But we do recover….. I am 22 months into recovery from a substance abuse disorder. On December 11th it will be 2 years.
Like many “Dark Night of the Soul” stories, mine involves addiction. It also involves depression, PTSD, and psychosis because like addiction, these are all travelling companions on the journey of the ego death.
As I lost myself or began to lose my grip on the identity that I thought was “me”, hopelessness and mania slowly took over, and addictive behaviors moved into try and reinforce my ego mask. I was trying to hold on to something that needed be let go of. Extreme exercise, working excessively long hours, over-achieving, non-stop coaching / volunteering, “doing” and then alcohol, substances, materialism, consumerism, etc., followed by a deep and dark bottom.
Like many others before me, Who I found at that bottom was Who I had been looking for my entire life. It had been inside me the entire time. In that moment of surrender, and acceptance, my feelings of hopelessness and obsessive coping behaviors began to dissolve as I faced my Soul.
I hurt so many people I LOVE on the way to that dark place. Deeply and unconsciously. That healing has only just started. I was the cause of overwhelming pain and I wish I had found a solution sooner.
The message for those who relate to this story…..our medical system, and most of our systems of therapy and counselling do not understand nor accept this dynamic. The dark night of the soul experience is an archetypal experience and is far more common than you think. If you are seeking help for similar obsessions of the mind, ask your therapist if they have experience with recovery and with spiritual awakenings.
Maybe take action to broaden and diversify your support network. Do it for the people you LOVE. Take a chance and have Faith. You are not alone. I, and many others, are here for you. Now and Forever.
In Love, Forgiveness and Service to Others,