As-Salam ‘Alaikum Dear Brother,
Let us start at the beginning. When you were born, you were born a pure soul. During the process of your development as a baby and a child, you had a variety of experiences. Some were good and some may have caused you distress. You learned how to respond to distress in a variety of ways. Whatever action or non-action you engaged in with the hope of alleviating your distress, it was either a fight or flight response. Fight or flight (running away-avoidance) is the two most natural instinctive responses that we are born with. There are many ways to fight something or to run away and avoid something.
You learned how to respond to distress in a variety of ways. Whatever action or non-action you engaged in with the hope of alleviating your distress, it was either a fight or flight response. Fight or flight is the two most natural instinctive responses that we are born with. There are many ways to fight something or to run away and avoid something.
Problem-solving is a skill that is not initially instinctive but is learned over time from others who model and teach that behavioral response to us. Many of us did not acquire and master the problem-solving skill to a degree that would facilitate our successful resolution of emotional, psychological, spiritual, mental or physical pain.
You also mentioned that you have the mood disorder of Bipolar. We want to identify if this mood disorder is drug induced, which then spiraled into self-medication with the use of the dangerous and illegal drug (crack), or if you really have long term Bipolar disorder. The use of methamphetamine commonly causes mood disorder and a person usually needs to be clean for at least two years to clear up these moods disorders.
Coping with Addictive Substances
It is common for an individual to become an older child, teenager or young adult and find that he/she is not able to regulate her/his emotions and to then find a solution to the problem that is causing the emotional distress. There are many ways to escape emotional pain. Healthy individuals learn how to self-soothe when they are in emotional distress.
Some people use sexual pleasure to distract themselves from the pain they are feeling. If an individual begins to use masturbation as a way to self-soothe, it can become a habit.
Substances that alter the state of consciousness and level of awareness of one’s own situation are very much available almost everywhere in the world to just about anyone who wants to use them. If an individual has not learned how to work through his or her emotional pain, and these substances (drugs) are available and easy to access, the individual will likely use them.
Unfortunately, drugs only serve as a temporary relief, and as you know very well, the problem that the person is trying to escape from only becomes worse because the person is not working through his or her issues. The drug use then causes, even more, problems and the person ends up spiraling down in a never ending nightmare of life problems with family, friends, society, alimentation, depression, etc. The individual becomes afraid, alone, and begins to live in a type of literal hell. He/she can see no way out other than taking more of the same substance that will only offer a temporary relief and then makes things even worse. This is a slippery slope to prison or suicide. It never ends well.
Understand your own personal story and identify the actual critical moments in your life when you turned to a behavior such as masturbation or drug use to escape a painful experience. Identifying that painful experience will help you understand your own innocence even when the rest of the world only sees the behaviors that you engaged in.
By understanding yourself, you will be able to see yourself more as our Creator sees you – with love, compassion and an understanding for your original innocence and confusion and lack of skill. This is set the foundation for authentic healing from the long and chronic trauma that you have survived.
With all of that said, your paranoia is likely a residual effect of the long-term use of methamphetamine. Your fear of aids and your obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors are probably a result of a combination of your brain chemistry trying to balance out. You still need to work through the unidentified, partially unconscious, and unresolved issues and emotional burdens.
You need to be off of the drugs for about six months before you can begin to feel strong enough to tackle some of the deeper woundings in your heart and confusions in your mind. Give yourself a big hug and congratulate yourself. You have done one of the most difficult things in the world. Coming off of methamphetamine is extremely difficult to do. You did it. There is never anything preventing you from connecting to Allah (swt) except for the perception that Allah (swt) is not there for you. Indeed, Allah (swt) is most Merciful and Forgiving. It is you who needs to accept that.
Having a Strong Connection with Allah (swt)
I challenge you to delve deeper and learn Islam. This will cure you, in sha‘ Allah. The behaviors of Islam serve a twofold purpose. By practicing them, your mind and brain will become quiet and will heal much quicker from the chemical abuse that was caused by the drug use.
The second is an expression. The heart of Islam is known only in the heart. It is an unfolding. It is an increasing understanding and awareness of the nature of Allah (swt) and of the nature of yourself. Submitting to the will of Allah (swt) will only lead you to the light of love and healing.
– Begin by getting yourself an Azan clock if you possibly can. This will remind you when it is prayer time. If you are out and about during the day, then write the prayer times on a card and keep it in your wallet. If you can, set your watch to the pray times. Find a way to learn the prayer times.
– Be kind and gentle with yourself. You are in recovery. But pray any way you can. You will be starting a new habit. Prayer is a way to actually heal your emotional wounds and it will naturally increase your healthy sense of worth. Indeed, Allah (swt) would not create something worthless. No, Allah (swt) loves what He creates with a love so powerful that we human beings cannot even understand it in this corporeal world. You will begin to feel this love and this connection as you ease into regular prayer.
– Finding your way to Friday prayers and praying with other men will accelerate your sense of connection to Allah (swt). Why is this? Because the force of Allah (swt) is in our relationship with each other. This is why community and healthy society is so important. So, this is an extremely important practice for you. For the next few months, just focus on this. Then, as you feel more comfortable, you can begin to read Quran. Read one verse a day. Keep it simple.
– In the light of keeping it simple and taking things one day at a time, I suggest that you learn the 99 names of Allah (swt). Whenever you feel weak, you can turn to these names. Find one and meditate on that name. Your understanding of Allah (swt) and your relationship with Allah (swt) will increase quickly if you do this. You can find this on the internet as there are now many websites with this information.
– Finally, get yourself into a recovery support group if you can. Your doctors can help you find a local one. The members will come from all walks of life, but the support is extremely invaluable and you will learn a lot about yourself.
Now, about your marriage; it is time for you to have a heart to heart talk with this woman. Honesty is difficult, but you are not ready for this level of responsibility. In order to be ready to accept the responsibility of a committed life partnership, you must first take responsibility for your own healing and growth in all areas (spiritual, mental, psychological, emotional, and physical).
While you are becoming strong and stable in these areas, you can focus on becoming strong and stable in your vocation. You have not even given yourself the chance to see who you are in society. You don’t know what your contribution is. Spend some time on self-development first. Do not put yourself in a stressful situation that you don’t know how to handle as that will put you in danger of relapse.
You can explain this to the woman who has her heart set on marriage. Expect her to be very hurt and disappointed. This is a consequence, but turn to Allah (swt) for forgiveness and ask Allah (swt) to heal both of you. Perhaps she will understand (though be realistic because that is rare). Yet, if you marry prematurely and accept responsibilities that you are not ready for, you will likely only hurt her later on.
A “rule of thumb” is to be clean for two years before making a life transition that is this severe. This is to ensure that you have created some solid foundations in your life and that you have learned some coping skills for when life gets rough, have learned how to regulate your emotions, have learned basic life skills, and have repaired your relationships with your family and friends, community and society. Your healing work has just begun. Focus on that, and Allah (swt) is walking with you. Allah (swt) is the friend.
I am honored that you wrote into Aboutislam.net and that you can feel connected to our online community. I admire you very much for walking through that fire and taking the challenge of overcoming drug addiction. Keep praying and stay close to sincere brothers who also love Allah (swt). Your connection with our Lord will increase day by day. Don’t Give up.
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