Today, I can not stop thinking about the day this writing journey started for me, the day I started the expedition through my own mind by writing down the first words that described what was going on inside there. My first post, Little Joy was where it all started for me. Originally a text I wrote to my boyfriend, just a couple of days after returning from our holiday together, a text that made him tell me I had to start writing and a text that made me realize I had to start opening up and exploring my mind. The start of everything, before I even realized what was going on with me.
Why does this day seems impossible to get out of my thoughts today? Why do I remember it so clearly all of a sudden?
It was the 19th of February, the Wednesday after my holiday and I had just succeeded in getting myself to the office. I remember how lost I was. The excitement I had felt on my holiday was disappearing, lot’s of work had been piling up in the week I was gone and there was a lot of stress in the team because of the approaching deadline. But I couldn’t focus anymore, I couldn’t concentrate on my work and my mind was taken over by the devil’s chaos. I felt a bit lost, frustrated about the fact that I wasn’t able to preform like I used to. I was experiencing strong feelings of missing my boyfriend, who extended his holiday with a visit to his parents in Greece while I became less able to do the things I wanted to do each day.
That morning, things became too much in the office and I decided to get outside, to enjoy a peaceful moment with a cup of coffee in the morning sun. I sat down on a wooden bench I always look for when I am upset in the office and I noticed how my thoughts where rushing through my mind like fireworks. I thought about my boyfriend, I worried about the long to-do list that was waiting for me, but most importantly, I thought about how I had felt during our holiday. While I was drinking my coffee, my brain was analyzing what had happened, what I had felt in my week on a snowboard.
For just one week I had allowed myself joy, I had allowed myself to feel and this made my thoughts go crazy. On the bench I started to search for ways to calm down, to understand what was happening to me and I believed I had found the solution when I read about dopamine. At this time it made sense. I had enjoyed a huge rush of dopamine just a week before and it made sense to me that my the problems I was experiencing where caused by having to adjust to the lower levels of dopamine that come with a normal everyday life.
At this moment, I believed I was experiencing the effects of the junky devil inside me. I believed I just had to focus on the little good things surrounding me at that moment to get passed this experience of complete chaos and the feeling of being lost. I believed focussing on my work and enjoying the little things where all I needed to get back to my normal self, in my normal life.
Where it all started
Although I was kind of right in this moment, I was right about the dopamine levels fucking me up, I was right about having to focus on the little things that surrounded me, I was wrong about one thing. What I didn’t get in this moment, was why I was so confused after just one week of joy. I didn’t recognize that my life was too much without joy, for too long. This morning I did not realize that I had been living a live that was too hard, a life without any joy. I didn’t listen to myself, I didn’t listen to my feelings of sadness nor did I agree on feeling lost. What I did after this morning was working harder and longer, spend all the energy I had on the one thing I believed I was supposed to do.
And this is what broke me, this is why I found myself just a week later unable to do anything. In this moment I should have listened to my feelings, I should have slowed down and allowed myself to find true joy in my normal life. Instead I figured I would find joy, or least the feeling of being in control, by pushing harder, by trying to be better. I should have recognized the signs the devil was giving me.
And hopefully ends
But I didn’t. and now, almost two months later, I am far from being able to be at the bench where everything started. I have found a way to enjoy the little things in the life I live now, but this live is extremely far from this bench, completely disconnected from the life I had that morning. Today I wish I would be able to sit on this bench, I miss my office and the life that comes with it, but I know it will take a lot of time before I will be able to get there again.
Little Joy was a good moment as well as a bad one, a moment I will remember clearly for years because it was the start of something that will turn me into a better person. I just hope that one day not too far away, I will be able to return to my office. To return to the bench with a cup of coffee in my hand, able to enjoy the little things around me is my goal for now, but this time I will listen to my feelings, I will allow myself to feel, I will be open.