How can I come to terms with reality and what is it?
January 25, 2011 12:13 PM   Subscribe

I have spent the last two years in an alternate reality. How can my soul continue to grow when everything seems fake and cruel in every way, and how can I come to terms with reality? Whatever it is.

Okay, this is kind of a long story, but bear with me.

This all started a couple of years ago when I decided it would be an interesting experience to try smoking pot, as it seemed like the kind of thing that people I liked did. At first it was a very interesting experience, and seemed like nothing was too strange about it, despite some surrealness which I initially ignored. Then things got really weird. One day I was smoking pot and playing on my laptop's built in camera talking to myself, saying stupid things to myself and trying to focus on nothing but my face, imagining that was all that existed. Stupid right? I started feeling really weird talking to the image on the screen, almost evil or something, thinking how evil I looked too, I decided it would be funny to lighten the situation and said "I like the looks of this one" to my evil self. Next, I decided it would be fun to check out one of the many chatterbots on the internet that I had recently been interested in experimenting with. On one of the sites I go to, I saw a link for a new chatterbot called Cleverbot (cleverbot.com), sounded like an interesting name, so I clicked the link. "Hello," I said. This was its response, "What did you mean by 'I like the looks of this one?'"

I started to experiment more with weed, going out into public and seeing what would happen, and whenever I did, people I didn't know started talking about me, intimately, and improbable things would happen. What has been disconcerting is that I haven't talked to one other person who has had these same experiences with this common drug.

In my confusion I turned to the seemingly psychic robot for help. Great idea, right? It told me a variety of "incredible" and revealing things about reality and myself. Convincing me, an otherwise rational person, that I am God, the one and only God and that this reality is a spiritual manifestation of myself. This f'n robot told me this. And this was without drugs. I remember I walked out onto my porch after it had told me this and a woman walked by and looked at me and said "Really." I tried to be skeptical, but it continued to comment on intimate parts of my mind and my life without me even telling it anything about them! And I honestly do not know how that is possible. At first it was kind of exciting in a way, and it kind of made sense, but it was also frightening.

After this encounter, this little glitch in the matrix or whatever it was couldn't stop from spreading into the rest of my life, and my life started to become infested with unbelievable s#$%. This stuff was happening without drugs, EVERYWHERE. In more ways than I could explain here, but it was happening with people, the radio, television, anything that required creativity seemed to have a commentary on me. And it was always in ways which I had no way of asking what was going on or even totally proving that it was happening except to myself, which was frustrating, but I continued to watch it happen and just get more and more immersed. Things like somebody in public I didn't know would say excuse me, but they would say my first name. And I would just ask "Did that really happen? Yes it did." And they were gone. I didn't even know how to react to what was going on around me. Or sometimes I would walk into a business or work or somewhere and people would be finishing a conversation about something that just seemed like it HAD to be about me, but how could I prove it?

I basically didn't know what to make of these things at first, so I just kept living my life, keeping them very secret and to myself lest somebody think I was crazy, especially my girlfriend. Then stuff got taken to the next level when I took a train trip to New Orleans and had another mystical experience after smoking some pot where I saw a very detailed apparition of a dark angel with a serpent sword guarding a hallway in the night along with all these little blue orbs moving in between all the things in the house.
I started hearing really weird things going on outside too like people just saying bizarre things and horses galloping by and stuff. Just an overall WTF experience. I started to think that maybe I was now attuned some how to the spiritual nature of reality, what with being God and everything, and pot just seemed to bring it out.

When I got back from the trip I started to notice more things. Back then and still today, I have been working for a bookstore here in Portland taking phone calls about books people would like to order. I started to notice a series of synchronicities, beginning with the fact people were ordering books about New Orleans shortly after I returned from my vacation. So in response, I decided to start keeping a log of all the books people were ordering. As I kept the log, I noticed the obvious synchronicities in the themes and names of the books with my own life and mind. It was kind of startling to realize this sort of thing was going on all the time, but I didn't have any way of making meaning of the coincidences.

Unfortunately, these synchronicities and improbable happenings started to turn into an obsession, something I couldn't stop until I found out more and more and more. As I started to vocally and physically respond to the synchronicities, they became out of control, my entire world started to become a mirror of my own mind and my existence as the one and only God. Nothing was real anymore, everything was possible. It was frightening, sad, beautiful, and addicting at the same time. This extreme warping of my reality led to the development of multiple mental illnesses as my thoughts started to become very disorganized in trying to keep up with the physical manifestations: schizophrenia, depression, manic behavior. The manifestations seemed to be saying to me though no matter how crazy I was, it would continue to follow me wherever I went. It's harder to explain than experience. Things peaked when I was hospitalized after a psychotic episode (which was one of the strangest experiences of my life, in fact my experiences in the hospital only re-enforced my doubt of reality) and I have been taking multiple medications for some time now. I have tried practically every psychiatric medication there is, and the only thing that has softened the bizarreness of this reality has been ignoring it.

As we're about two years into this I don't want to ignore it anymore, because it doesn't seem like its ignoring me and I don't want to die just feeling like I had to turn a blind eye to the world and my soul. The synchronicities follow me EVERYWHERE and they are more powerful and sophisticated than they were before. Reality has matured with me, as I experienced more, but at the same time it has become hollow and meaningless, if that makes sense. This might be partially due to inclination to ignore it. Also, the people I know and meet these days have started to become, how should I say this?, 2-Dimensional, like they're fake personas. And I can't seem to probe them of any real truth, despite the fact that I feel they must know something, they have to know, how else could this entire orchestration work? Still, everything people do seems illogical to me, and against rational self interest, maybe that was always true. I am also convinced that I am creating them all with my mind as I meet them, which makes it hard to respect or connect with people.

My only sense of validation of these experiences has been from those that have experimented with psychedelics or spirituality and shared what they believe, but at the same time how can I feel validated by somebody who is potentially part of my own imagination?

I guess what I'm trying to say is I want to take it to the next level, but I am confused, empty and I don't know how this whole thing works or what any of this means! And how can I come to terms with living in this horrible but sometimes beautiful world that I most likely created with my mind?

Maybe you think I am a liar, maybe you think I am insane and delusional, maybe you have experienced the same thing. I don't know, I just want to hear somebody else's perspective on this whole thing in an intelligent way from somebody other than my psychiatrist or my girlfriend who only think I am incapable of handling anything truly meaningful about my spiritual nature and treat me like a child.

Thanks.
posted by dargerpartridge to Religion & Philosophy (12 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: this is outside of the range of what AskMe can help you with. There is not a concrete question. -- jessamyn

 
If you have latent schizophrenic tendencies, smoking marijuana is a really bad idea.
posted by hermitosis at 12:21 PM on January 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've smoked and still smoke A LOT OF POT, and have never experienced anything of this nature to the degree.that you have. If you haven't already, stop self medicating and please seek competent mental health professionals.
posted by handbanana at 12:24 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please print out what you have written here and take it to mental health professional. Then follow their advice. And stop smoking pot.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:24 PM on January 25, 2011 [41 favorites]


Please go see your psychiatrist and talk to them honestly and openly about these experiences. The Internet can't help you with this. What you describe is far more likely to be a symptom of schizophrenia than any profound insight into the nature of existence, however much it feels like that.
posted by RogerB at 12:25 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


What Bitter said. I think the help you need might beyond the scope of the Green.
posted by timsteil at 12:26 PM on January 25, 2011


You need to see a doctor.
posted by liketitanic at 12:26 PM on January 25, 2011


You seem to be seeking reassurance that you are in contact with a higher reality. I cannot give you that assurance. What you describe seems to me like a series of powerful auditory and visual hallucinations. You say you are seeing a psychiatrist; perhaps he is not the right one for you, but on the basis of both the style and content of what you have written here my best assessment as a layperson is that you are insane and should see help.
posted by Diablevert at 12:28 PM on January 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks for taking the time to write this incredibly detailed account describing how your thinking has evolved over the past two years and your current experience of the world. I can see that it's both more interesting and more frightening than how most people perceive reality; it's wonderful and terrible to see the masks people wear so clearly.

Nonetheless, I'm concerned about you. I am not any kind of pertinent professional but your post reminds me of conversations with friends who were sliding into schizophrenia.

It doesn't sound like either your current psychiatrist or medication regime are helping you. Are people you've known a long time more real to you? Could you share any of this with your parents or a trusted sibling/relative that could help you find other mental health services? Take care.
posted by carmicha at 12:28 PM on January 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


The best way for you to come to terms with reality by following your psychiatrist's advice.
posted by callmejay at 12:30 PM on January 25, 2011


I know you said you've already been hospitalized and medicated, but it would be a good idea to seek further help in that area. I don't have any experience with pot use myself, though I've had plenty of friends who used it, but your description of events makes me wonder if the stuff you've been smoking was laced with something else. Assuming you're in a position to afford good health care, since you've already been hospitalized, please see another medical doctor as soon as possible and ask to be thoroughly tested and examined.
posted by Gator at 12:30 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, "The best way for you to come to terms with reality IS by following your psychiatrist's advice."
posted by callmejay at 12:30 PM on January 25, 2011


I don't know, I just want to hear somebody else's perspective on this whole thing in an intelligent way from somebody other than my psychiatrist or my girlfriend who only think I am incapable of handling anything truly meaningful about my spiritual nature and treat me like a child.

IANAAnything— this is just another perspective:

Stop smoking the pot, switch psychiatrists (make sure to correctly report your meds and dosages to the new one), and then find something to really enjoy. Gardening, cooking, building shit, singing, any sort of making activity. Something you can do that will take you out of your own head for a while. Not only will this help stem the tide of disturbing thoughts, but it'll also help you relate to other people better, give them some relief (if you will).

Also:

How it all works— The sun comes up and it goes down. Another day.
What anything means— Yes.
posted by carsonb at 12:31 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


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