As a child I grew up in a family where I learned to disconnect from myself. It was not uncommon for me to be given a glass of sherry at mealtimes and if I was sick I would be given a shot of vodka which would make me either throw up or pass out.

When I reached the age of thirteen, my older brother introduced me to marijuana.

We would smoke many joints and watch late night music shows or horror movies on TV or play music or board games. It was fun having the connection with my brother – I felt special and connected to him – but it was hard getting up for school and focusing the next day.

None of my friends smoked marijuana at that stage, it was only something I shared with my brother. I never felt that smoking marijuana was an issue, or an addiction, just something I did every now and then and it was fun hanging out with him.

We only smoked marijuana, I didn’t get into drinking alcohol as much, either with him or others generally. I never liked drinking alcohol; I didn’t like how sick it made me feel, and I felt ‘taken over’, not in control – although I now know I was also taken over with marijuana at that time, I felt like I was in control. With alcohol I would say or do things that I wouldn’t say or do if I smoked marijuana. I noticed everybody changed when they drank and became less of who they were; there would be fights or arguments, things said that would hurt, and it was always regretted the next day.

I dabbled in LSD in my early 20’s, which was crazy when I look back at my life. I didn’t like the extremeness of it and there was no way out – once you had taken the trip you were at the mercy of its effects – you couldn’t stop it, and you had to ride it out until it ended. It was so intense, I felt like my body was taken over. I had heard of people who had taken LSD and had very bad experiences, some to the point of psychosis. I was fortunate in the fact that it was never that bad for me, but it’s like a lucky dip, you never know what you’re gonna get. When I was young I just went with the group and took the drugs without any thought of the consequences. It felt like if I didn’t take it and join in, I would be missing out on a ‘fun’ night.

In my mid 20’s I would go into the city with friends to nightclubs. I took amphetamines (speed) to keep me awake, as I always assigned myself to be the designated driver, thinking I would get everyone home safely, as I didn’t drink alcohol. At the time I wasn’t aware of the fact that driving under the influence of speed was as dangerous as drink driving.

When I was still living at home I grew my own cannabis under lights hidden behind my wardrobe in my bedroom and my parents never found out what I was doing. I was a horticulturist, and I was very successful at growing cannabis; it was a money saver and it meant I did not have to go out and ‘score’. I never sold it, it was for my own personal use and to share with friends. At that time it felt like it was just a harmless plant that I smoked, although I would get paranoid when I got stoned and found it hard to talk to people. Because I was so sensitive it affected me so much more than my friends and I felt ashamed that I was stoned and wasn’t able to communicate in a ‘normal’ way.

In the end I would only get stoned when I wasn’t going anywhere or didn’t have to talk to people. I retreated into my shell and chose to stay home by myself. It felt like I had started to become depressed and I only felt safe when I hid away. When I was stoned, I no longer felt like I was a part of everything; I didn’t feel like I belonged. I couldn’t relate to anyone. I felt safer with myself. I didn’t like change, I felt lost. I didn’t know if there was anything else but the life I was living and I couldn’t imagine how it could be different. I withdrew generally and felt awkward even if I wasn’t stoned.

I tried to reconnect by joining all sorts of spiritual groups, but it just didn’t feel right. I went to crystal healing, energy clearing, shamanism... all sorts of spiritual modalities but the majority of the time I found the people seemed very egocentric – they thought they were all knowing, but knowing what? I never came away with an ‘aha’ moment or with any sense of a deeper connection with myself or with more awareness from a workshop or talk. I still felt alone. I knew there was more than this and felt like no one had it.

I started to give up on the possibility of finding true answers to my questions, of finding meaning and purpose in my life.

My connection to God

All through my life I had a deep connection to God. I went to a Catholic school and although I felt close to God I could see all around me that people were not living in the way that God would have intended. The church seemed to make up lies and I could see right through them and became disheartened. I knew as a child that this way of living wasn’t how God would want us to live. As a child I felt that the nuns were supposed to be representatives of God and I knew they were definitely not doing the work of God. I was physically and emotionally abused by the nuns at school almost daily; it was a rare occasion that I came home unscathed.

Looking back, the drug taking was my way of numbing the confusion and abuse that I had experienced. I knew inside how life could be compared to the life that I could see around me and it was not the same. I was confused by this and didn’t know how to express what I felt was true.

In my late 30’s, I started to use cannabis sessions as a shamanic tool, to ‘connect’ to what I thought was a deeper connection within myself. I would experience very vivid visions and ‘healing sessions’, where I felt I was connecting to ‘something’ greater. After a while I started to question the visions; why was I seeing them, what was the purpose, as they held no real value or support. I would draw the visions afterwards but they felt empty, and they had no meaning.

What I came to realise is that I didn’t need to use cannabis as a tool to connect – I was already connected and the truth was that the drug took me away from my connection with myself, into delusion: it wasn’t real.

I came to understand that I had the connection to everything inside me; with God, which I discovered is just love, with people, with work. Everything I needed was already there and it had become so hidden by taking drugs that I thought I had to find it outside of me. I know now though that it is innate within, that connection is who we are, everybody … whether you know it, or not.

Once I realised this, it wasn’t hard for me to stop using cannabis; I just made the choice and stopped, with the focus on connecting to myself instead.

My connection to Universal Medicine

It wasn’t long after this that I came across Universal Medicine Universal Medicine via a friend. I was weary at that stage of anyone telling me what the truth about life was. I had previously dabbled into many ‘healing’ modalities; I could see and feel that the main element that was missing in these modalities was love and purpose. So why would I want to try more of the same?

My friend sent me a ‘Purple Book’ called ‘The Way It Is’ by Serge Benhayon and as soon as I started reading it I could feel a connection to everything that was written on those pages. It was like I was re-reading something I already knew deep down inside me – a re-awakening in a way.

From then on there was no looking back, every cell inside me was ignited as was the connection to God that I had already felt from when I was a child... the feeling of being held in life... at long last I felt safe.

What was being presented by Serge Benhayon was gold, I knew and felt the truth of every word. What I felt was that the connection to God was in myself, living from my inner heart.

The disregard that I had previously lived, by eating poorly and taking drugs, ended up creating a chronic health condition that put me in hospital three times. I also had many late nights fighting sleep and the rest that my body needed and I was constantly feeling sick and fatigued as a result. I had no vitality, no joy, no love and the care and appreciation for me and my body just wasn’t there.

After reading ‘The Way It Is’, I went online to the Universal Medicine website and found a practitioner near me. My first experience of having a Sacred Esoteric Healing session was like coming home. The deep connection that I felt was what I had been seeking my whole life. From then on there was no looking back. The awareness of how I live has since changed exponentially. I first started making changes by how I breathed, connecting myself back to me via the Gentle Breath Meditation™. I began to see that when we are in anger, sadness or any emotion we breathe differently, which takes us away from ourselves, and the Gentle Breath Meditation is a great tool that brought me back ...and the Gentle Breath Meditation supported me to feel where I was at and to reconnect to the truth of who I am.

Then there was the development of conscious presence; this started by my noticing that certain foods had the same effect on me as the drugs. I had to stop having a Snickers bar for lunch and look at eating foods that would actually nourish and support me. Believe it or not, this made a big difference! I became aware that reactions took me outside of myself and also stopped me from dealing with life and being accountable for my own behaviours and choices. I was turning sickness on and off, and I came to realise this when a friend wanted me to play around and make up songs with her and suddenly I had asthma and couldn’t join in: I used it as an excuse to hold back my expression.

Through the Universal Medicine Sacred Movement modality I began to connect to the woman inside of me. I never thought of myself in that way, I was just a human; now I am a beautiful woman who is delicate, strong and sexy, fragile and so divine. I have been shown a way of living that connects me to God, which is me, my love, which feels spacious, there is a freedom inside of me. I haven’t got the restriction of all the worries, hurts and concerns I used to have, I just have this easy knowing now that we are a part of everything and that we are always supported. Life seems to be flowing, I no longer struggle like I used to.

I always knew about energy, I could feel what was true and what wasn’t true. Universal Medicine teaches that “everything is energy and therefore everything is because of energy”. This makes so much sense to me. How we live and act all has an effect on others and the world around us – there is no hiding when it comes to energy.

I have been a student of Universal Medicine now for over 11 years and have never felt to venture into anything else. Everything about Universal Medicine – the healing modalities, the teachings, the community and love, the way I have come to understand myself and life – feels so true to me. The workshops Serge Benhayon presents are like experiencing a teaching that is so old and ancient but also fresh and new. It is a reawakening of my awareness of who I am and what I am moving back to, and has given me purpose in life.

My connection to myself

Today my life has totally changed: my health has improved 10-fold, I have a great job, amazing friends, and I’m in the most loving relationship that I never felt was possible for me, ever. My life has purpose, I feel I know why I’m here (living in a way that connects me to my inner-heart) and I live life knowing this.

I look back at my life of numbing myself with drugs as a time of being so lost in the world, wanting and seeking for that deep connection with myself, only to find it was there within me all along.

This was my journey back to myself.

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DepressionConnectionGodAlcoholDrugs

  • By Anonymous

  • Photography: Matt Paul