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I took a month-long break from meditation. I had given myself the goal of doing 30 minutes each day for one month straight. When I started to slip, I noticed how disappointed I was getting with myself, so I just decided to lay off altogether. I was feeling pretty depressed when I was keeping up with meditation, and since I have a predisposition toward depression, I had to cut down on my expectations of myself, even if that meant sacrificing something as beneficial for the mind as meditation. 

My depression lifted. When I try to maintain one goal, I tack on a dozen others. Write every day. Exercise no matter what. Go vegetarian. Go to bed early. Play at least 30 min to an hour of each instrument each day. Add to all of that having to juggle school and work responsibilities and also considering I would take 20-30 minutes at a time each day to sit quietly in a separate room from my wife, I just had to ease up. Some of my favorite time spent with my wife is when we both get in bed and read. My escaping to meditate while she sat alone didn't make me feel very good. I was trying to do it both in the morning and at night. I'll strive for each morning for my next week, and if I really find it an opportune moment, I'll do it at night here and there, but I won't stress about it.

I hate to think meditation was partially what was dragging me down, and I know it was merely everything surrounding my sitting, but when you're a depressive guy and meditation makes you feel like you're placidly sinking down into quicksand, if you feel like you're beginning to do the opposite of helping yourself, you're going to panic, kick, struggle, and fight to find some other way out.

Posted: 5 years ago

Tagged: depression

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[deleted_user]4 years agoReply to this comment

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[deleted_user]4 years agoReply to this comment

Really interesting to read this, Charlie. Balancing "having goals" with "being gentle on ourselves" is really something to think about--for us too, as we work on designing Medivate.

Welcome back, and I hope meditation doesn't become any sort of burden this time! I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes for you.

fredclaymeyer5 years agoReply to this comment