“But it was in this moment, lying in bed late at night, that I first realized that the voice in my head—the running commentary that had dominated my field of consciousness since I could remember—was kind of an asshole.” ―
10% Happier by Dan Harris is his written response to a journey that began after an on-air panic attack. You may remember this:
This book is good. Really good. It takes us along with him as he attempts to find the answer to one solid quest, above all others: How do you get rid of those voices in your head?
Most of us have them… the voices, I mean. Many are able to put them aside and go throughout their days… for years and years.
If you have anxiety and/or depression, or any other in the myriad of mental health issues that feed the beast in your brain, you’ll know it is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar easier said, than done!
Harris says, rather tongue-in-cheek, that he has found the answer to being 10% happier, as if that’s a goal. It’s silly and lightens the mood, for sure. Because, as we who suffer know, this is a very serious subject, indeed. While I have not had a panic attack on television, I can name at least a dozen embarrassing moments, like…
The time my husband and I were meeting one of my online friends in person for the very first time. She and her husband were passing through town with her family. They’d rented a cottage at the lake, plans were made and consequently, one drizzly Sunday morning, we ended up there, planning to go for a late breakfast. When we got there, it was the first time I realized her whole family was there. She’d told us, I’m sure, but long-story-short, I freaked out. On the inside, I mean. I was hyperventilating and sweating… because, besides my husband, I knew none of these people except my one friend. I felt “on display” in front of strangers… and then, just as suddenly, the world turned black around me, whirling into (what felt like) a staged play for an audience of one – me. I was on the outside looking in, and then the inside, looking out, and then… and then… I had to get out!
I remember apologizing profusely, saying I was ill, which I was! As soon as I got in our car, I put a little pill the doctor gave me for just such occasions under my tongue. Then I leaned back. No kidding, it took twenty minutes to calm back down.
Afterwards, I wanted to crawl in a hole. I explained to her alone, in a private message, but… you know… it was embarrassing… for her, too, I’m sure. What must her family have thought about her online friend? That we’re all a bunch of weirdos, I’m sure!
Anyway, back to the book. It’s an excellent read, smart, interesting and helpful. He talks about where he searched for answers, and with whom. He talks religion and new-age gurus. He talks about so much good stuff.
But gotta tell ya… what he realized by the end… is, uh… uh…
Okay, it’s meditation.
Let me say, first… I think it’s great that he’s found his answer. Really, I do.
But I HATE meditation!
I first talked about it HERE. Then I tried to actually do it again and talked about it HERE. Then, I stopped talking about it. Oh, and DOING it.
Why? See sentence above. You know, the one with “hate” in the middle. In CAPS. Ugh.
Here’s the thing. I need it. I know I do. Reading this made me realize – AGAIN – that it’s really the only thing (besides a lobotomy) that might get that voice out of my head, at least for a little while.
And so… I’m gonna try again. How about you?
PS: And here’s a great website (featuring the author) about Meditation Basics.