In mid-January, I had a reverse awakening of sorts: a need to hibernate. I had begun to feel fucking shitty emotionally. I would dedicate small chunks of time to try figure out what was going on underneath those feelings, but I could only see mists and moss and mushrooms and confusion because I could never have the necessary amount of alone time to explore myself. There was always a chore calling my name, so I'd have to turn gears in my brain and pay attention to that. And then to that other thing. And then the other thing. And at this point I feel like I've lost myself a little in the midst of all those responsibilities and demands.
I ended up having the inevitable breakdown on Friday, and I curled up into a ball in the shower, then went to bed, grabbed my journal & pen, and began vomiting the surface stuff. And then the roots of the probem began to show. These roots are not new to me. They're my wounded child; it's always the child, isn't it.
I need to regroup. I need to take care of myself like I haven't done in a while. Part of this regrouping consists on being fucking honest with everyone around me. That's always hard, not having nice things to say. Having to say the No word sixty times a day. I feel like a negative person when I say No this much. I feel like a bitch. Normal feeling, seeing how I'm a people pleasing child. It's still there. Dormant sometimes, awake other times. But I know this is how you re-build necessary boundaries, by saying your Noes.
Isn't it disgusting how society injects this venom into us: "Please me or you're a bad person". I, for one, deal with the subconscious belief that I'm a bad person if I ask for what I want at the expense of someone else's wants. And I know for a fact I'm not alone in this belief. Daily existence is a constant retraining of the brain, a neverending reframing of our personal stories. You can become exhausted doing all this work. That's where I'm at right now, apparently.
But everything will be alright. I know this because I've been down & then alright before. It's a circle, or a spiral, depending on how you see life.
★ If you have a good relationship with your mom or dad, call one of them up and hang out, preferably outside the house. Sit in a coffee shop, let them buy you a pastry and coffee/tea/hot chocolate (stay away from whiskey, you hear me?!), and just chat about life.
★ Read random pages of Rob Brezsny's book Pronoia is the antidote for paranoia. I always recommend this book, I know I sound like a broken record, but I won't shut up. YOU shut up.
★ Have plenty of alone time to explore yourself, heal the re-opened wounds (they will scab temporarily, but not disappear forever, at least that's been my experience) & come up with an action plan to care for your emotional realm. But make sure not to isolate yourself. I'm not one to call my boyfriend or sister or parents when I'm in a situation like this, because I find them to be a distraction from the real work; the work that must happen between me and myself. I don't want to get used to being smothered and numbed with external affection, I don't want to become dependent on such a bandaid, because a. There will be a day when those people might not be there anymore, b. That behavior weakens my relationship with myself.
With this said, relying on absolutely no one, becoming a Greek fortress, self isolation & not allowing yourself to be loved by others while you're doing this work, it will kill your spirit. Learn how to be balanced. You are NOT an island.
★ Get a sheet of paper. Draw your face in the middle. Color it in, mandala-style if you want. I like to color my face half green and half blue, and my hair is sometimes red with bits of gold, sometimes black with bits of silver. Then tune in to your empowering story, like a character profile of who you are. Not the old story you've been dragging for aeons, but the new story that is true, but it's just that you haven't practiced it in your head as often as the old one.
★ Listen to music without distractions. No crafting, no writing, no drawing, no cleaning the house. Music & stillness combined will move stuff inside you and you'll get clear visions of what's going on.
★ Grab your music and go for a 2-hour walk, with no destination in mind. Just walk, see the sky, be alone, imagine beautiful scenarios prompted by the music. And know that it's not just your imagination. Everything is real and doable. Go on this walk for as many days in a row as possible, building up mental and emotional energy & momentum , and when the time is right, go home and start an action plan. And take bold action immediately!
★ Read fiction and poetry that you like. Stop thinking strategically. Quit the self help and/or spiritual books for a while. Do only fiction, one hour a day. Two if you can. This is sacred time. You don't have to do anything, only let an author feed you. Eat and swallow. Feel nourished after an hour. Feel the brain all massaged and relaxed and possibly even excited or curious about life.
Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.