I put a lot of stock in feelings. I can still remember how it felt to be a kid growing in a small, rural Ohio town. Things were slower. I wasn't hyperaware of how I was feeling. I just felt comfortable and that was good.
I remember what it felt to be in college. My first extended time away from home. Suddenly, not everything came easily to me anymore. I was challenged for the first time. And I responded by pushing through...white knuckle late nights...sleeping on the couch in the computer lab, becoming accustomed to chronic lack of sleep. But I still felt good. I was accomplishing what I wanted to accomplish.
I won't talk about the military here. That's when I pushed too far. When I realized I couldn't conquer just anything I want to solve or fix. I called my boss in the Air Force one morning to call off, and he asked me if I was ok. He said he could hear a despair in my voice. I remember when it was over, I slept from April until September, only waking up to eat and watch a few hours of TV. By the time I finally came home, I was a different person.
These days, I don't try to go back and retrace my steps to how I got here like I did when I wrote my memoir of mania. I just focus on how I feel. Until recently, I always felt overwhelmed, even when there was nothing going on. I could just sit and be anymore...not like when I was a kid in Wauseon, Ohio. Too much in my head. Too much constant anxiety.
To be truthful, meditation made me anxious too, at first. I wanted to know what I was supposed to see. What was the point of it? Sometime later, it started to make sense to me. I started to realize what it felt like to just be and to be connected. It was elusive at first, but I just keep going back to it. I realize that I am a driven person and projects will always be a huge part of who I am, but even those can be done mindfully