Meditation … Again

I’ve written often about how important meditation is to me. You can search for it using the search window on the mobile app, or you can click on the word “meditation” in the column on the right in the desktop version of this blog.

In therapy Tuesday, I talked about work-related stress and how much it was impacting my life. We talked about it, and we talked about how to take away its power. My psychologist knows how important meditation is to me, and he asked if I ever meditated about specific things. I told him yes, so he suggested I meditate about releasing the power stress has over me.

I tired it, and a mantra came to me. I repeat this mantra often now, and it has a very good effect. It is

I have faith. I don’t know what’s going to happen in my work life. I’m not going to pretend that I’m completely fine with not knowing, but I’m willing to sit with the uncertainty and the ambiguity. I’m willing to sit.

It has had an amazing result. I feel lighter. I have slept really well two nights in a row.

Meditation is not as daunting as it sounds. Sit in a chair and concentrate on your breathing. Your thoughts will wander. Try to be gentle with yourself, and don’t get upset with the wandering thoughts. Simply allow the wandering thoughts to have their space, and then gently return your attention to your breath.

When your thoughts wander, you’re not failing. It’s completely normal. Be gentle, and return your attention to your breath. It does not matter how many times you have to return your attention to your breath. You can do it every other breath, if necessary.

Be gentle and breathe.

In order to release negativity, here’s what I do during meditation. I get a feeling for where the negativity is in my body. Sometimes it’s in my stomach, sometimes in my chest, and sometimes in my head. Once I know where it is, I picture its shape. With that shape and location in mind, I then ask an angel to remove it, and I picture it being taken out.

The beauty of this little visualization is that I can repeat it as often as I want. I haven’t failed when the negativity returns. That’s normal. I just release it again.

Be gentle and breathe and release.

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Walking Through It

In my last post, I wrote about my recent break up. I’m still experiencing varied moods due to the end of that romantic relationship. I have good days and bad ones.

I’m happy to say I’m using the tools I have, and they help a great deal.

My most important tool is meditation. I am able to release a lot of difficult emotions very quickly and thoroughly by doing some simple meditative techniques I’ve learned over the years. I wrote about one technique in that last post.

I’ve used medication, too. I have some medicine I can take for anxiety. I have used them occasionally. I used them daily just after the break up.

I’ve spoken to my therapist often, and that helps give me clarity.

I’ve chatted with my best friend multiple times each day. He’s a rock in this situation, and I’m grateful for his love and support.

I’ve exercised a lot, too. I’ve walked and walked. I enjoy speed walking, so I do it daily these days.

I’ve been careful with what I eat. I allow myself some junk every once in a while, but I’m careful. I eat an almost completely vegetarian diet. It feels like the right thing for me to do.

I’ve been getting good sleep most nights, which is an enormous help. Sleep resets me, so I can start fresh every morning.

Yesterday was a rough day, but I used the tools, and I survived. Today feels better except for the fact I didn’t get enough sleep for some unknown reason. I’ll be fine.

I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Surviving a Break Up

Yeah. It happened.

He got very angry at me, and I asserted that I was not deserving of his anger, so he left. I’m glad he left. I didn’t feel frightened, but he clearly could not control his anger.

I had decided that I would require couples counseling to move forward with the relationship, but he chose not to contact me again. I was uncomfortable with that lack of closure. It left too much up in the air. It meant I was unsure whether he would choose to contact me at some point in the future. Being unsure was causing me anxiety. So I took control of the part that I was capable of and blocked his number.

That’s the first point I would like to draw attention to. I did not have control of the whole situation, and I think that’s completely normal. There are two people involved, after all. Each participant has some control over some aspects of the situation. I looked at the situation, and I studied what part I could control, and I used it.

It’s quite possible that choosing not to contact me after he stormed out was his way of breaking up. It’s not a clean way of doing it. It leaves too many strings dangling.

The second point I’d like to stress is that I did not avoid the sadness. I allowed it to wash over me. The grief came in waves. There were times I ached. I would meditate and release it. It worked for me.

If you want to try it, find a place to sit comfortably. Begin by stating that you want to work through the highest light for the greatest good for all concerned. This sets a nice intention of keeping things as clear as possible with as little animosity involved as possible. Shut your eyes, and breathe deeply for as many breaths as you can. Simultaneously, relax. Try relaxing from head to toe or vice versa. Do the best you can. Now imagine you have a layer of energy on your body where the bad feelings are located. Call on an angel to remove this layer. Breathe deeply while the angel removes the layer of energy. Just breathe. Give it some time. It may take a few seconds or a few minutes. Let it take however long it takes. If your heart aches tremendously, ask the angel to bathe it in purple light. When you feel like it’s complete, thank the angel, and then breathe and open your eyes.

I had to do this many times over the course of about 3 days, and it worked for me, I felt relief each time. Repeating it after the grief returned is not a sign it’s not working. Grief comes in waves. It’s not a failure. That’s just how it works. Allow the sadness its space each time it comes. Allow and release. There is no limit to how many times you can do this exercise. It’s not finite. It’s limitless.

The third point I’d like to mention is that I always kept in mind that this sadness was temporary. No matter how strong the sadness was, I reminded myself it would pass, and it did each time.

The fourth point is that I reached out for help. I chatted long with my best friend. He’s a rock at times like these, and he listened to me without judgment. He offered virtual hugs, and he reminded me of my own strength.

The fifth point is that I used medication. I live with a mental illness, and I took the antianxiety medicine my psychiatrist gave me just for times like these. It worked to help me sleep well.

The final point is that I used professional tools. I saw my therapist twice in 3 days. The second time I saw him, I was assertive and told him that in his office I sometimes felt like he was suggesting some of the anger that was directed at me by my then boyfriend was my responsibility. We had a frank discussion about these feelings, and I was clear that any assertion his anger was my doing was false. My therapist agreed. What he was trying to direct me to was seeing that all encounters are a two-way street. I am responsible for being clear in my communication and being open to hearing clear words. I agree.

In closing, I’ve got to say that breaking up a romantic relationship is not fun. I went through about 3 days when I honestly did not know what day of the week it was. I had to repeatedly look at my phone to see, and even then it often did not register. My thinking was very disoriented.

Today, I know what day of the week it is. There is a sadness in the background, but I can recognize I’m healing.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but I am stepping into it one step at a time. I have tickets to see a play this weekend. I bought two, and now I’m wondering whom to invite to go with me…

Interpersonal Relations

Relating to people is the most difficult thing any person does. We maneuver a minefield when we try to convey our thoughts. At best, we can be aware of some of the history the other brings to the communication experience, but we can’t know it all.

We can’t know if the other person is feeling off because they were rushed in the morning. Their personal history may be a factor. Maybe they skipped breakfast and are feeling hungry. It could be a worry about a sick relative.

There are so many variables every time we want to communicate with another person. The best we can do is be sure of what we need to convey and be as careful in how we speak as possible.

I’m taking a long time to set up something that’s simple to say: I had a fight with my boyfriend. I really don’t understand why he appeared so angry. I truly don’t understand it. I tried to keep the conversation light, but it did not work.

In the end, I had to defend myself by stating I did not deserve the anger I was hearing.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I’ve talked to my therapist. I’m willing to accept several outcomes. There’s an outcome where we move forward and try to help each other, and there’s an outcome where I move forward without him. That would hurt a great deal, but I’m willing to do it, if it comes to that.

What’s remarkable is I know I’m going to be OK with any outcome.

I am a person who lives with mental illness. I live in recovery from bipolar disorder. To realize I’m going to be OK is huge. I have spent years in therapy building a core that is stable enough to withstand the storms of life. Whatever happens with my boyfriend, my core is still going to be stable.

Obviously, I want to move forward with my boyfriend in my life. I love him. I love me, too. I owe it to myself to be with a man who recognizes and respects my stable core. I’ve worked hard on it. It’s firm.

While all this drama plays itself out, I get to continue living my life. I feel good.

Disagreements with Therapists

Last week, I had a difficulty with my boyfriend, but he did not want to talk about it. I discussed this with my therapist, who advised me to talk to my best friend when I have disagreements with my boyfriend. I talk to my best friend about everything, and I agreed to try this.

In the ensuing week, I had a different difficulty with my boyfriend, and I realized that not talking to him about it was utter nonsense. I have to be able to have simple, compassionate discussions with him in order to have a healthy relationship. I did indeed discuss the latest difficulty with him, and we worked through it.

I’m going to talk to my therapist tonight about his faulty idea. I know the result will be better communication between us. I also know that there will be further explanation of what he meant, which I had forgotten or didn’t hear fully. I’m not worried about it. I have an excellent therapist, and we get along well. Because we get along well, I do not fear telling him that he was wrong about an idea. We’ll work it out.

Therapy is vitally important for me. It is a place where I tell all. All. I leave nothing out. It frees me so profoundly that I have a place where I can go and reveal my darkest parts. I used to carry secrets that made me ill. I don’t suffer in silence anymore. I have a place where I can be totally open. It’s hard to describe the joy that gives me.

Meditation is the most important thing I do, and therapy is second. Taking medication is a very close third, then comes exercise. Finally, there’s sleep, which I’m not getting enough of right now. There’s stuff going on at work that has me stressed, and the result is less sleep due to anxiety. I have no trouble falling asleep, but I don’t get enough hours of good rest. My diet is important, too. I try to eat food that is good for me. I do a pretty good job of it.

Another day in recovery.

Enduring Difficult News

The news is full of difficulty these days, and it’s unlikely to become easier in the very near future.

In good times and in bad times, my first priority is my recovery. In difficult times, I must concentrate on the steps I take to maintain my stability.

  • I take my meds as prescribed, because they work for me.
  • I have increased the frequency of my visits to my therapist to weekly. Talking to my therapist is a valuable tool for me to use to keep my mind clear.
  • My meditation has become more important than ever. I use it to clear negativity, and I meditate multiple times each day.
  • I exercise. I speed walk 2.5 miles a minimum of 3 times each week. I am convinced exercise helps me stay stable.
  • I eat food that is good for me. A year ago, I drastically cut the amount of processed sugar I eat on a daily basis. It has made a wonderful change in my mood, and I’ve lost 45 pounds (20 kg). I eat a lot of vegetables.
  • Finally, I do my best to get good sleep. It’s the only time my whole body is shut down in order to refresh itself.

When the news is full of difficulty, my most important response is to maintain my own recovery. I cannot be an effective advocate for my mental health peers if I’m out of sorts. I am my #1 priority.

Walking Through It

Edit to add: We have talked. We have both acknowledged our mistakes, and we are moving forward. I am not blameless, and I took responsibility for my part.

***

I went away on a trip, and my boyfriend took care of some things at my house for me while I was gone. When I got home, I discovered he had not done a good job, and there are problems because of it. The damage done to some things at my home is not the issue. It’s the broken trust. I relied on him, and he let me down.

We have not had a chance to talk face to face about the issue, but we may be able to meet tonight.

The remarkable thing about this whole situation is that I feel okay. I have no idea what’s going to happen. In the past, not knowing would cause my anxiety to skyrocket.

At least for today, I’m okay not knowing. I’ve been using a lot of meditation. I’ve used anti-anxiety medicine twice in the last week, which is very little. My therapist is on vacation, so I have to wait to talk to him until next week. Instead, I’ve been chatting with a very good friend a lot, and he helps me. I’m using the tools to stay stable.

That’s a victory. Using tools to stay stable is a great triumph.

I live with a chronic mental illness, and I use tools to manage it. A number of years ago, it managed me. Now, it’s reversed.

I’m walking through the not knowing.