Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Sadness Fast

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Have you ever done something called a sadness fast?  I recently came up with the concept a few days ago.  I have never heard someone use such a phrase.  I have been thinking of tangible ways I can support my ongoing healing process.  Doing a sadness fast seems to be one good idea.

I would define a sadness fast as living in a way that avoids undue and excessive exposure to stimuli (violent television programming, news of man's inhumanity to his fellow man, dilapidated parts of your community) that will provoke feelings of sadness and despair.  I don't believe I have ever really thought so consciously about what prompts me to feel sad as I am doing right now.

I have been reflecting on my own sadness quite a bit lately.  I found myself sometimes feeling almost super-aware of my sadness in the last few weeks.  I attribute this heightened awareness to the intensive work I undertook in the outpatient program I just finished.

Underneath all the anger I once carried around was a heaping quantity of sadness.  I have difficulty recalling a time when I did not feel some significant burden of sadness when I was a kid.  I had my happy moments.  But long, stable stretches of happiness in which I did not concurrently feel some unpleasant level of anxiety are not something I can easily recall from my early life history.  Anxiety has been a companion I had for much of my life.  Changing this reality has been no small task.  Indeed, it seems to be the task of my healing journey.  And I feel sad that I had a heightened level of anxiety for so long.  My anxiety was preventable.

Last night I began making a pros and cons list for a major choice I am contemplating.  I found the process quite demanding.  Shortly before I finished working on my list I felt a growing awareness of how mentally drained I was feeling.  I believe there is a certain truth in the idea that you cannot always think your way to an answer.

I feel fortunate that my motivation to keep trying and showing up for my life each and every day is much greater than it was earlier this month.  I believe my progress can continue.  I simply need to keep being mindful of my needs.

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!