Out of My Head

by Bill Brenner on September 27, 2012

Like anyone with a mental disorder like OCD, I spend a lot of time locked in my head. My thoughts will be on what I’m doing the next day or a year out. Or they’re in the past, replaying scenes from long ago. Last night I began the mission to get out of there.

Mood music:


It was the first night of my Stress Reduction and Mindfulness class. The instructor is my therapist, though the other students don’t know that. He tells me this is the first class to include one of his patients. I entered a room full of yoga mats, cushions and funny little benches that look like the kneelers they put in front of the coffin at wakes.

“Fuck,” I thought to myself. “Right out of the gate we’re doing yoga.” I’ve resisted doing yoga forever. I don’t have a good reason for that. I guess I think it will just bore me.

In the end, we used the mats for a lie-down exercise designed to make us aware of our bodies and what they’re doing and feeling. A couple people fell asleep.

We practiced eating mindfully, taking a single raisin and staring at it, rolling it in out hands and keeping it in our mouths for a while before swallowing.

We left with homework. Among other things, I have to eat an entire meal mindfully instead of scarfing it down per usual. I also have to take an activity I do almost daily and do it mindfully, taking note of every aspect of the activity as I proceed. For fun, I think I’ll try this while shaving my head.

I can stare at the razor and look at its detail, stop every time I cut myself and study the pattern of the blood dripping from my scalp before washing it off. I’ll take note of how the water feels when rinsing off the cut. I can note the difference between the feel of a clean razor and one that’s getting clogged with my stubble.

I could also practice my guitar mindfully, noting the feel of the strings and the sounds I get as I randomly launch chords from up and down the neck. I’ve already discovered that you can’t really play the guitar without being mindful of every step. I can’t, anyway.

The ultimate goal is to be able to pay attention to every detail when I’m talking to someone or doing any number of other daily tasks where my mind tends to drift.

This should be interesting.


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