Updated: Feb 8, 2021
All my life I've found it hard to accept my feelings because I was not taught that they were normal. Who was? Not many of us. We all have a yardstick or some such measurement in our head that is embedded in us like a nasty virus from disappointments in childhood, adulthood, and futile attempts to meet rigid cultural norms. It eats away at us because it isn't us. It's some maddeningly persistent archetypal demon that has buried itself in our psyche. Mine flings recriminations at me like wet paper towels. Some stick, most don't. My safest place is in bed (unless you count warm tropical beaches that I can't travel to now). Truly. I have gone back to bed, too. I have taken a day or two from work. I have gone beyond distracted to avoidance. I have read books, written journal entries, and bitten my nails.
Just like you.
Today your best friend is your fraying pajamas and binge-watching. And when it goes on for more than a day should we get worried? If we Google "how long is it okay to stay in your pajamas all day" we should start worrying after 2 weeks.
I totally understand it, believe me. I get that it is scary. That you are thinking that you might be “depressed.“ And that's okay.
Actually, I‘d like to suggest that you’re having perfectly normal feelings of distress when there is a Worldwide pandemic raging (Not that I want you staying in your jammies anymore, though). You're thinking, "duh."
But I promise you, many of us are still underestimating this virus's emotional impact. And more than a few of us will be offered antidepressants by our physicians without discussion of short-term and long-term side effects and withdrawal. Like innocents on the beach, we've been hit with a wave. A big wave.
We must learn to accept that our feelings are normal human feelings, changeable, and understandable or we risk our lived pain becoming an immutable fact, unchangeable and misunderstood. A pain relived as burden or even trauma that rewires the brain in a negative feedback loop that could make antidepressants look like a good option. But, they are more complicated than they're made out to be. Buyer beware! Nothing I'm saying here I haven't experienced for myself. The only thing that makes it possible for me to stop this behavior from becoming a tailspin of self-recriminations is to allow myself to be whatever I am whenever I am. Doesn't that sound easy!?! It isn't. It isn't a magic bullet or pill.
And I'm sorry about that. Depression isn't easy, I know. I don't just magically allow myself to do it. I train my brain to stop the negative feedback loop with purposeful meditation and affirmation practice. Just like I train my dog to roll over. And he's pretty good! But, I'm serious. I practice every day. And when I don’t, it shows in my resilience. Don't get me wrong. It is not easy. I am not downplaying my dark feelings and I'm not suggesting you should, either. 🦋My aim is long-term emotional healing. I know for this to happen I need to examine my relationship with the world and how I connect to it and the people around me. Because positive human connection is what we need. So while mindfulness practice and affirmations are excellent and necessary practice tools, healing for the long term means reframing our perceptions of fear and pain as an integral part of our courage and wisdom, so we can find meaningful human connection. Otherwise, you are dancing around the pain, not with it. You can forgive yourself, even if you don't understand it, but imagine the gift you give yourself when you acknowledge where you are now and consider where you can go from here fully grounded in self-love. Self-love is real. Believe you are a child of the universe deserving of reaching your highest best self. 2021
This year I have added to my weekly psychotherapy and monthly insight coaching. I am taking a Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness training program that incorporates an additional mind fitness component to mindfulness training! The premise is that without the mind fitness component, those suffering from PTSD may see an increase in symptoms. Curious? I’ll let you know how it goes 🦋
🦋Does any of this resonate with you? Or you can check it out here: https://www.soundstrue.com/products/mindfulness-based-mind-fitness-training