Replace Numbing with Relaxing

January 31, 2011

I think of personal developments, especially the kind of self-awareness that comes via therapy, as an upward spiral staircase. You continually pass over the same places but you’re a few rungs higher each time. As one place in your life constricts, others may open. My black and white thinking can pull me out of this ebb and flow. If one thing is going poorly, it seems everything is. I’m sucked into the drama and I can’t detach.

This weekend I felt so stressed, unable to explain it or shake it off. I was faced with a conversation that I dreaded, worries that it would escalate into a fight, knowing I had to somehow stand my ground. Even though I found myself shaking, shivering and being extremely uncomfortable during the whole thing, it all worked out. Relief.

And just as life hands you one challenge after another, I found myself faced with another conflict today, one in which I couldn’t do much to resolve (so frustrating). With the help of my man, I was able to get some sleep. With the help of the mantra, “Just listen. Be present” I was able to stay with the conversation and give what I could.

I know I’m being vague (still trying to figure out how to navigate my life online and, really, how to tell my story). The point is that in the past 3 days I’ve tried new approaches to confrontation and how I treat myself within these situations. Which brings me to today’s DreamLab focus: Numbing.

List of default habits that I use to numb my emotions:

  • Eating, especially sugar
  • Caffeine consumption, especially in the form of sugared tea or flavored lattes
  • Sleeping. The more stressed I am, the more sleep I need, but I also use it to avoid thinking and therefore feeling
  • Continuously doing the next “productive” thing on my To Do list, instead of giving myself a relaxing break
  • Talking too much on the phone with certain people
  • Dicking around on the internet, especially checking email (especially on my phone) when I don’t have to (this boarders on self-abusive)

It feels extremely difficult to give up even one of these items, especially as PMS starts to creep in. It’s only for a few days though. My hope is to avoid the sugared tea. We’ll start there. More importantly, I continue to replace numbing actions with positive ones:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Working out, especially getting outside for a run
  • (Relaxing) conversations with people
  • Reading
  • Snapping photos
  • Blogging
  • Snacking on fruit and drinking herbal tea
  • Taking a bath

There’s more to say, but not right now. The important thing is that I am proud of myself for the work I’ve done the past few days. I’m learning… and really, that’s all we can do.

Mondo Beyondo Dream Lab: play, practice, learn

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  • Reply pamela February 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Nice post. I agree. One thing at a time until you get our sea legs. It’s not about the substance or substances, it’s about our state of mind. Once we become aware of this, we can mindfully make other choices out of a healthy relationship with ourselves.

    Pam Picard

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