Mindfulness and Emotions

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts lately, you know that I’ve been having a rough time of things. I’m waiting for my new medication to kick in and doing my best to implement skills I’m learning in partial hospitalization. Whether it’s the meds, the skills, or just the ebb and flow of emotion, I’m finding myself…feeling….feelings. Wild, right?! The numbness is retreating and being replaced with actual emotions. Which, is good. I think. I’m no longer feeling crushing sadness through a thick haze of nothingness; I’m feeling crushing sadness in a pure, unadulterated manner. But, that’s okay- because it passes. I’m trying to work on my mindfulness skills. The sadness checks in, I sit with it and do my best not to catastrophize that it will stay forever, then my dog does something funny and amusement bumps the sadness out of the way.

Later, I’m outside, enjoying the sunshine when sadness saunters up again and says “Hey. Really sucks that you missed out on all of this pleasantness when you were in bed for days on end, doesn’t it?” Yeah. Yeah, it does. Thanks for that reminder, brain. So then I’m sad about being sad. I’m meta sad. Immediately, worry and despair pop in to let me know that a moment of enjoyment doesn’t fix everything and that I still have a long way to go. Oops, now I’m crying, and maybe I’ve ruined the moment entirely. Quick, focus on the sunshine! Focus. On the. Dandelions! 

Forcing yourself to be mindful is kind of the opposite of mindfulness. Clearly, I have some work to do, which is why this weekend I’m trying to embrace the “non-judgmental” part of mindfulness. Emotions are healthy, and although I’m still feeling more negative ones than I’d like to, it’s ok that they’re there. When I start to feel sad about the past or anxious about the future, the best way to not get trapped in it is to just notice it and then redirect my thoughts. The weather is beautiful, I’m fortunate in more ways than I can count, and it’s ok to take time to heal.