I have finally reached a point where I can actually start a routine for myself. For many years, it’s been all I could do to get through the day. After taking care of my daughter, I had no energy left for anything else.
I am doing better and want to create some routine things that are just for me. Writing, exercise, etc., I thought meditation would make a healing addition, until I discussed it with my therapist.
She explained that people who have a severe trauma background (PTSD) should avoid meditation, as they may not be equipped to deal with possible intrusive thoughts and/or memories that may enter their mind. She advised me to stick with guided meditations, rather than more traditional meditation.
“People with depression or past experiences of trauma, for example, may find themselves feeling increasingly anxious during meditation, no matter how much they try to focus on the moment. Or they may be plagued by intrusive thoughts, feelings and images of the past during their mindfulness exercises” says Professor Sarah Bowen (who has studied meditation in treating alcohol and illegal drug addictions), that’s why she suggests that people with depression or trauma issues who want to benefit from meditation should try it with expert guidance.
Personally, I have tried to be still and meditate in the past; but it always became frustrating and impossible to maintain a blank canvas in my mind. It becomes overflowed with thoughts and pictures racing until I just give up. I have always had to use guided meditations. I thought it was because of my ADD, and I needed the guidance to focus; but, maybe subconsciously I couldn’t do it because of fear. Maybe I was afraid of what horrible memories might appear.
Whenever my mind attempts to relax, it is quite a process. Particularly when I am trying to go to sleep. Talk about racing thoughts!! I have had severe insomnia at times, but that’s a whole other post! Sometimes I do use guided meditations to help me at night. I am kind of fussy when it comes to finding one I like and that relaxes me. The person’s tone may annoy me or not keep my attention, or their words don’t stir my imagery. Jason Stephenson is my favorite on youtube that I’ve found. He has a soothing voice and creative guided imagery. He also has a great selection. Here is one of my favorite sleep meditations by him.
He has many meditations that I want to try and add to my routine, and hopefully someday soon, I will be able to add a traditional meditation practice. One baby step at a time:)