I recently experienced a physical release in my body. I get these often as a part of my recovery. The emotions and memories have been stored in my body and I am releasing them as I recover. But the physical releases come with good and bad. I love the feeling of freedom that comes with the release. I have to expend much less energy maintaining that particular defended place. I have less muscle tension to keep me drained. However, with those releases come emotions. And they can be hard to handle.
I have also noticed that location matters. When I have a physical release in my knee, the impact can be more tolerable. I can handle the anger and sadness as long as I can keep it from impacting my family. But I knew I was in trouble with this one. The physical release happened just below my heart. I can't think of a more potent spot than that. To make matters worse, I could feel the desperate attempt to shut it back down. I had to focus for hours to allow it to stay released. I knew I was in trouble.
After the release, I was inundated with hopelessness. It is the worst feeling of all the feelings. It is the feeling that brings the suicidal ideation. To stay present with that feeling is the most difficult thing I have ever done. To make matters worse, I have noticed I am not alone. While the feeling of isolation can contribute to suicidal ideation, I certainly don't wish these feelings upon anyone. Yet I have been approached by many who are struggling with the same thing.
And while the hopelessness is terrible, it can be beaten. So I decided to write down my approach. What do I do to avoid being swallowed up by hopelessness, to keep from being tricked by the thoughts? I have six approaches that help me get through it.
- I check in with my body. When I first feel the hopelessness, it may show up as a physical sensation. I hold many of these feelings in my stomach, my lower back and my heart. I may feel the familiar heart racing or quick breathing which usually indicates I am fighting against an emotion. I take the time to acknowledge the physical feeling. I stay curious about it. If I can see the physical feelings before the emotions, I can stay ahead of the game.
Don't get me wrong. This isn't as structured as it sounds. It is messy. It is very messy. I fall in to the thoughts. I forget it isn't about this moment. And then I wake up and remember it is old stuff. I give myself a guilt trip for my lack of productivity until I remember I am deep in an integration process. I block the memory for a while and then remember I want to remember it. But then, by some act of divine intervention, it passes, if only for a while, and I am a little less burdened than I was before. I have more freedom. I am more whole. And I relish in my courage for pulling through another bought of hopelessness. And I find a few moments of peace.