Thanks to @scottishdailyrecord for picking up my @tedx_official story and helping to raise awareness of hypomania. Now that I’m out the other side, I’m of the belief that psychology and spirituality don’t need to exist in opposition. I have heard so many opinions and thoughts from both medical professionals and spiritual teachers. The key is to look within.
There were some things that happened in that period that I may never be able to explain. Absolutely surreal highs (and lows) and not a psychedelic drug in sight. I’ve spoken in the past about the research into why psychedelics are used to help with mental health. The key being that they shrink our ego.
It’s a bit of a coincidence that I devoted a lot of 2019 to my spiritual mental health, prayer, mindfulness and deep meditation practice. Which also shrinks the ego ! And come Janaury 2020, I was absolutely buzzing off my face, as though I had been injected with the most potent drugs. I’ve always been a bit of a curious detective so it’s been interesting journaling and trying to make sense of some of it.
I have questioned:
What triggered all the excitement? What had changed in my life at that time? New courses, new people (yes and yes).
Which feelings came from a deeper place and which were my mind lying to me via paranoia?
The ego is interesting. As we grow, we get more of it. Kids are magic in that they tell you how it is. In ways, I became a child again. Having no filter as an adult can make you ‘delusional’ to the world. Without our ego to protect us, we can get so free. I was hooked on that feeling, almost in a way that was out of my body. More spirit and soul than mind. I am interested in what brought that out. Of course, meditation and spirituality played a part. There were moments I felt my heart open up to pure love.
It was the spikes that got me though. Because the person who barely reacts became reactive to anything that felt like a threat. More reactive than I have ever been. That is not the zen, floaty love we feel in meditation. That stuff came from the mind. My broken and shattered mind. Then we move from spirituality to psychology. If we look at symptoms of burnout we see mood swings, negative thinking and racing thoughts. That is the mind. What can cause burnout?
- Lack of control in life. An inability to influence decisions.
- Dysfunctional relationships. Perhaps you feel undermined by people in your life which can cause you stress.
- Extremes of activity. When life feels monotonous or chaotic, you need constant energy to remain focused — which can lead to fatigue.
- Lack of social support. If you feel isolated at work and in your personal life, loneliness is as dangerous as smoking (see my talk below).
- Work-life imbalance. If your work or the admin of life takes up so much of your time and effort that you don’t have the energy to spend time with your loved ones.
I have questioned how I could feel so wonderful yet so afraid and alone. As a mental health campaigner, I am more than happy to raise awareness about hypomania and mania and other mental health labels. But I know now that it isn’t always as black and white as that. Our spiritual health plays a part in our overall wellness. This comes up time and time again in my research. We just need the tools in place to get the balance between the two. I recently read that a major sign of mania is increased spirituality, but at the same time, a major sign of depression can be a lack of spiritual significance. With doubt and fear being low on the vibrational scale (we are all energy) and faith and love being high up there, it’s a no brainer or should I say soul (er) 🙂
I love the feeling of being connected to my soul, it is important. I also love that feeling of being connected to my mind and body aka grounded. It is equally important. How do we marry the two in a world that has all the shades? We can’t fear the colours. We need to be prepared to sit in the dark until we come out the other side. We need to cherish the light. Navigating our way through the in-between is helped massively with an open mind, acceptance, gratitude and a sense of humour.
You got this.
To be continued……