Awakening In a Confined Environment: Psych Ward, Prison etc (1/4)
Question from a Reader (”Ask Maria”):
”I had an experience that lead me to lose my awakened perspective. I didn’t listen to my intuition and as a result went to a mental hospital.
I ended up losing my awakened sense of self and now find it hard to communicate with others.
My sense of spontaneity and authenticity is no longer present as before.
I feel like I’m afraid of people and don’t know what to say to them, I pretend to be interested in what they are saying when I’m not.
It’s like I’m forcing myself to talk sometimes when I really don’t want to.
I observe myself actively trying to come up with things to say in response to small talk whereas prior to my lost of awakened sense I always had something to say and was truly interested.
My heart space was once buoyant and open, now it feels so restricted and closed.
Please share your thoughts.”
I wrote this person back and asked for more information and told them that any information they share with me might be published in the article and that they can be as open or closed as they wish to be.
This is what I received back:
”Thank you for your response Maria.
This happened to me way back in February. I was in an outpatient program at the hospital due to an manic episode I had in December.
In December I had stayed in the psych ward for three weeks and felt like I had come out a changed person.
It was a trying time for me and I felt I rose to the challenge, becoming stronger as a result.
My orientation to life had changed, I had used my time at the hospital as if on a spiritual retreat and grew as a result.
I felt I could go after my dreams and start living.
I was more dedicated to my awareness practice and truly devoted myself to growing spiritually. I became more sensitive and grounded in the moment, I could pickup on things, etc.
After a month of this I decided to visit my dad in Atlanta.
I started an outpatient program there to continue treatment after discharge.
After two weeks of treatment it was evident to me that I didn’t truly need that level of care and I wanted in my heart to stop going.
I told myself that Friday was my last day.
The next Monday I went to the car as my stepmom was going to drive me to the program.
I felt a strong sense to not go, not get in the car but I did anyway. I ended up being admitted to the hospital that day (in retrospect I can see I was manic but not in danger of harming myself or anyone else at that point) and I stayed in the hospital for two weeks and felt traumatized.
Before my stay at the hospital I was becoming more intelligent and empowered. I was in my body most of the time, present, instead of in my head like most people.
As a result I had deep insight into things, I knew before talking to a person aspects of their life.
Someone even told me that I was powerful and this scared me in a sense because power can be abused and I didn’t see myself as that powerful.
For the first time in my life I felt like I was living, I felt comfortable in my own skin, flaws and all.
I was so confident and truly loved people. I saw myself only growing in this capacity to love and deeply listen.
It was a total paradigm shift, not necessary a oneness realization, but I was content and had ceased seeking. I was totally different prior to my stay at the hospital.
I went to the hospital in February and in January I had a dream that showed me I would be given a chance to become the very person I had become.
Unfortunately due to my stay at the hospital this was reversed over time.
It’s a long story but from what I remember I began to try to recover but I kept dismissing intuition and now I’m a totally different person.
It felt like my spirit had died.
I have memories of my spirit telling me to trust myself but it seems I did the opposite.
Before in the outpatient program I was gifted and could easily talk to people I could sense, have inner promptings of when to say something or avoid saying something.
I loved speaking authentically and had no fear of being vulnerable.
As I changed I became so depressed thinking on opportunities I had lost and friends.
I no longer feel a desire to go after my dreams and have to push myself to do things I used to enjoy.
When I try to talk to people, there’s a sense of forcing myself to talk.. I’ve gone back to being really socially awkward and aloof times.
Maybe because I’m hurt after what happened and now I don’t want to talk, I don’t know.
But paradoxically I do have some sense of enjoyment when I talk at times.
Because I’m in another outpatient program, I’m around people a lot and am encouraged to share in group therapy.
I notice in my body there’s often a sense of wanting to be alone.
At lunch when people sit by me I force myself to be sociable.
If someone says something I either don’t know how to respond (my mind goes blank and fishes for something to say) or I go through the motions of pretending to be interested and feel like I’m being drained.
I’m wanting it to be like before, and I’m meditating more often to regain my sense.”
Read my replies to this email in this four part article series: