Dear Mindful Friends,
At the age of 6 my mother committed suicide. Since that time, I have always put any emotion or thought aside, not allowing there to be. That worked great until me and my wife lost our first–born child at 37 weeks pregnancy. I snapped, I felt emotions, I realized I had thoughts, I was diagnosed with OCD, the pure form, called pure-O as well.
Diagnoses in mental health do not make any sense to me, therapists need it for insurance companies to get money refunded, and to set up their therapy plan for us.
Brains are “programmed” to think all day, they think everything you can imagine, the good stuff, the weird stuff, the scary stuff, the negative self–talk…
The more we try to push it away, the more it becomes our worst enemy!
The funny thing is that if you believe that our thoughts have anything to do with who we are, you got yourself a one-way ticket to mental illness. Once you realize that any thinking experience is not volunteer and intrusive, you are on your way to creating mental health!
I got therapy, well 4 therapists in the end… The last one (thanks you!) introduced me to ERP, mindfulness and ACT.
I realized that fighting symptoms, not feeling or trying to push away thoughts, avoiding places or things did not work any longer. It only made emotions and feelings more complex and harder to deal with…
My neighbor happened to be a mindfulness teacher and I did an eight–week MBSR training. It took me some months to figure out what it was about, I felt mindfulness did not work for me, nothing changed.
A few months later i started to get what is was all about… Mindfulness is not about changing anything, mindfulness is not about feeling less worries or anxiety… Mindfulness is about feeling more of these emotions, thoughts and other things you do not like, become fully aware of them, and radically accept these feeling and emotions and allow them to be there. I have learned to create space between my thoughts that pop up without control in my head, and the emotion that follows!
Be Mindful, Pause, Connect! – Daniel Vonk, Netherlands.