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Really struggling. Really scared.

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Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:14 pm

Really struggling. Really scared.

Postby strugglingtocope » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:19 pm

Hi all,

Firstly apologies if I get any of the terminology wrong, this is my first time talking about anything like this.

I think I have struggled with anxiety ever since I was in my late teens. I used to smoke cannabis very irregularly, then one night I got wrecked on it (I suspect there might have been some LSD in it) and had a terrible existential experience. I thought my view into the world was all some sort of mirage, some sort of eternal pattern trying figure itself out and all of this, all of what I see, all of what I know and experience and love is an illusion and it just a continuing pattern trying to figure out what itself out and this is what my thoughts are. I have no idea how long I was stuck inside this loop, but it was incredibly frightening and I freaked everyone at this party out. I was so relieved when I snapped out of it. I tried cannabis one more time, as I thought this was just an anamoly and the same thing happened (it was definitely cannabis this time). I have never touched any narcotics since (I must have been 18/19 at the time, I'm now 29. My only "drug" is alcohol, which I will touch on later in the post, I don't even drink caffeine anymore) Every now and again, I worry that this experience was actually the true reality and this life I live, this vision into the world, I don't feel fully convinced what is real (the world around me, you, my wife, my kids) is real and I get very anxious when I think about this experience and think about my thoughts. I worry if I keep thinking about it, I will realise that this all isn't real and I am constantly on the cusp of losing literally everything (the memories I have with my children, the future, everything I know, everything I love). I think I experienced this realisation when everything wasn't real once, a few months or years after I had given up cannabis and, it was only for a few seconds, but it freaked me out completely. This has something which has always bothered me and I can go months without it effecting me at all, but for some reason it has been bothering me a bit over the past few months. I have noticed that when I'm eating good and exercising, my mental health feels great. But, I've put on a bit of weight recently, I've become quite sedantry and it has increased. I also notice if I've drank the night before or haven't drank much water that day, I can feel worse about it. Apologies if this doesn't make much sense, I hope you appreciate it is an incredibly hard thing to experience.

I turn 30 in a few months and over the past couple of weeks I have also become incredibly concerned about death and time passing and how every moment, every second, is gone as we experience it and how we are all hurtling towards our end state. I'm an agnostic Catholic and haven't been to church in a while and I do worry about the afterlife. I worry about an eternity of nothingness for me and my children and my loved ones and it makes me so sick. I am becoming so sad and anxious as I consume any media or news which has death in it and am so aware that we are all going to die and we do not know what awaits us. I desperately want their to be an afterlife. This might sound a bit strange to anyone who is an atheist in this thread, but when I was about 14, I used to pray and one night I asked God in prayer to prove if he was real by making the girl I was hopelessly in love with that week (teenagers, eh?) to give me a hug from behind, she had never done it before, and hadn't done it after and the next day she did. Now, I'm very interesting politics and economics so spend a lot of time scrutinising theory and constantly doubt my political and economic beliefs, so I am constantly doubting this experience. Am I misremembering it? Was it a coincidence? I'm really not the sort of person who believes in things without evidence, but was that the evidence I needed? I pray for another sign, but I fear about being that specific in case it doesn't come true and my faith is dented further than it is now. If I'm honest, I want to believe even if there isn't anything. I would rather live in misguided faith and stop worrying.

I spend a lot of time in my own head and worrying about things and verbalising things or writing it down (like I am doing) makes me feel a lot better.

But this horrible feeling of worry about existence and time passing and death is ruining my life. I want to be the best Dad I can be, go to work, get home, play with my two little kids and be so much fun, but I am just getting so worried about things completely out of my control that I feel I am on the cusp of some major breakdown.

I have booked an appointment with my GP (this is the first time I have ever seeked medical advice).

I speak to my wife, who is an absolute saint and tries to make me feel better but her advice tends to be "just try and think about something else" or "try not to worry yourself" and that just seems impossible, the less I want to think about things, the more I think about them. I'm the same with scabs and cuts, I know I shouldn't pick it, but I do until it's all gone.

The only times I stop worrying about these things is when I've had a drink, however I tend to feel worse the next day (hangovers). My drinking isn't a problem, but I sense it has the potential to become one. I am not drinking every night, but I want to know because I know that means I won't have a night stricken with worry. On nights I know I am not drinking, I get more anxious because I know I am going to feel anxious!

I just want to not worry about these huge existential things anymore and get on with my life in ignorance of these intrusive thoughts and be a good husband and dad and have a nice, happy life, where I can be in control of my own thoughts. I am worried this is on the cusp of getting out of control and manifest itself in some sort of alcohol addiction, nervous breakdown or a suicide attempt.

Warmest regards,

Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:52 pm

Re: Really struggling. Really scared.

Postby beach » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:51 pm

Hi, amazing. 25 years diagnosed with 'bipolar disorder', and I have never met anyone who can so, so succinctly put the experience into words! Thankyou, I could have been reading about my own mind.

Someone, like Plato, said 'an unexamined life isn't worth living'. Like you, my mind takes me out to the far reaches. The world outside mirrors the one within, and the mind travels across galaxies. I first saw the tear in the illusion when I was eight. That is a story in itself, a frightening experience, to look into the eye of the universe, literally. The strange thing was always that no-one around me questioned this 'thing' that we are in, ever. Until the Matrix film came along, and finally, finally, the question was put out there, 'what is it'? People are now starting to call that film a documentary.

Like you, I write, and after many years, I have a clearer view on what I think it is now. Though dont expect to get a definitive answer, because it shifts. My experience is of learning to walk a very thin rope, constantly coming down on one side, then the other. Balance between these two worlds is what you are aiming for. For them to collide. In my humble opinion, try not to fear the other world you have seen, it is as real as this one. You see the duality of all existence. Many more people are waking up to it also. The two live side by side in all things though, and create one.

It makes you different from your family, at the moment, perhaps. Maybe they too will 'come through the veil', but you cannot force them or tell them how to. It has to be their journey. Writing may be your thing - you are a light in the world that is switched on, as many believe we all will be one day. One by one.

Alcohol, addiction, stops this process, that is why it calms you. Because it is a birthing, and that is painful. I stopped drinking after watching a few documentaries on Tube about what ethanol does to our bodies. I occasionally use lorazepam in small doses to try and control it if it is causing distress or anxiety. Be aware what you put into your body, where it comes from. The animals suffer on this planet, and this is a new phenomenon. Billions die every year, they are in concentration camps. Karma will be visited on us all, as it affects our health, our environment, our planet. We can 'be the change', each one of us. This switched on way of living takes time to organise and adjust to. You will continue to change though, that is your path, accept it and go with it, or fight it. Writing is your companion, and most likely your gift.

Like you, I have been scared witless, and remain in fear often at a core level. I try to have Faith, Belief, Hope, and Trust. It is a work in progress. Not being swallowed up by it all, and seeking to retain that love which we all bring into the world. For me, that is in some ways the key.... to somehow come full circle in our lives.

Thankyou for your message, with hope, beach :)

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