Morgan’s Fear of the Week: #34 Keeping a Daily Journal
This week I kept a handwritten journal. Turns out, the scribblings of a…person with “issues” let’s say…are emotionally messy and definitely not for public consumption! Every day I would sit down with my pen and paper and just write. I tried to keep the self-criticism at bay (with moderate success) and let whatever was on my mind flow out my pen. I didn’t keep track of spelling, paragraphs, sentence structure or anything that would muzzle the thoughts from hitting the page in which ever order they felt like.
I’m not sure if I will keep this up. I might, but I might not. I felt very vulnerable keeping a journal because I know how easy it would be for just about anyone to open it and start reading away. After all, it’s not like I had a lock on the thing. I’m nervous about having an unintended audience read my most private of thoughts and putting them down on paper this past week was nerve-wracking to say the least.
I think, I might try keeping a digital journal if I decide to keep going just to put my mind at ease regarding the immediate accessibility issue.
Let me know if you keep a journal. Why or why not?
Chris’s “Fear”: Rosh Hashanah services
I had intended on attending a service for Rosh Hashanah (for the record, I am not scared of Jewish services or Jews (organized religion, however, be it Judeo-Christian or Wicca I am a bit scared of but I will write about that later) rather this “fear” was more about expanding my horizons and putting myself in a growth environment rather than my typical environment), but the week got the better of me. Thus, I rescheduled going to another week which is no big deal. As I have written about before, this project is about embracing and conquering fears, not doing them for the sake of doing them.
However, this week has not been a complete waste. I have actually learned a good deal about myself and my needs.
To conquer fears, you need to have the right mindset and that mindset was simply not there this week. As many of you know, I have and continue to struggle with depression. If you know of someone who has depression or have gone through it yourself, you know that it never really goes away. Like chicken pox, it lies dormant for a while then stress or poor nutrition or an emotional flashback will take you off guard and the depression will creep back into your headspace.
Well this past week was one of those weeks. Regardless of the cause– missing Arizona, the colder weather here in Kingston, not eating my veggies, not getting my Quest bars, or all of the above–I woke up on Wednesday tired, irritable, and just in a bad headspace. It was like a black, cold blanket had been draped over my shoulders and was weighing me down.
I’ve learned that when I get into these moods and mindsets, I need to do these things:
- Practice self care by making sure I shower, put on clean clothes, and keep to my daily routine as much as possible even if I do not want to and it takes extra energy. Sleep, veggies, exercise, communication, meditation, etc.
- Feel the depression and not push it away but at the same time not feed into the emotions I like to visualize my mood as a rain cloud in my mind with blue sky behind it. This visualization, which I picked up from Headspace, helps me not react to or embody the emotions but rather let the hormones be and the neurons fire. This does not deaden the emotions or make my flat mood go away any quicker, but it does help ease the control the thoughts and feelings have on me.
- Let Morgan know: This is a big one because I need to keep her in the loop on what is going on. She cannot control it nor can she cure it but by letting her know, it makes me feel less lonely and if I do snap or am distant, she knows the cause and that its not her fault.
In my opinion, there is no cure for depression. Even pills like Prozac don’t cure it. It is more a matter of not feeding the emotions and managing them so that they do not control you. Easier said and written than done, but for me, it is important to know this about myself and the bests ways for me to manage it. These management tricks will differ from person to person of course and it is up to you to figure out your own ways.
Fortunately, after a few days, I think I am coming out of it, and I am in a better space now to conquer this week’s fear meditating: 30 minutes a day and, the bonus fear, conquer a 50k run adventure (more on that to come).