenever it comes up.

I have learned over the years that my anxiety seems to be related with breathing, and the functioning of the kidneys. I can roughly gauge how healthy I am in that department by how my breathing is going - shortness of breath is a warning sign - and how my kidneys feel - in periods of anxiety, there will be an unpleasant, but subtle, prickly feeling there. This knowledge provides me lots of early warning signs, so that I may avert an anxiety episode even before it makes itself known as anxiety. The result of this is that nowadays anxiety is very rare, and when it comes up I apply my bag of tricks and it doesn't last more than a couple of days.

My personal notebook on the topic goes something like this:
  • If I'm having an anxiety episode *right now*, then I take a glassfull of water with a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate. It smoothens things out within 30 minutes.
  • If I've had an anxiety episode (or a threat) in the past couple of weeks, I take a multimineral supplement, including calcium and magnesium.
  • Eating meat, cheeses, fish, eggs, high-glycemic index things (even though I am not diabetic or anything like that), makes me closer to anxiety territory.
  • Eating fresh or cooked vegetables, a little fruit, takes me further away from anxiety territory.
  • More precisely, for whatever reason, the pseudoscientific "alkaline diet" seems to align with my idea of what an anxiety-promoting vs anxiety-dispersing food is. See e.g. http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm
  • Exercise, especially exercise where I sweat a lot, is very good. Periods of great anxiety could be almost nullified by spending one hour at the gym every day. Really, it is no accident that everyone in this thread is telling you this.
  • Sauna is good for me, in this respect.
  • As for meditation, it's very helpful nowadays, epecially if I focus on the kidneys, but I remember there was a period when meditating would trigger more anxiety and so I couldn't do it. So it may go either way.
Good luck, and keep us posted.

RE: Stuck in dark night post shrooms
Answer
2/21/18 1:12 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I have learned over the years that my anxiety seems to be related with breathing

That's often true for allot of people. I'd add that if anyone had as much difficulty doing this in existential crisis mode as I had, this might be worth a look; tracks breathing-rate and notifies when it rises to interrupt and calm down before anxiety peaks: http://spire.io/pages/science