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2015-10-30 08:31:24 -0600 marked best answer Showering: Morning, the Night Before or Both?

This might be a pointless question, but I was curious to see what showering times works the best for certain people, energy-wise. I know that showering in the morning wakes one up, but how about the night before or both? And about warm water...does it make one too lazy to wake up early in the morning? Is there a scientific or psychological reason? I'm trying to improve my life a bit so it'd be interesting to hear about some benefits of early morning showering! (although living right on the ocean's edge makes it a little hard to think about cold water that early..brrr!)

2015-10-30 08:31:01 -0600 marked best answer Why are these thoughts happening?

Sat nam!

I'll be quick and to the point with this post, although I could go on forever with this, and it might have to be approached in a strange manner. This question has to do with a state of mind/being I can feel I'm in that I can't entirely comprehend (there is a question at the end, promise!). A month and a half ago I had this experience that had transformed me completely and entirely, a kind of experience that felt like something 'terrifying' was ripped out of my abdomen and taken away. This time was a time of great pain for me, lots of confusion and immense fear and sadness, which had plagued me in the past. I've always been a contemplative person, always begged in my head for Guru ji to absorb me one day, and the second I felt that dark blindness rip itself away, there was an indescribable peace, like a warmth and light embracing me and accepting and revealing my love, and I could literally 'see' in the way of feeling, hands holding onto mine. It's impossible to describe but this is as close as I can get.

Well, a few weeks later I left to college and through another series of events, it felt as if I was walking on clouds or was carried in a sling, and after that everything began to literally glow--the ek ong kar came to life in everything, in songs, words, voices, faces, flowers, anything, I suppose. Indescribable! It's still the same to this day. I also started to realize things that had happened in my past, how everything fit together as one large puzzle, and recognized the signs were there in my whole life, and how Guru ji was quietly shaping me and I was too afraid to recognize it.

The connection I know I have is impossible to describe and I don't think I will try, but there's something I don't understand that's happening. For some reason, there's still some dark voice, some odd voice that keeps screaming terrible things about me, Guru ji, anything I care about and love, a voice that used to make me want to vomit constantly from fear, although now I feel immense peace constantly. It's like some echo of the thing that was ripped away. Should I just ignore it? I feel like every time I hear it I have to stop to hit myself, pinch myself or freeze up or scream back internally to make the echo fade away. I know for certain that I should ignore it, that it's not attached to my conscious at all, but is there any particular shabad I can do that will make the ache go away? I love Guru ji with every inch of my being, because He is my being and every being, infinity and beyond. I just wish my mind or whatever that is that says ... (more)

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2013-12-07 15:40:06 -0600 answered a question Body and surgery

Sat Nam,

Such great answers from these other girls! You are not alone! You know, getting implants may solve one thing, but it doesn't solve the inner problem, which is how you feel about yourself. I think this inner reservation about your body is caused by what we're surrounded by in the media, and what we see--other girls who believe that having larger breasts and derriere (backside) will make them more attractive. And when girls look at themselves in the mirror, they start to doubt their bodies and feel ugly. It's accursed! But what's the reality? The reality is that bodies are created in so many beautiful shapes, and, if you take care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, that you will live at your truest form. Are you doing that? Don't get caught up in the public perception of beauty. It's an idealized form of beauty that most often does not exist.

I study Psychology, and we did a long analysis on the science of attraction, a comprehensive one across cultures. It turns out that, when looked at as a whole, men are attracted to an entire variety of body shapes. Just as sexuality is individual to everybody, so is attraction. If you trust Waheguru ji to bring your best match, that person will be chemically and biologically created to admire YOU, just as YOU ARE. How AWESOME is that! Some men find larger breasts unappealing. If you changed yourself, it might backfire. But, in the end it's up to you on what you want to do. But know that you are beautiful. Play up to your assets, dress to the shape of your body, and know that you are not defined by a culture's fantasy about women.

If it helps, as an artist, I can say we adore different body shapes. Where do you think the age old phrases "with a gate as graceful as a swan's," "soft and subtle curves," "the long, lithe body of a dancer" come from?! There is beauty found in every type of curve, and a woman who can appreciate and love her own is the epitome of grace. And that, you surely are!

God bless you, beautiful. ;)

2013-12-07 15:24:53 -0600 answered a question keeping a dead body at home

Sat Nam,

Personally, I have never heard of anybody doing this or being allowed to do this. Frankly, I'd believe that the coroner or hospital would take care of that. All I can say about the "dangers" of doing that is that the spirit might attach itself to the body, and subsequently the home, but, honestly, there shouldn't be a fear of that. If there is, chant Akal periodically and trust that Waheguru will keep any malevolence away from the home.

God bless you and I hope that somebody with knowledge of this belief system will respond, as I have never heard of this occurring.

2013-12-07 15:20:20 -0600 answered a question Doing good is causing me problems

Sat Nam,

Be kind, but don't allow yourself to be stepped on. People have the penchant to believe that if people are being kind, they have some sort of ulterior motive. You know in your heart you aren't trying to trick anybody. If it's a certain group of people, quietly let them know that you do not appreciate their harassment towards you. It's funny that, if you maintain your composure and don't lose your cool, they automatically stop and realize your true intentions. Then no fight ensues, and everyone returns to normal. Honestly, if you can, avoid them or distance yourself from them for a while. They're acting out of some source of confusion, which isn't your problem.

Be happy and know that you have a right to be happy, like everybody else, and stay composed. God bless you.

2013-12-07 15:14:36 -0600 answered a question Concentrating and medication?

Sat Nam,

Take the medication. If you truly have ADHD, it becomes significantly harder to concentrate, and you are at a severe disadvantage if you allow it to continue without proper treatment. "Cheating life" would be more like you taking ADHD medication not prescribed to you from another student just to try to get ahead. It seems to be a trending thing nowadays. Since that isn't the case, go and take care of yourself.

God bless you.

2013-12-07 15:09:44 -0600 commented answer Yogi bhajan quote

@meet: the quote sounding critical is a matter of opinion. You have to get past the "tone" and actually understand what it is saying. It's difficult to transcribe quotes in writing, because you don't get the advantage of tone, body language and other subtle cues. But, it's a good skill to learn.

2013-12-02 14:06:51 -0600 answered a question Information and gyan video of sikhnet

Sat Nam,

I think what is meant in that video is that when a human is born, they have all that they need to reach their own enlightenment, already encoded and built in within them. The soul learns from every incarnation, and that knowledge, or gyan, remains with it and is present in your current incarnation. Yes, gyan is infinite, but that's not what is being discussed. I think everybody has some intuitive understanding of how the universe works (some more than others at a point in time), but every soul has access to all the gyan that has been imparted to creation since the beginning of time. More is always being imparted, because creation is always changing, and present; souls are in a constant state of learning. Quite honestly, there is no need to know everything, or to think that in order to be liberated that you must know everything. That's not the point (and is impossible). You will know what you need to know, when you need to know it. And, when the time comes, you will also know how to use it. It's different for everybody. Really think about what infinity means. NEVER ending, EVER expanding, UNENDING forms, etc. So, the gyan that exists up until now, is already within us, and we're always absorbing more. The next generation will have even more, and more, and more onwards. Great is the Universe.

Watch the video again and you'll get it.

Actually, I'll give an example. Everybody intrinsically knows how to do something, such as draw, dance, put parts of a machine together, or cook, etc. Somewhere at some time in some incarnation, the soul learned the fundamental concepts behind these things and made it a part of itself. Whenever that happens, it becomes knowledge that it doesn't have to keep relearning over and over again, but can apply to different physical manifestations. That conceptual knowledge is gyan. The amazing thing is, gyan is learned constantly, from everything. The Universe teaches that way. And, since everything is One, each soul has access to all the gyan that exists (so far, until it learns even more). It's just that we're not always consciously aware of all of it. But it's there!

God bless you.

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2013-11-11 17:48:32 -0600 answered a question Reasons for kurehats?

Sat Nam,

Kuherets are things that people with a certain depth of consciousness naturally do not want to do. They aren't exactly "rules". Guilt is a self-created emotion that really should be used to better oneself and attempt to fix mistakes and learn how to be a person that won't be tempted to do it again. Unfortunately, a lot of people just use it as a self-punishing mechanism and continue to experience worthless pain over it. Remember, if you commit a kuheret for whatever reason, all the Guru wants is for you to recognize your mistake. No one is punishing you except yourself! He already forgives you. The important thing is that it wakes you up to reality and you learn a lesson from the pain of it. And hopefully, that person never does it again.

I hope this helps and it's just a matter of trying your best. God bless you.

2013-11-11 17:32:21 -0600 answered a question Affairs and marriage

Sat Nam,

I agree with the previous answer. Something is telling you that divorce is not a good option right now, and that you have to work this out. I believe you still love your husband, and after three children, it would only bring pain if you were to divorce. I would give it time and see if your husband has truly stopped seeing this other woman. Then make your decision. But the fact that you are hesitant means that you should put this divorce on hold until you see what happens down the road. Also, I've heard that doing the Sopurakh part of Rehras Sahib for your husband has incredible effects. I am glad that you are becoming a stronger woman in your own Self, rather than leaning your entire existence on a man.

God bless you and may you have happiness.

2013-11-09 15:39:59 -0600 answered a question Drugs ....

Sat Nam,

I think we've been at this kind of question many times.

  1. Anything that contains chemicals can technically be called a drug. Even plants have chemicals. BUT, the point of not taking drugs is to not abuse drugs. When you take crack cocaine, you are ingesting a chemical that alters your consciousness and destroys your brain cells, for some two-minute high that will never last and will leave you addicted. When you take prescription medicine for diabetes, you are regulating a dysfunction in the body so you will not die, or develop severe complications. One drug takes a life for stupidity, while the other is needed in some cases to live. If it bothers you that much, look into alternative (natural) medicine.

  2. Alcohol exists in food, too. Alcohol is in ketchup. The only difference between eating your fries with ketchup and taking six drinks of wine is the measured content. A microscopic amount of alcohol is not going to do anything to you, whereas 30 oz. of wine will overpower your liver's ability to metabolize alcohol, and damage your brain. The body produces alcohol naturally, too. The alcohol in perfume evaporates as soon as it's out of the container. This is an intuitive thing, and is very common-sensical. Don't get too stuck up on the "what-ifs" in your mind.

God bless you.

2013-11-09 15:31:30 -0600 answered a question Simplycity

Sat Nam,

There is nothing wrong with designed clothes. People who live simply, live without all that complexity and contraptions other people live in. They don't need to pile things upon things on themselves to hide their insecurity. People who are secure in themselves generally do not have to stand in front of a mirror and anguish over their eyeliner or make up, or feel that they are inadequate without it.

It's not a good idea to make such absolute marks about people's honesty in relation to what they wear. It would be far-fetched to say that someone who wears jewelry is somehow more dishonest than someone who wears solid neutral colors. No one is separate, except in human terms, maybe. A king and a pauper are equal in God's eyes.

When you dress, do it gracefully. Dress however you want, if it makes you feel good. Symmetry is pleasing to the eye, as are matching and "framing" colors (like black and white with jewel tones). It's a personal choice.

God bless you.

2013-11-08 22:53:31 -0600 answered a question Confused about whether I must keep my hair

Sat Nam jio,

I'm impressed by how you articulated your situation, and rest assured that you are not alone. Your parents are afraid, and caught up in the trends of the time. It's not even really a religious reason why they are saying you should cut your hair. Do you have cousins who keep their hair? How do your parents view their family? I've noticed in the families of some aunts and uncles of mine that there is a certain misconception about people who live as Amritdhari (i.e. too strict, too rigid, don't get the same job opportunities, etc). Some people are just uncomfortable and with these misconceptions in their head...it makes it hard. Maybe your parents are, too.

They are mistaken, but they have their reasons. But you have to decide what you want to do. Obviously it is starting to hurt you to cut your hair, and you really want to keep it. Well, why not keep it? There is no legal way your parents could drag you down to the barber and shave it off. You might get a lot of flack from them at first (like, "You don't look good anymore" or "what do you think people will say?"), but after a while they will relent.

Show them the positive side to your transformation. Show them your maturity, your nobility, the growth in your character. They're afraid you won't look presentable? Hell, show them that your turban and beard are like a uniform for your grace. I have a cousin who is a music producer who wears his hair uncut, and it makes him so much more mature beyond his years. It really makes him approachable. It would be great if you would let your hair do that for you.

Guru ji understands what's happening. Never feel that your mistakes keep you away from Him. You know, His arms are always open, but sometimes we trick ourselves into running in the opposite direction because of our feelings of guilt and shame. No matter what, a Father will always accept His Child, no matter what that Child does. Go to your Guru, and He will show you the way.

God bless you, my dear, and try to keep your hairs. Try to anticipate what they might say, and hold onto courage as you tell them what you wish to do with your own body. They will understand, and in time will come to accept your decision as they love you as their son.

2013-11-08 22:16:24 -0600 answered a question Freezing Feeling

Sat Nam,

Well, it could be anything, but do you feel numbness? That might be because you are losing circulation in your leg. To remedy that, try to adjust your sitting posture. And make sure that your spine is straight and that you are breathing normally (or if you are doing a specific breathing meditation, that you are doing it correctly.)

I have a feeling you might believe that this is something spiritual that is occurring. If it is, only you can know for sure.

God bless you.

2013-11-08 00:38:25 -0600 answered a question joint family

Sat Nam,

Honestly, I would say, just leave. Because you work and have a means of supporting yourself (and I assume that your husband works as well), you should be well off to get your own place. It makes it harder because of the family dynamic, and conflicting desires and needs of each "family". Has your husband expressed to his mother and father about why it would be better off if you all had homes of your own? I think it's important that their sons talk to them about this. But all of you should be firm about your stance while still respecting your family. It seems as though your in-laws are not used to or comfortable yet with the idea of their children leading their own lives. This is true especially if they lived with your father-in-law's parents.

But, it's important that you as a couple take charge of your own lives and live independently. Let them know that living in separate homes is not "splitting" anything up, but just spreading out the family to make everyone more comfortable.

God bless you and I wish you luck that you will have a happy transition into a home you can start to build and call your own.

2013-11-07 20:22:58 -0600 answered a question Husband wants to do amrit

Sat Nam,

Good previous answer. I do want to add that it is nonsense that you and your husband would not have a sexual/marital relationship if he decides to become an Amritdhari and you do not. That would be unfair (and nonsensical) discrimination towards you. Do not feel pressured into doing anything you do not feel ready for, and trust yourself with this process.

Rab rakha.

2013-11-05 20:25:52 -0600 answered a question Waheguru ji help

Sat Nam ji,

Waheguru ji is listening, don't worry. But are you listening? Without context, I can't comment on what you can do, but keep doing your ardas. Sometimes the help comes in the form of a karma being paid off. Give your worry and fear over to the Guru, and continue to pray for your brother's well-being. We will, too.

God bless your family with peace and love.

2013-11-04 17:36:23 -0600 answered a question God is in everyone?

Sat Nam!

This is a good question. Yes, God is in everyone, including psychopaths and Adolf Hitler. But not everyone sees the God in themselves. In Jap Ji Sahib, it says that there are countless beings that God created, because it pleased His will. Then it also says that there are ones who will not recognize that God lives within; it is not in their destiny.

We see God in all because that is a fact. Every atom of everything in this creation is God. Have you ever heard, "If you can't see God in all, you can't see God at all?" It's true! As humans, though, it's hard for our tiny mind to comprehend why murders take place. We do not want to see people die horribly, or something "unfair" happen. To us, it's a travesty. But what's the big picture? The big picture is what many are not ready to accept. That is: whatever happens, does so for a reason. God flows throughout Her universe. Look at history; if all those wars, all those drastic things did not happen, where would we be? No one can know, but where we are is all because of Its will! We are at the ideal place God wants us to be.

Then, there is karma. Karma, the pretty and the ugly. God is the Architect of Karma. All things run according to those Divine Laws. Someone who is a murderer is paying off a karma, and the murdered one is also paying off a karma. We cannot know what they did in a past life. Ideally, we can only go along with what happens. It's important to defend people against those vicious people, but we cannot hate. We can only do what has to be done to keep the peace. You know, when you fight for self defense of yourself and others, it is not a fight of hate. A lot of victims' families, as they confront their serial killer, will say that they feel nothing after the murderer is sentenced. I think that might have to do with the fact that the soul accepts what's done as done, and that the karma was paid off. Survivors move forwards, and the unlucky get stuck in revenge.

The next time you read about a murderer and get confused, try to look further. Science has come out with facts that a true psychopath's brain chemistry is drastically different than a "normal" person's. (This is not true about all of them, but they have discovered this in the brain scans of several famous ones.) Instead of denying the God in them, why not serve that God and treat that person's condition, if possible? Or make sure that they are in a place where they cannot hurt themselves or anyone else (like putting them in confinement or a prison hospital)? It is not within us to believe that people are inherently bad--that makes no ... (more)

2013-11-03 12:07:58 -0600 answered a question Yogi bhajan

Sat Nam,

Let's just say that whenever Y.B. says "insanity" or "insane" it's synonymous with "crazy" or "out of control". If you just sit there all cramped up and hunched over, you will start to feel desperate, and think you're going crazy because the mind will just shoot random thoughts at you. When you stretch, it feels like sweet, cold water is being poured throughout your body and your focus returns.

You seem to ask this question a lot. Surely you must've had this experience, where you can't stop thinking and can't concentrate on what you are doing!

God bless you.

2013-11-03 12:02:22 -0600 answered a question Creating karma ?

Sat Nam,

Please provide more context for your questions. It's very hard to answer them when only one line is provided.

A very basic answer could be, if you try to dominate and control someone's life, they will become dependent on you in an unhealthy way, and if they fall, you'll be held responsible in their eyes. (The ego creates this karma) That's a sort of karma you REALLY don't want. Best to just set an example and have no expectation as to whether they will follow it or not. That ensures that you understand that the other person is your equal, with a brain, heart, soul and emotions just like you, and that they can make their own choices.

I hope this helps, but make sure you provide context and do not paraphrase what someone says. It's misleading. God bless you.

2013-11-02 21:04:12 -0600 answered a question regarding rehat maryada

Sat Nam,

I would say no. But I also would say, save that lovin' for after marriage. Not only is it a better (and safer!) idea (because it could go too far at any point), but it makes that first kiss and first touch between a married couple that much more sacred, special...and fun. :)

God bless you and blessings to you both for your impending marriage!

2013-11-02 20:43:24 -0600 answered a question Wife trust

Sat Nam,

I hope you get a lot of opinions and advice. Here's what I would do.

The point of not cheating on your significant other is that cheating is a slap in the face to the commitment. It makes the spouse feel cheap, and insults God's gift of love. That's one of the reasons why adultery is so horrible. It damages trust, which is the foundation of any relationship. It's like telling Guru, "The man/woman you gifted to me isn't worth it." Your friend should not feel guilty because of the video, but he has to acknowledge what he has done as WRONG, and learn from it. So, instead of feeling bad, he has to improve himself, and take steps to prevent that from ever happening again. He feels horrible because he finally realizes the consequences of his actions. Tell him to seek forgiveness from his wife, but that he should not expect it. Tell him that he has to work on himself first, and that he has to understand what he has done. When a woman knows a man is desiring to take responsibility for his mistakes, trust begins to form again. But for now, he shouldn't even worry about whether or not that will occur. He needs to begin to take on the role of a responsible fiance and soon-to-be husband and get his act together before he commits to a woman for the rest of his life. No woman wants someone who will make a promise, and then go out and do it all over again.

I hope this helps and that your friend is able to prove to himself and his fiance that he can be a faithful and noble husband. God bless you all.

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2013-10-30 12:51:25 -0600 asked a question Tips for Women: Skin Care

image description

Sat Nam,

This is not a question (or meant to be a discussion), but I've been thinking about the topic of women and skincare for a while. A few of the questions on here concern excess facial hair, especially unruly eyebrows, prominent underlip hair for women, and even some chin hair! Many responses, while correct, did not seem to provide enough knowledge about how to properly care for the skin. But I think I discovered one.

A while back I decided to wash my face with pure honey instead of face washes, just to see what would happen. My skin is oily and a war zone for acne, but face washes were not enough to keep it clean. I knew in the back of my mind that women in the "old days" as I call them, used to have incredibly smooth and healthy skin, so they must have had a method that did not involve soaking our precious external organ in a bath of chemicals. Little did I know that it was as simple as a bottle of the golden stuff.

Honey is a very special ingredient. In Ayurvedic/homeopathic and natural medicines it is known to be an antibiotic and natural cleanser. So much so that people have poured honey into oozing blisters and sores and have seen their wounds close up. On the skin, it enters the pours and scours out the bacteria which cause break-outs, and contributes a very healthy moisturizer into the skin. Not only does it take on painful bumps, but scars also begin to fade away. I noticed that my skin felt better after a week or so of use, and that the craters in my forehead were beginning to smooth over.

But that wasn't all! While washing my face I decided to massage my eyebrows with it, and realized after a while they were becoming more shapely. I noticed that when the honey entered the skin, it was essentially taking care of the imbalance of oils and pollutants which caused unwanted hairs and other abnormal growths such as ingrown hairs. Even that strange cheek hair that occurs sometimes was disappearing. In effect, honey became a regulatory mechanism. This thrilled me enough to share this information with you. Why?

  • There is no need to wax/shave/thread/pluck out hair. Doing those things is damaging and creates even more problems. Honey seemed to take care of any hair that was the result of an imbalance in the skin.

  • No more chemical baths from face washes

  • Significantly cheaper than any acne treatments (especially Proactive!)

  • Very easy to use and requires nothing but warm water to activate

  • Helps prevent scarring and soothes sores which may leave marks or cuts on the skin

  • Reduces the need to bleach hair. Bleaching creams are one of the worst things you can do to your skin--honey evened out my already light skin tone.

  • Honey regulates natural skin oil, and ultimately will reduce excess oil production.

  • When used on ...

(more)
2013-10-29 20:28:09 -0600 answered a question Why women does not do kirtan at Sri Darbar Sahib

Sat Nam,

It seems like generations of women have been discouraged from doing kirtan there. I once heard something similar about Ishnaan seva at Sri Harimandir Sahib. Women who tried to wash the floors were told that they could not. Guru bans no one, and why people have created a norm that divides "duties" for men and women is ridiculous. Jas15283 is right: we merely argue, debate, but never really get out there and stand up for the collective right.

A Singhni wrote a poem and did a series of paintings depicting women doing Ishnaan seva, which was well-received. I wonder if anyone else has thought of encouraging women to do kirtan or doing something similar to promote social equality in that realm. Hmm...

2013-10-29 00:40:03 -0600 answered a question many wrong deeds

EDIT: Revised Answer:

Thank you for going into more detail. I am very sorry that I misinterpreted your previous query. I took some time and wrote out what I believe is a rough sketch of what you asked. Please do correct me if I am wrong.

I wish to tell this in great detail so you could give me the correct advice. I was in a sexual relationship four years ago…at that time I lived in South India. My brother and dad were class one officers. My parents place a lot of trust into Waheguru and believe that unless Waheguru ji wishes it, they cannot do anything, although they begged/prayed from their hearts. I have done paaat since childhood and have put my entire belief into Waheguru. But even then I committed a big mistake. I lie/lied a lot to my parents. I’ve come to realize that from now on that I could not stop this…I did a lot of ardas in front of Waheguru, that He may put me on a straight (clean) path, but maybe because I lied to my parents so much, that’s why God isn’t listening to me. I am preparing for study in Civils. Even by now I haven’t been pre-cleared even after all that effort I spent on it. My father treats me as a son and puts more trust in me than in my brother. The last time I gave the [test] to be pre-cleared, I didn’t pass, but I lied tremendously to my dad that it did pass. So much so that day and night I pray that maybe I will be cleared (for the test). Seeing their trust has caused me to feel guilt/worry that nothing is in my hands. I even threw their honor into dirt (but my sexual relationship, no one knows of it). How can I fix my mistakes? How can I beg for forgiveness from Waheguru so that He may forgive me, that the hopes and dreams of my mummy and my daddy can be fulfilled and so I can be helped?

Okay. I believe this warrants a new answer. You are suffering from guilt and the constant anxiety that extends from the lies you know you told your parents to make them happy. And because of that stress, the "bad" deeds you did in the past are weighing heavily on your heart. You committed a mistake, but the first step to progress has already been done. You have acknowledged your mistakes and are ashamed that you lied, but now have to get out of it. Put down the sham and tell your parents the truth. Are you afraid of what they will say, that you will break their trust and burden them even more? That has already been done, but to fix it, you have to talk with them, and let them know. I used to be so afraid of what my dad would think about ... (more)

2013-10-28 03:21:55 -0600 edited answer Feeling Lost

Sat Nam,

I decided to answer this question because I really feel for what you are saying. And because of that, I will tell you the story of myself. Your story is a mirror image of my own. I had the same exact "episode" when I was in 9th grade, where my grades were falling and I entered into a deep depression. I didn't know who I was before and every day that I had to go through this confusion, I felt alone, hurt and worst of all, ashamed and guilty that I had done something terrible. I didn't know what it was. It got so bad that I stopped eating and became severely dehydrated.

Every day I'd wake up crying or sick, throw on a black sweatshirt and drag myself to school like a zombie. My best friends couldn't take my crying anymore and began to withdraw from me; that added a crushing blow because then I started to feel like a miserable failure. I couldn't concentrate at school anymore because I felt like I was going insane. My body was contracting, I'd wake up having panic attacks, I'd have horrid dreams about killing my entire family and myself. Drugs even seemed like a way out. I wanted anything which would make it go away. Thank God I didn't succumb to it! The sad truth is I would have, because I felt that every day I felt like this, I was hurting myself and everyone who loved me. It was a living hell.

No one can tell you how to get out of this, but I do want to tell you what happened with me. I was exactly like you. No drugs, no alcohol, very well dressed, was an EXTREMELY creative person, a hopeless optimist, a leader and all around good friend, and then one day it just died. I missed who I was but was afraid to return to her because I couldn't get the thought out of my mind that I had some extreme flaw in my character that led me to this "punishment". This occurred for a few more months (a year total), and I remember going through everything, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists. No one could figure it out; their conclusion was severe anxiety. But I remember my turning point very clearly. I went to my weekly appointment with my psychiatrist, and she prescribed my some anxiety medicine called Xanax. You've probably heard of it. It wasn't much--10mg, a baby dose--and I went home with a sick feeling about it. I looked at the little white tablet in my palm and decided I'd humor my mom and take it. (On a side note, I really do not like taking medicine--I'm a true believer in Ayurvedic/natural medicines, but this was important for my mother, so I took it). I remember waiting for it to kick in, and feeling disgusting.

The truth was, beneath all ... (more)