Just One Look Forum Archives
Recovery and Rehabilitation
I have been sitting many times in front of my computer trying to write a summary of my recovery and also respond to some really interesting and helpful conversations here lately. But nothing happens. I can't get the texts finished and I often delete them after hours of writing. Very stupid, but there is where I am at the moment. My motivation, drive and efficiency is very low. I can relate to the conversations here lately. Limbo state, loss of fear connected to loss of drive, waiting for something new to appear. I have been wanting to respond to these conversations but I haven't been able to do even that. But the conversations has helped me get a possible explanation for what is happening with me now.
I have also found it confusing to share what really is happening with me. As many has been in to before, nothing and everything has changed. It feels so absurd! And the tendency to forget how it really was before is also strange. I can't say that my life has turned to gold. Actually, anxiety and most of all depression lays as a heavy cloud over me most of the time. My body is tensed and I can't get through the day without coffee. I see what coffee do to me, and my natural sense is that I don't want to have anything in my body or mind that disturbs the fragile process I am in. But it helps me get my mood up a little and I can't actually be without it. So my day to day life isn't very nice actually.
But it is when I look back that I am amazed. Early in life I was a very confused young boy. Couldn't really connect with anybody or anything until I, in my early teens, found drugs and alcohol and a bunch of friends that felt the same. I became more and more self-destructive over the years, and became known as the one how always took at least twice as big doses of drugs than everybody else. My teenage years became very turbulent. Later on, in my early twenties, I was sentenced to 14 years in prison for possession of drugs. I got out after 10 years, when I was 33. The time in prison was a real hell. I couldn't cope with the situation in any other way than to continue with drugs (now medicine). I became a subject to the prison systems psychiatric care, and there they gladly gave me anti-psychotics, antidepressants and sedatives. I never was psychotic actually. I was just feeling extremely bad and medicine was the only thing available.
I have been out for about five years now. I haven't used drugs, medicine or hardly any alcohol in this time. But despite that the chemicals are history, the energy in my minds history is still present. It lessens, but it is still there. And the one thing that seems to be most persistent is depression. So, when I try really hard I can remember the hellish state I was in during the most part of my life, not only in prison. It feels unreal in away. Like another life. And compared to now, it is an enormous change. And the way I relate to my depression now has also changed dramatically. I seem to be less and less worried about my mental and psychical health.
I have thought a lot of when the time was when I first looked at myself. In 2009 I got the book Meeting Ramana Maharsi by John, from a friend. I had that book with me for a year. And when I look back now I can see that I, when getting the book, was already in some sense familiar to what John was saying. And I am almost certain now that I looked at myself for the first time by accident in prison around 2008. I was trying to follow some meditation instructions I had found in prison. I was trying to find my real ME, beyond myself. But I failed, as I usually did with things. I looked and I looked, but I couldn't find any depth inside of me. No new ME. So instead I, just to be self-destructive once more, I looked at myself in disgust. I looked at the ordinary me that stood in the way for my real ME. I looked at the one that I was trying to escape from. This maybe sounds strange, but this is what happened. And for me this actually gives great meaning. Because something really started to happen to me in the end of my sentence. And the book Meeting Ramana also made really much sense to me when I got it in 2009. I saw from start that what John was saying had nothing to do with spiritual enlightenment. Friends around me did interpret the book different, but I knew for myself that this was different and that it had something to do with me, ordinary me.
So if this date is correct I have been in recovery since 2008. Sometimes I think for myself that I am one of those who always will be in recovery. That my mind has taken so much damage that I will have to live with, for example depression, for the rest of my life. And I have somewhat accepted that. For me it is amazing that I am here at all. That I function at all. So, so far I can't tell of any wonderful life that has emerged after the looking. But I do know that this work and process are working. I use to say to myself that if I can have the experience of life that I have now, despite my life experiences, this process will be useful to everyone. And here lays my main interest and focus in this work. My own progress it's not so interesting anymore. I manage. I am sane enough. I mostly think of all the people who don't even have the experience of life that I have. And have no idea why they feel as they feel and don't even know about the fear of life and what it does to us, or how to address it. I think a lot of the poor souls I left behind in the prisons psychiatric ward. And not only them. I think of all the people with mental health problems, which seems to increase in number the saner I get. Life has taught me that psychological suffering is meaningless, it doesn't serve any greater purpose or higher meaning on our journeys in life. And the looking has taught me that there is a way to sanity. And even if sanity don't necessarily mean the same for all of us, it at least means that life become bearable for the worst inflicted.
So I have no doubts as to where my heart belongs when it comes to what I want to do, but as I said in the beginning, I feel like in limbo, waiting for something great to appear. But I can also see some small changes in my daily energy level. I drink less and less coffee and I am starting to trust my own energy. But it is a slow process. I know I should have started to practice focused attention a long time ago. Lately I have noticed how my attention naturally goes to new and saner things. It feels like I am one of those who have waited the recovery out. I still do, but I see signs of progress.
In the mean time I study Psychology, hoping to someday use it in the service of this work. I have no work so I am a full time student for practical reasons too. I use social media to spread news about this work (it would be interesting to connect with forum members there too). And I donate what I can every month to Just One Look Foundation.
Ok, I think I will post this now, before I delete it again. It often hits me how enormous important this forum is for me, and has been over the years. To know that other people goes through the same process as myself. For those who have the energy and willingness to share your processes and thoughts here I am ever grateful.
Thank you all.
Hi Niklas, thanks for sharing and it would have been a pity if you deleted without posting. Recovery indeed is a continuous process. The notion that, after a distinct recovery period, all will be fine can be dangerous in the sense that one expects some bliss to occur. Rather it is my experience that with the fear gone, I can face my issues as they appear, and work through them. Some disappear to re-emerge on an other occasion, other are gone for good. I feel empathy, curiosity and patience with myself, but also with others. Sane does not mean perfect, after all. But yeah, the boredom and aloofness worries me sometimes, and occasionally I panic what might happen if I do not get my shit together, work hard and relentless etc. But on the other hand, it is my experience that it is best for me to act only when it feels right. Chasing after stuff my mind tells me has not been a successful strategy.
Please keeping talking to us. Believe it or not, it's very helpful. My life has been somewhat similar, I just never got caught. The struggle is everywhere. The truth that is unveiled by the light of looking is. It is. It is. It is. What else can I say? We've looked so we are. I am. It's true, by the way, I also feel a bit stupid when I post. Perhaps it's the mind's poor grasp on the situation. I wish more people would post. Every time I check, there are a lot more guests on here than members. Not sure what that means.
Hi Bradley, thank you for your great postings! They are very helpful to us. I agree, it is more interesting when more people are posting regularly. There seems to be phases in this process. Sometimes there are a lot of postings and then it slows down a bit. As for the so-called guests, we believe those are registered members who left the forum open in their browsers and went somewhere else. After a while, the forum times out and the person is logged out, but since the forum is still open in their browsers, they appear as guests. Also, people who are looking at the registration page would show up as guests until they finish their registration and activate their membership. I don't have any other explanation, since no one can get into the forum without being a registered member and being logged in.
Please keep posting you all! Your thoughtful reports about your recovery are helpful to all of us!
OK, that goes far to explain the 'guest' observation. I was optimistically hoping that a lot of people that had already looked were trolling because they were also confused by what was happening to them. This whole thing is by far the most profound thing that has ever happened to me, as much as that is a bogus statement. How can what I already am happen to me? I agree on the phases and I think that contributes to the fragmented frequency of entries here. As soon as you write something, you start to reflect on the entire experience and all of a sudden what you just wrote feels useless. In a lot of my written correspondence in 'the world' I am trying to make a point, something I can stand behind. Here we are making comments about our take on looking and the change it brings (even right now these words seem so foolish!). The whole thing kicks its legs out from itself. So perhaps we could say that if we don't see a lot of chatter on here constantly that things are ok. More likely some of us are confused as hell but know something's happening so we just go on with our lives, vascilating between old patterns and this new/old thing-ness that has become known to us. Thank you all for being here and sharing. Niklas, man, hang in there. Wish we lived near each other as we could do a coffee shop thing.
Regardless of the chatter things are only ok. As you think about it eventually you are reduced to saying nothing about it. Pretty much living your life after a while obviates commentary. But here's the deal--after the thundering silence--we still may talk, here, as everywhere else we choose without fear. So why not.
Hi Cytex, thanks for your comment. Yes, it seems like it is very easy to project upon the recovery process the old fear-based longing to be finished with life. To be free from our painful experience of life. Call it bliss, I call it a death wish. I had a very strong longing for that life should be over. I wouldn't call it suicidal, but a deep longing for peace. That old longing for peace can make us wait for recovery to give us perfection and stillness. But insted we get life, more life than never before. No wonder we are confused! I still fells a bit strange to me to say yes to the continuous raw experience of life, and face it, knowing it will be here till I die.
Thanks for your sharing. I can feel that connecting with the community again was actually the main reason for me to post again. It feels great!
Hi Bradley, thanks for your comment.
Exactly, well put.
I think that you are right, Bradley. The fact that it can be such a confusing struggle to post here, dont show anything else that the process the looking produces is very real and powerful. To anyone who is struggling with this, who stresses and pushes them selves to be active in the forums. Please relax and take the opportunity when it comes.
And thank you to for being here and sharing, Bradley. I don't know where you live, but it is certainly too far a way for coffee shop thing. But who knows what happens. We will be seeing each other here, that's for sure.
Thanks for your comment Paul. Yes, why not. Words are much more interesting than silence.
"How can what I already am happen to me?" Yes, indeed, exactly. I would say tentatively that what you "am" so called is "only" happening after just one look and this question is that happening along with everything else that is arising as your life. "To look at me" is the fruit of having already looked at me. Why do you think you and I are drawn to this simplicity? It works because it has already worked. And by the way after just one look--stand still and take a look. What's different? Well, whatever it is, you are. And I am.
Ah but then the silence came
Or was it always there?
The answers tried to speak their minds
But they had lost the will to care.
I am somewhat convinced that most people really don't want peace, or they don't understand that they can't find it by doing what they're doing. You have to be ready to hear John's message. The somewhat frustrating thing is that as you recover, you see more clearly how jacked up everyone is but at the same time they are not in a place to hear about the looking. And we cannot escape their pain but at least we know the truth.
Beautiful! Thank you!
The mechanism, the calculating device, it calibrates to a new baseline, a baseline with a new focal point and at the same time, no focal point. New perspectives appear as part of this experience that are wonderful but, at the same time, the recalibrated device does not cling to them.
This is what the device was guarding against, a hard reboot resulting in a loss of a lifetime of compiled code. Code that constantly recompiled itself using increasingly corrupted data.
And yet, it all feels like no big deal. One cool thing is the newly noticed ability (capacity, response) to be present while someone is having a crappy day instead of catching the energy of it all, being unconsciously triggered into my own patterns.
I feel the ongoing need to share periodically so I spatter my thoughts here. Thank you all for allowing me to fill space a bit.
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