Posted on | April 18, 2006 | By Guest Contributor | 12 Comments
By Jade Topaz
Teshuvah-medicating your soul and medicating your personality have got to be two of the most complicated concepts around today (other than the Lakewood internet ban :) ) They are, though, sort of related in the higher scheme of things.
The warnings, side effects ,issues, questions and annoyances that often accompany experimenting with the teshuvah process are right in sync with the side effects and or questions, that often arise when experimenting with stimulant and non-stimulant ADD medications ie: Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Straterra etc. With four difficult steps you can be on your way to a whole new spiritual personality or growth and perhaps cultivate some roses and zinnias with the weeds .
The first step is Awareness. Awareness that your soul and or brain is unfortunately running amok with no structure, focus or purpose. What is focus? How can I get spiritual focus? Is that directly related to happiness and contentment? Is Spiritual focus really important? OK, meaning is a little overrated. Who says you can’t be happy and hyper and everywhere & undisciplined at the same time?
The second step is Acquisition. Acquiring or fine tuning one’s ability to reason. Do I want/need the change? Will I still be the same person all dressed up in modesty/ discipline, teshuvah? How can the medicated, not hyper -happy personality be the real me? My whole life structure and supposed happiness is based on that. How can a Miss Priss in a modest suit and pearl necklace be the real me? Who really is the real me anyway? Medicating your soul and/or brain can be, to say the least, disquieting and disconcerting.
What is real? What should your focus be? And obviously it’s not always what feels good, better or more comfortable. Once you make the decision to medicate your personality and/or soul with medicine or teshuvah, the third step is deciding which avenue you intend on perusing and pursuing. Will it be a stimulant such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall – right wing hasidisim, haredi or yeshivish, in addition to setting up shop in a respectively close knit community with a variety of new and different mores and social structure and where you might just need an extra shot of green apple Smirnoff to get you through the first couple of months.
Or non-stimulants ie : Straterra or Wellbutrin, modern orthodox, regular orthodox with no soaring on extreme left or right wings. There are a lot of right answers the key is in the ability to attach the right answer to the right question/personality/brain. Obviously it all depends on the brain wiring. Some may need hyper structured environments while others may wilt at the thought and thrive with the loose-leaf bible and of course there is always the middle of the narrow winding road for the more discerning spiritual consumer. It’s all in the neuronal circuitry and what keeps the juices stimulated, flowing, focused and properly channeled.
The fourth and most important step is the tweaking of the medicine and getting the right cocktail and combination special. Some may find stimulants such as Ritalin or ultra orthodoxy over stimulating overly structured and somewhat stifling.There’s always the option of Strattera or the non-stimulant mainstream Judaism. You have to learn to tweak the dosage and find the right dosage that allows your brain to function properly in order to accomplish whatever it may need to accomplish i.e. what you were created for (good luck).
Warning: may cause feelings of humdrum existence, rote, routine, roboticism and apatheticism. There is a chance one may completely lose their ability for hyper laughing. May also forget the euphoria of hyper silliness and ability to pretend surfacey topics have unlimited depth. May also wilt to the point of dehydration, which may or may not be alleviated with a lower dosage. A combination of belief, prayer, money and BeyondBT blogging and commenting can be the catalyst between inner equilibrium and the new you.
Always read warnings and instructions in addition to consulting a higher authority before starting or quitting projects, especially those involving personalities.