I learned some valuable things from my therapist yesterday. Last week I didn’t do something to take care of myself when I should have. I was mad at someone else who was trying to stop me and I wanted to stay mad. To stay mad I had to sacrifice my well being. I have to own that choice. I wasn’t thinking that way at the time because in the moment I really couldn’t think very well. I tend to put a harness on my anger (which was really about feeling abandoned, unloved, and unsupported). Then I close my eyes and will not let go of it until I am emotionally exhausted. I don’t recommend it, I am learning how to NOT operate this way.
Anyway, therapist says that emotions have memories. Things that Brad does will trigger an over reaction in me. So I am not only reacting to a situation at face value, but to all of the painful memories of the past. I’ve heard this many times, I knew this, but what I didn’t know what how to go about helping myself out of this pattern.
So we talked about what to do in the moment. In those moments I am highly emotional and not very rational. To regain some balance and center myself before I react I should first of all, stop reacting. I should do something to distract myself if I need to, and then sit quietly and go through some type of meditation exercises. This is supposed to shift my brain activity and help get my rational brain cells to work. I’ve heard of mindfulness talked about in the context of being mindful about how you are behaving or affecting others. We talked about sitting quietly and being mindful of all five senses, and being purely in the moment. Paying attention to everything that is going on in my body. That was another suggestion to help me clear my mind of all the junk running through my mind when I am starting to get upset about something.
We also talked about being mindful of being in the moment when we are talking with someone. Most of us when having a conversation have a running commentary going on in our head about what the other person is saying, while they are saying it. I am supposed to practice listening without the filters and without thinking about how I am going to respond. I am the type of person whose mind runs 1000 miles an hour and barely stops when I go to sleep. All this is going to be very hard for me. It’s been interesting to pick apart my ways of coping. I feel silly saying but trying something new and unfamiliar is terrifying. Not because I am worried that I can’t do it, but what will happen when I do.