I have been (unintentionally) rather quiet about my recent visit to Iman and, as the next one is tomorrow, this is a quickish summary.
I spent a fair bit of time in the session chatting in a meandering way about various things: about how a single small incident or thought can make me worry disproportionately – and then I brood and brood (and generally harsh on myself) and end up in a terribly unhappy state; about how I feel everything has to be ordered and perfect, otherwise I am a worthless and bad person (for that special bit of craziness I hold my dead-to-me mother solely responsible) and generally about me being a hyper-perfectionist. I expressed my extreme frustration that intellectually I know these things are completely ridiculous, but emotionally I just can’t seem to stop the deluge of negative thoughts.
We talked about how my internal (and external!) dialogue is super-negative and judgey and how I might stop myself going into these awful downward spirals (as opposed the awesome downward spiral).
At the end of the session, I got some photocopies of 23 year old exercises about mindfulness and self-talk to read (hopefully not do, because I haven’t done them) and three homework tasks(!).
Task 1: I must leave a corner of my work desk disordered
Task 2: I must not rush into the kitchen and tidy up after the babies tidy up after dinner
Task 3: I must let some housework slide
Then I had to sit with the discomfort and emotions, which was … discomforting (but not quite so hellish as I had anticipated). Although I did have to kind of organise the workspace into slightly less disorder, as I couldn’t find anything I needed – so to compensate, I put my stationery in disorganised places.
I also was tasked with improving my self-talk – which has actually been not too difficult and quite pleasant.
So, I’ve had a quite mentally healthy two weeks. Worrying things did happen and my thoughts did not devolve into the whole “you are a bad person” thing. Yay!
What has really made a difference (apart from the above) is seeing quite dreadful things happen to various people on the periphery of my life, ranging from the nightmare-ish to the depressing – which sounds a bit deranged and evil, but it is more of a “Fuck, life is so fleeting and short, why the hell am I wasting my energies thinking so badly of myself?”.