A lot of things that I try have the effect of putting me into trauma, and I am really wondering if that is worth it. For instance, going to the gym continues to be a nightmare, basically. I exercise, I experience body memories, I come home all upset and it takes me a long time to climb out of that hole. Yet I persist, in the hope that I will get used to the exercise and the body memories will diminish, or that having them is somehow helpful to me in the end.
Going to the women’s trauma group also brings up really bad memories. Is it worth it? I could get the same information in a book, and that probably wouldn’t activate my system in the same way. Still, they say it is helpful to go. Perhaps it is. I feel compelled to keep going as I have nothing else specifically for PTSD.
In the past, I have taken two-hour yoga classes and I’d come home and be dissociated. From yoga, which is supposed to be so calming and healthful. Discouraging.
What I need to know is whether it is best to try and avoid the body memories. I guess that would involve avoiding triggers, which for me is exercise.
If I don’t exercise at all I get depressed. And I know it is healthy to move your body. In fact, not using my body is just not an option. Sigh.
I feel as if I am trapped in a sticky web in this regard.
Tomorrow I am to talk to a therapy referral agency for therapists with sliding scales. I hope to God they can find me someone who knows some answers and can point me in the right direction.
Back to meditation. In meditation, it’s very possible that bad stuff comes up, especially when sitting for over an hour, as in this case. I do get that, but I’m doing my best not to go into any of that swirling darkness. I just let it pass. Bad emotions, I acknowledge, then let them (OK, encourage them to) float on by. This is not exactly kosher – we are to neither encourage or reject. I’m possibly rejecting a bit. But I feel that is necessary for me at the moment.
At times, I switched to Metta (loving kindness meditation) when I felt down or that I was getting into a dark kind of meditation. And I draw strength from being with other meditators. There is a very good, peaceful side of practice that I need to focus on and encourage. Also a belief that the mind in it’s natural state is luminous and clear – that is a good thing to be working towards.
The talk was complex and the teacher was examining a long article. He encouraged us to devote ourselves to practice, and mentioned meditators who had been practicing for 20 years without results, because they kept switching practices. Like digging many wells, each just a few feet deep, and always quitting before they hit water.
He emphasized proper intention – the intention of equanimity, and of neither craving nor rejecting any particular state or thing.
Something about karma – how karma always involves intention to either harm or help.
What else? I seem to have forgotten the entire rest of the talk. I remember the image of the wells…Darn. I know it was good.
Oh yeah – we are to cultivate wholesome states of mind. There, that’s exactly what I was trying to do doing the practice.
And I felt really quite cheerful afterwards. I haven’t been cheerful much lately. That is definitely wholesome.
Art snagged from a site which does not give credit for the photo.