At points this week I have been feeling really flat. Not low or depressed; just feeling like I don’t really care enough about the hum-drum of another day in captivity to be either up nor down in mood.
With a history of depression and anxiety it can be easy to over analyse this state as soon as it comes up, conflating the validity of apathy and boredom during lockdown with worries about the onset of a new depressive episode.
It is true that a symptom of depression can be not getting enjoyment out of the little things in life in the same way anymore.
However, a pause to check in with my body rather than just allowing my thinking side to dominate tells me that that isn’t what is going on here – my thoughts aren’t in free-fall and my breathing is steady.
A relief, of sorts.
Could it be that…I AM ACTUALLY JUST BORED????
Over the last year, I have taken the opportunity to indulge in some personal development, attending a local “new moon” women’s meditation group (online).
This group meets monthly, symbolically, to coincide with the lunar phases. So this month was Capricorn and the keywords we were asked to think about in advance were “confidence” “resourcefulness” “caution” “self-love” “dependability” and “ambition” amongst others associated with this Earth sign.
I joined this group for a few reasons. Firstly, it is a two hour commitment per month that I feel is time well spent. The format is an opportunity to meditate, journal and speak to a small and diverse group of women about how life is going.
The speaking bit is the central aspect of the evening and each participant takes the floor to talk. No one interrupts, comments or offers advice. We hold space for the speaker without judgement. It is simply a chance to get things off one’s chest out loud and to provide a listening ear to everyone else. It is very common for there to stories told through tears.
In truth, I don’t often have much to say of significance; good, bad, nor terribly coherent. But for me it matters that I can say at the start to the group that I don’t like public speaking, or talking about myself to anyone – it makes me feel nervous and vulnerable – and know I am safe and free within the circle to do just that, my way.
Once I start to talk, I relax a bit and sometimes surprise myself with what pours out. This is outside my comfort zone, yet it feels so healthy to let the words run away from me.
So on Friday night I talked about this feeling flat. How I’m struggling to care that everyone is worried about kids’ being home schooled, how I’m not that bothered how long it goes on for, or what the neighbours are doing or not doing to comply with the rules. How I don’t care that I don’t feel guilty or worried about admitting this.
As we meditated to close the session we were asked to see if a message came up for us to move forward with. The first words that came to me were a loud and clear “be patient.” This is a perfect mantra for me right now.
Reflecting, I think my boredom confession has helped. I think it has allowed me to see that I am actually more at peace with the pandemic than I realised. I have accepted lockdown as an “it is what it is” despite all the terrible and terrifying rolling news we are bombarded with from all angles.
The emergence of a “be patient” mantra feels like a home run, albeit still a long and challenging one – a test of holding my nerve through this boredom and apathy. I feel stronger now that I know what I have to do.
And you know what. After we closed the circle I felt so rejuvenated and empowered that I set my alarm clock for 6am Saturday.
By 9am I had finished completing my tax return AND submitted a voice clip for a job I’m up for (who would have thought!)
Not a bad end result for a bored, demotivated week.
Lesson: meditation, using my voice and speaking in witness of others helps me to learn my truth and unlock the door to the solution.
Tell me, how are you feeling today?