Have you ever tried to withdraw from an addictive substance?
Have you ever sat up alone in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, craving something in your body so badly you shake and rock and cry and generally feel like HELL?
Once upon a time this happened to me. Here’s a little story of how I reached a turning point.
Back in January 2005 I was in a car accident which resulted in a fractured pelvis and broken ribs. It took most of the rest of the year at home to recover physically.
A daily dose of a ‘narcotic-like’ pain killer, Tramadol was prescribed. Tramadol helped me through a very difficult time, and allowed me to function quite well over a 7 month period (though funnily I don’t remember a lot). I’m very glad I had it, but….inevitably the time came when I had to say goodbye to my dear best friend. YIKES!!
I remember the insomnia, accompanied by the shaking and rocking and crying.
One night when I was at my worst and feeling like I was going out of my mind I experienced a breakthrough, by reaching for my drum.
The Drum Journey
BOOM BOOM- The primal sound of the drumbeat.
I was downstairs, far enough away to not disturb my sleeping partner. I held the drum to my ear and began to drum softly and slowly, taking some time to settle into the strangeness of it all- letting go of my Ego (what was left of it).
I just wanted to distract myself but in the back of my mind I also knew that if I persisted I could achieve an altered state of consciousness.
The key to reaching an altered state of consciousness is persistence, gently pushing aside self-doubt, to slowly allowing the conscious self to let go, allowing the rhythm to guide you to whatever comes up in your mind or body. Reaching an altered state of consciousness can lead to profound insight and possibility for change.
I drummed for what felt like a very long time. The patterns of the beat ebbed and flowed as I traversed the landscape of my mind, rather like I was trekking across an undulating desert. I had exhausted myself but for the time of my inner journey. For a while I had forgotten my angst of withdrawal. I had gained some kind of new strength.
Sowing a seed for your recovery
I was not cured in one session, but had begun a process of action.
If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, try working with a drum to help not only divert your energies but hopefully break the cycle of feeling helpless.
Drumming is a effective way to achieve a repetitive sound that is conducive to achieving an altered state. If you prefer a different instrument though, work with that. It is best to work with something that requires physical action on your behalf as passively listening to something may not allow you to engage in this instance.
Persist with it and if nothing else you will physically tire yourself out enough to get some sleep.
Share your story
I would love to hear from you about your experiences withdrawing from an addiction. How did you do it? What helped you?
I’d also love to hear about your drum journeys. What do you use your drum for?