As I sat down to write this post, my first thought was ‘I cannot keep blathering on about how miserable I am.’ I attempted to think of a cheery topic that I could breeze through, but it hit me that this is supposed to be a blog about my spiritual journey meaning I have to be as honest about the downs as I do the ups.
And that feels terribly exposing. People I know read this blog and I have had a flurry of sweet messages, offers of listening ears and even a spa trip. It’s really lovely of everyone to be so thoughtful, but actually I just want to run away and hide (don’t worry, I will be taking the spa break!). I’m used to masking my feelings with humour, but that would make a mockery of this blog.
I have slipped further into the pit of despond. It’s pitch black in here and honestly, don’t ask me out for a coffee because you won’t want to hang out in this place with me. I am supposed to be a person of words, but I can’t name this feeling. It is as if all the dark and negative emotions I have ever felt have mixed together to form some sort of unctuous inky goo that has invaded every corner of me.
What helps? Well, I’ve done some work today and that did alleviate the gloom. I’ve realised it’s the spaces in-between activity that are tough, which is a shame as I’m supposedly spending 24 whole hours in silence tomorrow with absolutely nothing to fill the time.
I might be consumed by the black goo and come out the other side. That would be nice. I could return home on Tuesday feeling exactly the same or God forbid, I might even feel worse. That doesn’t bear thinking about, so I am not even going to entertain the idea past this paragraph.
I am nauseous and ironically, after telling my Rolfing lady yesterday that I haven’t had a headache for ages, it feels as if my head is in a vice.
The answer could lie in something that my spiritual mentor Marion talked about last weekend at our group session – the Enneagram personality types. The population is supposedly divided into nine personality types and it struck me that I am a 7. This is the ‘busy, variety-seeking type.’ Us sevens are playful high-spirited and practical but we are also impatient and impulsive. Our big problem is that we are out of touch with our inner-guidance and essential nature. What we can’t tolerate well is down time. Doing nothing. Standing still. That’s me alright.
When we get seriously out of control, we can become hardened and insensitive, prone to erratic mood swings and panic-stricken and when things are really bad, we can be swamped in despair and become self-destructive. Sevens are often histrionic and Bipolar. They are also the most likely to be addicted to stimulants – in my case this is coffee and sugar, which I guess is better than drugs and alcohol, certainly cheaper. I am in good company as Russell Brand, George Clooney and Galileo are also sevens.
So yes, the point of all this? Today I am a 7 who has hit the buffers. How do I claw my way back? According to the Enneagram Institute, I do this by appreciating silence and solitude and learning to live with less external stimulation (I really don’t know how I got through life before Netflix). Perhaps then, tomorrow’s 24-hour silence is EXACTLY what I need.
I won’t be blogging while I’m with the nuns, but I’ll get back to you on Tuesday to let you know how I got on. Amen.