When I was first introduced to the concept of mindfulness, I despised it.
“Why would I want to think about nothing?” was my initial response. I hated the idea of “mindful eating,” focusing on the taste, smell, and texture of food as I consumed it. I wouldn’t savor the process of filling my car with gasoline, so why would I spend time trying to enjoy a mere activity of daily life, something that simply helped me get from point A to point B?
I’ve realized that mindfulness is not “thinking about nothing,” nor is it only for food-related issues. It is staying in the present moment, not allowing one’s mind to wander, and being focused.
These days, I crave this kind of relief from the racing, raging thoughts in my head. I feel as though I have one foot in the past and one in the future. Certain streets in town take me back to the painful past. I cannot let go.
Yet I must let go if I am to ever have a bright future. I need to let go of the I’m not good enough, I’m too sick to accomplish anything worthwhile, I’m useless and irredeemable.
How does one stay in the here and now? I have no idea. But I can certainly try.
Although I claim to like routines and familiarity, I have spent most of my life living in self-inflicted chaos. Whether it’s losing weight, healing self-harm injuries, trips to the hospital, or something else, I’ve never quite figured out how to just be.
Working on mental health is a lifelong task, but it does not always have to be the forefront of my life. When things are calm and stable, I tend to self-destruct. I am my own worst enemy and often, the only thing standing in my own way of achieving my dreams.
There is no reason for me to continue this self-defeating behavior. I am the champion of my own destiny. Rather than carrying on this same old pattern that hasn’t gotten me anywhere I want to be, I want to channel my energy into positive variety. Part of the reason I am so addicted to chaos is because I hate being bored. But suffering is no fun either. I do not have to torture myself just to prove I’m alive. I am realizing that life can be exciting, fun, and spontaneous.
When I first began writing poetry, I believed I had to be depressed to create. While my mental illness has served as an inspiration for many creative pieces, it does not have to be the sole focus of my art. Happiness is also a powerful emotion.
Instead of staying at home and drowning in my own sorrows, wondering why so many of my peers seem to be farther ahead in life than I am, it is time to get out of my own way. There is a big, beautiful world out there, and I want to be a part of it.