I have decided that I feel better.
Nothing has changed in my reality. I have simply decided that I’m feeling better. The decision makes me feel just a bit lighter. I’m grateful for that.
Last night, I went to an online AA meeting that was really good. I was able to say what was hurting me. I listened to other people talk about how they were coping with the crisis. The whole thing helped.
I had an unsettling dream this morning. I was in my father’s business, and it was empty. I’m relieved to say my dad wasn’t there like he has been in my nightmares. I went into the back of the place in the dream where a Japanese girl asked me for directions. I speak Japanese, so I answered her fluently impressing her. I tried to look for the place she was searching for on a map, but the map was of another location and not where we were in the dream. I woke with a feeling of emptiness.
I’ve decided I’m not empty. I’m light and feel good.
I have therapy today. That will be very helpful. I have quite a long list of things to talk to him about. I’m going to ask about even more frequent sessions.
I’m not at my best right now, and that’s OK. The negativity will pass.
Or as they say, this too shall pass.
I woke in a panic attack yesterday at 4AM. As usual with these things for the past two months or so, I was having a nightmare about my dad. It set the mood for the whole day. I was on edge all day long.
I realized yesterday that since my parents disowned me, I’ve become much darker in many of my thoughts. Some of my actions are not well thought-out. They border on being self-destructive. I’m going to talk about this realization to my therapist tomorrow. I’m also going to ask him if there’s any way to have more appointments in a week. I don’t feel stable.
I’m still doing the things that I’ve done for years to stay well. I take the medication my psychiatrist gives me as prescribed. I’m meditating daily and often more than once a day, but I’ve noticed it’s really hard to concentrate and get calm during some sessions. It was that way this morning. I’m talking to my therapist weekly. We’re meeting by video for the time being during this current health crisis. I’m getting good sleep, and I’m eating healthy food. The one thing I’m not doing is exercising, and I refuse to beat myself up about it.
The current world-wide health crisis makes all this worse. I don’t mind working from home, but the news is scary. I don’t watch news on television. I read it online. I prefer to get my news from a source that I read, because it’s less sensational. There’s less a sense of entertainment to how it’s presented. It feels calmer to me.
Here’s what scares me most: I have a sense that my behavior is self-destructive. I’m worried that could play itself out to become truly so, and I could drink. I’ve been sober twenty years, ten months, and 28 days as of this writing. I do not want to drink for any reason. My drinking days were horrific. I do not want to go back there. I’m grateful that I can go to AA meetings online. I will certainly get to a meeting today.
All this makes me feel bad. I feel damaged. I was describing myself to a friend like an old dented car. I’ve done a lot of work and healed a lot of my pain, but the dents are still there. I’ve only painted over them. I just don’t feel good.
These are uncertain and scary times right now. The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 that is sweeping the planet is really frightening to a lot of people. If you are afraid, know that your feelings are completely normal. It’s absolutely acceptable to feel fear and anxiety.
If you are feeling those, you are not alone. Many people are scared right now.
There are some good ways to help yourself work through the fear. First, try some deep breathing. Breathe in through your nose really deep. Fill your chest and your belly with air, and then exhale through your mouth with force. Repeat this as many times as necessary to feel like you’ve cleaned all the air in your body.
There’s a technique that Tibetan monks use that I learned. When I first learned it, I thought it was backwards, but it honestly helps sometimes. Sit and relax as best you can. Then breathe in deep. While breathing in, say “fear.” Then exhale, and say “peace” or “calm.” What you’re doing is breathing in your anxiety and transforming it into calmness and releasing that back into the world to share. It really works.
Meditation really helps me. Sit, relax, and breathe. My post immediately before this one gives a good explanation of it. If you want to play some music while you try to meditate, I suggest something like the music made by Constance Demby. She’s really good. Give her a listen.
Music is also a great way to feel better. Put on whatever kind of music you like. I like a lot of different kinds of music. I listen to classical a lot. It really lifts my spirits. Erik Satie is one of my favorite composers.
You can do a Google search for releasing anxiety. You’ll get many articles you can read with lots of ideas to help.
In these scary times, we’ve all got to do our part to help us each feel better.
Everyone is aware that we are in a time of a pandemic due to a novel coronavirus (COVID-19). I have had anxiety related to the illness. For the most part, I’m remaining calm. I attribute this to my morning meditation. It’s only twenty minutes every morning, but its effects last throughout the day. The best part is that I can do a short meditation any time during the day to renew the effect.
If you want to try meditation, please set aside your preconceived notions first. It’s not as hard as we imagine it to be.
- Sit in a good chair with a comfortable seat that has a straight back.
- Relax. Do this in any way that works for you.
- Close your eyes.
- Take three deep breaths exhaling long and completely each time.
- Breathe normally, and concentrate on the feeling you get in your nose from the breath. You may feel the breath right where the air enters your nostrils, or you may feel it higher up in the nasal channel.
- Your mind is going to wander. Don’t get upset. This is your mind’s job. Simply recognize that your mind is wandering, and gently return your concentration to that feeling of the air entering your nose.
- Your mind is going to wander again. Once more, don’t get upset. This is completely normal. Once more, return your concentration to the feeling of the air in your nose.
- Do this over and over again for an amount of time that you decide is right for you. My meditations are about twenty minutes long.
This is all meditation is. It’s so simple. I promise that it gets easier over time. In the beginning, I struggled not getting upset that my mind wandered. It really is not a problem that your mind is wandering. Recognize it, and return your thoughts to your breath.
Give it a try. It works.
I woke with a jolt at 1 AM last night. My heart was pounding harder than I could imagine possible. I had been dreaming that I was being executed by electric chair.
In my waking life, I feel OK. I manage to get through the days OK. When I look in the mirror, I generally feel OK. OK? Waking with a pounding heart? OK?
On one level, I’m fine. On another level, I feel awful. It’s not an unreasonable feeling after the tumultuous January I suffered through. My parents disowned me. My job is changing radically, and my salary is being slashed.
I really would like a month off.
I have no idea what else to say. I feel awful right now.
I feel good even if it is Monday.
I got a letter from my dad last Friday that said I’ve dishonored the family name and I need to repent. When I read the letter, I felt nothing. I knew that was not really the best response. By that evening, I was angry, which seemed more appropriate. The next morning in meditation, the grief came. That also seemed like an appropriate response.
I’m happy to say it faded. I’m completely over it. I will take that letter with me to my next therapy appointment, and I won’t read future letters from him.
I had a second date with a man last night. We went out for coffee for our first date, and we’ve been regularly texting since. This one feels different. He feels different. He doesn’t feel like he needs any fixing. He feels whole. He’s whip smart and has a very singular sense of humor. We had a good conversation about many of his ways of looking at life.
I honestly feel like I’m approaching this budding relationship in a different way. Regular readers know that I can rush things. I’m really not doing that with this man. At least, I’m not doing it and then acting on it. I have had some fantasies of being with him long term and what that might look like, but I’m not telling him about those fantasies. I’m allowing the fantasies to have their space, and then I let them fade. The result is that I’m allowing this relationship to develop organically.
I met him at a monthly gay professionals group that I’ve been going to for some years, so I’ve known this man for a while. That’s also a good thing. One of the points that makes me the most hopeful about this relationship is that he asked me for my number. That’s only the second time in my recent life that’s happened. It’s always me asking the other man for his number. This man asked for my number, and then he followed through and texted first.
So I survived an abusive letter from my dad, and I had a good second date. I have reason to feel good this morning.
I’m sad today. It’s not an unreasonable response to events in my life over the past few months.
It could devolve into panic, so to allay that, I’ve taken some medicine to help me stay calm. It’s working.
I had a good meditation this morning, but my mind is not quiet right now. It’s restless. I think that’s the best way to describe it.
I’m not having negative thoughts exactly, so there’s no reason to use the STFU tool my therapist and I came up with. However, I like that tool. I’m thinking of expanding its use.
Ugh. I just want to shout, “Ugh!”
I know this will pass. Something will come along to cheer me up.
I went out and got some exercise this morning, even though I really didn’t feel like it. That’s two days in a row. Yay me!
This post is rambling like my thoughts.
Again, I know this will pass. I just wish it would hurry up and do it.