Author Topic: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away  (Read 5601 times)

Immortal_wisdom

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overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« on: November 16, 2014, 03:44:46 PM »
Good day for all the members here
this is my first post and from the posts  it seems that this community has alot of knowledgeable people
so  here is my case .....I've been practicing vipassana meditation (focusing on the feelings and sensations that accompany my thoughts ) for almost 4 years now ....I  haven't kept a steady regular practice but I consider myself grasped the Idea of how to observe feelings with Equanimity and detachment ..
anyway I've been a marijuana regular user for 10 years now ...and I decided to stop many times but I couldn't keep it for more than 5 days soper ....so finally I stopped at the first of this month (1st November )....and it seems like all the grief and depression I've been repressing for the past 10 years has become active now .....I'm being under streams of  negative thoughts and emotions 24/7 ....disappointment , frustration,anger ,regret,jealousy .....
  each thought brings a different flavor of sensations in the body ....some thoughts come with a jellyfish like movements in the torso Area
And immediately (wherever or whatever situation I find myself in )I get detached from the thought and take about a minute  or 2 to carefully observe the Resulted feelings (in my body or head or legs or wherever the sensations come ....sometimes I feel the energy outside my body) until the feelings dissipate  ...
so My question is ....Am I wasting my time ? because it's been more than 2 weeks now And the depression doesn't go away ....I sleep and wake up and go to work and drive and I'm constanty under attacks of Negative thoughts .....
So please some one tell me is this normal Or should I do something beside meditation in the zone
P.s   By meditating in the Zone I mean meditating in any circustance I find myself in ....like while driving or working or even while being in a social Situation
P.S   also beside meditating in the zone I also do regular sittings half hour in the morning .....but the depression doesn't go
please I need help

Dharmic Tui

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2014, 04:55:32 PM »
You're struggling with breaking off a long term psychological dependence on canabbis. That's not something that's necessarily going to go away easily, or quickly. You should see things abate over time.

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with it myself, once in a blue moon is ok, but regular use just makes me numb for the most part, and dulls my practice, can make me feel depressed.

betty

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2014, 05:58:01 PM »
It is so challenging when we work to break a dependency that has been keeping everything down, we make a skilful decision and yet the follow up for some time can be really difficult.  This is a time when support is so important.  I would seriously recommend finding someone to give you some support in person, or via Skype if local isn't an option.  Either a therapist trained in mindfulness or a mindfulness teacher with some psychotherapy training.  Part of skilful action is being willing to reach out for help when we need it, and you've made the first move with that posting here, however my feeling is that what you are describing is likely going to be much easier for someone to support you one on one rather than via just on a forum like this.  I know it can be hard to reach out for support, but I know from my own life what a tremendous difference it can make to have someone knowledgeable in mindfulness and addictions on your team.

You are not wasting your time, you may just need to bolster your support to get through it.  You shouldn't have to do it all alone.

I listened to a talk by Jack Kornfield a while back that really touched me.  He said when you are sitting and it's overwhelming that you can imagine that you have the cloak of the Buddha wrapped around you giving you some support.  Maybe that image will help you through something too, if it resonates.  He really emphasised compassion at times like this, so maybe concentrating on metta right now could support you?

Hang in there, you can get through this.

clayton

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 02:15:25 AM »
Meditation won't cure you of your depression. Take it one day at a day time. This too shall pass.
Follow your nose

Matthew

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2014, 03:47:32 AM »
Wise words above from DT and Betty. I don't entirely agree with Clayton, a fair amount of research has shown strong correlations between meditation and relief from depression.

If you have been smoking pot for ten years you need to realise your brain chemistry is going to be a bit screwed up. Dopamine and serotonin systems are going to take time to get used to this new reality - it takes at least a month for the psychoactive ingredients of pot to clear your system completely, longer if you are overweight. At some point you'll wake up one day and realise you aren't stoned for the first time in ten years and it will feel pretty good. Weird, because everything will be a bit clearer as the fog clears, but good.

And you probably are starting to feel a bunch of stuff that you have been repressing/suppressing with the ol' weed. Again it will take time but meditation, development of equanimity and relaxed awareness are very powerful agents working for you to deal with this.

You certainly aren't wasting your time - you probably did a lot of that while you were wasted, but you've come further down this road than any time you've tried previously and that is a good thing you are doing for yourself so keep it up.

If you smoked a joint now you would probably already notice how dull it makes your mind - once it's fully out of your system even more so. There are things you can do to help yourself detox (and generally live well):

Drink a good amount of water 2-3 litres or 4-6 pints daily.
Eat as much healthy fresh food as you can - try and avoid junk and try and avoid too much meat, if any.
Exercise: walk, run, cycle, swim or whatever floats your boat.
If you drink alcohol only do so in moderation and not every day (alcohol is a severe depressant).

These things will all help a) detox you from the weed b) improve your mood directly, and c) improve the quality of your meditation.

And don't be doing guilt trips! If you end up smoking something again pay real attention to how it feels (it will feel shit - and the next day), that attention will reduce the chance you relapse but, as I said, even if you do, no guilt trips: shit happens - it's how you deal with it that matters.

Clayton does hit one nail squarely on the head: "This too shall pass" .... You've started on a determined path to change and change you will. During these first days and weeks it will likely feel like a bit of a rollercoaster ride but hang on in there and in two or three months you will look back and be very happy you chose to do this - and have a very tangible knowledge that life without permanent dope-induced fog covering you and your life is a whole lot better.

Trust me, I've been there,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Immortal_wisdom

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2014, 06:01:29 AM »
Thank you Matthew(since you were there In  a similar Situation ,Then I will take your words for Granted although my Current Vision "foggy Vision "tells me that I won't be able to get the same fun out of life when I'm pot Free,But I will Stick to the three months plan until all the pot gets out of my System And I will keep Exercising and detoxing Thanks Mathew) ,
Clayton (Although I don't agree with you 100% but I agree that passive Meditation without Attempts to deal with the main problem certainly won't cure my depression ),

And Betty you are so right about getting Support ...but in my country I can't find a professional psychotherapist who use mindfulness techniques SO I will get someone online on Skype
Dharmic Tui yes It's psychological Dependency (especially because I've used it to deal with social Anxiety )
So Getting out of the habbit of getting high would need more than just stopping
actually I need to learn Social Skills
Thanks for all of you

Dharmic Tui

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2014, 06:26:49 AM »
About the "fun" part, I'd partially disagree. If I smoke pot once in a blue moon, the altered state of mind can be enjoyable, and euphoric. Initially. Unfortunately I find the stuff kinda moorish, so if I have a decent quantity, I find myself going from "once on the weekends", to smoking some almost every day after work. What starts out enjoyable, slowly devolves into a case of dulling me and dumbing me down. I spend more time sitting about than actively going and doing stuff. Rather than obtaining states of bliss in my sittings, I end up just numb. I go from having a zest for life, to being a sloth/sponge.

Obviously different people will have a different experience so you may be different. But even thought its a relatively mild drug, I think most people are going to end up getting themselves into a position where being high ends up just being a way to reach a normal baseline, if you're lucky.

You're only early days in, so keep at it. I know you've been practising for 4 years, but going sober is almost like starting again. One thing at a time.

Alex

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2014, 01:24:52 PM »
There is some good advice here, Immortal. It's great that you have the resolve to keep off marijuana for three months. It's like an experiment: although you trust in the words of others, you have to carry on and be patient to see for yourself how this experience will unfold.

It's good that you're able to watch the constant stream of negative thoughts and accompanying sensations. I wonder what the quality of your attention is in those moments? Maybe add some more mildness/friendliness to what is happening or approach it from a more inquisitive angle: What's it actually like to feel all these negative thoughts and emotions pass by… "Ah, that's what it feels like to be disappointed, angry, frustrated,… interesting"  ;) What are the conditions that give rise or help sustain this negative flow, etc.? Investigating the phenomena is what were doing, but also relaxation practice is important.

For years I was attached to the idea that without marijuana life wouldn't be fun or worthwhile as well. As I started to understand what anatta (not self) is about, I started to see how the act of smoking or not smoking created frustration because of a connection to a false sense of self. For example: smoking a joint would make me frustrated because "I'm the kind of person that smokes joints," or "I'm the kind of person that's too weak to let go of smoking joints." As if such essences or selves exist. Variations are "When I will smoke I will be happy." Or, "when I won't smoke I will be happy." Now I see more the processes that are happening; This is less stressful, helps to put everything in perspective and to keep the focus on what is happening right here & now, instead of fabricating and sustaining the unhappiness. But anyway, at times it is still a challenge for me to handle marijuana wisely.  8) ::)
 

Alex

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2014, 01:33:53 PM »
About the "fun" part, I'd partially disagree. If I smoke pot once in a blue moon, the altered state of mind can be enjoyable, and euphoric. Initially. Unfortunately I find the stuff kinda moorish, so if I have a decent quantity, I find myself going from "once on the weekends", to smoking some almost every day after work. What starts out enjoyable, slowly devolves into a case of dulling me and dumbing me down. I spend more time sitting about than actively going and doing stuff. Rather than obtaining states of bliss in my sittings, I end up just numb. I go from having a zest for life, to being a sloth/sponge.

Obviously different people will have a different experience so you may be different. But even thought its a relatively mild drug, I think most people are going to end up getting themselves into a position where being high ends up just being a way to reach a normal baseline, if you're lucky.

I totally agree with the first paragraph. It's actually kind of freaky  ;)
But I think what Immortal said about "fun" is not about the reality of it. It's more about meaning and identity.

Immortal_wisdom

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2014, 04:58:25 PM »
Actually Alex My Approach is still not so Enlightened kind of Curiosity  (I wanna see how the Flaw of nature is shaping my consciousness and emotions....waaaaw Anger feels like a burning sensations in chest while grief feels like a heavy cloud surrounding my whole body while Jealousy feels like small explosions behind my eyes and Joy feels like bubbles of champagne in my spine etc....  )
you Can see that my approach is more of a therapeutic kind
My approach is Actually (Hey My Subconscious Clear your self As much as you can and Vomit all the shit you've been repressing all those years While I'm watching in Equanimity and detached non-judgmental state )
Actually I want to be sane again .....but it seems like the subconscious purification process is taking forever
Dharmic Tui
I think I Can't too hold on to my promises to myself to keep it once in a blue moon I always fall to the regular usage again
so it's better to cut it off cold turkey

betty

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2014, 08:06:01 PM »
but it seems like the subconscious purification process is taking forever

When I said something along these lines to my therapist he smiled and said something to the effect of:  "Let's do some maths.  How long have you been repressing feelings?  And how long have you been simply letting it all flow as it needs to?"  It kind of put things into perspective for me.    :)
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 08:21:47 PM by betty »

betty

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 08:27:32 PM »
I've been struggling with lots of stuff coming up lately and I had a session with my therapist yesterday (he's also a long term meditator) and I learnt something really important.  Maybe it could help you in your situation. 

I've been focusing on the meditation and just sitting through it all, but he helped me to see that when lots of stuff is coming up that has been repressed there is a very strong physical element and it can be really beneficial to do physical activity to help move the stuck energy through.  He has introduced me to a qigong practice where you shake your whole body and it is really helping me to get the energy moving, and is making it easier for me to sit in meditation too. 

I also watched a talk on youtube by one of Shinzen Young's students who really recommends laughing meditation to help stuff that has been repressed move through, so am playing with that too (it's a nice change in energy with laughing - I initially thought that with all the horrible stuff coming up I wouldn't be able to do it, but it was actually really freeing). 

I'm finding going for walks helps get the physical side of it moving too.

Just a few ideas in case anything helps.

Alex

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2014, 12:07:25 PM »
Well, I am not enlightened myself, lol. When I struggle with anger, sometimes for days, the relief comes when I'm able to remember this mindful attitude and approach the anger with an open mind "Ah, this is what it feels like to be angry". This means that in the meantime the way in which I was processing this anger has actually prolonged it, even though I tried to let it be, don't judge and tried doing things like running or relaxation.

You conceptualize what is happening to you as a purification process that should not last more than 2 weeks. You're asking yourself if you can "do" something to make it go faster. It makes me think of a poem I read recently by Rilke.

You must allow things
their own silent, undisturbed development,
which comes from deep within
and cannot be forced or hastened;
Everything is gestation -and then birth ...

Ripening like a tree,
which doesn’t force its sap,
and stands confidently in the storms of spring,
with no fear
that afterward summer may not come.

It shall come!
But it comes only to those who are patient,
who are simply present,
as if an eternity lay before them,
so unconcernedly silent and vast …

You must be patient with everything
that is yet unsolved in your heart,
and try to love the questions themselves,
like locked rooms,
and like books written in a very foreign language.

It is a question of experiencing everything.
If experiencing the questions becomes your life,
perhaps you will some day,
without even noticing it,
find yourself experiencing the answer,
Rainer Maria Rilke

Immortal_wisdom

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2014, 05:52:53 PM »
Thanks Betty for bringing the math into the table .....yes I have to be patient ....the Stuff I've suppressed is even more than ten years old so Patience ....at the same time moving through my world and getting things done .....Because for the past 3 months I was handicapped by the mentality of ( Hey World ....Im taking a break And I'm having a full time job now dealing with depression )Which actually a waste of time
and thanks for the Laughing meditation Idea I watched it ....and btw Shinzen is a greaaaaaaaaaat Teacher ....
So I had taken things so seriously and I was so Rigid ....but today At work when I tried the Laughing mediation to cut off a regular negative stream of thoughts ...I felt a different quality in my body....I felt for a moment that all the Crap in mind is Actually not real at all .....watching my self reacting with Anxiety to such thoughts is similar to a young child Reacting in fear  to something so trivial      ......also you're so right about physical Activity ....indeed alot Of stuck Energy is Released while Exercising
Thanks Again Betty
And Alex I loved the poem Although it struck me with fear ...I was like (ohhhh so now it's not a matter of 2 weeks and everything will be right again ....it's now a matter of Changing my whole  old attitude ( of putting a time constraints) to allow things to happen....)
so After reading that great poem Alex I decided to not wait for the Change to Occur....but simply be the Change as it Occur
Thanks Alex

Tobin

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2014, 06:42:24 PM »
Hey Immortal,

I envy your ability to analyze yourself so well. I also struggle with a severe pot addiction. I liked what Matthew said about noticing how you feel when you are high. This is a practice I personally have been working with. I used to smoke probably 5 to 10 joints a day, and every time I try to go cold turkey, I end up breaking down in a deep depression, so that route didn't work for me. Through mindfulness I feel like I've cut back dramatically. I still crave, but instead of coming home from school/work and immediately smoking, I find I naturally don't think about it until later in the night.

I hope that you will share with us when you achieve your 3 month goal. It would be a great inspiration to hear that your world has changed for the better. Thanks for sharing!
Regards,
Tobin

betty

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2014, 08:22:51 PM »
Immortal_wisdom:  Glad the ideas helped some.  It sounds like you have a strong virtue of being honest with yourself that will take you a long way with this.  I can empathise with wanting it to be over, I too am struggling with accepting that things take as long as they do.  For me I've had to realise that I was telling myself that my recovery was getting in the way of life, but in reality this is life right now, and the more fully I can be with it the better!

Alex:  The poem brought tears to my eyes.  I think I will print it out and put it on the wall as a powerful reminder of that which is so important yet at times so difficult. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Matthew

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2014, 04:59:57 PM »
Quote
You must allow things
their own silent, undisturbed development,
which comes from deep within
and cannot be forced or hastened;
Everything is gestation -and then birth ...

* Matthew has long been trying to get across the message that relaxation is such a key ingredient for good mindfulness: step 1

Rilke does it so much better than I :D - Alex, thanks for that - is it a translation by Stephen Mitchell by any chance?
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

betty

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2014, 05:39:25 PM »
Matthew has long been trying to get across the message that relaxation is such a key ingredient for good mindfulness: step 1

I wonder why this message is so hard for so many of us to hear.  I've been a classic example of taking an awful long time to realise this.  Maybe it's because in our culture the emphasis is always on doing, rather than being.  I had a session with one of Shinzen Young's students who now teaches yesterday and her message was the same. :0)

Alex

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2014, 09:10:53 PM »
is it a translation by Stephen Mitchell by any chance?

I'm not sure who translated it. I got it here: http://preview.artistcamp.rebeat.com/echoes-of-now/in-transition/9008798118472/index.html.

I speak a fair bit of German, so I changed one thing in the final verse that was not translated correctly to my opinion. Rilke writes you will find yourself experiencing the answer "einen fremden Tages", which in this context means "an unknown day" or as I put it "some day", which might also be tomorrow, not necessarily "far in the future".

I also left out the title as it was translated "What concerns me", which doesn't do it for me. In German it's "Was mich bewegt" and "bewegen" has as many meanings as "to move". I would say something in the lines of "what drives me" or "what animates me". I don't know...

I'm glad you all appreciated this.

Alex

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2014, 09:16:40 PM »
Rilke does it so much better than I

You can always trust a poet to do so.  ;)
I've been thinking this week why this is the case or how to describe the different level of their words. We probably need another poet to do that  :D

Tarco

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Re: overwhelming sensations and Depression doesn't go away
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2014, 04:58:11 PM »
I have struggled with drugs and alcohol in the past. I know the ideal practice is to not use intoxicants but I now use marijuana as a tool. Much like Eckhart Tolle says you don't have to be attached to the mind but it is a valuable tool to use, I feel the same way about marijuana because it is a natural substance. It actually helped me take the first steps toward mindfulness. I think the key is moderation and choosing a good sativa strain works for me. 

 

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