Everything ok there?
Yes. You just didn’t sound like yourself.
I didn’t say anything in that call with my manager. I just moved on and distracted her with project deadline. I distracted myself.
It’s why writing this is hard.
It’s the first time I’m coming in terms with what I’ve been feeling. It’s hard too because my mind’s just been jumping all over the place.
And that might be something that you can relate to whether it’s something you’re feeling right now or something you’ve felt before.
A lot of old feelings hit me from the past. All the pain and confusion.
Every feeling from that time before would just race around my head. It’s like taking even a simple step forward is heavy, leaving me stranded in this one spot.
And it sucks because I thought that since I got out of it the first time, it would’ve been easier to get through it this time. But there is comfort in knowing one thing — we all go through this.
This feeling where life feels overwhelming and there’s so much to think about. So much my mind involves itself with that…
I just want to sleep.
I want my mind to be quiet.
So I’ll grab my phone to distract myself, tap through all the apps in the morning, through the day, and through the night.
After I check all the socials, I’ll tap right back into it and get this feeling where we think, “wow I’m really in the cycle again”. I know something’s off right now. I just hope that I can run into something that’’ distract me to hold these heavy thoughts off just a little while longer.
We’ve all been there and it’s okay.
But there’s a difference between being happy and being distracted
I’ll feel this rush like there’s no time to waste because I have to fill in every moment putting my mind on something else, like I’m afraid to let my mind be still for a moment.
Because then I’ll start thinking of all those crushing thoughts. I’ve been doing this.
I’ve been distracting myself to the point where I haven’t felt much and I haven’t been happy. I haven’t been sad.
I’ve just been…drifting.
And it’s okay. It’s human nature to avoid pain and uncomfortable situations. Our brains are designed to protect us from pain and distraction is a form of protection. But not letting yourself feel these painful emotions doesn’t mean that they’re gone, they’re just suppressed.
If you’re feeling like this, I’m gonna have you do an exercise.
Close the door to your room, turn off the lights, close the curtains, and take a seat.
Only pay attention to these words.
Your mind will wander. You’ll feel like bolting away but just hold on. When it feels natural, try and focus on these words.
Take a deep breath slowly and steadily and focus every particle of your being on the oxygen going inside your lungs. There’s gonna be a point where your vision will start to swim, your head will start to hurt, your fingers will start to twitch, and your legs will start to tap.
That’s okay. Let it happen but don’t stop inhaling.
At one point your lungs will feel full.
Stop right there.
There’s a great chance that you haven’t allowed yourself to be this single-minded in days, weeks, months maybe.
We forget that we don’t only need to just take in, we have to release as well
So go on. Let your mind be free and wander. Let everything out. Feel everything authentically — the happiness, the confusion, all of it no matter how painful or burdensome they feel.
Now, sadness can be contagious and sadness can also be addictive. Most of all, it can be restrictive in ways that we don’t quite understand.
Your heart is meant to beat. Your lungs are meant to breathe and most importantly, you’re meant to slow down once in a while and let life hit you with full force.
Then you’ll fall down as a consequence and feel the pain, that ache, that grief and that’s all right. You’re just aching. You’re just grieving, that’s all.
This will get better I promise. This healing is honest, sincere, and it isn’t created from any avoidance or insecurity.
So from here on, I’d recommend that you take a step for yourself to do something that brings you clarity. That alone will remind you that you’re the one in control — not your thoughts, not your distractions. Just you.
I’ll provide some mindfulness resources in the bottom so you can get started doing something for yourself today.
Just do one thing today that makes you smile. If you do two things, you’re already ahead of the game. Do that again tomorrow and the rest will follow and take care of itself.
You’re on the right path. There’s no need to rush.
Keep your friends close.
Smile, laugh, love.
But most of all, smile to yourself, laugh at yourself, and love yourself.
You’ll get there.
We all will.
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Mindfulness resources that’ve helped me (and I hope they help you too!)
- Headspace App
Great start to meditating. You can find YouTube videos of these practices as well
- On Purpose by Jay Sherry — My favorite podcast! Great topics about thinking and learning in all parts of life with an array of interesting guest speakers.
- Life is a Jigsaw Puzzle — Netflix comedy special by Daniel Sloss Select episode 2, skip to 32 min mark and watch for 10 mins for nuggets of clarity regarding life and relationships.
- “How I Journal for Mental Clarity” — A practice I’ve started recently that helps me check in with myself each week. Nathaniel is a big inspiration and I recommend his content for a meditative look into things.