This quiet time I've given myself has spurred a lot of self study and inquiry. I am working with two mental health therapists: a couples counselor and an LCSW who specializes in grief. I'm about a third of the way through my yoga therapy training and I've just finished the book, "What Happened to You" by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry.
I have a lot of tools that I'm adding to my tool belt.
A big thing for me has been the curiosity and study of the Anger that erupts inside me sometimes without any warning. There are specific people in my life who I correlate with this eruption. And others, even if they were to do the same actions, I allow grace.
Most people would describe me as pretty easy going and grounded. Some people know me as energetic and effervescent. Some people know me as earth motherly. Some people know only the white hot Anger directed at them. But how would I describe myself?
The Anger that I feel is white-hot, it starts in my stomach as a sucker punch and then travels up to my jaw and throat, tightening and constricting everything it comes into contact with. It sometimes presents as crying, a lowered voice, or nothing. I very rarely yell at anyone, at least not since I've stopped drinking. Texting is not always the best idea when I'm in this state because it gives me a way to yell, without having to raise my voice.
If I don't regulate myself, this anger shifts into a stomach ache, rumination, and usually headaches. In the wake of my mother's death, I'm feeling very dysregulated at times and the Anger is right there to bask in it all. Seemingly innocent things like people not texting back right away, people cancelling plans with me, people teasing me invite Anger to come out to play.
So how to regulate?
I have done a lot of breath work study during these past 20 months of the pandemic. Breath work is good. In through the nose, out through the mouth: smell the soup, cool the soup. But it's not enough.
I have to move my body.
I have found that walks around the neighborhood, bike rides, gentle yoga asana generally do the trick. Guided meditation is nice right now, as is journaling and blogging, like I'm doing here.
But even though I have the tools I need, that doesn't necessarily mean that I want to use them at certain times. Sometimes I want to stay in the Anger. Sometimes that feels good. Sometimes I want to stay in the Darkness. Sometimes that feels good, too.
I was journaling this morning when I ruefully realized that although I love to create schedules, rituals, and routines, I don't always like to follow them. It's like once I create the rules, all I want to do is break them. I found that to be interesting. I know logically that it feels good to do my morning yoga kriya: movement, meditation, and chanting. But for god's sake, I DON'T WANT TO DO IT RIGHT NOW!!!
Logical brain vs. emotional brain.
I'll continue to be curious, I'll use this platform to work through stuff. But sometimes I'll also use this platform to be my own personal cheerleader. It's all part of the journey, right?