Freedom from addiction to psychiatric medication
When my dad passed on in 2005, I was given an inheritance with strings attached. Two family members were in charge of the money, and I was allowed to spend it only with their approval. There were also conditions that I had to fulfill in order to start getting payouts, which were mostly paid directly to vendors, with very little given directly to me.
One condition was that I must get a full-time job that I could verify with pay stubs. For years, I had mostly freelanced, and too often had lacked funds and asked Dad to help. The other condition was that I must see a psychiatrist and be put on psychiatric medication.
I didn’t grow up in a family of Christian Scientists, but my dad knew I had become a student of Christian Science, which he respected. And although he had passed on, I knew he would have supported my reliance on Christian Science for healing. But I wasn’t strong and went along with my relatives’ insistence on fulfilling the conditions. I secured a full-time job and began taking the medication.
Soon I became addicted to these powerful drugs, which made me delusional and paranoid. I withdrew my membership from The Mother Church (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston), and I stopped going to church (and wouldn’t attend again for another five years).
The caretakers of my inheritance were very controlling and watched my every move, so I didn’t feel free to do what I felt led to do. I didn’t like my job and was miserable. I am an artist but wasn’t creating very often. I also got married during this time, but my marriage was not easy, and I was very depressed most of the time.
One day, I just stopped functioning. I didn’t want to live anymore. I ended up in a lockdown mental ward, where I was given lots of medication daily. I had a copy of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, with me, along with a few other possessions. In this book, there is a passage that interprets Jesus’ parable of the tares (weeds) and wheat, which are allowed to grow up together until the one can be distinguished from the other. The passage says: “The temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real. The mutable and imperfect never touch the immutable and perfect. The inharmonious and self-destructive never touch the harmonious and self-existent. These opposite qualities are the tares and wheat, which never really mingle, though (to mortal sight) they grow side by side until the harvest; then, Science separates the wheat from the tares, through the realization of God as ever present and of man as reflecting the divine likeness” (p. 300 ).
This helped me to see that what I was experiencing wasn’t my true life in and of divine Spirit—life that is governed by God and always harmonious. And I began to see that drugs were not the answer to any of the challenges in my life. I could separate the tares (the belief that I was dependent on medication) from the wheat (the truth that God meets my needs).
Despite the difficulties in our marriage, my husband visited me daily, and he sang and played his guitar for me and for the other patients. This gave me an incredible uplift, and after two weeks, he was allowed to bring me home.
I was still mentally unstable, though, and so angry about how one relative in particular was treating me. I was friends with a Christian Science practitioner, and she said to me one day, “Your relative is not your boss.” That was helpful, but it wasn’t until she repeated this to me on another occasion that I had an awakening. I had been letting a person direct my life instead of listening to God! I started a new path, listening for and obeying what God was telling me, minute by minute. My life began going in a better direction. I still had plenty of challenges to work through, but I continued to hold on to this epiphany.
An article in Mrs. Eddy’s Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 states, “If we can aid in abating suffering and diminishing sin, we shall have accomplished much; but if we can bring to the general thought this great fact that drugs do not, cannot, produce health and harmony, since ‘in Him [Mind] we live, and move, and have our being,’ we shall have done more” (p. 8 ).
Following my epiphany, I immediately stopped taking the drugs, which is not medically recommended, and I had a very bad reaction. Thankfully, my husband stuck by me throughout this extremely difficult episode.
It was at a point where I felt close to going off the deep end again that I had a very clear thought that I knew had to be from God: “Go back to your association.” This referred to the annual gathering of students of the teacher from whom I had taken Christian Science Primary class instruction years before. My association meeting was the following week, so I quickly contacted those in charge of arrangements for the gathering and told them I would be there.
Going back to my association was my entry back into Christian Science. Although still grappling with the same problems, I started attending church again and soaking in the truth. As I did so,
I became more and more mentally stable.
I later became a member of the branch Church of Christ, Scientist, I was attending, and I rejoined The Mother Church. Since then, I have served as Reader, board member, childcare attendant, and usher, and I have never looked back. I also have never been back on psychiatric medication or visited a psychiatrist in the more than ten years since this healing occurred. And as I listened to God as the only authority in my life, I became less fearful of the family members who were in charge of my inheritance.
Many other trials have come and gone, and it has not always been an easy road. However, I have overcome so much and have had so many healings that I can confidently say that God’s law of harmony truly reigns, and we can each prove that daily! I am eternally grateful for Christian Science.