7 Days in the Dark — Dark Therapy
Happiness, sadness, fear, self reflection, conscience, memories, creativity … all of this and much more you can experience in the dark.
- Did you see anything? No, there is no difference between opened and closed eyes, just absolute darkness. I only saw pictures that were created by my brain.
- What were the most common activities you were doing? Lying in bed and sitting on the toilet. And of course meditation and thinking about myself.
- How did you eat / get the food? By the type of the box you can guess if there is liquid or not. So you are doing everything slowly and thinking about it. There is no problem with eating. There are two connected dark rooms. The first one was my personal room and the second one (smaller) was for exchanging boxes, bottles and so on.
- Was it difficult to orient and move there? No, you can see the room before the lights go off and then you just walk slowly (you have a lot of time, you know).
- Were you there alone? Yes. Sometimes, the woman who took care of me came to the exchange room and got me new boxes with food, water and so on.
- Did you talk to anyone? No, just to myself. But I could write a letter to the woman and talk to her if something happened but I didn’t do it.
- Did you want to leave before the end? Yes, I will describe it later in this article.
- Is it possible to excercise there? I had a small room so not really, I did shadow boxing, push-ups and so on but I think yoga would be difficult there. It depends on the room.
- Did the time fly fast? Actually yes, it’s much faster than many team meetings. It is a paradox but you can focus on yourself and you are not scattered by many things you can do at home so the time flies like a 🚀.
- Did you recognize the day / night? Yes, you have a lot of time to listen to your body so when the night / evening arrived, everything slowed down, my eyes were heavier and I knew it was time to go to sleep.
- Did you hear anything from the outside? Yes, cars, motorbikes, tractors, but not much. It was in a small village so the traffic was there for the whole day and night (cars during the day and agriculture machinery at night / evening for example).
- Did you find God or anything? No. But I found my spirit in many forms.
- Did you change? No I am still the same but I learned something about myself so I can work on it. Maybe there is one change … I am not biting my nails anymore.
- Why did you go there? There is no special reason. I wanted to try it, I am interested in biohacking and these things and this is close to it. So I just wanted this experience.
- How much did it cost? Around 9.000 CZK, it’s around 400 USD.
Day 1 and 2
The first two days were very emotional for me. Since I began, I started to see a lots of situations from my past — the bad and good. So it was all about the childhood, memories, bad things I did, good things I did, love, conscience, gratitude and so on. I went step by step from the past to present.
So during these memories, I was smiling, feeling happiness, remembering things like how I really loved the “lollipop ice cream” and so on. But on the other hand, I was experiencing sad and bad situations so I felt a bit angry sometimes and cried a bit. The first two days were like a purification ritual for me.
During the whole experience I wrote (yes I was writing on the paper in the dark) some questions mostly for my family about some situations. I also realized that I have a problem with concentration so that is something I started working on after the therapy.
Day 3 and 4
These days I started to do some exercises, eat more, and guess what I was eating (it’s sometimes hard to recognize what exactly you are eating, for example bulgur, lentil or the taste of tea). I was also doing breathing and meditation practices with body scan, activation and so on.
These days I was thinking about my fears a bit but I was mostly creative. I was thinking about my career, projects, traveling and so on. So I had a few project ideas, next career steps, more concrete plan and marketing plan for my future project. It was mostly about future.
Day 5 to 7
Since the fifth night, I hadn’t slept well. I had bad dreams about my fears. But the fifth day I was really fighting with these fears. It was hard for me to convince my head that the ideas were not real. I had my head full of imaginations of how my fears kill or control me.
I was really tired because I couldn’t do anything just think about this and fight with my head. After I won this fight, it got better and I slept a bit but on the last day I wanted to end the therapy because I felt really bad. My head was spinning I was completely disorientated and sick to my stomach. I think the reason was I was not sleeping much the days before and I was tired.
So that was the hardest day for me but I somehow survived and found the light.
Outside of the Dark
Before I left the dark room, the woman put a candle in the exchange room so I had enough time to adapt myself to the light. After I left the room I had a small problem with coordination and walking. Sometimes I also felt sick to my stomach when I moved too quickly but it lasted just around two hours.
So after I left the room I was talking about my experience with the woman who took care of me and then I went back home. I was happy I could go out and talk to my family and friends.
If you are interested in the therapy I can really recommend it. I think seven days are enough if you don’t have any troubles (I can imagine if you are trying to solve serious life problems like violence, trauma or disease it could take some time to tune in).
You could have a tendency to leave before the end — don’t do it! You are fighting with your ego, don’t let it win!
Write notes and analyze them after the end. Do a retro, set new goals or tasks for yourself, talk about it with family or friends if needed or if you have some questions for them.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me on Twitter. Have you ever been to the dark therapy? I am interested in your experience so let me know how it was going!