Everything in Moderation

Today, I lost my oldest and dearest friend to the Universe. No, she did not pass away, physically. But, she did, mentally. Here is what happened.

For years, she was seeing a therapist and was being treated with bi-polar medications. She had been through two failed marriages with abusive men. She had to fight everyday to get through everyday life. And, despite these challenges, she was incredibly funny and creative. We would talk on the phone for hours, until our stomachs hurt from laugher. We would visit eachother… me going to NYC….her coming to Philly.  We called eachother sisters because we were so closely tied. There were no secrets between us.

Then things started to change. At first, she would delve into self-help books. I joined her, because I was, also, suffering from on and off depression and failed relationships. Then, she decided to spend a summer in Woodstock,  renting a small bungalow by herself. She was totally isolated, listening to self help and meditation tapes. We were still close and everything seemed fine.  When she returned home, she stopped therapy and medications and  started spending hours at the local Siddha Yoga ashram. Many of these hours were devoted to intense meditations that lasted for 2-3 days.  At that point, her personality had altered significantly. She was spending all of her time in meditation and reading her guru’s lessons.  She attempted, many times, to have me join her on her “road to enlightenment” by sending me the lessons and numerous chanting tapes. I thought, sure I’ll give it a try, since I had been practicing Transcendental Meditation for  several years. After a few weeks, I noticed that my behavior was changing and not for the better. I felt, almost, brainwashed…or on the road to being brainwashed.   I stopped. She did not. Our conversations consisted of her incessently quoting her guru and attempting to save me. The talks about jobs, guys, movies etc were non exsistent, now.

Our calls became less frequent. She had nothing to say. If I didn’t share her beliefs, then we had nothing in common, according to her. During one of our last conversations, she informed me that she no longer called people.  She, had cut ties with her friends, except for one, who DID practice her 24/7 daily rituals. This made no sense to me. If a person is “enlightened” are they not more compassionate and loving?  Her indifference and condescending attitude seemed hypocritical to me.

Tonight was Thanksgivng. I had not called her for quite awhile and she had not reached out to me. So, I called.  I think our  conversation lasted for 5 minutes, tonight, rather than our usual marathon talks.  After some polite, superficial chat, I knew that she couldn’t wait to hang up.  Her last words to me were “thank you for calling….bye”

I am not, in any way, condemning a road to spirituality. I think most people, in their own way, are seeking something to help get them through this life.  But, in seeking to improve yourself, do it in moderation without losing yourself. Your authentic self is precious and unique. Hold on to it, because it is YOU. I still and always will love my friend/sister.

unique

 

 

 

 

 

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27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mopana
    Nov 27, 2015 @ 16:35:24

    Sad. I am sorry for your lost friendship. She chose her way which not include you. Maybe, someday, she will realize what she has done.

    Reply

  2. Geetha B
    Nov 28, 2015 @ 01:37:13

    I guess that if you give in to subliminal messages then you become a puppet in the hands of your Handler. Some gurus are merely people who want to control others so it is important not to choose the wrong guru. Meditation and enlightenment definitely do not lead to anger or discomfort but to a greater peace and a desire to heal others. I am sorry for your friend that she has moved so much away from her core self. Hopefully one day she will snap out of it. Keep well

    Reply

    • jane
      Nov 28, 2015 @ 01:44:14

      I agree, Geetha. She has said that she is preparing for the moment of her death. I truly believe that she is so scared that she has just shut herself off from life .and reality. There is no talking to her. She becomes very defensive and verbally abusive. She has moved to far away from her self that she no longer wants to be called by her name. Thank you for understanding xo

      Reply

      • Geetha B
        Nov 28, 2015 @ 01:47:44

        This is sad but it can also happen to real truth seekers who are called by the void instead of life. However in this case, the call of the void does not entail condescendence towards others, just emptiness and the desire to leave the earthly realms. I hope she will find her own way out.

      • jane
        Nov 28, 2015 @ 01:53:36

        That is what is so disturbing to me. She has lost her compassion and ability to love. She has been this way for a few years.

      • Geetha B
        Nov 28, 2015 @ 01:56:23

        A few years means that this is definitely not the call of the void as that takes you very quickly away from this world (not figuratively speaking – and I know this for having experienced it). If you do want to help her, perhaps you could send her some meditation music and engage with her not necessarily to follow what she asks you to but to keep her engaged for long enough that you may then move her out of her conditioning.

      • jane
        Nov 28, 2015 @ 02:03:56

        I wish I could. It is the exact opposite. She sends me meditation music. She feels that she no longer needs them. That, the chants and mantras stay with her 24/7. The danger started when she stopped guided meditation and decided that she could do this on her own. She is basically a recluse right now.

      • Geetha B
        Nov 28, 2015 @ 02:38:39

        So sorry then, the damage does not seem possible to reverse. Only she can get out of this if she wishes to. I wish her luck and peace

      • jane
        Nov 28, 2015 @ 02:50:16

        Geetha..thank you for your insight and your caring xo

      • Geetha B
        Nov 28, 2015 @ 02:52:56

        One always wishes one could do more. You’re most welcome xx

  3. Sabiscuit
    Nov 29, 2015 @ 04:26:12

    I’d like to offer my condolences to you on the metaphysical loss of your friend. Your awareness that this is a symptom of an illness is good and I can tell that you have a great deal of compassion as you tried to support her. Your patience and goodwill are no doubt a shelter in a storm and if she comes back, she will know where to find you.

    Reply

  4. Schnauzevoll
    Dec 01, 2015 @ 03:50:03

    Sorry for ‘losing’ a friend but it is great you noticed you changed before it was too late! Maybe after a while she will change again, maybe she then will come back to you, if not at least i hope both of you will feel better / good again!

    Reply

    • jane
      Dec 01, 2015 @ 20:47:12

      Sadly, I feel it’s too late for her..it’s been too long. As long as she is happy in her world.. will always love but miss her

      Reply

  5. robertmgoldstein
    Dec 06, 2015 @ 04:24:21

    I find it significant that she stopped her medication and dropped her therapist. She threw the bi-polar disorder away with her meds.

    She lives in the kind of environment that one might get in a long term treatment facility. Every minute of her life is planned.

    My guess is that her highs are considered moments of transcendence.

    And most depressives can manage rote behaviors. My guess is that either way the environment is so tightly structured that she can fake it until she makes it.

    That’s why hospitals were so good.

    Reply

    • jane
      Dec 07, 2015 @ 14:24:13

      Spot on, Robert. She lives by a strict schedule..she calls them her “maintenance and administrative” duties. She is homebound, except for an occasional outing…maybe 3 days a week

      Reply

  6. OrganicIsBeautiful
    Jan 28, 2016 @ 07:04:19

    I found your blog today, and I feel very sorry to hear this story. I hope you manage to keep a smile on your face some time to times.
    Sabrina – http://OrganicIsBeautiful.com

    Reply

  7. jane
    Jan 28, 2016 @ 15:28:31

    Thanks, Sabrina. I spoke with my friend, the other day, and she seemed more like herself. She is bipolar and desperately needs her medication..that’s why I am so worried for her. She feels safe in the guise of not reacting, feeling or thinking. It is no way to live.

    Reply

  8. marliesvonn
    Sep 24, 2016 @ 18:40:43

    I am so sorry about your friend. That sounded like a rocky road for both of you. I think that things go wrong when people start to isolate themselves….very dangerous. Thank you for sharing this post. Humor is the best antidepressant out there. Making fun of myself, I have found to be most therapeutic. Peace, love, and light (and not the light from an oncoming train or from a deity but like from sunshine). Hugs.

    Reply

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