Life has been going on as normal. Every day I had the stress that I’m not doing enough and I’m procrastinating too much. Every day I dug deeper and deeper into my emotions to find what’s blocking the workflow.
Then last week I had a major trauma triggered in the most surprisingly pleasant way. A dichotomy I know, but let me explain.
An imaginary character, an NPC got bitchy with my character, who I’m quite attached to. She said something that made me feel like I got rejected. And it hit the motherload!
After having been hit by it I couldn’t function, I felt useless and zoned out. There was this gnawing physical pain in my chest. The best way I could describe it is break-up pains. Or if you ever got kicked out from a group of friends you loved spending your time with, it felt like that. I am ever so thankful it was just an NPC and not a real-life friend! If it was an actual human being that rejected me, this trauma would still not have been solved!
For the next three days, I felt like I couldn’t move. Mentally I was excellent, nobody wanted to hurt me and I’m still a part of the communities I love. Yet I had this pain in my chest and utter lack of willpower to do anything.
It was really odd to have the mental capacity to do anything you want yet your body and levels of energy wouldn’t cooperate. It just showed me how important my emotional well being was.
I was spending my time either lying in bed or pacing aimlessly through the house. I tried to do Emotional Vipassana on it but it felt like I was tackling a mountain, armed with only a toothpick. I didn’t have much success.
The fourth day I went on a walk in the forest. This was a forest that I’d usually be too afraid to venture too deep into. But that day I walked mindlessly ahead. And as a reward we saw a herd of bouncy deer with white bushy tails, crossing our path. And I also gained some good insight into what was troubling me.
The next day I had enough clarity and willpower to sit with it. And I did.
The meditation took me straight to a memory in first grade when the two girls in my class laughed and shamed me because I wanted to make friends with them.
I was seven years old, it was my first day of school, my dad told me to go make friends and I went straight for the two most popular looking girls in the whole class and asked them if they want to be friends. The social awkwardness was so thick, it was dripping off me like melted cheese.
I got rejected.
Then I saw myself progressing through second and third grade. My only purpose throughout the school year was to find a way to be welcomed by those two girls. That’s all I ever cared about.
Spoiler alert: I never got accepted by them.
I captured that moment in time to study the feeling:
“I want to belong with them. I don’t want to accept that I’m not part of them. I have to keep trying! I’m meant to be one of them!”
So how do I fix this?
Let’s think logically for a second …
I am holding on to the hope that those girls will include me as part of them. Holding on to this hope, obsessively is causing me untold amounts of pain that I got numb to. It’s even hindering my life.
The obvious solution was to let go … somehow. How can you let go of something that you’ve been so obsessed with you’re numb to it? You can’t even isolate the feeling, it’s like part of your being, almost like you were born with it.
So when you can logically understand what’s going on but your emotions are too big to tackle or too far to reach, the solution is to reverse the approach and use words or actions.
As I was exploring the memory of 7-9 year old me, feeling the desperate need to belong with that pair of girls, I started repeating to myself:
I was rejected, I was rejected, I was rejected
I had amazing results.
The pain in my chest subsided, the emotional hurt went away and my willpower came back.
What is depression?
From my own personal experience and research, depression comes when you’re holding on to something that’s gone. You keep hoping that it will return or you’ll have it and the sadness of not having it gets deeper and deeper. The more we hold on to it, the more we sink ourselves into darkness and pain.
We are knocking at a gate that will never open and we’re not willing to go and look for another village.
By repeating to myself that I got rejected, I eventually managed to convince my subconscious of the reality of the situation.
It may sound cruel at first glance but it actually felt like deep relief. I was finally able t see the futility of the situation and to decide to let go. Much like letting go of a toxic relationship that you’ve been putting up with for 10 years or more.
But wait, there’s more …
Thanks to this major breakthrough I was able to look at my life from a different perspective, with more clarity.
It was not long before I realized that there’s a connection between chronic procrastination and how much I run away and try to isolate myself from people. I’ve been running away from social situations all my life, preferring to stay locked in between four walls.
The fear of judgment, rejection and just plain old feeling that I’m not going to be able to belong were the main perpetrators.
Furthermore (and this is something that all procrastinator do) I tried to work my way into being acceptable.
I thought that if I work hard enough and make money, people will accept me.
It don’t work that way
People don’t accept you for how much you can do, they accept you for who you are.
If you find that people don’t accept you as much as you’d like, it’s because you need to accept yourself.
I’ve already been working at loving myself for the past 3 years. I’m doing okay on this subject, but because of the above trauma, I couldn’t even begin to try to belong to social groups!
With that major blockage out of the way, all I had to do is tell myself “Hey, why don’t I work on getting some proper friends and a nice cozy community?” as soon as I said that my usual thoughts of how they would never be able to accept me and this is all just a waste of time and how it will end in tears. So I counteracted that with self-acceptance.
This could not have worked before, not in a million years, but now that the blockage is out of the way I could see myself being loved and included for the person I am.
And finally …
The last thing I did to get my will-power and working energy back, was to allow myself to be lazy.
Yes, just like that.
It was a beautiful night with fool moon and I felt like if I try to work, it would be forcing it. So I allowed myself to just chill.
I didn’t procrastinate, I didn’t play games, I didn’t even socialize. I just sat on the couch and mentally convinced myself that it’s ok to rest.
My patience paid off. The next two days were super productive and nothing tired me out at all.
I was even excited to do more and it was awesome!