Living with Erythrophobia

There’s a right time to face your negative thoughts – and it might not be right now

Do you ever feel like you don’t want to be alone with your thoughts?

I never used to have trouble being alone with myself. I enjoyed it. Often preferred it, in fact, to being with other people.

I was never afraid of being alone with my own thoughts. Or of feeling lonely. I never felt lonely with all the stories my imagination came up with. My thoughts were positive and helpful and exciting.

Nowadays, that is not a given.

They turn dark, sometimes. Anxious. Worried. They go round and round and round on the same track, again and again and again, and I can’t break out as the scenarios of horror repeat themselves. It’s exhausting and disheartening and, yes, depressing.

Sometimes, my thoughts are my own worst enemy.

I have to have the TV or radio on in the background, always, even when going to sleep, if I want to keep out of that spiral of despair; something to distract me from my own thoughts.

And I don’t like what that does to me. I don’t like myself when I’m in that mood. I don’t feel like myself.

I don’t like being afraid of being alone with my own thoughts.

The only thing I’ve found that helps me in those moments, is to distract myself. To force my mind to think of other things – the more I (usually) enjoy them, the better. Hanging out with close friends, going for a bike ride, reading an awesome book, cooking a proper meal… they all deflect my mind from my worries and roller coaster thoughts, like mirrors pointing at something shiny.

I know, we’re supposed to ‘deal with our problems’. And sooner or later, we all have to face whatever’s sending our thoughts down that negative spiral. But we face it on our terms, in our time, when we’re feeling strong enough. Not when they succeed in making us feel ever worse and small every time we peek in their direction.

I say it’s okay to distract yourself, to not deal with some things right now. That way, you can let the one thing that will truly help you get over whatever is making your thoughts crazy right now work its magic: time.

They tell us to always live in the here and now. That doesn’t mean we should let our worries take over our here and now.

2017-04-19_time for distraction

At least that’s what I’ve found works best for me. If I don’t push myself to be alone with my thoughts, I’m able to come back to them in a more productive mindset sooner than if I forced myself to confront them right this second. That usually backfires, since we are not unbrekable – and that’s okay, too.

So, the great, mindboggling take-away from this post is:

It’s okay to distract yourself when your negative thoughts are riding the merry-go-round inside your head and to not deal with your worries right now. 

They will either sort themselves out, or you will face them when you’re ready – and then you’ll be happy being alone with your thoughts again.

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