I know it continues to be a really tough time for everyone. I am definitely not immune to those struggles. In taking time off, I came to a realization about why I was having such a hard time. It wasn't about COVID or anxiety or stress. I was struggling because I had been having a mental tantrum inside my own head 24/7. My mental tantrum sounded something like this "It's not fair. This should not be happening. I'm supposed to be healing. This isn't the way it should be. It's not fair." I had no idea I was even doing this. I was having an adult sized tantrum in my head that no one else could see. Now it is important to understand that all of these thoughts are valid. It is a tough time and people are suffering, but the way I was saying it was definitely not validating.
I approached this by turning back to what has been the foundation of my recovery, something I learned about 15 years ago. It is rooted in the principles of Buddhism and that is 'in life there is suffering. It is not the suffering that causes the pain. It is the resistance to the suffering that causes you the pain.' So for me in this situation, my resistance or my mental tantrum was actually what was causing me the most pain.
Recognizing this and having compassion for myself is so important here. And asking myself is there a way that I can take off my stomping shoes and stop resisting the fact that this is a hard time?
We really do have a choice. Do we meet hard times with tantrums and resistance or do we meet those hard times with compassion, validation, consideration and respect? In these moments now when I still find myself throwing that mental tantrum, I simply note it and say "Ok I see what's happening and how am I going to deal with it? Am I going to keep throwing this tantrum or am I going to hold space for the fact that this tantrum is representing how hard things are and how much I am still struggling?"
This has been such a huge lesson for me during COVID-19. I hope it is helpful for you as well as we are all still navigating these difficult and challenging times.
ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information.
Additional exciting news! ERP School is now CEU approved which means that it is an accredited course for therapists and mental health professionals to take towards their continuing education credit hours. Please click here for more information.