Monday, February 22, 2016

"Be Rachel"

In The Happiness Project and Happier at Home the author, Gretchen Rubin, sets out a list of resolutions.  One of her resolutions is to "Be Gretchen." That got me thinking. What would it mean to "Be Rachel?"

I've had a few girlfriends and even my therapist discuss with me the positive effect meditation could have. I was very skeptical at first to try it. My best friend sent me links to apps and articles to read. Finally, one night I tried it. I'ma be honest. I didn't like it. I don't know why specifically. I just didn't like it. Gretchen Rubin tried meditation and she didn't like it either. She tried acupuncture once and didn't feel a change so never went back. She doesn't like shopping, she's an under-buyer, not much into music, likes simplicity, and loves children literature. What I picked up most from these two books was it's OK to "Be Rachel."

Back in December, a girlfriend of mine was having a party at her house. I struggled with saying yes I'd go. I struggled with knowing it's a party with a bunch of strangers who will be drinking and surely I would not have a good time. My therapist encouraged me to go. Maybe I'd have fun she said. In the end I didn't go to the party. I did see pictures which only confirmed my suspicion that the party would have not been for me. Again, "Be Rachel." If I don't like parties, then I don't like parties. That's OK.  

I may not have catastrophic reasons for going to therapy, but I am going. Why? Because I go through life every single day wondering if the thoughts and feelings I have are normal. Surely, not everyone is this annoyed and irritated throughout the day? Surely, no one has thoughts about punching the guy who is invading their personal space in the throat?

I was sent an excerpt of a book called Marrow by Tarryn Fisher. While, I have not yet read the book, this excerpt really struck me (pg. 232).
"Our society believes that if you suffer from depression of any kind, there is something innately broken inside of you. Especially, if there is nothing personal to trigger the depression, like a death in the family or a loss of some sort.  If you're just depressed for no reason, they judge you."  
"But, I wonder about the people who never suffer from depression..." "How calloused their souls are to feel less than us. Are they less actualized, less pessimistic, less able to taste the tang of reality on the tips of their tongues? Why are we the broke ones-those who feel things? Who are affected by the changing tides in society?"  
"We are not the problem..." "It's the people who do not feel as strongly as we do who are..."
"Everything about our society teaches us that what she is saying is wrong. If what she is saying is true, then the rest of the world is numb, and we who suffer from ailments of the psyche are the ones who are more advanced in nature.  We see the decaying society, the neglect of morals and human decency; the school shootings, the crime humans commit against one another, the crimes we commit against ourselves; and we react to them in a way that is more intense than everyone else."
"I begin again, not to question who I am, but to embrace it."
Last Thursday during therapy, my therapist said to me "what's normal?" "I don't know," I said.

I'm not sure why I just assume that my thoughts and feelings are not normal. I guess this goes along with learning self-love and compassion for myself.

I do, however, believe that I am more aware of others around me. For instance, I would never slam a door at work because I'm aware of others in the office. I would never stand in someone's personal space. I am highly more sensitive to sounds and interactions around me than others. Why does that make me the abnormal one? It doesn't.

Like that excerpt says: "I begin again not to question who I am, but to embrace it."