Holiday anxiety or am I really insane?!

Written by Amie on November 25, 2009 – 1:43 am -

Happy, joyful and content

It still amazes me what a huge heart I have for other people who are suffering and for animals who are suffering. Everyone but myself. I am able to have compassion for myself at times, just not when I am feeling even slightly depressed. I cry for animals that look lost or are being treated badly. I have to leave a store if  a baby is crying and not being attended to. If I am feeling depressed and I am suffering through it, I forget about compassion. Once I feel better, I can see I was harsh on myself and I deserve compassion. When I am feeling happy, joyful and content, I am full of self-love. But, when I need it most, I have to be reminded again and again to cut myself a break and have compassion for myself.

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The internal war

I know it is like a test for myself. A depression hits for a few days, like right now around the holidays, and my self compassion goes out the window! It is aggravating, and I thought  by now I would catch on to the pattern! I say that in a loving way, not judgmental. Really, I do!  At least I am aware of beating myself up I suppose. Awareness is key. I am still working on the judgmental voice that creeps in at the slightest dark spot. It is there waiting in the shadows for me to give it a tiny opening. It is that internal war again. Me against my inner bitch again. Right when I think I kicked her out, she reappears, and she doesn’t knock. She sneaks in when I am down. I don’t usually see her coming, but I am very aware of her once she is here. I talk to her alot, and not in a nice way. I am as mean to her as I am to myself. Hence, the war.

Am I insane?

Sounds a bit crazy, but can you relate? This is when I nearly convince myself that I am insane! On the brink of falling off the edge. I keep telling the mean person to leave, she is not welcome anymore, and eventually she does. What a process this is! I try to quiet my mind, and she shouts even louder. It is getting easier to quiet her, but man, I just keep thinking she should be gone! Is this going to be an on-going thing for the rest of my life? Maybe….I guess I will just be with her each time she visits. I just have to practice my skills of not being a friendly host. I have to remind her who is in charge now. And meditate often!!!! The silence….well…..that’s where my peace of mind is.

Holiday anxiety

So I ask myself, why am I feeling depressed when the holidays are coming up? It feels chaotic and I start to feel out of sorts. By this I mean disconnected from myself. We don’t really even have a big huge production for the holidays, but I still feel a pressure, a chaos running amok inside myself. It is very difficult for me to stay connected to myself. This is a very strange process for me. I want my children to have wonderful memories of the holidays, but at the same time, I have this inner war going on inside me. I take time each day to meditate and rein myself back in, but I feel like I need to be meditating for about four hours a day, which I haven’t been able to do! My instinct is to want to run away and hide until it is all over, but again, not happening.  In the meantime, I will be as present as I possibly can, and hang signs all around me that remind me to be compassion to ME. I will keep saying mantras to myself until I feel better again. I will be shocked again at how I can go from being so mean to myself one day, and then full of forgiveness and self-love when the depression subsides. Ahhhh, the mysteries of being human. I remind myself that my job is to find ways to open my heart just a bit more each day. When I open my heart, I find joy, love, and tenderness for myself and for others.

State of Grace

 

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Letting the tears and the emotions flow

Written by Amie on November 20, 2009 – 12:10 am -

Falling apart at the drop of a hat

It is scary to feel like I can just fall apart at any minute. Lately I feel as though I will cry at the drop of a hat. I feel raw with emotion. I know this isn’t a bad thing, but when I feel vulnerable, it still feels scary. As much as I remind myself, I still forget, “this too, shall pass”. Thankfully, my dark spots are not the size of a crater anymore, but nonetheless, they can still feel debilitating when they last for more than a few days. I try to remind myself  it will pass if I just allow myself to “be with it”. Of course, that can be the hardest and sometimes the most painful part. I know that I have a pretty sensitive nervous system. I feel grateful that I discovered this so I could stop beating myself up for “being so sensitive.” I am learning to love this about myself, rather than hate it. Most of the time, that is. For the past few days, I have strongly disliked this fact.

man+crying

Many tears flowing

There have been many tears the last few days, but the release feels good. I can tell there is more to come. The tears have retreated for today. Each time I just stay with my sensation of being stuck, I am able to release more and feel better. When I try to fight the feelings and push at them, they remain with me, and they push back harder. I must keep reminding myself that I am peeling back the layers of emotions as my body is ready to release them. As much as I want it to be over with, I can’t hurry the process. I really am exactly where I am supposed to be. Damn, that is a hard thing to remember in the midst of the struggle. Once I am able to get my fingertips to the top of the hole to pull myself out, I am hit with a huge ah-ha moment. I realize once again, that I always feel better after the struggle. I do want to say that there was a time when I was just in a constant struggle, there was no, “this too, shall pass”. It never passed, it stayed right where it was because I had no idea how to be present with it.

The struggle with dark emotions

Sometimes it is still hard for me to put into words what is happening inside me when I am struggling with dark emotions. I can just explain the sensation of what my body is telling me. Today I felt as though I had a rock lodged in my stomach. After sitting with this sensation for about 15 minutes, I noticed that my body was telling me that the “rock” in my stomach was a feeling of being unsafe and scared. Of what? Not really sure, but it also doesn’t always matter.  With the help of my therapist, I tried to give the “rock” a voice, to ask it what it was afraid of. This is something you can do for yourself if you are not working with a therapist. I was able to feel in my body that there was something pushing against the “rock” to keep it stuck there. I discovered that I was feeling too vulnerable and also unsafe. I was able to get to a place of feeling safe by thinking of a time when I *did* feel safe. Once I let my mind and body go to the place of feeling safe, the stuck feeling did dissolve. I had to remember there was no “goal” to the process. I wasn’t trying to make it go away, I wasn’t trying to solve the problem, I was simply trying to let the sensation have a voice.

Trust yourself, trust your body

Our bodies are so much a part of our emotions. Even when our minds can’t figure out *what* or *why* we feel a certain way, the feelings in our bodies are telling us enough information. It is the mind that wants to make us think we have to “figure it all out”. Believe me, my mind tries to convince me of this on a regular basis. I talk to myself often. It is necessary to put the mind in it’s place, so to speak. It really can convince us of anything if we listen to it long enough. Three years ago, I couldn’t answer the question, “how are you feeling”, or “what is alive in you right now”? Today, I am able to feel the places in my body where I hold my emotions. My stomach is the first place my emotions go. Trusting my body feels good. It will only allow what I can handle to come to the surface. My fear of completely exploding will not happen. My body is my protector. It will let me know when it needs to release. Trust yourself, trust your body.

Video of Eckhart Tolle discussing how to express emotions.

 

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