It’s 12:30pm on Saturday. I woke up today with a heavy head, I hoped I’d be feeling much better today after trying many things to ease my mind since Tuesday, but nope, no luck this time. I forced myself out of bed at 9:30am to make it to a ‘Yin’ yoga class at 10am, when I say I forced myself, I literally had to force myself to move, otherwise I knew I would be hiding under the covers until lunchtime yet again.
Yesterday, I felt scared and tired at the same time. Today, I feel mainly tired. There are two types of “tired”. One is a dire need of sleep and the other is a dire need of peace.
10:03am sitting on the yoga mat, “Peace at last”… or so I thought. I couldn’t relax into it for 10 minutes, never mind the full hour. My body didn’t want to work properly. Dropping my head forward meant sharp headache pains in my head. Sheer tension. All I want to do is cry.
I contemplate staying for a second class but my tummy groans and clearly thinks otherwise, so I say I’ll treat myself to a nice lunch. What I actually want thought is to go back to bed. I walked for 20 minutes in the rain without making any effort to cover myself from the rain, splashing through puddles, as if that was going to bring my tension to an end.
So now I’m sitting here in a cafe waiting for lunch.
Staring out the window from my table, I realise I have the most beautiful view of the turquoise blue Marina in front of me. “I’m so grateful for this”, I tell myself, as if to convince myself that I should feel something. The only problem is I don’t feel it. And so telling myself that doesn’t work.
When your mind is consumed with heaviness, it’s hard to feel anything other than heavy. Practicing gratitude and trying to be full of joy on days like this is near impossible and for me, rarely works. I have to simply sit with how I feel and the thoughts I’m having and work through it, without trying to cover it with so called happy thoughts or lines such as “I should be grateful for…”. I have to sit with the shittiness until it clears a little.
Today, I can’t feel the gratitude, or anything really, because all I can hear is noise. Really loud fucking noise. This place isn’t even overly busy but my attention is stuck on seven different noises around me.
The damn noise of knives and forks dropping against plates, the kid screaming to my left, another kid laughing to my right, the annoying too-much-drums kind of music playing from the speaker above, the loud group of friends beside me, not to mention the “Is that american or is that Northern Irish?!” strange accent behind me, and then the waiter when he simply asks me what I need… Well, what I need is to jump into that marina in front of me and swim and swim and swim until I have no energy left, is what I want to say, but I ask for a house salad and green tea instead.
Usually, I slip into a world of my own very easily and find it very easy to switch off and pay attention to one thing, like the food I’m about to eat but today, the noise is too much and just adding to the brain fog.
What I want to do is go home, lay upside down, let all the blood flow to my head and cry, jump into the sauna, cry more if I need to. Put fresh sheets on the bed, get into my PJ’S and watch irrelevant TV. Usually when I feel this way I have to watch mind-numbing shows such as the Kardashians or any other form of reality TV. My usually documentaries or crime series shows just make my head worse.
Cry?! But what happened Lisa, why do you want to cry?
Nothing specific has happened, in fact, things are quite good I guess. I don’t know why I want to cry, it’s just a feeling. I’m an overly sensitive and emotionally in-tuned person at the best of times, so on a day like this, the urge to cry, for no real reason, seems very normal.
Sometimes thoughts can consume our minds, fears, doubts and worries grow. Sometimes these thoughts grow bigger than just thoughts, we start to believe in what we are thinking.
We believe the bullshit we tell ourselves. We look for distorted evidence to prove these shitty thoughts are true.
At 6pm Ruairi will come home from his course and tell me I’m going to be OK, and I know he is right but what if he is wrong and this time, my thoughts are actually fact and not only thoughts?! WHAT IF?
“Thoughts aren’t fact”… Oh but what if, this time they are?
That’s my main thought of all thoughts. What if.
I’m a deep thinker you see, and what’s worse is that I also then overthink everything too. I think about situations from all different angles, and even create new angles. I overthink the fact that I think in the first place. Vicious circle.
I know it’s all very irrational, trust me, I talk to myself a lot, I read many articles and books, I listen to audiobooks, I study, I do Reiki regularly, I have a mentor who I talk to, I look after myself well physically and mentally, I
have a trained counsellor and therapist for a boyfriend for God’s sake to top it off BUT that doesn’t mean that sometimes my mind doesn’t slip up and I start to doubt myself and let the scary thoughts take over.
“Worrying is a waste of time, it’s like holding an umbrella over your head waiting for it to rain”,
Yeah, see that’s the thing. I know exactly what I would say to a friend or a client, but telling myself the same thing doesn’t always work. I’m a human too. I’m not a mechanically built robot.
There’s always going to be a point where I just need to rest, to rest from myself more than anything else actually.
So I’m still in this cafe, and I don’t know if it’s actually getting louder in here or if it’s my mind, Regardless, I’m gonna pay my bill and go home. I’ll do all of what I mentioned above but I’ll also clean. Cleaning is the biggest stress reliever for me in times like this. I will be first to admit, I’m not the tidiest person day to day. Well, I’m really not bad, but I’m not a neat-freak either. I’m pretty normal-ish. But today, the neat freak in me is coming out to play.
If you asked me what my problem was, I could go into conversation about things that goes on in my mind. I’m a deep thinker and what’s worse is that I also overthink everything. I think about situations from all different angles, and even create new angles.
I won’t get into my actual thoughts right now but the end of the day though, what makes my anxious and depressive thoughts worse is to do with expectations I hold over myself. Expecting myself to always be at my best, always trying harder or always at a higher level than before. Being self-critical of myself. Was I better before?! Thinking I don’t do enough for the world. Remembering something from 15 years ago and feeling upset. Thinking I have nothing to offer and it’s all a phase. Sounds over the top, right?
The perfect way to end this post would be with a ‘What To Do If You Feel Like This Too’ bullet list of things to ease these feelings but obviously, I’m not in that headspace right now, and so I’m sorry that this post may not be of much good to you. What I do hope though is that you pick up a little bit of comfort, knowing you definitely aren’t alone. The generally most optimistic and joyful people out there go through phases of this too. It’s normal and never something you should feel you have to hide.
So what I’ll do, is write another post when I’m feeling more like myself again. I’ll go into detail of how I dealt with this/usually deal with these situations in the hope you gain something of benefit to use in your own days.I’m hoping I can write that in a few days, and not a few weeks!
If you’re having a hard week too, for any reason (all reasons are valid reasons) then please just remember this…
You are strong enough to handle your challenges, even though today it doesn’t feel that way.
You are capable enough to do whatever needs to be done, trust in the fact that you’ll know all the what’s, how’s and when’s, when the time is right, and no sooner than that.
You have so much happening in your life, you just can’t see it with your grey cloudy glasses on.
You’ll be OK…
But for today,
Allow yourself to ‘Just Be’…
…However and whatever you want to be.
(a less smiley than usual)