Is my mind present?

is-your-mind-presentIt’s so much easier to seek oblivion than clarity. It’s so much easier to drown sorrows than to face them. It’s so much easier to be distracted by arbitrary things than taking the time to care for oneself.

My mental health is in a funny place these days.  My mind feels like it’s in chaos. I struggle to feel happiness, but I’m not so depressed that I can’t function. My anxiety is quite hard to cope with at the moment, and I feel both listless and unable to sit still. I want everyone to go away, but when they do I feel lonely. It feels like I’ve reached an impasse, because I’ve been here before. I was here 2 years ago, before I moved to Belfast. The difference this time is that I’m not escaping into a cocaine-induced high, or an alcohol-induced stupor. I’m not necessarily dealing with things either. But I’m not running away and that’s a start.

I went home this weekend and I realised just how many things I have going on in my head that remain unresolved. A lot of it is due to not meditating. When I meditate, I quiet my mind. This allows my thoughts to float to the surface one at a time, rather than flooding my mind all at once. With so much going on inside my head, it’s easier to convince myself that work is more important, that I’ll meditate later. What ends up happening is I get to the end of the day, I get into bed late, because I can’t switch off my mind, and I lie in bed awake for hours, unable to sleep. I know that if I just took 20 minutes to meditate at the start and end of the day, that I would sleep better and function better during the day.

I’m writing this post partly as a reminder to myself, and partly to bring myself back to reality. Having come from a really dark place just 9 months ago, I cannot afford to let my mental health slip backwards. I need to ensure that I continue to meditate because it is the one thing, above all else, that keeps my depression and anxiety under control.

“Bring the mind to where the body is” – it’s the first rule of meditating, and it should be the first words I speak to myself when I wake up. At the moment I wake up in a panic and I start to worry about the day ahead before I’ve even managed to open my eyes. This has to change. Tonight I’m going to meditate and tomorrow morning, before I start working, I’m going to take 20 minutes to meditate. I’m hoping that this time I can meditate my way through this impasse and out the other side, without resorting to artificial stimulants or chemical highs. It’s time to start looking after myself again.

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