I decided to share my experience as a reminder that you are not alone and that the mental health journey is a process.
Originally when I started writing in my blog, I hoped to inspire hope in others. Over the past few days, I struggled greatly to write content that is inspiring because I am going through a low period in my life. Despite my lows, I tried to continue to be inspiring but then I realised that I wasn't being true to how I am feeling and that although sharing my current experience might come across as negative it might still inspire in a different way.
I live with chronic pain in my back and my neck due to spinal problems. I have had a number of procedures on my back and had put a lot of hope on the last two. After the procedures, I felt some relief for few weeks before the pain came back aggressively. This meant that I once again am living with severe pains from the moment I wake up to the moment I lay down flat on my back at night. At night, I am restricted to sleeping on my back because sleeping on my side causes me a lot of pain.
How is this relevant to mental health?
I am now living with disappointment, deep sadness and grief for all the things I once was able to do and are now impossible.
From time to time, I feel a weight on my chest and a knot in my throat. My stomach feels tight and knotted. As I am writing this, I am aware of the heaviness on my chest and the knots in my throat and stomach and I am aware of a repetitive thought questioning my decision to write about my experience. I stay with these feelings without judgement and breath into them for as long as it feels right for me.
Paying attention to where and how I am experiencing my anxiety and sadness in my body helps me better experience and process my emotions and helps me stay embodied and grounded. It is an easy and simple mindfulness activity that you can do at any time.
I hope you find my sharing of my experience one that you can relate to. I also hope that you find the exercise I do to help myself stay embodied and grounded helpful for your experience.