I spent a lot of time on this forum since 2011 complaining about my "Blank Mind", subsequent recovery, and then left the forum all together back in 2012. I still would stop in every once in a while to check my messages and respond to reach out to people who were seeking advice. With all that being said, I'm back because I believe myself to be in another Depersonalized State.
I had a manic/psychotic episode back in November of last year which lasted until March of this year. During this time my mind was FLYING and I was excited about my mental state. It seemed that I had been receiving spiritual visions from God and that my mind was filled with inspiration and confusion. Nonetheless, it felt amazing to have a mind that seemed to be entirely my own.
When I came to in March, there was a remnant of my flighty ideas only this time they began to slow down. And as the doctors put me on medication I found my mind in the exact same spot that it had been in over 5 years ago. Blank. My days are now filled with much mental monotony, though I read often. I refuse to watch TV/Movies, am clean off drugs (if only for 2 weeks), and neither watch porn nor drink caffeine.
I see a therapist, but like many of you probably already know, I understand that there is nothing he can do with my blank mind. I almost didn't even bring it up and when I did last week I got the inability to understand/care that I had anticipated. Now this is my second time with the blank mind and I think I have a much better understanding about it this go around then I did the last go around.
First off, unless I'm alone in this, I don't think my mind is ENTIRELY blank 24/7. Yes, I definitely have long stints of Nirvana-esque thought (And yes, I do think people in this state are progressing towards a state of spiritual enlightment), but I also have period of times where I think with purpose and volition. I just have to try REALLY, REALLY hard. I think so much of my ruminations have been on the fact that my mind is blank and that I can't think instead of engaging with my mind, no matter how rigid it is. I think the major lie that you tell yourself or obsessively think about is that you have a blank mind. The more I tell myself these things the more they become my ultimate reality.
I have a couple theories on why we get the blank mind. These are just for my conclusions based upon my thoughts. If they resonate with you, cool. If not, let them be.
I lack a concrete identity. And the older I get the more I realized I've always relied upon others for my sense of identity. I went to my first college because all my high school friends were going there. I went to my second because my mom suggested it. I went to my third and fourth because they were really easy. When I link back on my life, I often see myself letting other's take the lead in all my major decision I made growing up. Friends helped me with jobs. Music suggestions were made without me searching. Opinions were stated which were actually others opinions.
I don't know how to think for myself and the fear of thinking for myself petrifies me. I think a lot of this comes from an early age of my mom doing things for me and smothering me with an enmeshed parenting style. I don't want to say this as a source of blame, but rather identify that I have a weak connection with both my parents and poor relationship with both my sisters. This recent trauma/mood episode brought out ME in my entirety and it terrified everyone else. It was as if years of suppression and bottling up my true personality came out when I went off my medication. To think for myself requires responsibilty and it also means that I need to detach further from others or at the very minimum form a more intimate relationship with myself.
As I stated, I think a lot of this has to do with spiritual enlightenment. I believe I was born with this spiritual gift as a child which allowed me to view the world like a fish growing up, but now the gift is doesn't seem like a gift all the time and actually is very distressing to me. A lot of this comes from the fact that I don't tend to judge much in the outside, be it people, music, movies, things. And because I don't judge much I don't know what I like and what I dislike very well. That being said, when I ALLOW myself with no judgement to indulge in the "blank mind" mindset I find that I am at peace. Like divine peace. I just often get terrified and don't allow myself to enjoy it because a little voice in my head is telling me that I need to think. Deep down, I think the mind is always trying to go back to this infantile/child like state. And that if one were to truly reach enlightenment I believe they would be able to seamlessly switch from one consciousness to the other without worry.
I lack intimacy with myself. I don't have a relationship with myself. To avoid sounding black and white, I don't have a strong relationship with myself. As I said earlier, I think so much of this comes from the fact that my identity has been smothered out of me by my mother. And as I got older, I believe I learned being myself was not ok.
How does this all add up for me?
My brain goes into a state of shock and figures it's best not to think about any of these things than to think about them. Not only that, but the medication I'm on has an ability to suppress my thoughts. It's fair to painful to go into these unknown areas of the psych and I believe that my brain is trying to protect me from it. And honestly, I can understand that because I have no idea what I'd find and that uncertainty terrifies me too.
What do I plan on doing?
To the best of my ability allowing myself to have a blank mind when I have a blank mind. If it's too much for me to think today or during a particular moment it's not worth getting worked up. Of course, that's hard, but there also comes a gift with this which is the ability to focus intensely on the present. It's this pre-verbal, intuitive feeling part of the psyche where I can see clear as glass what's in front of me and not feel bothered by it.
And of course, the scary part, try and think. More than anything for me this includes thinking about the outside world. There seems to be a switch in my brain which won't allow me to think introspectively about the outside world. In the few years that I had a rational conscious mind (and even now) I tended to only think about myself. Which once again, kinda makes sense if I'm just getting acquainted with myself for the first time. Naturally, it would seem that I would think about myself.
I'm going to try my best to allow myself to fail in thinking and get lost and afraid. Where I'm at right now is creating obvious sentences in my brain about the most obvious things in the outside world. It seems pretty remedial, and it is, but it's a place to start. I refuse to throw my hands up in the air and give up just because of this. The HARDEST part of any of this for me is just being kind to myself about where I'm at. If all I can think is "The store is closing. It is 6 o clock." with absolute intention then that's all I've fucking got. Eventually, my hope it that there will be more complex observations that will build on each other. The less judgmental I am of my brain, the more freely it will feel like it can express itself. I mean, I'm fucking codependent in my my own mind. Things couldn't get much worse in terms of thinking for myself mentally. I've got to start somewhere. And so do you.
No matter what, I'm not using drugs. I'm hoping that giving up porn and caffeine will have a similar effect. And of course I'm praying and reading ALOT. Anything to strengthen my mind. I pray all of you find some comfort from this symptom as it's a total bitch, but the more judgmental you are the less your mind can breathe. Life is hard enough. I'm learning to be a friend to myself. I've always wanted a colorful mind so I said Fuck it and started building one.