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Kundalini Broke My Brain
Seeing Michael Jackson's face in the clouds was the high point of the trip I was on. I had been on this ride for days and all I knew was that I was being hurled towards some type of inner spiritual growth. I was 33 years old. The same age as Jesus when he was crucified and that meant everything to my manic mind.
It started in the office of a psychologist at the University of Rhode Island. I was seeing her for severe loneliness, depression and anxiety. The usual suspects. Little did I know that my trauma would be exposed and that, when she offered to help me with EMDR therapy, she was barely equipped to handle my case.
About a week after one EMDR treatment from Dr. S, we'll call her, she went on vacation and left me holding the bag with my brain in my hands. This is when I found myself seeking emotional support at a yoga class nearby.
Dr. S had stressed how important it would be for me to have resources to help with the potential fallout from the EMDR trauma therapy. I was living with my mother, trying to go back to school and had no friends. I was estranged from my 12 step meetings and life seemed pretty bleak.
I had tried Kundalini yoga once before in Los Angeles and had liked it so here I was in the suburbs of Rhode Island trying again to get some peace. The room was packed, the teacher was reading from a book. Looking back I wish I had known better.
I left and instantly felt high. I had never felt so good in my life. For days I felt high. I began talking to myself out loud and using what I came to regard as 'automatic writing' to talk to my spirit guides. One of them, I was convinced, was Michael Jackson who had recently died.
After about a week the gig was up. I came come from a vision quest on the local library grounds and started to hear voices in my mind. They were vicious and menacing. I called Dr. S in a panic, she was just back from her vacation. She told me to have my mother drive me to the nearest mental health facility.
That kicked off a one week stay at Butler Hospital in Providence and a bipolar diagnosis. I had never had these symptoms before in my life. Some awful blend of crappy Kundalini and poor judgement by a University psychologist had landed me in a situation that has plagued me now for the better part of a decade.
At this point I'm happy and fairly healthy with a young child but it didn't come easily. I have replugged into my recovery community and I sometimes tell bits of this story at meetings. I'm a slave to my meds and I wonder what could have been if only yoga came with a warning label.