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Monocycle: Episode 51
Feeling Stuck
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I know I sound like a broken record when every time a new episode of Monocycle is released my knee-jerk intro reads, “Sorry I stopped recording.” It makes me feel like a vlogger who hasn’t signed on in a couple of days. I’ve been trying to understand why I’m so reluctant to records new episodes as of late — because that’s really what it is: reluctance.

I’m busy, yes, but almost always prioritize producing content over the other stuff that falls into and out of my plate. I think about Monocycle and how I’ve abandoned/betrayed it and get kind of anxious, but I think it’s because I’m not thinking any new thoughts — it’s all one-note. I was working on a story about self-care last week and realized that all of my personal essays over the past two months have been about how to make myself happy/comfortable/better. It’s the same story over and over hiding behind various pegs (hypnosis, the Thought Process series, etc).

It sounds scary as hell because when nothing is new, nothing is changing either, and when nothing is changing, you’re stuck. And being stuck is painful. But I see the metaphor like this: I’ve been clutching a wall near the bottom of an emotional pit called rock-bottom for the past four months and have been trying so hard to crawl out when what I really need to do is just let myself fall, chill down there for a minute, and then, once I’ve relaxed, start trying to get out.

Or something like that.

So this episode is about why I’ve been quiet, but I guess it’s also about letting yourself feel how you feel and be how you are (isn’t it always?) and not getting so frustrated when you’re not where you thought you would be (see what I mean about the one-note thinking?).

Pls say you understand!

Related Stories:

The Thought Process of Being Negative

I Tried Hypnosis to Get Out of My Own Head

I Tried a Mood-Lifting Food Diet

The Baby I Lost, the Person I’m Finding

Welcome to Laugh it the Fuck Off Month

Monocycle is edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander. Logo illustration by Kelly Shami; Photo by Joseph Leombruno via Getty Images.

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  • me

    Dear little sis: We must be kindred spirits because I struggle with feeling stuck, too.

    So I, for one, never EVER get tired of your personal posts & podcasts re coping with life’s stress/melancholia. In truth, I always much prefer to read your thoughtful musings than the fluffy MR content re celebs or periods or whatever.

    Please dont stay away from writing for too long: Your words resonate and mean a lot. Stay strong, sister.

  • Maryam

    Thanks for being so transparent Leandra this podcast along with many of your recent posts has helped me get out of my own muck or at-least feel like I’m not alone in this. I hope you know that everything you’re feeling is gonna make sense in hindsight, there’s no way to go but up. For now, don’t be apologetic for being MIA and give yourself the space you deserve. Love and support all the way from Bahrain!

  • ivd

    most times, the simplest things ARE JUST SO NEEDED. i am so heartbroken over the end of a relationship, i feel so sad, and alone, more than anything disappointed that I AM STILL SO NOT OVER IT after two months. So thank you for reminding me, THATS OKAY.

  • M

    Thank you so much for sharing this !! I’ve been in situations where something has happened to me and it takes over my life, and it’s in all my conversations with the people around me and the first and last thing I think of every day. But it will pass!! 🙂 Please don’t take too long from writing about !!

  • Kristin

    I think we have all been stuck. And it’s ok to not have enough distance from it to have turned it into your own several months of magical thinking/ eat pray love/ other revelation.

  • Erin

    Leandra,

    I have followed you since you began your career and, while I love your vulnerability and willingness and ability to be who you are in this world, I also sympathize with so much of what you have been going through. It sucks so much to feel stuck in a difficult place and not know how to get out. While I would never want to pretend to fully understand how you are feeling, I do want to suggest what worked for me, when I was facing a tremendously unhappy time in my life, and that is EMDR therapy. Find a therapist trained in EMDR who comes highly recommended and go do it. Go right now. It works very fast, in my experience, and can help our minds/bodies resolve difficult experiences, trauma – which losing a pregnancy certainly is – and negative cognitions. It changed my life.

    I would also suggest you check out Edwin Friedman’s book, A Failure of Nerve. (At first it looks like a gimmicky “leadership” book, but it is not that at all. It is about true leadership in every dimension of our lives, including, and most important, leadership of ourselves.) He was a rabbi, therapist, and someone who understood human relationships and systems in a way that is truly groundbreaking. He discusses the process of our emotional evolution and knowing what I know of you from reading you for a while now, I think it would be something that would impact you positively.

    I hope these might help with what you are going through. And in the meantime know that what you are offering the world is a great service. And there is a whole community out here who can’t wait to see how you continue to become and express the beautiful person you are.

  • Amy Mills

    Leandra,

    we understand!

  • Ariana Ost Haber

    Hi Leandra, was nice meeting you at shul on purim. Listening to your podcasts on my walks to work make me feel like I am on the phone with an old friend. I love your candor and vulnerability. I am sorry you are having such a hard time these days. Everything is temporary this is a moment in time that will pass. Grief and loss stay in your heart forever but what you do with those sentiments and how you rise above them is what DEFINES you. Let this be your defining moment. I have been through loss and many life changes at a young age different than yours but we all have our own story. Keep speaking and maybe have some guests on the show to talk through this with you. Bring someone who knows how to make you laugh and dig deep like family and close friends. Would be fun to hear your interactions to get you back on the road on your monocycle and life path. Ariana Ost

  • Serena

    I understand Leandra, I’m stuck too. Take a breather <3

  • joan

    listening now. i think sometimes it’s okay to not know what to say! also i’ve seen you a bunch of times at new york pilates and always inwardly geek out because i love your writing but didn’t want to be weird and say hi…so being weirder and saying hi here 🙂

  • Ahhhhh shit. Yes, My Friend. I feel your pain regarding the past 4 months. I personally call it ‘The Blueness’ and finally, at the age of 38 did manage to work out that it’ll pass one way or another and you simply have to ride the storm. Calm waters are close by.
    Acknowledging that you’ve hit rock bottom and you have to stay there for a bit is a large part of it, so thats a positive. Do things you love and that make you feel safe, even if they’re deemed lazy or indulgent, {Mine is sleeping and lying in my sisters bed while she potters around you} eat well, treat yourself and take a break from the expectations of life.
    Keep that pecker up my friend, it may be small at the moment but it’s perfectly formed.
    xxx

  • Joanna

    Leandra I miscarried same time as you , and went on to have another early miscarriage three weeks ago. I feel so stuck in the same feelings of grief,anger,jealousy , and sadness. Especially as our due dates are approaching . Hang on. You’ll get through this. That’s what I keep telling myself too. Some days are harder then others

  • poppyoona

    Hi Leandra! I can’t speak on a miscarriage, as I have never had one. But I can speak on insecurity, sitting with shit, and mourning. I, too have a lot of really fantastic shit going on in my life. I also seem to be on a never ending slip and slide of shit that I can’t get off of. That slip and slide isn’t any fun, and it serves me no purpose. I didn’t come to that conclusion overnight, it took over a year, therapy, and essentially cutting my parents (toxic) out of my life right after I gave birth to their only grandchild. Fuck.

    My therapist tells me to mourn certain things in my life, which seem very abstract and I’m not even sure I’m doing it right, but hey, I feel better now than I did a month ago, and so on.

    Yesterday my eyes were opened to something that I suffer from, shame and vulnerability. The eye opener goes by the name of BRENE BROWN. She has two TedTALKS that I, in my unprofessional opinion would recommend you check out.

    Even if you don’t watch them, just know that your audience isn’t sick of you, or your ability to overshare. I find it comforting, and often times your words resonate with me. It’s not just the style, or tone, its what you have to say and the fact that you work out your emotions verbally, which can sometimes feel like a long and winding road.

    I’m sorry you’ve had problems having a child, but keep in mind, the work you’re doing on yourself now, because of this, will make you that much better of a parent when the time comes.

    Keep smiling, and take good care.

  • Andrea

    Thank you Leandra- I love listening to you no matter what the topic is. In case no one has ever mentioned it to you before -it always help to share your process with others and I feel this is what you have been doing not necessarily stuck. Like others here have mentioned – the good thing is everything is temporary. Wish you all the best – sending you light and lots of love from Honduras!

  • Antoinette

    So stuck as well, and my sky has fallen, and I have no babies after years of trying, and it consumes my waking thoughts and, troubles my dreams, so I understand. Take the time you need and do whatever it takes to make yourself feel ok again. Love and light.

  • Francine S

    Your attitude tight now is amazing. Feel how you feel. It is so important to understand what you need and that only you can give yourself that. You come before everything else. Get to know you and get to love you.
    Check out https://www.saritaszerer.com for i incredible fertility and infertility coaching.
    We are all rooting for you.

  • Lynn

    I understand your plan to not record any personal stories for the time being. However, I’m going to miss them. There have been many times I rode my bike to work, listening to your podcast and crying the whole ride because I felt your pain. I’m in a similar situation, although everyone’s shit is different.

    I listened to your podcast about your lost pregnancy a day after hearing the news my pregnancy was just a chemical one and it was such a comfort to hear I’m not alone (I’m tearing up just writing this…damn hormones, am I right?).

    You’ve provided me with comfort, interesting ideas to ponder and the realisation that my infertility is not the thing that should define me. You’ve made me realise a lot of small things that have been truly helpful.

    From the bottom of my heart, I hope your dream (and mine) may come true very soon, so we can start climbing back out of this dreadful pit we’re in. I’m happy to know we weren’t alone down there. Lots of love and courage.

  • Veronica Wilkins

    LeandraaaaaAAaaaAaa,

    As humans (and especially as controller-type humans) we have this insatiable need to have an answer, to make sense of everything, to label it, slap a title on it and call it “sad”. We MUST obtain control over our own knowledge. The fun, yet challenging, part is releasing the desire and need for the comfort that comes with control.

    Can you give yourself permission to feel the feels without labeling them? And when you give the go-ahead, tell yourself that you look fantastic feeling feelings without titles!

  • Áine Hegarty

    I’m sorry things have been such a bummer for you lately. It won’t last forever.

  • Anna

    I think the joke is funny! please keep doing it!
    And as you mentioned in your previous podcasts and what you said you might not completely agree with anymore – keep doing you! If not for anything more than a selfish fan, I thoroughly enjoy your outlook and attitude (even when they are a bit more solemn) Sorry you’re going through a time, goodluck!