Saturday, October 21, 2017
Mindfulness: Relapse and Recovery
To be frank, I'm pretty sure I've got some major PMS happening this week, and today it seems to be slamming into the walls of my mind. Anxiety is up...worrying is all-encompassing. Moments of peace have come only from my daily mindfulness assignments. Today's morning walk and body scan meditation were the only moments were the buzz of my mind was faint...
As I went about my day, working with students, managing my kids, doing some various chores, while engaged in each actual task, my mind was happy and the mind-buzz far away. It's the in between moments...when the task is done and I must transition or wait to begin the next thing that the worry and anxiety rage up like flames of a hungry fire...and I try so hard to tamp those flames out, but I'm pretty sure that I am doing something wrong because it doesn't work. And, because I'm both a therapist and a patient of therapy, I do know that tamping on anxiety doesn't get rid of it because it isn't a real fire.
I'm in a hard core transition period of my life...it's been a long and drawn out one, starting with turning 37 when I decided to return to school. Prior to 37, I hadn't really had a major bout with my anxiety since my early twenties.
In 2014, I had a HUGE relapse with my anxiety and it scared the absolute SHIT out of me. But I climbed out of it, and ultimately was in remission for almost 2 years when BAM! It returned. It's been back old-school style, circa 1992-1993, when I had my very first panic attack....a story that is about to be published by OC87 Recovery Diaries NEXT Wednesday (on my mother's 70th birthday, which, in and of itself, is kind of surreal. We lost my beloved grandmother just 6 weeks after she turned 70 and so that number is scary for me).
The good part, however, is this relapse hasn't been all bad. I can manage it...sometimes better than others! This is why during this period of time I love mindfulness activities. I don't have to TRY....that is, if I allow myself permission to really just fall into the mindfulness and allow myself to not try to do it right or perfectly. Mindfulness brings some relief.
Since this is about mindfulness I want to stop for a moment and pause as I am aware of how good it feels to allow my fingers to fly across the keyboard and express the thoughts that are rolling through my mind as they roll through without editing or deleting.
As I conclude this entry about my 7th day of the mindfulness course, I reflect on yesterday's walk and today's walk. I took a picture of the same spot, different days and these pictures really reflect how I have been feeling lately...calm and then stormy...calm when in my mindful practice or engrossed in a task and then stormy in the in between moments...