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Your Internal Roommate Part 2    

Your Internal Roommate Part 2

Artwork By Clare Davidovich

BY MEADOWLARK MONAGHAN

This is a continuation of my explanation of the little voice inside your head. If you haven’t read that yet, go check it out here

Anyway, let’s keep going; shall we? 

At a time where there is a lot of fear and anxiety floating around, and a lot of people not used to being stuck inside all day, it’s easy to get caught up in your head and start to believe your internal chatter to be true. Once you give yourself permission to step back from that, you can start having a more peaceful time in whatever situation you are in. 

But, like all self work, and many of the things we talk about, this takes practice! 

As I mentioned before, it’s typically easiest to notice “whoa, that’s a lot of talking” when you’re showering or, as I most recently discovered just last night, while you are trying to fall asleep. I’ve heard that creatives can have a harder time falling asleep because the second your head hits that pillow and you give yourself permission to relax, the creative juices come effortlessly without external distractions (like social comparisons or negative self talk while scrolling your instagram feed.) 

Well, as I was trying to fall asleep last night and I started thinking about future pieces to write about, a new bedtime thought popped into my mind: “Dang, that is a lot of talking.” No judgement internal roommate, just noting! 

And viola! That is half the battle my friends. Simple awareness. No need to judge or project or force a change to happen, since we know change can’t come about that way anyway. Your job is to simply notice and acknowledge that’s not you, just your internal roommate. From there, you can just sit back, relax, and notice the thoughts drift on by.

Art by Clare Davidovich

If you want to go even further into self work though, let’s go there. 

Once you grapple with this understanding, you can try to dissociate from your internal voice a bit more through things like getting into flow state or meditating. In fact, ever since reading Singer’s book, when I meditate I visualize taking the perspective of my true self: sitting far back in my consciousness, observing all these thoughts go past me. Truly! That’s how I try to get in the meditation zone nowadays. 

I will say, while we can try to add more mindfulness and awareness in, you can’t exactly push your thoughts out

Let me clarify. Say you are going to practice this with a mindfulness exercise. You are meditating on that backseat perspective, trying to hone into a deeper level of consciousness when POP! Up comes the thought, “I’m almost out of coffee, my local shop is closed, I’m going to have to brave social distancing at Trader Joe’s.” As quick as the thought popped into your mind, you now tell yourself “Shush! I’m trying to meditate right now. Focus on the higher self.” 

Ever notice that while you’re trying to push that coffee thought out of your mind, suddenly without your awareness, you’re now making an entire grocery list in your head?

Trying to push thoughts down takes a lot of energy. Especially when they are not healthy or happy thoughts. 

That’s right, I’m saying what we don’t want to hear. The more you ignore and push away that negative self talk, thought patterns, or unprocessed trauma, the more and more energy it’s going to take to keep it down there. As shitty and difficult as it may be, if you give yourself permission to feel, and to lean into those thoughts, accept them, process them, you can then let them go and move on by. 

Okay, I know that’s the BIG stuff but it is worth saying. If you’re not there and you’re back in the shower trying to notice your internal roommate, I am proud of you! But, if you’re in a place where you feel safe, supported, and you know you have tried and true coping mechanisms… now may be a nice time to do some deeper self work. If you don’t feel like you have the support resources and would like to find some new ones, check out our Get Help page to start finding some free, online ones.

Art by Clare Davidovich

All of us are learning still and some days are easier than others. But, if anything, chew on this for a while and see if it fits with you or not. If not, no worries! If it feels interesting, explore this theory for yourself and take what works for you from it and leave what doesn’t. 

We’re all here to forge our own paths of mental wellness and with this extra time inside, might as well have an internal check in. 

PS - Yesterday, my best friend named my internal roommate “Chatty Cathy”. I actually think it’s a really cool idea to name your internal roommate to help think about them as a separate entity from us! Comment below what your roommate’s name is ;)