Staying present while feeling like crap

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Staying present while feeling like crap

Postby SirNikalot » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:57 am

Right now I feel like crap. I feel depressed, lonely, and just not so great in general. For maybe the passed 3 weeks prior to this week I found myself feeling really good about life, but this week I just feel like I'm in a slump. And so I thought at first that this is something that is contradictory towards awakening, that this shouldn't be happening, but I knew all along I was eventually going to come down from that high I had. Now there's a new challenge: to be present while feeling shitty.

This is new territory to me. So I'm learning to stay present to life while feeling not so great. Can anyone share with me how they relate to their depression or occasional slumps if you have one? What's it like to be present and feel crappy at the same time?
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Re: Staying present while feeling like crap

Postby Quinn » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:31 pm

Hi SirNik
SirNikalot wrote:Can anyone share with me how they relate to their depression or occasional slumps if you have one?

Sure. I have come around to relating to my depression (occasional slumps is a much less loaded description, isn't it?) by completely and totally allowing it to be there. We haven't got much choice in that, do we? And by seeing it for what it is...nothing much.

Somewhere, either in our genetics or upbringing or by some message we got early on, we learned the 'depression response'. We picked up a string of negative thinking like "I can't handle life" or "People don't understand me" or "No one can be trusted" or "I'm overly sensitive" or "Everyone else seems to be handling things so much better than me" or "I'm unlovable"or "The world is a scary place". Or maybe all of these and more - a giant package of thought streams that leads to overwhelm.

What if all of those thoughts are just a commentary on some things that sometimes happen or are sometimes relatively true? And the opposites are just as (sometimes) true. What if we don't give commentary much weight?

It's kind of like those politicians or newscasters that have an agenda and pull up all sorts of frightening 'facts' to get us to think we need that agenda to protect us, completely ignoring the other side of the story. Do we have to believe them? Let 'em rant. It's just commentary we inadvertently picked up, doesn't even matter where or when we picked it up.

Let depression in, knowing it has nothing at all to do with who you are. It's just a conditioned reaction to an overwhelming string of thoughts. When I stopped confusing the thoughts with reality, the slumps slowed down and got shorter. Maybe they'll never go away - I don't know. But now they're kind of like getting the flu or a cold. Feel like crap for a few days and then it goes away. But I don't think having the flu is who I am.
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Re: Staying present while feeling like crap

Postby snowheight » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:41 pm

SirNikalot wrote:What's it like to be present and feel crappy at the same time?


Crappy.

Without self-pity or a projection on to something external in a search for a cause ... the crappy ... is different.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
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Re: Staying present while feeling like crap

Postby kiki » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:09 pm

Quinn nailed it.

When present and those feelings come they are just feelings; assign no label to them and let them be. Like all feelings they will dissolve once they are given the space to be here. It's the struggle against them and the self-judgment for having them that keep them locked in place.
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Re: Staying present while feeling like crap

Postby SirNikalot » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:10 am

Yeah, thanks for that Quinn. I think I can already start to feel the melancholy wear off. I still feel it, but there's a certain kind of sweetness to it that just feels better. It really is like catching a cold and I'm feeling it starting to subside. I think its good that I got hit with this bout of depression because it kind of keeps me in check, that way I can learn to be present towards all the conditions that my mind will throw at me, which I apparently have very little control over.

I think I have always to some degree or another lived in fear of when the next bout of low energy/depression would set in. But I think its great to know that even when these spells come over me, life can still remain okay underneath it and I guess it just takes the initiative to realize that, so I won't get caught up in the story like my old tendencies allowed me to do.
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Re: Staying present while feeling like crap

Postby smiileyjen101 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:53 am

SirNik, no matter 'where' you are you take 'you' with you.

I really like this -
I think I can already start to feel the melancholy wear off. I still feel it, but there's a certain kind of sweetness to it that just feels better. It really is like catching a cold and I'm feeling it starting to subside. I think its good that I got hit with this bout of depression because it kind of keeps me in check, that way I can learn to be present towards all the conditions that my mind will throw at me, which I apparently have very little control over.



I actually en-joy, as in after accepting, 'lower' energy times, over the years I've found really lovely ways to be at one with them and even put joy into them - like if you were your own best friend, what would you suggest, how gently would you treat yourself.

Some of my 'treats' that may or may not be to your liking include - sleeping in my car somewhere or driving or walking somewhere before the sun rises so i can get a 'fresh' perspective when I 'awake' in the morning, or as early as I can be on a brand new day - be that at a beach, in the bush, mountains, park, or journalling in my sunroom, or laying in under the doona without feeling guilty that I should be anywhere or feeling any other way or doing anything else.

It can and mostly is just somewhere peaceful that doesn't take a lot of effort.

The 'possibilities' within a sunrise, or the constancy reminder of waves ebbing and flowing, or a river moving in and out with the tides, or a waxing waning moon, or slowly warming sun, or not 'having' to be anywhere, brings me into clarity that our rythmns are not something to fight against, but something to BE with, and of course they will always be changing.

Sometimes the quiet reflection times might have a gentle reminder to share, either about recent things or those distances between expectation and reality that 'create' disappointment/suffering, or looking at the path you are on.

Othertimes it can just be your body calling out for some rest-time in between 'adventures'. What I've noticed is if we don't heed these 'please slow down' times, a cold or flu or something will permeate so that you 'have to'.

En-joy your down-time (hugs) it's all part of the 'rythmn of life'.
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Re: Staying present while feeling like crap

Postby SirNikalot » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:27 am

Yes Jen, Thank you and you are right. Its clear going out with my buddies to a bar/club and getting chicks' phone numbers after several rounds of tequila shots is not the business for me right now. To be honest I don't really want to be around people right now. I love sitting in my car sometimes during breaks at school, or going to the beach or to the mountains sounds pretty good to me right now too. I forgot how sweet those moments in solitude can be.

Much love to you all and thanks again.
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Re: Staying present while feeling like crap

Postby Quinn » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:45 pm

SirNikalot wrote:I think I can already start to feel the melancholy wear off. I still feel it, but there's a certain kind of sweetness to it that just feels better.


I love this, SirNik. Hadn't noticed the 'sweetness', but I'll stay alert to it the next time a bout hits me. You got me thinking about how these automatic responses were originally born out of a sort of misguided love. The ego-response of depression (or anger or judgement or whatever) got started as a reaction to some difficult situation or something that happened, in an effort to protect us. It was born of love. If we fight it or reject it, we can't see what it's trying to tell us. We can't see the whole picture.

I have this image in my head right now that's making me smile. A small child is in a threatening situation and needs to not be there. So she puts her hands over her eyes to 'disappear'. It's the only tool she has right then to deal with the situation. Not really appropriate, and as we mature, we realize that.

In the same way, our conditioned responses began as an effort to protect - to love - us. They're just not appropriate anymore. I can see how the depression-response was useful in a way. It gave me a time out, a step back, to sort things out. I'm seeing this as I'm typing here, so forgive me if it's coming out a little disjointed. Maybe the sweetness is the underlying love that depression was born out of.
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