Back on track - Defeating schizophrenia (Part 2: meditation)
This second part of the series is about how I defeated schizophrenia in my life with meditation instead of medication.
The first part tells the story of how I got into this.
Why did I start meditating?
In the beginning, I meditated just because I was curious. I listened to some podcasts that advocated meditation as a way to find some peace in life. That was exactly what I needed.
First I experimented with different lengths of meditation and with different sitting postures. Also, I tried to meditate every day.
As I extended my meditation sessions to up to 45 minutes I started to have some strange new experiences towards the end of the meditation.
This might sound strange but when I reached a certain moment of relaxation my visual sensations started to fade. It was as if everything around me was disappearing in soothing light. This was a very new and pleasing experience.
At some point, I changed from evening meditation to meditating in the morning before going to work. The only difficulty was to get up early enough. But I managed! :-)
How did meditation help me?
The most startling experience while meditating was also the most helpful. I started to realize how many thoughts were always on my mind.
Also, my body always wanted to move. It was something like scratching the nose or trying a more comfortable sitting posture. Something that could be postponed but that felt very urgent at that moment.
Now after more than 6 years of meditation, I am pretty sure that my thoughts are not something I create but they rather just appear out of nowhere. This insight helped me to distance myself from my thoughts.
Likewise the ability to "sit something through" and not acting on any problem the mind created made it possible for me to endure the problems that arose when I reduced my medication — always in cooperation with my doctor — until I needed no pills anymore.
My best advice to someone wanting to meditate
There are many good resources in books or on the internet about meditation. So I just want to give you one piece of advice which in my opinion is the most important aspect of meditation:
Do it every day! Be it five minutes a day for a start. You can still prolong the time once you established a daily meditation.
Was it a simple switch from “taking pills” to meditation that did the trick?
No! I’ll tell you more about the difficulties and pitfalls I encountered after that in the third part of this series and how I managed to overcome them. I will put a link to it right here in the next couple of days.
Thank you so much for your attention and time in reading this! I hope to see you soon! :-)