Can Silence Improve Mental Health?
I have been terrified that if I have a moment when my brain is not distracted, I will become consumed by all that is wrong with me. To that end, I have religiously employed as many ways to stay distracted as I possibly can.
I have my television on all the time. Even when I am engaged in complicated readings for my college classes, I’m able to look up and connect to my TV. I’ve made it easier to do this by doing my school work on two TV-trays that I have my laptop and notebooks on in front of my sofa and my TV. I eat my meals there too.
When I walk my dog, I run my workout app on my phone and listen to podcasts or audiobooks via earphone.
Driving in my car, I do the same things as I do when I’m walking, minus the earphones.
When I’m doing housework, I ask Alexa to play classical or country music or songs from artists like Pink, Katy Perry, Lindsey Stirling, Bond, and others.
When I’m doing my “best” to write the all-important papers, short stories, and essays for school, I have the TV on, and I’m parked in front of it… on my semi-comfortable sofa, using my TV trays… I’m keeping my mind full of junk and nonsense.
I’m Never Really Alone
My complete immersion into the labyrinth of digital media plays with far too many triggers that activate my mental illnesses. Bipolar (type 1) fires up igniting anxiety, depression, and mania. As deadlines loom closer and closer anxiety paralyzes my higher brain functions, and I watch TV, unable to focus. The Ritalin I take for ADHD seems ineffectual, even impotent. I don’t know why I still take it… for hope, I suppose.
Today I thought positive, even inspiring thoughts about myself and my future, for a few minutes. I smiled, and my anxiety began to be replaced by hope.
I turned off my TV. I sat in silence. My mind embraced the stimulation that the quite brought. I began to think.
I was thinking, in silence, and I loved it!
I recalled my productive manic times, and I realized I was being touched by the power those times brought.
I Can Think In Silence
I was thinking for myself – and the terrifying anxiety that had been stabbing me for days, as I struggled to find classes to take at the last minute subsided. I had been ready to give back my financial aid and get a job making minimum wage while waiting for my mind to explode.
But then, I came upon the silence, and it was beautiful, and I felt free. I felt astonishingly free.
I will nurture the silence and learn to be its companion. It will take time. I know this. Silence has broken through my anxiety when pills and talking could not.
I know I am not healed and that I will still suffer from all the horrors that my mental illnesses bring, but I have hope. I have learned that sometimes I can be surprised by the excitement and the inspiration that something small and unexpected can bring.
I have learned something new, and I am grateful for it.
Silence – my new obsession… except when I forget about it.
I’d like to invite you to comment on my ideas in this post in the comments section or email me directly. I’ve enjoyed hearing from some of you. Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m glad you dropped by.