Emotional Detox, and…Pillows?

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Each night after work this week, I’ve come home and immediately taken a brief nap to be able to get through the rest of the evening – only about three remaining hours on a regular day. I’ve read that this type of rest is a common practice for some HSPs (retiring to a dark, quiet room to recharge from the onslaught of stimulation throughout the day), but up until this past week I had never required an evening retreat.

Pillows became a strange focus.

A pretty set of velvet plush pillows caught my eye while out shopping last weekend. The soothing blue and silver colors and the mandala patterns printed on them looked so serene and comforting. I snatched them off the shelf and bought them and have slept on them all week when I’m recharging. Almost everywhere I’ve been this week I’ve been like a radar for pillows.

I took a hiatus from social media to reduce the noise and hone in on my intuition.

Soon I began noticing unusual body aches, irritability, tension headaches and spontaneous crying jags. Even for me, HSP and admitted easy crier, these tears were edging the border between normal and extreme. I was starting to worry myself, and despite knowing deep down I should have faith that whatever was happening should be happening, I judged my emotions pretty harshly. I felt like a victim of my own emotional reactivity, and nobody gets far in victim status.

I slept for twelve hours last night and still felt ‘off’ this morning.

I upheld my normal Sunday routine this morning, clinging to the creature comfort of ritual. Made coffee, took care of the fellas (my two dogs), got some food going in the slow cooker and exercised. Despite feeling a little more positive because I was accomplishing necessary tasks, I still felt frustrated and snappish. This afternoon, as I was considering monetizing this weird-ass state I was in, like maybe some Incredible Weeping Woman tourist attraction, it finally hit me.

It’s a massive emotional detox.

In preparation for running my own successful freelance writing business, I’ve steadily done the work of excavating deeply buried toxic beliefs about who I am and what I can accomplish in this world. My conclusion is that the past week of rapid-cycling emotional intensity followed by exhaustion has been a purge.  I had been warned there would be some discomfort during this self-exploration, but holy guacamole did I underestimate the potential level of that discomfort. I’m not going to lie, it’s been horrible.

Pillow explanation: a subconscious attempt to be surrounded with softness and comfort while coping with a decidedly UNcomfortable emotional deluge. 

Luckily detox doesn’t last forever; it runs its course and you’re all the better for it. It’s not happening to me, it’s happening for me (crappy victim feeling? Bye, Felicia!) And now that I can see there will be an end to this phase, whenever it might be, I feel more open to letting the emotions come and pass through me with less judgment and fear. Despite knowing that not everything we experience in life can be labeled, it is a relief to be able to identify this particular experience, and know that it won’t go on indefinitely. I can see the silver lining!

Even when it seems impossible, trust is so important.

Trusting my intuition to take me through this process the way that will serve me best is crucial, and I won’t always know how that might look. It would be such a waste to shut down an opportunity to better myself simply because it didn’t come in the package I was expecting.

Moral of the story: buy the damn pillows.

3 Comments

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  1. Kacey, I love the way you write. You have a way making every sentence count. I admire your willingness to dig deep, even when your mind is urging retreat. I’ve been trying to work on myself, too, and for all my talk I wonder if I’m letting myself off the hook by skimming the surface. Kudos to you for doing the hard work. I don’t know you, but you seem to have an inner strength. It’s gotten you this far. Hold on to it. You can do it. Don’t give up. Keep sharing, because it’s helping others (me included). And, yes, I’m glad you got the pillows, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kari, this means so much to me. Thank you! I’ve been a big fan of your blog and writing since I first subscribed a month or so ago. Your post titles are so articulate but catchy- it can be difficult to strike that balance, at least for me. Your ‘Momentum’ post discussing contributing to Medium to gain more practice and hone your skills is the stuff success is made of. Interestingly, I wonder if I spend too much time on the thought work, and not enough on the writing itself. You help me remember to check in and stay focused on the act of writing. I’m glad we’ve connected here! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you said it best in your post — it’s about trusting yourself and the process and working it all through. We’re all different, and you know yourself best. Life is a long haul journey, and the work you’re doing on yourself now will pay off beautifully down the line. I’m glad we’ve connected, too!

        Liked by 1 person

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