Do your spiritual beliefs or practices help with your MD?

I'm interested in how spiritualty helps people with their MD. I’ve heard some posters say they avoid religious topics because others might be offended. I’m not an organized religion person myself, so I may indeed be offended, but I might also find something useful in what you say. To get better, I need my spirituality. When I first joined a twelve-step program, people were very open about how they understood their Higher Powers. Some were religious, but others prayed to dead pets, rock groups, Mother Nature, and Ghost Rider type things. I’ve heard it said that God is a multifaceted jewel, and we each see a side we can understand. I myself envision a fuzzy ray of light surrounding people and things I’m worried about.

 

In order to treat my MD, I’ve been working my twelve-step program—asking my HP to remove the obsession, attending daily meetings, working through the twelve steps with a sponsor, and listening to speaker tapes when I’m driving and lying in bed. These things never used to affect my MD, but since I’ve met you guys, they seem to be helping a lot. I guess I needed to see the problem more clearly before I could be open to a solution. Anyway, I thought I’d start a thread so that those of us who are into spiritual solutions can compare notes, and those who aren’t don’t have to read it.

 

Let’s all avoid preaching and disrespecting others’ beliefs. Instead, let’s share our own experiences.

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I am very afraid right now. I need to find a new job, and I can't get my feet to move on it. I give lip service to my faith, but I have a lot of fear.

 

I've had a great deal of relief from my MD since I've been visiting this site, and I believe it's because my HP has helped me. Although I've experienced some periods of temptation, I've felt buoyed up, like something bigger than me was giving me the strength to resist the temptation. In the past, when I've tried to stop MDing, I've been overcome by anger so severe that I couldn't sleep, and I've never lasted more than a week. This time, I don't feel particularly different emotionally--okay, I was obsessed with anger a couple months ago, but it passed. And I've had moments when I felt like the temptation would overwhelm me, but telling my twelve-step friends about my MD alleviated the compulsion. As a matter of fact, I'm no longer embarrassed about it. I feel like something is carrying me, and although I'm still a space case with a drifting mind, I feel like I've stepped gently away from my former obsession.

 

Yet here I am not doing what I'm supposed to do, just like we do when we're sinking into our MD. How can this be? How can I have had an astonishing spiritual experience ten months ago that restored my power of choice, yet still be paralyzed? Where is my faith?

First off, I guess I need to establish that I don't feel like anyone is someone how less faithful or spiritual because of MD. In fact, I think you could be connected to any form if divinity and have any "disorder" (quotations for Cordelia :)). I am not sure how much I agree with using a 12 step program to stop as long as you are taking care of yourself mentally, too! I don't believe that MD is wrong or evil, I think it is a coping mechanism for our brains, and if you have the urge to do it, it is probably because you are protecting yourself in some way.

Now with that established, I consider myself to be very spiritual. My religion isn't very mainstream at all, though I don't think what it is is important. I think we should look at religion and religious communities as a source of support for everything that we are going through, including MD. If you get a source of support and want to stop, I think that could be very helpful; however, I have found what works for me is learning about myself and my life with my religious path, and trying to grow that way.

I think trying to stop using MD is a choice we all have to make for ourselves, but my look on it all is that life is a process and a journey, and not a destination. Religion has helped me understand that, and I think we need to be gentle with ourselves and love ourselves as we are. It is always easier said than done, though.
I consider myself very spiritual/religious, and daydream myself talking to & about my favorite saints.  I don't see this as sinful, except for the time I put into it.  It would be the samething if I spent an inordinate amount of time reading, working, on the computer, etc.  God knows we all have our own particular needs and our ways of meeting them; he loves us in all our individuality and may be using this avenue to communicate with us.  I believe He reaches out to each of us in a way that we would understand & be comfortable with, just as He might speak to us through a friend, or book, or whatever.

I am a Christian who believes that the bible is the word of God without error.   So this is the world view that I am coming from.  Since I believe God is the source of reality and my prayers are an addressed to a being who has defined His self in his word, I do not take liberties with that.  I consider that to be reverance.  Now that does not mean that imagination can not come into play when trying to illustrate God's word or in researching and understanding in study.  

For me my fantasies are about control, as the world I create in which I am the center.  I arrange story lines that offer me emotional variety/comfort/release that does not happen in the actual world.  Just as I do not take a real person an put them in a story line, recreating them , having conversations with them and/or emotions relating to them - I would not do that to my God.  But my thought on this is that when someone tries to imagine what Jesus would do or how Paul would react to something it is not the same thing.  They are trying to understand how/what they meant or were thinking.  That is not the same thing as fantasing about someone, this sounds so awkward but I hope that you can understand the very real diffence I am trying to get at.  There was one person I would allow into my fantasies/story making, it was my best friend.  I would make of a story with her in it as a character/creature then I would share it with her.  So I had her permission and it was ok but I have not had that kinda of rapore/relationship with anyone else I can remember. 

 

From your comments I guess the 12 step program could be applied to anything a person considered an addiction.    Maladaptive dreaming does interfer with forming normal social ties and relationships and over a long period of time can become a subsitute for those things.  I think it is courageous of  you to undergo the process to change how you relate to the world.  I hope your job hunt has been successful.  I have been there many times before and I can assure you prayer does help.   

No. I belive religion does the exact opposite without proper guidance, and I don't count political views as religion. I belong to a religion that worships feelings and creativity. The gods and the names always get in my way. There are very few guides around for my faith these days. You can however use the faith in certain cicumstances, worshipping creativity as godliness makes coffee and sigs taste all the better in the morning.
I consider myself Christian, although was brought up very loosely to be Christian (sort of.)  My mother was Christian Scientist, but my parents never talked about religion at all.  It was totally left to us to decide.  I found my way to Christianity later in adulthood.  It's interesting that my DD persona changes names, appearance, jobs, personality, but she is always Catholic, and often devout.  I checked out Catholicism myself years ago, and though I loved the saints, disagreed on many of the tenets, so did not join.  I find this intriguing.
The intensity and frequency of my DD is linked to my stress and depression levels.   Reading the Bible helps me; however when my stress and depression are active,  what I read in the Bible starts a DD.  When I become aware of it I apologize to God and ask him to carry me for awhile.

yes...spirituality helps me a lot...religion is a set of instructions whereas spirituality is KNOWING and understanding the ultimate reality...ALL the religions preach the same message"god is not outside us...he is inside our heart...that is why it is said human beings have immense potential withinthem but are not aware of it..."

whether we believe in god or not...if we understand that we ourselves are strong,capable, and have immense energy within ourselves new doors of wisdom open up in our life...

when i remind myselves of these subtle thoughts, i am least affected by any failures or people around me...i consider things as they are....so, my mind remains serene,without any conflict and thoughts...

only thing we need is consistency...every day...we need to inpire and motivate ourselves...be it reading some inspiring words..or music or whatever...

let us not consider MD as a problem...rather than magnifying it..lets treat it as a minute stroke of our larger personality...lets concentrate on our strengths...engaging ourselves in creative activities..organising well our day to day activities...

whenever we feel low or slipping into MD, lets talk , support and strengthen one another...

:-)

 

Makes sense. 

Shanni Fox said:

  I think  it is not so much a matter of faith but a matter of surrender. 

I'm working part time. I'm not on my feet yet, but I'm out of procrastination and actively seeking a full-time gig. Apparently my Higher Power is working through the state unemployment office, which currently holds me accountable. When I was younger, I resented interference from governmental authorities. Today, however, I appreciate them. If I weren't broke, I'd gladly pay someone to give me the kicks in the butt I get from the state. 

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