I’ve been attending a drug rehab centre for 3 months. They’ve been helping me coming off my medications and other drugs I shouldn’t have been taking.
On Saturday I attended my first group sessions (I’ve been doing 1:1 so far).
I wasn’t really prepared. I was going for the acupuncture to help me sleep and stayed on for a group chat and an aromatherapy massage. I’ve had magnets in my ears for a few weeks and they’ve helped so I took a leap.
Obviously, I knew I would have needles put in me but I wasn’t expecting the room to go dark, music to be played and then… I was asked to think of a safe place, a good happy memory like the beach or the woods.
I couldn’t think of anything!
I literally played my whole life on fast forward, searching for a place but everything reminded me of someone or something and within minutes I was crying.
At least the room was dark.
After about 10 minutes of struggling, I eventually found my friend’s dog in the park and managed to play her running around in my mind until the end of the session.
When it came to the aromatherapy, she asked me to find a place too, I literally shouted ‘No! I don’t have one!’ So, she offered to talk to me through the massage and I listened to her voice.
I spent all day and night, then into Sunday trying to think of a safe happy place – nada.
It bothered me so much I got dressed and decided to go out and make a memory that I can use for next time.
Finding a burn with a tiny waterfall, I stood there forever, watching the colour of the water, the way it frothed, the stones underneath where it ran clear, the tree that looked like an alien. Listening to the rush of water, the birds chirping and so on.
It wasn’t perfect, I was alone and felt alone but it’s nature and the trees and burn have been there longer than I’ve been alive. It was enough.
Since then I keep bringing my mind back to standing there, just to practice.
Why am I telling you this?
Visualisation, mindfulness, meditation, holistic practices, even hypnosis all centre around this process of taking your mind somewhere and can have pretty powerful results, such as…
- Reducing anxiety and panic attacks
- Distracting you from depression and suicidal thoughts
- Relieving stress
- Giving your brain a break from racing thoughts
- Lowering blood pressure
- Helping you fall asleep
- Gaining control of addictions
- Improving memory and attention span
You have probably heard most of this before but the one crucial step, the one I was missing, was that I didn’t have somewhere I wanted to go to.
Do you have a safe happy memory or place you want to picture?
Have you ever thought about it?
Pick one and when things get tough, go there. Close your eyes, do some breathing, it can be just a few minutes, or longer.
If you don’t have one, go and create one.
Every second we live, we are creating new memories, be aware of the good ones and store them to return to.
And don’t feel too sad, if like me, you realise there is nothing in the past to hold onto. Let it go and look forward.
p.s. you can read my previous post on breathing HERE
p.p.s. Half price January lunchtime sessions is filling up, get in touch if you want a spot.