Dark Night of The Soul: My Experience
What is the Dark night of the Soul?
It's when you start asking yourself questions and answering them. That's it. You start answering questions and the questions get harder to answer. This creates an upheaval in your life. Why am I here in this place and how did I get here?
My Dark Night of the Soul was vicious. My questions with time started to look like, "Why am I cutting my fingernails until they bled and why can't I stop myself?".
"Why can I not go to bed?"
"Why can't I eat?"
"Why can't I stop sleeping or eating?"
"Why can't I stop myself?"
"Why did I have that panic attack?"
"Why does my father haunt me?"
"Why do I pick my face until it bleeds?"
"Why did I pick my face until it bled after that girl complimented my clear complexion?"
"Why did I cut myself?"
"Why did I shave my head?"
"Why did I almost jump in front of that car and who was that voice in my head that said 'No, don't.'"
They just get harder and harder to answer.
"Why do I always play the victim?"
"Why do I always fuck everything up?"
"Why am I so wrong?"
"Why am I so different?"
"Why am I a burden?"
"Why do I feel like an outcast and an orphan? Unloved, uncherished, and unseen?"
"Why am I the kicked puppy and black sheep of my family?"
"What did I do wrong?"
What happens when you don't have answers for these things? You're left with pieces that don't fit anywhere and just are. Do you accept them? That's ultimately up to you and your freewill. I chose not to accept them but I didn't toss these old negative beliefs away at first. It was so damaging my mental split. I had a fragmented mind. I was in pieces and I broke. I felt powerless like I had no control. Even worse, I had a tyrant living in my head. I am still split to this day. 3-4 years later and I am still trying to gain harmony and balance between these big aspects of my being. My heart and my head. My head was damaged and my heart was hurting. It was like a narcissistic and codependent abuse pattern in my internal being. I have lost concept of what role my Ego played in all of this but I'm pretty sure my Ego was the identified structure for all of this. Not who I was, but who I was told I am. Someone who was wrong, mean, ugly, fat, and stupid. My mind accepted this after years of emotional and mental abuse, so much so, these titles were ingrained in my mind. I didn't know who I was, all I knew was who I was told. I am worthless, powerless, a burden, a failure, and that I did not deserve to live.
The reason I didn't toss out those old beliefs was because, I didn't recognize them. I accepted them as a part of me. I accepted that I was always playing the victim and this was because I was bad. I genuinely didn't know I wasn't bad. I didn't know I was a kind person or one who is incredibly smart, talented, and gifted. I had no idea because I didn't allow myself to see. My main focus was how to get through life with all of these things I had accepted from childhood because I just couldn't see any different than what I was told. I know I always say the wrong things and the way I think is bad and everything I do is wrong but how can I live with myself better so I can go to sleep at night? How can I stop having panic attacks and stutter while I speak? Why is everything so hard for me when everything is easy? If I want this pile of clothes off my bed I just have to fold it, why can't I do that?
My Head and My Heart
My mind was cruel. It tormented me. I had two big sides of me that found no harmony or resolution. It was conflict 24/7. Whenever my heart hurt or broke down with emotions I was most likely carrying from the past my head would gaslight it. I would retell myself what I had always been told, "you have nothing to cry about, you are always playing the victim". My mind wouldn't let me go to bed and was actually breaking my heart further and deeper. The worst kind of heartbreak and betrayal is the one you dish out yourself. It was all self destructing, all narcissistic, all taunting, tormenting, and ruthless. I had no balance, no unity. I couldn't make decisions about anything. They could not complete sentences or ideas. I was absolutely broken, and torn apart. I couldn't decide what to wear, what to eat, it was so hard to get myself to do anything because one side of me was fighting the other constantly about everything.
My Shadow Side Got Too Big
I didn't have any reason to fight with the beliefs I had, I had more urgent problems that needed my attention. In one month I lost 15 pounds and the next month I gained 17. I was trying to live. I was trying to take care of myself and I was failing drastically. I was trying to help myself physically until I realized that my mind was where I needed to go and help with. I started diving into psychology. My main focus was how to fix my mental. How to gain some type of relief from the conflict I was continuously having. Big side note, I would distract my mind with Movies and TV shows day and night until one day I couldn't take it anymore. Each ending of any show or movie would destroy me emotionally. It was a great big cycle of addiction that would lead to heartbreak and depression. Post show depression and it became stronger and stronger until I just couldn't watch Movies and TV shows anymore. It took me 2 years to start watching even an episode of something. What had happen was "My Shadow side got too big". All my emotional pain I was connecting to the characters and scenes that played out in the storyline. All the joy and love I would give to a cast, I would lose when the season finale came around. It was pure grief. My empathy from my own internal and unhealed wounds would splatter across the screen and with their pain, I felt my own and theirs to such a heightened degree.
I stopped watching Movies and TV Shows and without this big and time consuming hobby I had consumed my days with. I had a lot of free time on my hands. I needed to understand what I was going through. I needed to figure out why I was feeling this way. I needed to help myself. I drove into psychology. Wikipedia page after Wikipedia page. I would spend 12 hours a day dedicated to absorbing anything and everything I could. It was day and night. After a week or two of Wikipedia and 168hrs of guzzling down information, I still wasn't satisfied. I switched platforms, now I was watching lectures. Same thing, day and night. I needed something to distract myself with to survive. Like it was water and I was in a desert, information was that and trying to figure everything out to help myself and piece it all together to fix something was my oxygen. Day and night, 8-12 hours a day. Lectures (and mainly Jordan Peterson lectures - A true saint). After lectures I dove into Stoicism, after stoicism and a year later, I dove into spirituality were collectively with everything I gathered. I found my saving grace and my thirst was quenched.
So how did I do it? I realized I had no compassion for myself so I gave it to myself. I filled my head with doctrines and affirmations to keep my sights higher. To regain balance with myself I decided to know self. Why do I offer people such kindness and compassion, holding them to no standards but mine were impeccably high? I did myself a kindness by believing myself. I observed my actions and they showed my how kind of a person I was. I gained self love and only then did people start to tell me how beautiful and pretty I was. The mean voice in my head had realized it was self destructive and only hurting itself. My head began to trust my heart and my heart has nothing but absolute forgiveness for it all. My heart had to heal it's heartbreak and betrayal from the people who told us these lies. My mind became enlightened and gained higher perspective. And somewhere between my head and my heart lies the shame and guilt for what we have done while both know and understand the reasoning and purpose for my experience.
Poetry Excerpt to Process My Experience:
I am so thankful to be alive but it wasn't always this way. I felt it deep down, the gratitude for living but it just didn't feel right. It didn't sit well with me so I challenged myself. Not to see how wrong it was but to challenge my belief. It crept up on me when the light would shine just right in an unperfect moment I would recognize and store years down the line, how unperfect this moment was in time. It was always perfect or I made it perfect. I was the light and life in it's stillness and slow beauty, not moving but always changing, that was always so perfect. Such peace and joy, serenity and love by just existing. How could this be when my mind convinced me otherwise? I have such a love for life and in any moment I could taste freedom if I wanted, I could feel love, I could be fearless. There was no end to what I could create. It felt real but, I was made to believe it was all fake and that it wasn't real. What I could see in front of me, what my mind perceived in the world was nothing of worth so I internalized these structures. My mind could not register anything that would cause me to feel the way I created so in it's unfathomably methodology it refuted it's truthfulness, it's realness. What I would them perceive in front of me would be all the things that made me sad and sorrowful. The distaste it gave me from what it could perceive, for how it was able to comprehend the world. I saw my friends hurt me, saw my family neglect me, saw the people around me living in lies and continuing cycles making the same mistakes over again. I was suddenly so filled with pain. I picked up on their energies. Pain never bothered me but the intention to hurt me, killed me inside, I could never understand why, it was the worst kind of betrayal. My brain could suddenly see all the things around me that would hurt me. I was thrown into a state of survival. My gorgeous brain only seeing the things that harm and hurt. Reminding me that the world is dangerous and a not so good place. I abandoned my state of being. I could no longer take the alarms ringing in my head, the panic in my body if I did not live my life and accept it in a certain way that would allow me to function better. I use to be so hopeful, so extroverted. Slowly overtime I reassessed myself. I no longer claimed to be an extrovert, I then claimed ambivert and overtime I accepted my role as an introvert. I accepted my place as a lonely soul, not lost, not confused but hurt inside. I fulfilled my hermit role one day believing I would be a Sage or a Shaman, anything to explain and lead me on, anything to subside the guilt to what I was doing to myself. Anything. There had to be a reason for my separateness, if I was not allowed to be in the world then maybe it was because I was never meant to be, we had to reason it out, reason all of it out. Find out what happened to us, why we felt the way we did, what went wrong. Where we went wrong, what I did wrong. I had to not only know I had to make it make sense because there was this ticking time-bomb in my stomach trying to speak out the truth. Trying to claw it's way out, trying to make me believe again. All this time hiding and fighting. Knowledge was my control. I began digging. Tearing everything apart like a rabid animal. Snarling in a trap, ripping up it's bedsheets, I was vicious and this was dangerous. It harmed me in the end and it hurt like hell. I broke everything, I demolished and destroyed everything I had. The tension built up with the help of external influences, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't be, I couldn't see. I had somewhere to go. Something I held tight to and refused to let go of, I bled the way I gripped it so tight. It was mine if only I could break myself better. Break who I was, I could get it. I broke my mind. Crumbled to pieces, shattered like a mirror, I was surrounded by broken glass. The shards, the pointy ends. What have I done? WHAT HAVE I DONE? I can't pick this up, I can't fix this. The glass shards cut my hands, as I desperately tried to collect all the pieces of my mental. "Why would you do this?" I thought to myself. Oh, the blame I felt, the guilt, the self hatred and loathing. I destroyed myself, the damage I had caused myself that could never be reversed. I was my own monster, my own demon. The break of bond between my spirit and myself. I had destroyed it all. I did not like it so I went scavenging and I hit something that seemed made to collapse. A shaky hut poorly built, doomed to fall that I was living in. My own mind was poorly built on shaking foundations that faltered on me and I thought it was my fault. It was doomed to fail. My mind now in pieces, my world collapsing all around me, I lived in doomsday. It was my apocalypse. I built from the ground up again. This time with say in the matter for how I wanted to see life again. From what I knew deep down, my own truth to living. I got it half right sometimes but it was better then nothing. We had no money after all so on some spots I had to plaster the walls with what I could find, maybe some mud and straw until I could find a suitable material. Maybe some bricks like the little piggies in that story book. My mind was enmeshed, intertwined, and confused. I had pieces that didn't fit together and pieces that didn't fit at all. My mind was fractured and split. Utterly in pieces. Sides of myself combated the other. I lived in a time where there was no compromise. No decision that could be formulated on any action taken in my life. Everything was at a halt. I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat, how I wanted to dress, I couldn't formulate view points and make statements. I didn't know who I was. I was in constant distress from being pulled in a tug of war by two extremes of myself. I was absolutely distraught. All the while I had to not only keep a calm demeanor and put on a brave face for the world. I had to keep grasping and holding on tight to something that kept floating away from me, kept being just out of my reach, my grounded purpose for why I did what I did. I had to succeed, I came too far, gave up too many things, I sacrificed myself for it, I couldn't let it go, I was told not to let it go. I had to keep fighting, keep pushing. There were times where I didn't eat, other times I overate, times I couldn't sleep, and times where I only slept. My whole life was flipped upside down and I did not know balance. I did not operate out of a place of harmony. I met my shadows that crept in the night. They taunted me and did not let me sleep. I went on medication and my demons haunted me in the waking world. This isn't an empowering speech about what a force I am to be reckoned with after coming through the flames such as these. The pits of fire I embodied, the deep levels of hell that melted me. My hands calloused from trying to climb out of the well I had fallen in. At the bottom of that well it wasn't water, it was fire and I didn't make it out of there, I burned. I burned alive. I died. There was no coming back, there was no surviving that. I was ashes, but my soul burned like hot coals. Still surviving, still managing. How heavy the world was, how tired I was. How dark and suffocating, everything closed up on me. I wanted to die. My physical body wanted to die. I almost tried to. I saw it as a mercy until a voice said No. Finally, everything was quiet so I listened to it. For a second the voice that said No gave me something I was looking for, a definitive answer, a taste of consciousness on settled ground. The voice so strong and stern, sure of itself. The peace in its absolute. How all the other voices were silenced. I never understood my true intent so my mind kept gripping to what I was originally chasing after. I knew there was hope again, that voice gave me hope so I attached it to my manifestation. I knew there was something more out there. I dug through my past. Searching, trying to reason, trying to find something that might be contributing to my pain, in order to move forward to my goal in sight that I was desperately reaching for, my purpose for shattering my mental, I crawled out again. I must succeed, so I took a detour. The fastest route wasn't straight at that point, I couldn't see straight. I accumulated knowledge at an exceeded rate, gaining expert level knowledge on structures of being, finding tools to build my new home. Building up again, my mind. They say if you spend all your time in your head you might as well make it a nice place to be. My head was not a nice place to be. I had a lot of neural pathways that lead me to dark places. It was a labyrinth outside the boundaries of space and time, all consuming, a monstrous black hole where light didn't exist. I found my beasts, my demons, and dragons that ought to be slain. One by one, I went to war. Winning and sometimes losing battles and like a Viking not afraid of death just awaiting Valhalla, I was ruthless. I had nothing to lose and all to gain so I slayed, I became murderous in the end, killing parts of me left and right to find a holy grail perhaps out of pure luck. I didn't know I would find a jackpot within myself, pure gold. I have a heart of gold. I unearthed diamonds within my being. I came back to myself. In the end it was all worth it, though my hands still murderous, remembering the bloodshed I was made to do. I never felt victorious, the thing I held on so tight to in my outside world, the manifestation I was working on and fighting my way to had finally arrived and I felt nothing towards it. I felt less than dead inside holding it in my hands. It was worthless to me and what people saw I had accomplished in the external, praising me and congratulating me, being so proud that I had finally succeed. Somehow that taunted me because they couldn't see my insides, all that I had done. What I have in my hands means nothing! Why lace my eyes once more? I feel no happiness in my success, no satisfaction, no glam or pride but look inside me now, see how I have risen. See the garden I have planted in my mind. Can you finally see my soul like I can now? Come visit and see inside, my holy grail, my light.