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  • tessmartinelli

I have been meditating (almost) every day for two months and I still hate it.

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

It takes about 66 days to form a habit, and here I am, right on the crux of it, and I am hardly meandering into the realm of habituation. Writing this makes me feel like a jaded, pessimistic fool who finds pleasure in the antagonization of science; but, I am aware that my anger is misguided. I am honestly just frustrated that I haven’t reaped the benefits that are so flagrantly flaunted on social media. I feel like I’m getting ahead of myself so I will describe a typical meditation session.

I sit at the edge of my bed: shouldered dropped, breath deepened, and psyche surrendered. I focus on my pattern of breathing while taking note of the physical sensations throughout my body. A few seconds in, my brain wanders to unpleasant thoughts. A cyclone of past blunders, future concerns, and present to-do lists whirl through my mind without a tinge of hesitation. Now, I know that I am human and this is inevitable. So, I sit with the thoughts, acknowledge them, feel the sensations they conjure up, and gently return to my breath. This cycle continues and I try my best to simply watch the broken record instead of fixing it. But, after a while, it becomes exhausting to observe the ecosystem of my mind.

I often end sessions feeling disoriented and a bit upset. In the beginning, I told myself that this was a normal reaction to such a stimulation detox. I remained optimistic that my meditation skills would grow stronger and I would be able to calm my nervous system through small installments of mindfulness. However, two months later, I still leave each session feeling dimmer than before.

Part of my gripe with meditation is that it is touted as a scientifically proven way to ease anxieties and improve quality of life. It’s incredibly simple, and it's certainly not magic, but therapists, spiritual leaders, and overworked mothers alike swear by its restorative properties. I absolutely believe it, and trust me, I am not immune to the relaxing effect of a few deep breaths. However, I can’t help but feel as though there is something wrong with my mind. Now, I know that this is untrue and it is my ego’s way of trying to keep me from growing or changing. The brain is multiplicitous and works in tricky ways to keep you safe. But, I would love to trick my brain for once.

One important note is that I have chronic Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder (DPDR), a condition that makes me feel as though I am outside of my body. I really began my meditation journey to help ease these symptoms. But, so far, all it has done is spawn and exacerbate the issue.

I didn’t plan to write this as an attack on meditation. In fact, I would encourage everyone to engage in moments of mindfulness, whether that is while walking to class, making dinner, or in bed at night. I will continue to meditate everyday because I believe in its benefits and I want to gain a deeper sense of awareness. And, right now, the biggest hurdle in that journey is going to be removing judgment from the equation. Meditation is not sending me into a transcendental altered reality, but it is challenging me to acknowledge and accept my current state, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. So, yeah, for right now, I’m mad. But, I’m learning as I go and I’m challenging myself to find neutrality in the present.


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