I see a psychologist who is helping me to understand my feelings and to learn mindfulness meditation techniques.
I regularly attend these therapy sessions to explore and better understand my emotions. One of my fears is that if I accepted the sadness of depression and let myself cry or feel down, I might not escape from those feelings. I grapple that apprehension of facing the depths of depression might lead to an inescapable quagmire of emotions.
According to my therapist this type of denial can be harmful. As she said, running away from your own feelings will eventually catch up with you. You are basically running away from yourself. Denial of grief is a coping mechanism and it will need to be dealt with or it may come out in other ways. In my case, my drinking increased and this self-medicating dulled my emotions, but I was still depressed.
In my ongoing journey of dealing with cancer, I've been working on managing my emotions more effectively. I've been learning to navigate my emotions using the mindfulness full body scan technique.
When going through the process from feet to head, my thoughts, worries and feelings pop up but rather allow the distraction that these thoughts must be set aside.
That is something that will happen and understanding these thoughts and worries are an important part of the mindfulness process.
The full body scan is a way to cultivate awareness of physical sensations and promote relaxation.
Here is how it works:
You can adjust the duration of the scan to fit your needs, but it's often done in 10-30 minutes. Over time, regular practice can lead to increased relaxation and a deeper connection with your body.
I've realized that delving into depression and allowing myself to feel sad doesn’t result in being overwhelmed by grief or any loss of self-control.
Understanding the importance of sharing emotions with family and friends is a crucial lesson. I’m still working on being more open. I appreciate the intimacy I share with my wife and it does alleviate my sense of social isolation since my cancer diagnosis.
Reflecting on these experiences and trying to confront the realities of my diagnosis and potential treatment have been impactful. I haven’t often expressed my true feelings.
But rather than face cancer by myself, I have found this type of intimacy by being open and expressing my true feelings with family and friends. It has been beneficial as I feel less socially isolated and alone.
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