My life is so different today. And yet, not much has changed. The main different variable? I haven’t checked any social media in almost 48 hours.
It doesn’t seem like much, but it matters.
Tuesdays often have the same energy for me. It’s the day after my daily retreat, so I’m deliciously recharged and conscious, full of energy, mentally, physically, emotionally.
But often, it also starts by checking what happened during my weekly disappearance. Social media, social apps, emails. A few dopamine boosts. It’s sometimes hard to go on with the rest of my life for a while.
I don’t like that feeling that my apps are my bosses, or even the bosses of my time for a while.
Today was also different because my day started with the keynote of the joyful social justice online summit I’m going to participate to for the week. Since it’s in the US, and I’m in the middle of the Pacific, their 9 am is my 3am the next day. Then I slept for a couple of hours. Inspired and thoughtful is not the best combo to experience right before sleep, especially when time to calm down is missing. We had another online conference at 10am for me.
Since I was exhausted, it was much harder for me to not have my usual apps to numb my mind with. Consequently, it was easy to feel the cravings, how much I was missing them. I actually checked my email like 10 times in in a span of 2 hours. Which I never do (I don’t get that many emails anyway). It was almost comical. I let myself laugh gently at my inner monkey.
I slept a few hours during the day after that second conference and her very encouraging and heart-warming talk. When I woke up, it still felt weird, but slightly easier. Sleep can do wonders, even just naps.
Time felt slower all day long too. At some point, I picked up it meant that I could finally do the things I wish I’d do on Tuesdays, when I’m supposed to have time, but it slips through social media cracks and other distractions. Joy kicked in.
I did my morning routine, which helped settled my mind, ground and centre myself. I had a lovely chat with my living partner, also working from home at the moment, sent a couple of messages and felt much more connected to them, to my real people. I believe that through change and cravings, it’s fundamental to look for the little things that are pleasant, in order to overcome the ones that aren’t. Serenity set in.
I noticed that despite needing to be on a Facebook group for the summit, it was weird, but not that hard to not use the rest of the website. As long as I didn’t budge even a little bit on my rule of not engaging at all. The notifications are taunting, those little numbers telling me people want to connect. So I read the group content, but didn’t connect so far, to not enter slippery territory. Persevering is so often all about the tiny little things.
Then, I asked my inner child what she would enjoy today. She wanted to paint, and she wanted to read. I obliged.
I started to read a couple of books I am taking notes about subjects I’m annoyed by lately.
It’s exhausting to me to work with two of my patients at the moment. It always was a little bit : they suffered from their big share of trauma, and present several personality disorders, basically some of the most complex disorders to work with (let alone live with), in the least helpful settings.
Of course, it’s not their fault, and I know they do their best. I’d also like to help them the best I can, since they seem to trust me, quite a feat for them already.
So I’m focusing on the issues I can observe in my way of working, and learn to sharpen my skills as a psychologist in order to show up for them. But that’s still very draining sometimes.
Learning new things helps me feel a bit more in control, progressing, and seem to make them both feel better and more able to heal, that’s always reassuring.
I rarely take time to read for so long on Tuesdays, it felt very satisfying, like a delicious unexpected treat.
I played some Scrabble, the only game app on my phone. Mindful play for a limited time helps us soothes anxiety, which I was mildly feeling all day. My mind feels lost without its usual go-to "anti anxiety” apps (us shrinks call this type of "anti anxiety" things numbing).
When I walked to the other room to paint, I noticed that it was much easier to go from one task to another without social media to interfere, despite outside communication through email and WhatsApp.
I wondered before taking this break if it could help me being more mindful about my use of those apps and emails, which I never managed to work out so far. It sure feels nice to not feel rushed all the time, and like time is stolen from me. I noticed once again that nice feeling of ease.
I did some housework, and then I came to my bedroom to write.
I like writing on my bed : it’s harder for the body to feel anxious when lying down. Right now, I’m noticing it’s been quite easy to connect to my muse, and write down everything she’s whispering to me, because nothing can really distract me.
I even forgot my phone in the kitchen, because it became the tool it was supposed in the first place, instead of the security blanket it often feels like, and I didn’t need it.
On my way, I realized a lot of deeper thinking was happening int he background of my head, by itself. Not overthinking, questions that are actually helpful, about my life, the way I live it, the way I want to live it, what helpful things I want to implement. That kind of thinking usually happens mostly on Mondays, when I’m in solitude and super quiet mode. Definitely, something is happening. Ease would be the word of the day, and it’s scrumptious.
I wonder how it’ll go in the next few days… And I’m letting myself be curious about it : curiosity makes anything slightly more joyful and serene, even hard heavy things. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the two weeks is going to unfold.