This was an email I wrote to a friend who was having trouble processing difficult/overwhelming feelings. As an adhd person, emotional regulation is very difficult. I developed this weird way of helping myself through rough patches:
Ok, first of all, I know this is crazy.
Don’t think less of me, but this totally works for me for a lot of reasons.
When I am having a feeling that is “negative” – I’m sad or lonely or angry or disappointed…for me, I feel it in the pit of my stomach. I will visualize I’m “gestating the <feeling inserted here> baby.”
Let’s say I’m sad, for example:
I will visualize a baby in my womb. It is a “sad baby.” And I am surrounding it with love, comfort, care, and creating a safe space for it to stay and gestate as long as it needs to. Babies, for the most part only come out when they decide they are ready. Babies, are not US, they are temporarily residing in us. We carry them around, day and night, a safe space for them as long as they need it. We don’t overly identify with the baby we carry. We don’t think we are carrying ourselves. However we overly identify with our feeling. “I AM sad.” “I AM mad.” When we are pregnant we ratchet up the self-care. We feed ourselves healthy food. We get plenty of sleep. We avoid things that are not good for our baby. If you visualize you are gestating this sad baby, lonely baby, angry baby, jealous baby, anxious baby…you are taking responsibility for it, and do so by caring for yourself at a very very high level. You are gentle with yourself. Gestating a baby is hard work. I will hold my belly as if there is a baby in there. I will talk to it. “I’ve got you. Stay as long as you like. I’m surrounding you with love.”
This TOTALLY works with fear babies, too. Fear of the unknown is huge. Fear babies are especially in need of a safe womb to gestate in.
Break out the pickles and ice cream!