Sunday, January 15, 2012

A food coma does not constitute relaxation

I've two intentions for 2012. One of them is to learn to relax. I used to think that I knew how to relax as a child and then some traumas occurred and I forgot how or my need for hypervigilance took over and pushed the knowledge aside. But now I'm not so sure. Maybe I have never really known.

There are a number of things I want out of this intention. I want to sleep better, to let go when I sleep, to trust that I will be all right. I don't have a conscious sense of holding tension but I know that I do. It was one of the big reasons alcohol was so appealing. After a couple of drunks, something in me relaxed, let go, didn't worry so much, didn't have to pay attention, didn't have to be afraid. It was also why tranquilizers, like Valium, were dangerous for me. I loved that sense of physical ease.

Since I got sober, I've been trying to to find that sense of ease through eating. But I've come to the realization that the kind of food coma I go into isn't relaxation, not in a true sense. It is an emotional coma I go into, not a   physical state of well-being.

I don't seem to know how to do that on my own, find that state of well-being. For some reason, that may be related to physical hypervigilance, I have a lot of sore tissue in my arms and legs. This makes massage problematic as deep tissue work is too painful to be pleasurable. Exercise, which is relaxing to people, makes some difference but it creates more muscle tension as well.

I also want to stop giving over so much of my life energy to worry, whether conscious or habitual. I want to take it easy in all realms of my life and I am hopingthat  learning to relax can help me do that.

So I'm on a quest to find some things that relax me. Maybe a different look at meditation. Maybe a look at doing nothing. Maybe an attitude adjustment. I can see how this is also related to developing a wider sense of pleasure. I'm looking forward to learning.

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