Johan's mental voyage of discovery

When I was asked to write my personal story I was hesitant as to what I had to say. "I guess nothing special happened to me." As I read through many of the other's stories I realized that my story would have very little in common with those. I never had any physical pains to speak of and I did not have the tangible results that so many other had. You may ask yourselves then why I would write this story in the first place...well...it may not be quite that simple after all. Things have happened, but I feel that they are difficult to put in words. Anyway...

In the Autumn of 2001 when I started to practise Qigong I suffered from severe depression. For four years I had been hanging onto the gunwale of an emotional roller coaster. The waves became steeper and ever more frequent until finally the carriage went completely off the rails. For two years I went back and forth between different mental institutions but my mental state just kept deteriorating. The fact that I am still alive feels simply unbelievable. It was right in the middle of this mess that I started to practise Qigong. It is tempting to believe that the rest of the journey turned out to be a rose garden or a miraculous recovery. If so, I am afraid that I have to disappoint you. It was a long and, at times, very hard way back, but I am alive! Expectations have been shattered and I must confess that I have on several occasions cursed everything that had anything to do with Qigong. Sometimes I have felt as if everybody except me get results. But still I kept up the training. Deep inside I understood that it was good for me somehow.

Looking back I fully realize how much I have changed as a person. I have become much calmer and more harmonious, especially during the last two years. Today it feels absurd to know that four years ago, if I would get a delayed phone bill, that would floor me completely. Little worries seem so insignificant nowadays. The fact that I dare to write candidly about what happened is proof that something really has happened. I am simply a lot happier nowadays. It is like waking up after a long sweaty bad dream. Today I am able to find joy in simple things, like the fact that the sun is shining. It was a great experience for me to realize how much beauty there is in the world. I can get moved to tears because life is so delightful. It is not until now that I understand that all of this is largely a result of my Qigong training.

I am not saying that Qigong is the only thing that made me well. For different periods I have been on various antidepressants and I have been to psychotherapy. How then do I know that Qigong has helped me? I guess I can not, in an intellectual sense. It would have been easier for me if I had suffered from tennis elbow which had healed. My results are much harder to measure scientifically. Emotionally speaking there is no doubt whatsoever. I am convinced that I would not be alive today had I not started to practise Qigong.

Johan Jansén The training has been a mental voyage of discovery. I have slowly come to realize things about myself and the world around me. These realizations have not always been easy to accept, but I never really had a sound alternative. As I mentioned before it is very hard to put it in words. One might perhaps say that what I feel is like a greater calm. I think that I am on my way to find myself somewhere in this modern days' jungle of ours.

Someone may think that my story is nothing but a dazed muddle and I think that I would have used the same words a few years ago. For all my life I have tried to find (in a scientific sense) a rational meaning with life. This has made my life incredibly complicated and it is probably one of the big reasons for my depression. I tried to explain my emotional experiences with different intellectual "aids". In conclusion I can say that it was not that successful. I do not wish to criticize the scientific way of thinking but I learned the hard way that there is not always a rational solution to be found. I do not claim that Qigong has given me the answer to all the questions in life. Qigong has given me a calm which makes me accept more and more easily that there are things I neither can nor need to explain intellectually. I feel free.

Johan Jansén