I notice that "awareness" keeps tugging at me. I will have little snippets throughout the day when I recall MBSR. I will then stop for a moment and notice my breathing, try to note the sensations in my body, and how I am feeling. Then I try to sit with it for a few seconds or a minute, until it becomes too painful. When I am still and quiet and move inward to awareness, the pain of my thoughts becomes to great and I have to stop. It's like Godzilla is thrashing through my mind.
I find it immensely difficult to be present because of the Negative-thought Godzilla rampaging a whirlwind through my mind. I spent years creating a city within my mind composed of resilience, meditation, emotional openness, open-heartedness, yoga, psychological healing, exercise, ancient wisdom. The grid was filled with exit strategies and coping skills: massage shops, TCM clinics, psychologists' offices, a plethora of ice cream shops and sugar mills that were camouflaged and perfect for hiding out, and gyms to keep me strong and undo the "hiding out" times. With running and cycling paths all over the city (in fact, my city is completely car-free and 100% green with solar and wind power), I always had an outlet for stress and a way to maintain physical well-being. In fact there was an ocean right in the city center so I could lie on the beach with a Bushwhacker or SCUBA dive. Instead of gas stations or convenience stores, there were libraries on every corner with windows stacked full of self-help, spirituality, and yoga books (the stores were slightly dark because of this, but rather cozy because they were lit by candles and other warm ambient light). I had everything covered, or so I thought. Unfortunately, NTGodzilla has been running free for the past few years, I can't seem to catch him or stop him or trap him, and so my city has gradually become crushed ruins, not to mention the heaping piles of negative-thought-shit he has dumped on the streets. They stink! And so it follows that my health, optimism, resilience, ability to stay present, energy-level, communication skills, ad nauseum, are likewise in ruins. Now, blizzards of sugar blow through the streets, creating a temporary calm and quiet withdrawal. These inundations are only broken by tsunamis of wine that wash away any feeling that the blizzards have not numbed. But as with all of life, the numbness is only temporary, just like the joy.
But slowly, I will rebuild and come back to what I know. I will continue to try; I haven't given up yet. I hope and pray that the MBSR course will bring me back toward my center and my Self, reigning in NTGodzilla and transforming him to a harmless beast that is observed with compassion, like a Dalmatian pup. Yeah, that would be a much easier companion to watch and control. Then I could have OTSpots (Observed-thoughts Spots) bouncing around my brain, causing less damage and pain. Just have to worry about a little puddle now and then, rather than all-out sacking.
As I wrote this post, I was thinking about neuroplasticity and how my coping mechanisms have changed over the years; how ongoing trauma and bouts of depression have changed those abilities -- simply decreasing my resilience to stress and making the falls into darkness quicker and harder. I was wondering if the pathways in my brain had been damaged to an irreversible degree, when the thought of Godzilla rampaging through a city popped up ... what a perfect allegory ... and brilliant, thank you very much!
... asana, pranayama, meditation and the true Self.