It’s been a while since I wrote here, partly because I can’t be arsed and partly because I would write about some of the therapy stuff but feel uncomfortable because of all the people I know who hate mindfulness and stab it to death every chance they get. Every time I’ve come to write here I’ve seen a tweet bashing mindfulness, and then I delete my post. Some criticisms are just that, criticisms. Others, from what I’ve seen, come out of nowhere and don’t seem to have much point except to have a 140-character eye roll. Objectively I’m fine with this. I’ve criticised CBT. I think it’s shit. I am aware that I’m a complete hypocrite because I’ve bashed CBT but now that I see people bashing mindfulness with the same ferocity if not more, I want to shrink inside my shell. I wish I wasn’t the person who can’t stay emotionally separate from that, taking things personally, seeing every criticism of mindfulness as a criticism of me for learning mindfulness, arguing inside my head with almost every tweet I see, but there you go. I am that person. (Edit: This isn’t directed at anyone in particular. People are entitled to all the opinions they want. This is a reflection of my reactions, not what other people should or should not do.)
*Whispers* I’ve actually been trying mindfulness to shut that paranoid, argumentative person up. ;-)
Imagining what people might think when they read this post makes me stop writing. Including the thoughts of the people who think mindfulness is the best thing ever! Because then that gets preachy and I’m not interested in converting other people to the wonders of mindfulness. I’ll concentrate my energies on converting y’all to Jesus instead. *Sniggers*
So for now I’m going to pretend that none of you have any opinions on mindfulness at all, ‘k?
I had a blip. The therapists called it a relapse, but I’m still calling it a blip. They also said that the best time to have a relapse is when you’re in therapy, so yay me. *Happy face*
I slipped right back into being the daft bint everyone knows I am. Everything therapy-related lay sadly abandoned in a ditch. I cried, I obsessed over what people were thinking of me, I sat around feeling alternately sad and angry, I ranted, I blamed myself for everything ever, I stopped sleeping, I drank, er, a lot, I panicked at church until I lost feeling in my arms, I decided I’m a complete failure and can’t do anything, etc. The usual. I’m still kind of there and I think I made myself ill because I’ve been feeling crap for days, but I am mindfulnessing again.
On work days I tend to do my little meditations on the train. They’re just ten minutes and I like one of the guys a lot. I like the way he talks, I like his accent, I like the tone of his voice and I like that he has been able to explain what the hell I’m trying to do in a way I can understand. When I hear some other people talk about it I want to either throw up or punch them or both.
It’s just different, it’s a completely different way of living in my mind. There are other elements to the therapy too and I have been testing them out, finding things that fit me. I like how non-prescriptive the therapy is. We learn some stuff, we talk about it, we practise it, shape it to ourselves and talk about it some more. I like it. (As well as sometimes getting very cross with it, natch.) I’ve been testing a couple of the meditations this week. There’s often imagery involving water. I like imagery, I have a very visual imagination so anything that can hook onto that is good. (Although it can backfire, maybe another post on that, it’d make this one stupidly long, verbose windbag that I am.)
Meditation guy describes the mind as a thought stream, with individual thoughts being like whirlpools and eddies. I don’t have to flow downstream with them. When I realise that I am, I can get back out and sit on the bank. So I’ve been practising this. The first thing I do in the meditation is listen for a few minutes. I’ve done it in the garden and on the train. I listen and observe all the sounds. When I notice I’ve drifted away I pull myself back and start listening again. Usually I avoid listening at all costs and have my mp3 player on to drown everyone else out. After a few minutes I stop noticing sounds and use the same technique to observe my thoughts. It’s different from the usual breathing and noticing thoughts and then going back to focusing on breathing. A bit weird, but it’s been an interesting change. I notice the thoughts, keeping the image of the stream in my mind. Yesterday, after a meeting with my boss, he popped into my thoughts over and over again. Irritation, frustration, anxiety, embarrassment… usually I’d spend my entire train journey reliving my meeting with him and get home feeling really wound up. So I thought of him as water hitting a rock, causing splashes and pissing off a duck. :D And when I found I was splashing around too, I imagined myself getting out of the water and sitting back on the bank, watching.
Sounds simple, sounds naff, sounds slightly nauseating. But it’s not really so different from things I’ve thought up myself over the years. When I can’t sleep I sometimes imagine each thought as a nasty bird and I stand and smash them all with a bat as they swoop at me, popping them into puffs of feathers like in the Harry Potter films. Satisfyingly violent. :) But of course, because this is done in a mindfulness meditation, it’s mindfully vomit-worthy.
It’s… different. It’s teaching me how to stop being so caught up in thoughts and feelings and memories. That’s what happened in my blip. I just went along with whatever shit my mind conjured up for me, I let my mind go unrestrained for a while. Maybe just because I was tired. It’s hard to do this stuff, it’s an all day, every day sort of deal. I try to remember what the therapists say – we’re just practising, I don’t have to be perfect… So yesterday I practised the breathing one and the listening one. This morning I practised an awareness of the body one, which was uncomfortable because I became more aware of my sore throat. I might do the listening one again on my way home. I’ve found more of this guy’s meditations online too (I’m not giving his name in case people bash him) so maybe I’ll broaden my repertoire.