I haven't really talked about this much, but last week I went ahead and saw a therapist because some of my coping mechanisms were no longer, well, refilling my cope. With my anxiety getting away from me, I felt I needed more advice. It took me about two and a half months to get in to see her but it was worth it. She believes in a very goal-oriented practice and specializes in anxiety.
She recommended I take a crack at ACT therapy, which seemed like a good fit for me. She gave me some good suggestions and she asked me, when I said I used to meditate, why I had stopped.
"Because I'm not very good at it." I laughed awkwardly and backtracked about how I don't feel like I get very much out of it, throwing out something about intrusive thoughts and monkey mind. She recommended specific guided meditations to help with my insomnia and my reaction when I thought about it later was actually a bit of a scoff. Guided meditation? I haven't done that in years.
It's easy to get attached to a tool and learn to use it in stages, seeing each skill as more advanced or more correct than the previous ones. Somewhere along the way I got the idea in my head that the kinds of meditation that gave me benefits, like guided meditation and loving kindness meditation, were somehow "cheating" - valuable tools for other people, sure, but if I got benefits from them it must be too easy for me. I ran up against the wall of no-mind zen meditation, found it didn't do much for me at all, and decided that must be the thing I should put all my effort into. Because clearly it was harder, so it must be more worthwhile, too.
I finally put it together this morning and now that I'm putting it into words, I realize how silly it sounds. Why am I so good at making things harder for myself than necessary? Time to stop and re-evaluate.