Drugged-up Spirituality?

Via Jennifer Cusano
on Jun 16, 2011
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“Let me apologize to begin with, let me apologize for what I’m about to say. But trying to be genuine was harder than it seemed, and somehow I got caught up in between.” ~ Linkin Park

If I had known, in the beginning , that by turning my back on the fuzzy world of overpaid, pill happy,”doctors”, I would propel myself into the darkest, saddest place I have ever been, I can’t truthfully say I wouldn’t have done it. That being said, I really did give it my best shot on my own, which was kind of worse because there is a terrible feeling of defeat and failure lining the inside of me now. You see I never resurfaced from my Rabbit Hole, and I had to turn back to the prescription pad. Unfortunately I am not in a position to go on retreats, or even pay for a yoga class. We have three kids, one income, and one completely broken mother. To be honest, near the end of my surrender, I stopped reading, meditating, practicing asanas, and basically just sat staring down an invisible void, anyway. Being at war with myself is tiring, and more than a little confusing. Depression is more serious, and real than I realized. (I think?)

My almost immediate response, once I started taking  pills I HATE was so dramatic I loathe it. When I am not thinking about it, I go on, spend time with my kids, find myself stopping during the day thinking man I feel happy, cleaning, doing laundry and folding it. But when it starts tugging at my messed up brain until it has my full, undivided attention, I remember that it isn’t real happiness, but manufactured stability, I hate myself.  I have heard a thousand cushiony stories about chemical instability, and whatever other reasoning. I understand what is being said. I just don’t believe in it, buy it, agree with it, or like it. Because if control is the central path to self-realization, and I am giving up control, being controlled, by something other than me, well it must mean I have absolutely no chance. Which then reminds me about all of the shit I have to wade through if I truly want to be healed, and how it is impossible to do it without medication that chemically alters your brain. I can’t help but wonder if its worth stripping myself down to bare bone, and digging through the trenches. Especially if in the end, with no control, I am shit out of luck.

“When a person gives up all desires

that emerge from the mind, and rests

contented with the Self  by the Self,

he is called a man of firm wisdom”

(B.G. 2.55) Stephen Mitchell translation

I find that may impossible for me to do. The main reason being that the strongest desire I have is a mind that works. When I focus inward and cant climb over this initial barrier, it’s easy to give up and too hard to look at what else I don’t like about myself. Because truth be told, even if I rectify everything else there is a strong possibility that I may never be independent of drugs that are designed to make me “happy”. Those are heavy words, that will never taste right. I am willing to admit that I need help, this just isn’t the type of help I wanted, and I can’t accept that it isn’t my fault. I need to find a better route.

Returning to, being able to return to doing the things I want to do has been incredible. I am able to think clearly now, when I read, and meditate, and practice what limited amount of Yoga I can at home. Realizing that without a clear mind I can not even begin to truly work on myself makes swallowing that pill a little bit easier. Yet, at the same time everyday, I am reminded and ashamed when I swallow that pill. I went into war unarmed, and untrained. Now I know it isn’t a war at all. I should not ever be fighting myself, and I hope someday, after I have done things the right way, I can attempt a sober life again. It will be a while, but even though I took a detour, I have found the right road again. I can clearly see my path, it’s just not as narrow as it first appeared to be.

What I really need to know, is if it is possible to obtain self-realization, can I really be healed, with something foreign in my body? Doesn’t that make every move I make not really my move?




About Jennifer Cusano

Jennifer Cusano, social media aficionado, research connoisseur, and writer du jour, is a Yogi on a path of personal exploration and long overdue healing. Managing Editor for YOGANONYMOUS, Producer for Where Is My Guru, Director of Social Media for YOGASCAPES and TumericALIVE, wife and mother of three, Jenn is really a superhero in disguise—or so she likes to think. In her spare time Jenn likes to read about and search for vampires, so if you happen to know or come across one, please do send them her way. Hit her up on Facebook or Twitter to discuss the various methods of tracking down said vampires. Also she is more than a little uncomfortable writing about herself in the third person, it may just be the hardest thing she's had to do, and that's saying something...


55 Responses to “Drugged-up Spirituality?”

  1. Wow, well thanks for sharing with me, I love hearing from everyone. No I am not sure when I will put up a post about this again, its not something that is timed, its sort of an as you feel it type thing, and alot like therapy for me. I just mentioned in another post of mine http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/07/i-saw-a-ho… how I put the contents up on my mirror so I can read it everyday. I'm glad I could do that for you. I was thinking that maybe my next "personal" post would be about how I am doing post meds, but I am trying to give them a fair shot here and last for at least 6 weeks. Anyway, your very welcome, and Thankyou for taking the time out of your day to respond to this!

  2. Katie
    I am taking it, and I hate to say it, but I am feeling much better. I know this will sound unmotherly BUT I can't wait for that time, when my kids get older and I can focus truly on nothing else but this. I love having them little, but it is alot of work, and being an at home mother really cuts me off from the outside world. But I was thinking the exact same thing as you, and sometimes its that reminder, that one day I wont be stuck here, that gets me through. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Louise,
    I am not against the use of meds, nor do I know many Yogis who are, as a whole it is understandable bc what we need to fix ourselves we have already, but sometimes in this lifetime we cannot access them. If anything writing this article sent many, many supportive Yogis my way, in turn making me more comfortable with something I need to do but dont want to. I am only talking about me and my experience, I am glad that medication works for you, and maybe someday I wont be so angry about it, but I know what you mean about functioning, because I was not functioning before, not at all, and now I am, its that difference, because of its severity that makes me upset. I need to let it go, for now.
    As for effexor, I was on it before I got pregnant with my son, and if I missed a dose I felt terrible, not only that but coming off of it for my pregnancy was one of the worst experiences of my entire life. I have heard that it is a really great drug though and I am so glad that it works for you.

  4. randolphr says:

    What a truly good thread …. Makes me wanna give Ele. Journal a warm pat on the trunk & a handful of straw.

    Thanks for your article, Jennifer !!

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