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MDMA Recovery (Stories & Support - 7) [ALL LTC posts go here]

catsonlymeow

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
8
I want to mention a post from McBird did so incredibly much for me, I am forever grateful.

The absolute worst for me was the visual stuff. I have experienced the world "looking fake" with my eyes unable to focus. Ive even felt like people's movements were blurred, kind of like tracers or after-images. It's a very lonely condition, since not many people understand. This is why I found so much relief listening to other sufferers on youtube, especially the uplifting stories of those who have recovered.

I still get the visual issues at times, but I noticed when I stop giving them so much attention they start to lose their power over me. It took a long time to get there though. I did have my eyes checked out by an optometrist and ophthalmologist to make sure there was nothing medically going on. The doctors said my eyes are healthy.

I personally feel that anxiety is mainly a mental/psychological condition. Therefore, I realized a particular diet, herb, etc. was not going to resolve it for me. Not to say that exercise, eating healthy, and abstaining from alcohol, drugs and caffeine aren't important too. I just don't think they were going to resolve it on their own without my healthy mental practices in place.

Once I was in the anxiety state, I started to fixate on every symptom I had. This stressed my nervous system more, a nervous system that was already stuck in fight or flight. Therefore, my nervous system produced more adrenaline and flight or flight hormones which kept me in the cycle for as long as I kept creating stress. So I had to reteach my nervous system that there was nothing to be afraid of. This took time and patience. I thought of it like rewiring my brain into a much calmer state.

What worked well for me was learning to acknowledge the scary, irrational thoughts and understand that they were just thoughts. THOUGHTS ARE NOT REALITY! Scary thoughts were a by-product of a tired, adrenaline filled, and over-worked mind. So every time I had one of these unpleasant thoughts, I would start to replace them with a positive or logically-based thought.

For example, if my vision felt off. I might think to myself "the world feels like it isn't real anymore." After noticing I had that thought, I would think to myself "well yes, maybe the world doesn't feel real right now, but IT IS indeed real. This is just an illusion because of the anxiety I am having. This is only temporary and I know my vision will return to normal with time so I am going to get on with my day and not worry too much about it." This was considering I had gone to the doctor first, explained my symptoms, had all the necessary tests, and my doctor said I was healthy and ruled out any medical issues with my vision. The shift in thinking didnt happen right away, and trust me, it felt like I was faking it in the beginning. But over time, these positive thoughts started to become automatic and the symptoms started to lose their power over me. Once the symptoms lost their power, my nervous system could finally relax and shitty feelings started to resolve.

I stopped worrying about how long it was taking me to recover from anxiety. Realized its a bumpy process, one day I felt great but the next day felt bad again. I welcomed the good days along with the bad, because they were all just a part of my healing process. I experienced a month of feeling good, then another month I’d feel bad again. I would try not to get discouraged, I felt I was still moving towards recovery even with those set-backs. A lot of ppl took 2-3 years to heal. Some took only 1 year. Everyone's different, so I gave myself all the time I needed.

Wishing you the best :)
 
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catsonlymeow

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
8
My memory was absolute trash too when I first had my LTC. I couldn't even remember what I did 10 mins ago.

I personally thought that my problems were from ex before I started to recover. But at the time I thought to myself, the longer I stay on these forums convincing myself that it's the ex, then the worse I seem to get. I also started to notice that when I took a break from all forums, all researching of the condition, and started to focus (as best I could) on normal everyday life, I felt slightly better. This correlation made me realize - what have I got to loose? I started listening to the anxiety community on how they all recovered. I applied the same techniques to my own situation, unsure if it would work, and to my excitement I started (very slowly) recovering more and more every few months. I just want to share what I've experienced. Healthy mental practices really helped me with my anxiety and not buying into the fact that “I am messed it.”

It is a WELL KNOWN thing in the anxiety community that anxiety (especially DP/DR) fucks very badly with one's memory. Anxiety is persistent af as long as the person keeps themselves in the vicious cycle. It doesn't matter if someone’s memory has been shit for 2 years or for 15 years, if they are in the DP/DR cycle, it can continue to stay that way until one gets out of the anxiety/stress cycle.

My readings taught me that the reason this happens is actually quite simple. Once my brain was triggered into "fight or flight" and stayed there for an extended period of time, I changed how my brain was wired in a sense. THIS WAS NOT PERMANENT for me. My brain wanted me to survive whatever threat it thought could harm me, so it started to divert all it's energy into my amygdala and other stress response centers of my brain.

So what do you think happens with a brain that is diverting all of its energy to its survival center?? My brain could give two fucks as to what I was able to easily remember or how well I could concentrate on a detailed task (like a math equation). All my brain wanted to do was survive that "tiger attack" (I use this analogy because this was my primitive, caveman center of my brain at work). Therefore I FELT dumber. But I was NOT actually dumber. The irony of it all is that my brain was working great, it was just doing what it thought it had to do given the situation.

My brain did not know the difference between stress triggered by a tiger about to devour me OR stress triggered by reading scary information on forums all day. For example, when watching a really scary movie, despite knowing logically that it is not real, my heart pounds and I jump and startle just as if it was real. So what this meant to me was that stress over a drug fucking me up for life was stressing my brain out the exact same way as if I was running from tigers on the daily. Therefore, my brain responded by going into survival mode and all the symptoms that followed happen because my brain was trying to divert energy into staying alive, instead of diverting energy to "normal" sensations and "normal" life. Also, I was in this chronic "fight or flight state," I couldn't calm down and relax properly like others could (say once the scary movie comes to an end). My brain had decided, through too much stress, that I needed to STAY in this state for a long time until I prove to it otherwise.

DP/DR can often mask itself as feeling calm because it's trying to numb me (and numb my emotions) so in case that tiger does get a hold of me and eat me, at least I won't feel as much of the pain and suffering. I imagine an animal "freezing" in nature when they go into shock. DP/DR for me was a form of being in shock from all the stress.

Hope my story helps. Take care my friends.
 
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G_Chem

Bluelighter
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
1,643
The people that never recover are the people who BELIEVE they’ll never recover. The mind is a powerful thing.

-GC
 

catsonlymeow

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
8
FYI, A great, free resource from someone who experienced 10 years of anxiety with DP/DR and recovered.
 

lionheart90

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
230
Thanks for your share, I really relate to a lot of this. I don't do drugs or smoke weed anymore, however, when I start to intake too much caffeine, allow my sleep to get f'd up, or drink it really hits me a lot harder then it used to. Not sure if, like you said, I'm just more aware of it now. I even notice how crappy I feel when my diet is not clean (i.e. too much sugar) compared to before. I think we are just very sensitive and aware of our bodies after a LTC so we need to be more mindful on how we treat it. I think it's a good thing in the long run, a hard lesson but a good lesson. Not saying we will always be so hyper-aware of our bodies, I'm sure that diminishes with time but for now I guess I'm just taking those lessons in.
I think this whole issue does make us hyper-sensetive for a while.

LSD first started to make me very sensetive, and before that I was already sensetive. Then the MDMA abuse (i didnt abuse it for long, maybe 4-6 months with a couple doses 2 weeks apart) really frazzled me.

IDK which did more damage, the LSD or the MDMA. TBH they probably combined and made each others negative effects worse. At the time I just didn't care, I was living an amazing life and on top of the world for a long time before I crashed. I guess that is my karma. On top of the world for a bit, then drug through the mud for a bit, now I'm happy just walking around being normal.

anyways, I have noticed that the sensetivity has gone down with time, but it's still too much for me to consider myself normal.

My recovery and support networks are also still fairly weak so I don't consider my recovery done. I can still do a whole lot more to bring peace and stability to my life, and I don't expect all my symptoms to vanish until I make that effort (currently making it but its not simple, it takes trial and error to get it right).

but yeah, I do view this as a blessing in disguise too, and it has taught me a lot of things I should have learned on LSD (self-care, self-love, etc). It has taught me a million and a half lessons, it's just the method of delivery that I complain about. I would rather learn my lessons in heaven, not in hell, know what i mean? haha I say that, but after being in heaven for so long, its pretty clear that when you are in heaven you dont want to do or change anything, you just want to stay in heaven and maybe its that stagnation that causes us to fall. You could call it stagnation or attachment if you are buddhist.
 

lionheart90

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
230
Oh yeah, I think the only issue that I really struggle with right now is what I call fading out. It's basically mild dissociation I think.

basically I'll just be sitting there or doing something, then my vision just fades out and unfocuses. I will usually feel a pretty decent feeling of euphoria as well. Like somehow dissociating or fading out is like SUPER PLEASURABLE, not euphoric like drugs, but it feels fucking good thats for sure.

anyways I've had to learn to resist it everytime, even though it may feel good.
also what works for me is to close my eyes, focus on my breathing, basically become present again and re-center myself. then open my eyes up a few seconds later.

this "fade out" happens all the time. Even if I'm playing my favorite video games, watching my favorite movie, talking to someone at work. It happens in any possible place. And yes, it's only a few seconds and not as severe as when it first started, but still its concerning.

so thats the only issue that I really have an issue with. I get anxiety pretty bad sometimes and might worry too much, but in general its manageable. The only one that really concerns or worries me is the fade out/unfocus/dissociation thing.

anybody have experience with beating this lingering issue? or even just have experiencing with it lasting for so long?
 

rinzzlerr

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
62
How long has it been since your abuse @lionheart90 ? I reckon reading your reddit posts a while back saying you were pretty much recovered. Im in roughly the same boat, i have a couple weird symptoms remaining, the sensations in my head have gotten better but they are still present. Lights still look odd at night, and on Friday I had mild depersonalization while eating lunch where I just felt weird. It went away after 20 mins though. I’m about 8 months in after abuse, so I pray it just eventually all fades away.
 

rinzzlerr

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
62
Is it possible that the MDMA has caused some sort of damage to the way my bloodflows in my head? It seems that when I get anxious or nervous, my face gets easily warm and red, it's never happened before the abuse. Could this be related to that? I'm guessing it might have something to do with the weird head sensations as well. Not sure if this matters but, I used to always get Ocular migraines in high school WAY before I even thought about MDMA. On the comedown I had one instance of an Ocular Migraine back in late June/early July, but I haven't had one since. This reason I bring this up is because I believe Ocular migraines are related to poor bloodflow. I recall reading a while back someone posted about MDMA causing some weird cut-off or disturbance of blood flow to the brain. I don't recall exactly where I read it though. Overall my mood is great, sex drive is normal, and I feel like my old self. Just wish my face wouldn't get red when I'm trying to get laid, lol.
 

Wheella

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
13
Dear friends of the LTC community, I had just discovered the post on MDMA LTC, and read the entire post over a few hours in amazement. My ONLY symptom appear similar very similar to LTC, except that my substance was primarily meth. I am a first time meth user who puffed in 1.5-1.8 grams over 2 days and experienced an overdose (felt arms getting heavy and paralysed, palms cramping, tried hard not to pass out - typical serotonin syndrome?), but I think I consumed half an ecstasy (or maybe one) pill too. I am very new to all this and really am not quite sure of the dosing, but we would be talking about between half or one ecstasy pill max. This is my post https://www.bluelight.org/xf/threads/meth-overdose-chronic-dizziness.883511/

I am 8 weeks into my overdose and struggle with chronic dizziness as my ONLY symptom. I’ve learnt through the various posts that other descriptions would be (head pressure, head sensation etc.). The head pressure gives rise to dizziness (though not to the point of vertigo) and interfere with my work. the dizziness will come about after some movement and resolve when I am completely resting my head against something solid. Similar to some of you, my symptoms resolve at about evening when my brain is somewhat tired. I wake up well and good, only to have the dizziness set in and I will sink into despair. The past few weeks have been particularly difficult with suicidal thoughts, given that so much is at stake for me (job, family). My heart rips apart when I look into the innocence of my precious daughter .... she knows I am not feeling well, but haven’t a clue as of what this is. I have read quite a few very encouraging posts and am wondering if there are points of reference between what I am experience and the discussion in this thread. Up to 8 weeks ago I haven’t a clue as to what meth or MDMA is, so please forgive me if I come across as a complete novice on the subject.

I am being follows up by a psychiatrist who tells me that time will heal as my brain suffered a bruising. The many advise here on this thread is helpful - exercise, diet, positive thoughts, do not obsess with symptoms, patience as only time can heal.

I don’t know what else to do at this point. But I do know is I need help form a supportive community like yours .... I will really appreciate your thoughts.
 

braindead777

Greenlighter
Joined
May 30, 2015
Messages
8
When I read other peoples LTC stories it makes me feel like the odd one out.. my story is I abused mdma for half a year. I was rolling 2-3 times a week (0.2-0.8g per roll). I was also going off and back on lexapro which I was prescribed by my doctor because I already had anxiety and a panic attack disorder. I would go off lexapro for 5 days sometimes less and then roll. I started not being able to roll at all so figuring something was wrong I stopped both mdma and lexapro cold Turkey. That's when everything went to shit. It's been FIVE years going on 6 since that day and I STILL have LTC. My symptoms include paranoia, anxiety, crippling ocd, panic that is so hard to hold back, it just comes on when I think of anything scary, always exausted, restless leg syndrome my left leg that jolts when I try to sleep the more tiered I get which leads to insomnia, my left eye pulls more towards my nose, floaters, depersonalizaion and derealization so bad that I can usually not even picture what I look like, a total personality change including lack of empathy, introverted, I dropped all my friends and stay up all night and sleep through the day because theres some fear of being asleep when it's dark out, and a pressure in my head that feels like a bubble. I've tried everything. For serotonin: 5htp hits me so hard I drops my dopamine making my rls and insomnia worse, tryptophan stops working after a while, going back on the ssri and it did nothing, changed to 2 other types of SSRI's and they did nothing, well, zoloft made me manic. Ashwaganda makes my head feel hot and heavy like I'm about to roll but dont. I've addressed dopamine: kava kava just acted as a mild stimulant, tyrosine gave me horrible paranoia and restless anxiety, coffee to upregulate dopamine and serotonin which cased a bit of euphoria then a quick crash, iron which makes me feel like I have too much dopamine and have closed eye visuals, I've addressed the nervous system using magnesium which actually helps some, tulsi, helps some, green tea which worsens my rls. I went vegan 3 years ago, a protien rich diet seems to help (i buy a vegan protein powder online), I try to exercise and get sunlight but it's hard to motivate myself to step out of the house. I've been to the dr over 10 times since the abuse. There was never any sympathy or answers, just a recommendation to try the ssri again.. I even saw a neurologist who my dr wouldnt reccomend by going to the er and getting a referral there. He said I should just go to the psych ward if it gets worse.. if theres anything I wish I could take back in my life it would be abusing mdma. It RUINED my life and nothing has gotten much better. Advice would also be great..how do you balance serotonin and dopamine when you have obvious deficiencies in both, but increasing one drops the other?
 

HopingForChange

Greenlighter
Joined
Feb 2, 2020
Messages
5
First time poster. Very fucking scared. I really, really, really need some advice/help. I had been using MDMA 1 time a weekend for the last 2 years. There were breaks in between, but we'll say out of 104 weeks in the last 2 years, I rolled 60 of them. Never anything more than .2 or .3. A few nights I redosed, and a 3 or 4 times total, I rolled back to back. Also on some of the occasions I would drink.

I realized in October I had a serious problem. I blacked out and made the absolute hugest mistake of my life and slept with another woman. I wasnt in control, and would never do that in a sober state. I was so deep into using I ignored the signs. My dad just passed away in July and I didnt want to face the pain.

I slowly started to cut back. January 10th was the last time i did any. I've been dealing with LTC since before then and didnt quite understand it. Since the 10th, things do nothing but get worse it feels like. Panic attacks. Depression which brings on crippling anxiety and the complete inability to focus on my normal life.

I've started taking Lions Mane Mush Extract, NAC, and a slew of other supplements that I've read helped others, but nothing seems to be working. A good friend of mine who went thru a similar experience told me that I for sure did damage but I would better within the next few months as long as I dont touch the shit ever. He said he did MDMA for every day solid for quite a few months, and his ltc recovery was 3 months.

It's been 3 weeks (as noted) since the last time I've taken any MDMA and it doesnt feel like this is getting any better. I obsess over my mistake from cheating and throws me into panic attacks so hard that I feel like I will pass out. This morning I woke up and litterally couldnt breath for an hour straight.

I started taking Kratom to help, but when I'm not on it I feel like it may be giving me some type of withdraw symptoms which only makes everything worse.

I've been trying so fucking hard. I dont want to feel like this ever again. I just want it to be over, and after nearly 1 month I'm not seeing any light at the end of my tunnel. I read and read and read, and I see stories of people saying they got 6 month ltc from just one use.... I'm scared I'll never get out of this.

I have a friend that wants me to see a psychiatrist but I'm nervous to do that. I dont want to get put on pills because I fear my body will become dependent on the meds. I'm in such a bad place right now.

I have 2 kids and my amazing wife who I just want to be normal for again. Will I ever be normal again? I'm so scared and in search for whatever answers I can find. What should I do? Should I see the psychiatrist? Should I continue doing the supplements and focus on pushing forward?

It's so hard. I know I need patience but I really need some type of gratification. Some visible light at the end of the tunnel. I just want to feel like me again. Im tired of sitting and crying as asking God "Why me? Why did I do this? When will I get better?". 3 months. 6 months. They all feel so fucking far away and I dont know if I have the strength. Like.... I'm so mentally exhausted from beating myself up daily. Then after that not being able to go to bed even though I'm fucking exhausted.

Someone... anyone.... please. Help me.
 

catsonlymeow

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
8
When I read other peoples LTC stories it makes me feel like the odd one out.. my story is I abused mdma for half a year. I was rolling 2-3 times a week (0.2-0.8g per roll). I was also going off and back on lexapro which I was prescribed by my doctor because I already had anxiety and a panic attack disorder. I would go off lexapro for 5 days sometimes less and then roll. I started not being able to roll at all so figuring something was wrong I stopped both mdma and lexapro cold Turkey. That's when everything went to shit. It's been FIVE years going on 6 since that day and I STILL have LTC. My symptoms include paranoia, anxiety, crippling ocd, panic that is so hard to hold back, it just comes on when I think of anything scary, always exausted, restless leg syndrome my left leg that jolts when I try to sleep the more tiered I get which leads to insomnia, my left eye pulls more towards my nose, floaters, depersonalizaion and derealization so bad that I can usually not even picture what I look like, a total personality change including lack of empathy, introverted, I dropped all my friends and stay up all night and sleep through the day because theres some fear of being asleep when it's dark out, and a pressure in my head that feels like a bubble. I've tried everything. For serotonin: 5htp hits me so hard I drops my dopamine making my rls and insomnia worse, tryptophan stops working after a while, going back on the ssri and it did nothing, changed to 2 other types of SSRI's and they did nothing, well, zoloft made me manic. Ashwaganda makes my head feel hot and heavy like I'm about to roll but dont. I've addressed dopamine: kava kava just acted as a mild stimulant, tyrosine gave me horrible paranoia and restless anxiety, coffee to upregulate dopamine and serotonin which cased a bit of euphoria then a quick crash, iron which makes me feel like I have too much dopamine and have closed eye visuals, I've addressed the nervous system using magnesium which actually helps some, tulsi, helps some, green tea which worsens my rls. I went vegan 3 years ago, a protien rich diet seems to help (i buy a vegan protein powder online), I try to exercise and get sunlight but it's hard to motivate myself to step out of the house. I've been to the dr over 10 times since the abuse. There was never any sympathy or answers, just a recommendation to try the ssri again.. I even saw a neurologist who my dr wouldnt reccomend by going to the er and getting a referral there. He said I should just go to the psych ward if it gets worse.. if theres anything I wish I could take back in my life it would be abusing mdma. It RUINED my life and nothing has gotten much better. Advice would also be great..how do you balance serotonin and dopamine when you have obvious deficiencies in both, but increasing one drops the other?
Try reading At Last a Life by Paul David. You can get the electronic version on amazon.
 
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lionheart90

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
230
How long has it been since your abuse @lionheart90 ? I reckon reading your reddit posts a while back saying you were pretty much recovered. Im in roughly the same boat, i have a couple weird symptoms remaining, the sensations in my head have gotten better but they are still present. Lights still look odd at night, and on Friday I had mild depersonalization while eating lunch where I just felt weird. It went away after 20 mins though. I’m about 8 months in after abuse, so I pray it just eventually all fades away.
Its been 2 years. The constant DP/DR cleared up about month 10 for me. The extreme symptoms cleared up at like 4-5 month. The emotional numbness cleared up around month 12-14 for me.

The lingering issues are still there but I doubt most people would even notice them unless they were sensitive to anxiety. and after having gone through anxiety for my whole life, and 2 years of extreme anxiety/LTC, i can grantee that I am hyper sensitive to anxiety and can feel even the smallest twinges of anxiety within my body.

The issues I deal with are what I consider to be normal levels. I don't get depression, and in general my health is rock solid, however I still do get episodes of anxiety from time to time. And if I smoke weed, drink caffeine, and miss sleep (like a weekend of heavy partying) the odds of getting a panic attack or dissociation go way up.

I got a new job about 10 months ago that is in customer service, so I talk to 50-100 people a day on average. And from what I can see, I am doing pretty fucking well. My health is strong and in many ways I am ahead of a huge percentage of the population. The anxiety still lingers, yes, so I'm not like in the top 1% or 5% or even 10% of healthy people, but, I am really far up there and my health is amazing. Like I said, its just the anxiety that lingers.

---

Anytime you get a huge worry like that, a worry that just doesn't go away. That is symptom of a severe anxiety wave. The thoughts about damage, or long term issues, or anything like that. Its just a flare up of anxiety. Learn to do some deep belly breathing and calm your nervous system down, it will help with the other symptoms that flare up.

anxiety is the root issue that causes everything else to cascade. That is why when you deal with anxiety, all the other symptoms go away too.

and contrary to popular belief, it IS possible for anxiety to cause the severe and long lasting issues that we have all dealt with. acute anxiety is the anxiety that most people talk about when they say anxiety. And they fail to understand or recognize that chronic anxiety, anxiety that just doesnt go away for hours or weeks or months on end, is something that people also deal with.

so many fucking people gas light me about my anxiety, saying shit like "it cant be that bad, I HAVE ANXIETY AND ITS NOT THAT BAD" and I want to just punch them in the fucking face. lol. honestly, it does get me wiled up but its whatever, I just ignore people like that.

truth is most people have never deal with chronic, severe, and persistent anxiety like many of us here have.

and that is what the LTC is, a severe, chronic persistent anxiety disorder.

deal with the anxiety, beat the LTC.
 

lionheart90

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
230
I am a first time meth user who puffed in 1.5-1.8 grams over 2 days and experienced an overdose (felt arms getting heavy and paralysed, palms cramping, tried hard not to pass out - typical serotonin syndrome?), but I think I consumed half an ecstasy (or maybe one) pill too.
It's most commonly caused by MDMA, however it can be caused by many things.

Strong stimulant crashes are likely to cause it (the LTC). my LTC began when I did a couple lines of coke and had some MDMA. The comedown was severe as both the MDMA and cocaine comedown coincided. I got a panic attack and it was all a shit show from then on.

I've heard of people getting LTC from natural disasters and gang shootings, and also from weed. So it's not like this disorder is just from MDMA, it's just really common from MDMA and that is where most people on here have come to believe it comes from. (also doesnt help that this is a MDMA forum, haha)

anyways, if you do have what we are all going through, you can only do the best you can. Work on staying calm and creating a sanctuary within your private home and within your mind. Create a place of safety and peace where you can deal with the anxiety.

Sanctuary, sanctuary, sanctuary. Find your sanctuary and you'll be armed to deal with the anxiety.
 

lionheart90

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
230
It's been FIVE years going on 6 since that day and I STILL have LTC....advice would also be great..how do you balance serotonin and dopamine when you have obvious deficiencies in both, but increasing one drops the other?
From what I hear you saying, its like you have tried so many supplements and everything like that. You've tried change by putting new chemicals in your body (which is a bad idea btw, in my opinion). But have you tried transforming your life?

I did a lot of the things you did, tried supplements, tried putting new things in my body (food, water, organics, etc). But what really helped me was transforming more than just those things, I started to cut out toxic people from my life, and started to add in people who were calm and chill and loving.

what you put in your body is only half the battle. the environment you are in, the environments you are forced to go into regularly (career/friends homes/hobby environments) also have a huge impact on your body and mental health.

I quit my old job that was full of toxic stress. Found a new job with compassionate, helpful, and loving people.

quitting my old shitty job and finding a new career was probably the #1 thing that helped me to heal. I was literally having nightmares about my old job, waking up hating my job and routine. it was hell and I was doing it all for money, money which didnt really help me out much anyways. I quit that job cold turkey one day, started ubering for like 4-5 months (which was a good first step because I started to feel better just not being in that toxic environment), and then I eventually found a great job working for the state. I help people retire now and everyday I deal with happy people and happy co-workers. There is constantly free food and potlucks and events and my job, and I am making more money now than ever before and earning healthcare and retirement benefits.

I am drowning in happiness at my new job, and that is what I needed to recover. My new co-workers can even sense when I'm fucked up, and they will talk to me and cheer me up when I'm feeling down. So I no longer feel alienated or like I'm doing all the hard work myself.

in my journey to heal from the LTC. I have pretty much transformed my entire life. My morals have changed, my beliefs have changed, my actions and routine and schedule have changed, my diet has changed, my employment has changed, my friends have changed.

everything has changed. and I'm not even done yet, there is still more work to be done and more improvements to be made. However I've done enough to feel like I've recovered, to feel OK and normal again. All it took was a total life transformation haha, which sounds scary and drastic, but when you are living in hell its actually not so hard.


so I ask you, how much of your life have you transformed? Are there parts of your life that you have not yet transformed? Like your career? Or your daily routine/habits?
 

lionheart90

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
230
Someone... anyone.... please. Help me.
The best I can do is give you advice and some hope. It's up to you to do the hard work required to get better.

The best way to heal from a LTC is also the hardest. You have to create a period of a couple months where you don't get anxiety so that your body can reset itself.

I did this on accident once back when I had a much more mild case of the LTC. Basically back then I was in college still so i didn't have much stress to begin with, and I would wake up each morning and do sprinting because I intuitively understood that it was the only thing that would make my anxiety go away.

So for 2 months I woke up every morning and sprinted. Like within 5 minutes of waking up I was outside, fully clothed, and hauling ass up hills and around the park. That would usually deal with my anxiety for most of the day. I would occasionally get anxiety in the evenings and I would sometimes workout, but usually in the evenings or at night if I got anxiety I would do yoga, meditation, or tai chi.

and yes, its difficult to relax when you have anxiety, but relaxation is also the only way to beat the anxiety and heal your body. You have to force yourself to relax, which isnt that hard once you learn how to. One of the best techniques I learned is to slow my breathing. basically hold your in and out breath for like an additiona 30% to 50% and this will slow your breaths per minute wayyy down.

when I am really calm, I can do like 5-6 breaths per minute, sometimes less, and be fully oxygenated to where I don't feel like I'm holding my breath at all.

contrast that to an anxiety state, and I might have like 30+ breaths per minute while anxious.

my recipe for success. if you are a beginner and dont know how to consciously calm down, then exert yourself and get the anxious energy out through physical exercise. If you can't do that because of your job, or your laziness, then learn how to calm the anxious energy down through deep breathing, yoga, meditation, tai chi, or pretty much any relaxation technique you want to think about.

one that I was just trying yesterday and helped A LOT, like a scary amount, was imaging myself totally frozen in ice.

What care in the world can you have if you are totally encased in ice? None! It was like being in the womb of the world, i did not feel cold or scared or paniced. I just felt calm, and surrounded by intense beauty.

this was a thought technique I was doing to calm down. I was in my bed, and I told myself 'Imagine myself totally encased in ice" and anytime another thought about the cool music I listened to earlier in the day, or the things I did at work, or the things my ex girlfriend said to me, anytime any of that came to mind I just said "this isn't ice" and I returned to the ice.

you can do that same thing with wherever you feel calm. Some days I do the same technique but I'm deep in an ancient forest. Sometimes I'm at the beach. Wherever I am in the technique, it's somewhere that I feel calm and totally at peace with. Somewhere I can be present and totally unbothered by the worries of the world.

15-30 minutes of that is the equivalent of doing the same amount of sprinting, or having a full body massage. It relaxes the nervous system and helps heal the body.

When I was in intense agony and anxiety, I would do techniques like that (sprinting, relaxation techniques) anytime I had spare time. and like I said, it only takes a couple months of beating anxiety before your body resets.

the reason you hear some people with the 3-6 or multiple year recoveries is because they fail to deal with anxiety for long enough for their body to recover. Even myself, I was smoking weed for the first 6 months of my LTC. drinking alcohol, did acid a couple of times, had a toxic work environment, and in general just had an extremely stressful life and that stopped me from recovering. The reason I didnt stop those things, is because they are addictive yes, but also because I though that "time would heal this too" and so I didn't stop the influx of toxic stress. I just kept doing all my shitty bad habits because I thought time would heal it all.

the best way to recover in my experience is to create a period of a couple months where you have zero or very little anxiety. basically you have to do an anxiety reset to heal your body. The way that I personally accomplished that was through exercise and relaxation techniques.

good rule of thumb, one relaxation technique per 8 hours. A run or sprint for 20-30 minutes will keep you anxiety free, or greatly reduce your anxiety, for about 8 hours. that means twice a day you need to sprint, or meditate, or do yoga, or otherwise find some way to calm your nervous system down all the way.

2 months of that is all I needed to recover, but it had to be everyday and very disciplined. The first time I recovered I did it immediately, the second time I waited until the 14th month of the LTC before I finally got my shit together and did it.

I dont think the LTC is based on time to recover, its based on your actions.
 

Elleker

Greenlighter
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Messages
12
All those posts are fantastic lionheart, really solid applicable advice. And I agree, the best thing I ever learned to do was to meditate. I haven’t always been consistent with it, but when I have been it’s when I’ve had the least LTC symptoms.

You‘ve given me pause for thought on my most recent endeavour to rid myself of my most persistent LTC symptom, that being anhedonia. After 3 years I’ve managed to overcome nearly all my symptoms (in my first year I had just about everything that has been described on here), barring transient anxiety and persistent anhedonia. I am pretty well totally functionable in society and most people would never tell there was anything wrong with me, but I do not feel pleasurable emotions anything near like I used to pre LTC (that feeling in your heart when you get excited or love someone etc). I miss that more than anything.

After 3 years I decided that I needed to do something a bit more involved than the usual meditation/exercise/supplements routine I had going, as I just wasn’t sure the anhedonia was going to get better, so I started a personal trial of NSI-189 a week ago as although it does seem to vary wildly in terms of effects/side effects for people online, it does seem to be the most consistent thing to cure anhedonia as far as I can tell. However, it has caused a marked increase in my anxiety (as well as just a general run down feeling) since I started taking it, which is a well documented side effect. It apparently goes away after a month, but I can’t imagine it’s good for one’s body to go through, especially during LTC.

Hence after reading your posts I’m really considering stopping it for now. I haven’t actually given a full 2 or 3 months of focusing purely on anxiety reduction before like you suggested, so I’m thinking I might be better off doing that first and seeing if it has an effect on both my anxiety (which I logically assume it will) and my anhedonia (which I’m more concerned about). The anhedonia and my concern regarding it is actually one of the main things that fuels my anxiety, as I’ll often be feeling quite calm, but then realise I don’t feel any positive emotion and then start to get anxious if I ever will do again. And if your hypothesis regarding LTC and anxiety is correct, then the anxiety in turn perpetuates the anhedonia. It’s a twisted old loop really.

Anyway, as you mentioned that you had overcome your emotional numbness in months 12-14, which seemed to coincide with when you began your intensive anxiety reduction protocol, it gives me hope that if I do the same I may experience the same results. And I think I need that belief in order to completely reduce anxiety in the first place, as if I don’t have it I feel I’ll just perpetually be hear the little voice that worries that I’ll never overcome the anhedonia. Oh and if there did happen to be anything else that helped your anhedonia besides anxiety reduction please do let me know (same goes with anyone else reading this post), it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for your advice to us all, it’s comforting to read, and it’s great to know you’re in such a good place these days!
 

lionheart90

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
230
Anyway, as you mentioned that you had overcome your emotional numbness in months 12-14, which seemed to coincide with when you began your intensive anxiety reduction protocol, it gives me hope that if I do the same I may experience the same results. And I think I need that belief in order to completely reduce anxiety in the first place, as if I don’t have it I feel I’ll just perpetually be hear the little voice that worries that I’ll never overcome the anhedonia. Oh and if there did happen to be anything else that helped your anhedonia besides anxiety reduction please do let me know (same goes with anyone else reading this post), it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for your advice to us all, it’s comforting to read, and it’s great to know you’re in such a good place these days!
Anhedonia was one of the worst symptoms for me too. And although I do feel love, joy, pleasure in great doses, it still doesn't compare to the highs I used to feel.

but alas, maybe that is just part of growing older. my LTC hit me when I was 27 and I'm 29 now. When I ask my friends and family if they feel positive emotions as intensely as they did when they were young, not a single one of them said yes. So it appears that it is most likely a consequence of time, or at the least, time does make things less pleasurable.

I have been experimenting to see if its just time, and it doesnt appear to be just time. It also appears to be lifestyle. So many people live a high stimulation lifestyle. On their phones constantly (searching for dopamine hits), being loved on by their wives and kids and husbands and friends, constantly eating rich foods.

In general, we live (assuming you are in a first world country too, I live in America) a very high satisfaction lifestyle. And this constant stream of satisfaction seems to bring diminishing returns. What has helped for me is to carefully limit my satisfaction, pleasure, and stimulation.

that means I limit rich foods, limit electronic stimulation, limit drugs, limit things that stimulate euphoria or happiness. Key word is stimulate. I don't limit myself from looking at naturally beautful things like a sunset, ice on the trees, the detailed beauty of nature, the accomplishments of humans, etc. I limit things that artifically stimulate my mind or body, which usually means man-made things like scanticly clad women in advertising, man made drugs, caffine or rich foods, electronic stimulation, intense music (classical music is OK and encouraged), etc.

It's hard because if you cut out too much, you'll get depressed and fucked up. In general though, I have found it to be very rewarding because when I do go back to those simple pleasures I permit myself (music mostly) they feel very euphoric.


So to summarize, I don't feel the intense euphorias that I once enjoyed when I was younger. I once had a spiritual awakening and had INTENSE euphoria for a long fucking time, and just a general buzz for many years. I'm talking about a high and euphoria much stronger than MDMA, and it lasted for months and the buzz that followed it lasted for years. I have not felt anything like that since the LTC, however I have felt a return of love, joy, positivity, strength, etc.

Like I stated in the above posts, it took a total life transformation before I started to feel those good things again.

probably the biggest 2 helpers are; exercise and removing major sources of stimulation (biggest offender is porn and excessive masturbation).


Last thing. It might not exclusively be the LTC or the anxiety, it might be a natural side effect of reaching such high levels of satisfaction and pleasure that we experience such a period of anhedonia. If we follow the rationality of balance, we will naturally come to the conclusion that to live in a such a heaven will inevitably be followed by a period of dwelling in hell.

I thought that once and tried to make myself suffer, believing it would end my hell sooner. However that experiment failed horribly. It's not like we need to increase suffering to end the LTC, we just have to stop endlessly indulging in pleasure and self-satisfaction.
 
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lionheart90

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
230
One other thing that helped with the anhedonia for me, it was that I had to start facing every fear I had.

Intensity and extreme emotions seemed to also open up pleasure for me again. It backfired plenty of times and I faced increased anxiety because of it, but I also began to feel intense joy and euphoria the more I faced huge fears and overcame them.

I remember at one time making a list of all my fear, and I began to conquer them all one by one. As I began to do that I began to feel more joy and love, alongside more intense anxiety and fear. The anxiety and fear would go away of course, but the love and joy and other emotions didn't go away.

Also just general emotional work also helped. I did a lot of surrendering practices, a lot of emotional unblocking techniques. pounding a pillow, screaming in the middle of a forest where nobody could hear me. The more I felt anything at all, the more I felt joy and love.

I'm still working on that, there are many things that I still fear and many of my emotions are still blocked because of all the shit I went through recently and also in my life in general. As I make progress though, I felt love more and more, and more and more intensely too. I wish I was high all the time like when I was younger and the positive emotions flowed so easily, but maybe that is just life. When I was younger I used to think so highly of the future, thinking I was destined for great things and would be rich, look great, and have a hot wife.

Then the LTC hit me and I basically lost my intelligence, ability to learn, earn, and to hope too. I lost everything pretty much. So I assume a HUGE amount of my positive emotions was based on having a bright outlook for the future, and the LTC took that away. As I work and work and work though, I'm starting to realize that my future can be bright again, but not because of hope or anything like that, but just because I am willing to work for it.

also, hope just feels euphoric as heck. When you know you can have good things by working for them, it just... idk, it just doesnt feel as good. it's like knowing you can have a 6 pack by waking up at 5 am everyday for 2 years and working out. Its a grimey feeling, but you know you can do it. Now contrast that feeling with the hope that someday you'll just decide to stop eating junk food and work out everyday. Knowing you can accomplish something through hard work, and hoping for a dream are two very different feelings.

When I was younger, I had the euphoria of hope around me all the damn time. And with the LTC, I lost that hope but gained the knowledge that I can work hard and achieve the things I always hoped for. The feeling just doesnt compare, even when I accomplish the things I always hoped for.

I guess that is just part of youth, hoping for the best and we just ride that high.

--

last thing too. The more I became self-less, the more my love and positive emotions increased.

When I re-connected with my spirituality and began to serve others, my happiness began to slowly come back. At the same time, I had to give up the desire for my joy and happiness to come back in the serving of others.

Meaning, I didn't serve others as a way for my happiness to come back or to feel joy and love. I reached the end of my rope and was like "fuck it, if I can't be happy on my own, I can at least make other people happy" and I found that as I focused on helping others, profound happiness began to return to me.

and as I became selfish after that, my happiness would shut back off or would go numb again.
 
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