Through the trap door, emerges a werewolf

by Adam Ross
(Maidstone, Kent, England)

One of my many sketches

One of my many sketches

I'm a 20 year old guy from England. You could say I had a pretty normal adolescent life - friends, girls, drink and drugs etc. I did well at school. None of that really matters once I began my manic phase/spiritual awakening.

It began towards the beginning of the year, when I had an out of body experience/third eye opening. I transcended into feeling all at one with my environment, I felt in control of things around me, my mind could race 100mph to places, the geometric shapes and patterns were blissful, I saw what seemed to be a sun-like vision with red and golden rays slowly drifting off of it. After it stopped I slowly came back down to my bed, as I lay my head on the pillow I felt a presence by my door, it spoke "See you soon mate" and the voice was mine. Still to this day the greatest and most serene moment of my life.

Now after this experience I started to feel elevated and extremely happy. I was much wiser than before, saying all the right things to people, the right things at the right time also. In increase of being in touch with the natural world came as well, I loved walking through woods and by the river. I started reading pieces about Hare Krishna and Buddhism. I meditated 3 times a day to 'recharge and refresh'. I could feel vibrations flowing through me at the touch of a 'thought' or the seeing something for what it truly meant to me. I felt I had archetypes that may come and go, act as inspiration and another thing I could transcend with. Synchronicity was apparent throughout my days and I could understand messages they gave me, further increasing my wisdom and lifestyle choices. For the first time in my life I took up sketching and making sculptures out of odds and ends from the speaker factory I worked at, I loved it and some pieces I drew or made would again reveal themselves in the future too. I also saw what can only be described as an orb of rainbow when I was on a plane to Barcelona to see friends.

However this euphoria and happiness would slowly descend as some friends and other people would casually take the piss out of my hippie-esque/cookie behaviour, which got to me as I explained how I felt in detail. This alienated me, it made me think of how out of place someone who feels so spiritualised and enlightened is in the western world, and I slowly stopped seeing the world as I did before, you could say I wanted my ego back, I even sometimes considered myself as the bad

side of enlightenment maybe. I tried to commit suicide after going 2 weeks without feeling heightened because I couldn't find any gratification or pleasure from the world. Everything was grey and I didn't feel at one with the world.

Jumping into the river didn't work because I either didn't put enough rocks in my possession or my coat simply made me float back up. Many months of hard depression followed and I reclused more. I tried suicide again month of an overdose, but I ended up calling an ambulance. I've been diagnosed with bipolar type 2 after seeking mental help - I sought this kind of help to offer solace to not only myself but also a pressuring family. I don't like the label and doctors don't understand the spiritual aspect of my mania, it's simply delusional. My family don't understand either as they're pretty conservative and narrow minded people. I feel so alone. Only until a few days ago did I research mania linked to spirituality, and finding others' experiences has given me hope that I never had before.

I thank you so much for sharing your insight Doctor and I would love it if I could somehow receive more information regarding this subject. I don't know what you may say but I know it will help. Thank you.

Ben's Reply:

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm glad you made it and that you've had some renewed hope. The single most damaging thing about going through a manic episode or a spiritual emergency (which may or may not be exactly the same thing), is the alienation of having nobody who can understand or realize that you are having a meaningful experience. The medical establishment, while it's job should be to offer compassion, understanding, wisdom and healing, instead all too often only reduces a person's altered state experience to a medical condition to be tranquilized, feared, and managed. This is not to say that some form of medication or treatment is not useful or even necessary for some. But the attitude does the most harm. In some cultures where a more spiritual or shamanic lifestyle and belief system exists, a person going through such an experience would be cared for and guided, not labelled as mentally ill.

The manic state for many, can be a doorway into higher states of consciousness. It is not ultimate enlightenment, but a glimpse of what is beyond your normal ego consciousness.

Never lose hope and always seek positive people who have real life experience, depth and wisdom and can recognize that, as Victor Frankel says, finding meaning in our suffering is what makes life worth living, even in the face of great pain.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz

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