100 degrees seems to trigger my “dark passenger”. I would like to formally give this voice a name. I will call her vanessa because I think that’s the name of the girl who used to pick on me in middle school, although I can’t entirely remember. But vanessa seems like a bully’s name (no offense to all the vanessas out there, i’m sure you are not a bully) and that is what this voice likes to do, bully me.
So, it’s been hot (a phrase my husband has to hear 100 times a day)! Hotness mixed with sickness mixed with life changes mixed with emotions is what seems to wake Vanessa up from her sleep. She thrives on feeling overwhelmed. She loves it!
There are several things that happen in your body (and mind) in the heat, one of which is energy conservation. Your body goes into conservation mode and wants to be as still as possible. Your mind does the same thing. You cannot think and think anymore (often a blessing but also a curse) so instead your state of mind often becomes dull. It sort of sends you into lethargy. This is a great time to practice “being” and stillness but it is not such a great time when you need to combat your Vanessa’s. This is because it becomes really difficult to muster up the energy to delve into dialogue with your voices. Perhaps I should look at this as a good time to practice how to go about doing that. But, it’s been hard. I’ve found myself surrendering to Vanessa, allowing her to beat me up and criticize me. I am able to catch myself and bring myself back to presence (a newly developed habit!) but I find myself inviting her back in. Sometimes it’s comforting to surrender to those old voices. To not fight them anymore. To just say “fine, go ahead”. And when you don’t have the energy, it’s definitely the easy thing to do. And when you are overwhelmed and exhausted, easy sounds nice. This is why depression is such a tricky thing. You need energy to get out of your depression, but often depression is the very thing sucking you of energy. I remember these cycles way to well. They are still fresh in my memory. And this why dealing with Vanessa has become hard. It triggers me. Old feelings come back, worry sets in, and it all becomes too much to think about.
But thankfully, I do know better now. I have more resources and have built up a habitual positive voice storage in my bank that I can choose to have talk whenever I need it (sorry Vanessa, you are no longer alone). I feel like I have to rely on so much of that right now. And that’s ok. The most important thing I have learned in all of this is to have self-compassion. If I just keep loving myself (in the healthy sense, not neurotic sense) then I can recover a lot more quickly. These are the times where I get to use all of that I have been practicing and building. This challenge is helping me recognize what works in these times and what doesn’t. It’s all a growing experience.
At this point, I am completely venting. I need to vent. I’m a sharer and I always feel better when I get what is going on inside of my head outside of myself. I haven’t blogged in a while (maybe that is why Vanessa has come around more often), but I recognize the importance of it for me. And that is a great lesson to learn.
We move across the country in 4 days. I’m excited, eager, nervous, anxious and scared. All normal reactions to such a life changing event. I’m a feeler so these emotions like to sit and ponder for a while. I’ll just keep serving them bread until they choose to leave.
Be well friends. Send us positive thoughts, energy, prayers, etc as we make the hard journey back with our emotions and our cats. It will be a long day indeed. But a journey well worth it :).