Mind racing, head spinning, I can’t sleep. I lay there in bed regretting the day gone, dreading the day to come. Sleep is a gift I have not been given this night. Sleep is a mercy, an escape but tonight I stay in a prison of my own creation.
I search for the darkness to consume me and relieve me of my thoughts, but I get pulled back to the disappointment of the day that has gone. I’ve been in a trance all day; focus is sporadic, joy non-existent.
I’m in a state of limbo, where my future is uncertain. I slipped into the all too familiar pattern of distractions. Starting a new game or continuing with a newfound hobby all seem to tiresome to me, so I give in and watch TV; mind numbing TV.
I’m paralysed in the moment, unable to move forward or backwards as I no longer know what the route ahead of me is. In the next few weeks I will find out if I have gotten my dream job. In the next few weeks I’ll find out if I have to begin the job search hunt again.
Being in limbo is something I have never recognised as having a big impact on me, until now. I am struggling to keep with my routines, with exercising regularly, with making time for my hobbies and for finding time to relax. This is because my whole world, right now, is focused around my future. The days drift by me, like unwelcome clouds in the sky concealing the sun. I can see the light in the distance, but right now I’m in shade; I’m in the unknown.
I want to look around me and acknowledge grass on my feet, the wind on my skin, the cat pawing at me who wants an early dinner. Instead, I stay fixated on the sky, worrying that if I lose sight of the sun, I won’t find it again. I am not living, I am existing.
But then my head kicks in:
“You’ve been here before Lisa; you know you shouldn’t distract yourself. You know you need to begin to plan your days again to add some structure, some certainty.”
I take my eye off the sky for a second, but panic and look back up again.
“Trust yourself, you’ve spent countless days looking at that sky but it’s only when you stop looking and focus on the present that the sun comes out.”
Reluctantly, I look away and take a moment to acknowledge my surroundings. I feel scared, I can feel my thoughts returning but I resist the urge to look back up again. It’s dark around me, colourless. However, when I take a second to just be in the moment, I see a glimmer of colour trickle in.
Being in limbo is tough, whether you’re waiting to find out about a new job, your exam results, if the person you like likes you back… it’s easy to surround yourself with distractions and take your mind off the problem. You may feel okay whilst you’re distracted, but as soon as the distraction isn’t there anymore you feel low.
In these times, it’s important to stop yourself from defaulting to numbing yourself to how you feel. It’s important to stop gazing up and start looking at what’s around you, what opportunities you have that day because they’re there. Whether it be reading that book you’ve wanted to start for a while, taxing your car that’s due to run out next week and has been bothering you or writing a blog post.
It’s important to take a moment to be mindful, that is to take a moment to appreciate, without judgement, what is around you. To quieten those concerns in your head and take a moment for yourself.
For me, that moment of silence and not rushing into my next mind-numbing activity helped me to recognise that I need something certain in my life right now. I need some structure, so I can be certain about what is going to happen in my day. Drifting through the day without a plan so far has left me susceptible to distracting myself playing games. Distracting myself with games means I’m not progressing forward which makes me feel unhappy, so I then can’t enjoy things I would usually enjoy.
Recognise when you are distracting yourself from your reality, it may take you a few days, maybe even months, to do anything about it but it’s important you recognise you are doing it.
Try to take away those distractions and let yourself be in the moment. Don’t be discouraged if you find it too difficult initially and go back to distracting yourself. It’s difficult to break a habit. Acknowledge how you feel and don’t forget it, one day you will have had enough of distracting yourself and those feelings of disappointment and regret will help you break the cycle.
When you take a moment for yourself, it’s okay to feel scared or unsure of what to do next. You’ll work it out. You may find some peace in the moment or you may not be there yet. Keep persevering. Don’t be discouraged if you’re still at the start of your journey with this, you will get there.
The sun will come out again, trust yourself.