Today is Halloween. When I was a kid I believed it was a day where all the ghosts, goblins, demons, & witches came out to play. Sounds silly but now living with my own demons I know it’s not just a once a year type feeling.
We all have our demons. If you don’t well then lucky you. And I mean that genuinely. The demons in my head, when I’m manic or even in a depressive state (so pretty much all the time), are loud and feel like they’re in the back of my head often.
I know they are not actual demons. In my case, they are intrusive thoughts that are ruminating and can honestly control my mind if I let them. They bring out the dark qualities that I feel guilty to share. Jealousy. Guilt. Blame. Hatred. Those thoughts are there.
There are certain people in my life that I used to resent deeply. I would think of past negative experiences with them & for the longest time was unable to forgive. I swear, it’s like I wanted to be unhappy. In order to forgive I had to let go.
There are only a few coping mechanisms I’ve learned to deal with my own demons. I still struggle. Feelings of doubt & disappointment still outweigh happiness at times. But here are a few ways to silence or at least try & temporarily mute the demons in our head:
I am the worst at being mindful. My thoughts are always racing from one thing to the next causing extreme anxiety. However, when I slow down & actually pay attention to what’s happening in the present, I notice a shift in my thinking. I’m so busy being in the moment & soaking up these future memories that I don’t notice the dark thoughts.
-Try to meditate with breathing exercises
I never knew how to meditate. Previously, I had been in an outpatient rehab center where an hour of meditation was required during the day. I didn’t know how to just sit there and clear my head. Since then I have learned that simply focusing on your breathing helps with meditation. Inhale. Hold. Exhale.
While in the past it was hard for me to forgive people, I’ve noticed that practicing gratitude has helped with forgiveness. By focusing on what I’m thankful for, its helps disrupt the intrusive thoughts from ruminating.
As I wrap this up, I am looking forward to celebrating Halloween with my family. I’m going to practice mindfulness & truly enjoy this special holiday with them today. The witches & goblins might still come out tonight, but I know the demons in my head will be at bay.