Running From The Quiet

Do you ever just sit? Just sit, nothing else. No screens, no book, no conversation, just sitting. Letting your mind wander, noticing what you can see, and hear around you.

I don’t do it very often. Actually, I’m an expert at avoiding and distracting. Avoidance is rarely helpful, but distractions aren’t that bad, right? It’s good to distract yourself, isn’t it?  Unless you’re distracting yourself in order to avoid, even if that’s unconsciously.

I keep my mind so busy that it doesn’t have time to wander, ramble, and explore. When it comes to bedtime and there are, finally, no distractions I end up feeling utterly overwhelmed by all the thoughts and feelings that come up. Not necessarily trauma related either. Thoughts about the day, about things from ten years ago, about something I need to do tomorrow, about plans next week.

Keeping my mind busy and distracted all day usually means it hasn’t had time to sit and ponder things. I find I need time to just sit and think. I’m quite organised, so none of that needs doing, but my mind seems to need time to go over the day, and the past, and the future.

Journal writing is usually how I think, but I’ve been finding that too structured. I find myself needing a few hours throughout the day to just let my mind wander. This means no phone, no laptop, no TV. No constant distractions.

Today I spent my time on the train with my phone in my bag. I didn’t look at it except to check the time when I got off the train. I sat. I sat and noticed the other people on the train. I noticed the buildings we passed, the stations we went through. I noticed my mind wander to all sorts of things. It was oddly peaceful.

I needed that time away from constantly distracting myself to just be. I sat in silence on the train and just watched where my mind wandered.

Now, at the end of the day, I’m feeling more content and relaxed than usual. I feel like I have space in my head to deal with day-to-day tasks. It’s not bedtime yet, but I think my mediation before bed tonight will be easier as my mind has had time to wander.

Conversation inside is much easier as well. With my mind less cluttered I can hear and talk to nearly everyone inside.

I think taking a break from constantly distracting needs to be a change we make longterm. With just one day having noticeable benefits, I wonder what impact it will have on our mental health longterm.

We’re On Instagram!

Life As A Committee is now on Instagram! You can see our latest photos in the sidebar here or follow us on Instagram @lifeasacommittee

I’m hoping that we’ll be able to share more of our day-to-day lives on Instagram, especially when we’re unable to write posts here. Writing coherently takes a lot of energy that we don’t always have, and sometimes, that’s why there’s a lack of regular posts. Plus life gets hectic and there isn’t always time to write a full post.

Shit Has Hit The Fan

Maybe things aren’t going so well. I keep trying to convince myself that things aren’t so bad, that they could be worse, that nothing is really wrong.

Yet today, when my groceries were delivered, I hurriedly hid alcohol and sharps in my room so if my housemate came home she wouldn’t see them. A few minutes after the delivery driver left my housemate came home. My secrets were hidden. Along with a second carton of diet soft drink, and eating disorder ‘safe’ food.

All are flashing neon warning signs that I’m not okay, and my housemate is well and truly aware of them. I’m scared my housemate will find out and confront me. I’m scared my friends will find out and do the same. I’m scared of where I’m headed.

I’m going around in circles of crippling depression, overwhelming emotions, and destructive behaviours. I’m not proud. I don’t want people to know. I’m desperate to hide these behaviours from friends and family.

Yet with hiding the behaviours comes enormous guilt. Guilt from lying to friends and family about behaviours, about how I really am. Guilt at even the thought of telling any friends or family a watered down version of the truth. Guilt because alcohol abuse runs in my family, and it’s a path I’ve always sworn I wouldn’t go down.

The guilt adds fuel to the fire that’s already burning strongly. I’m desperately clutching at behaviours that slowly destroy me. Healthy coping mechanisms are long gone. I’m trying to hold on, but can see the mess my day-to-day life has become, and have given up. Might as well have another drink, or use another unhelpful behaviour to keep holding on.

Shit has hit the fan.

Art Therapy

We’ve recently started a self-paced art therapy course on Udemy. We got it for a bargain $64AUD instead of $410AUD, so signed up straight away. The first link (above) will allow you to purchase it for the same price, but I don’t know how long it will last.

We’ve always loved art therapy. It’s a very easy way to get out what’s going on inside. Sometimes words just don’t work. Sometimes there aren’t words for what we’re thinking or feeling. Some younger parts don’t have the language needed to express themselves in writing. Drawing on the other hand – everything comes out!

Art therapy based exercises (even if self, not therapist, directed) will usually get many of our parts talking. Sometimes we’ll even cooperate on an artwork with different parts contributing different bits. We’ve done art therapy in individual and group settings, and definitely prefer to do it individually because of how much it can bring up.

I’m hoping we’ll learn some new skills as well as become familiar with different mediums. Having a chronic physical illness limits how much we’ll be able to do. At the moment it’s one exercise per week which is painfully slow, but still enjoyable.

The following was an exercise about mindful breathing. Noticing your breath going in and out of your body. Feeling where it goes, visualising what colour it is entering and exiting your body. I used kids watercolours. Nothing fancy. Also doesn’t require any skill!Art Therapy Watercolours Watercolors Paint Painting Mindfulness Breathing Visualising Visualizing Life As A Committee