How A Stranger Got Me Out Of My Big, Flat Gray

The difference between knowing your issues and owning them

Sonia Chauhan
Jan 27 · 4 min read
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Image by Self

I have been, let’s just say, going through a lot since 2021.

Yes, 2021.

2020 was strangely good. I was able to write a lot and cook a lot because, all this free time. My husband and I spent way too much time cuddling in front of the television while still being able to bring in a decent income.

Gratitude, 2020.

But towards the end of it though, horrible things happened. It was an old pattern/trigger of ‘familial drama’, something that plagues a lot of us. We know how to manage them. We store these dramas away, only to cry over them in private moments because, well, because how many times are you going to be hurt over the same issue?

Family toxicity is often swallowed down like accidental bubblegums. It’s happened , and now there’s no point speaking about it or even think of it. So, down they go, launched into our bodies unexplored, floating around organs, making home in some neglected corner of our large intestine or the colon.

Welcome constipation!

On a metaphysical level (Ahem, I belive in energy — feel free to differ) consipation is caused when we ‘are unable to let go’ or ‘cannot express our emotions’.

So, the constipation returned. By now I know my body’s conspicuous pattern when dealing with emotional trauma. I knew what was next.

It goes like:

  1. Constipation

The next one was insomnia, and sure enough, it got me. Like clockwork. After a full day of work, socializing and 16,777 steps, I lay in bed, praying to Michael Sealey to magically put me to sleep.

Then came what I call the ‘big, flat gray’. Think of a person floating over an endless gray ocean. Think of a listless afternoon fever. Think of the summer you got chicken pox.

The big, flat gray is a phase of my life where I succumb to the bitterness, resign to the external forces and spiral into nihilism. My face gets this dead-panned look and all my energy is either focused on getting from this moment to the next — I watch a lot of re-runs — or I find everything pointless.

It’s probably not so important what (all) happened with me to trigger the big, flat gray. What’s important is how our bodies began to suffer so we that we can heal from trauma that we deny mental space to. When we deny ourseles the time, energy or words to describe or experience what we felt, or how hurt we were because of something, we trap all this negative energy inside. And the body will find a way to release it.

So I spend two weeks like this. And then, another drama took place.

Earlier, in the first week of December, I had published a mental health course on Highbrow. Reparenting: Why and How You Should Do It? I finished it, and like much of my other work; I forgot about it.

A couple of weeks later, a stranger reached out to me on Facebook. He said, ‘Just Thank You.’

The stranger had taken the reparenting course and made copious notes on the concepts and strategies I’d discussed. He told me that he was grateful to me. Me, the woman who was stuck in the big, flat gray.

Instantly, I snapped out of something: quite possibly myself.

I was the big, flat gray.

We had a short conversation and he sent me the impressive take-away page that he’d made. This man, this stranger, had reached out to me from some part of the World and clicked his fingers in my ears.

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The Take-Away PAge Created By: Raffaele Vitale 🌋

In that moment, he was the Universe’s messenger: I needed to take my own advice.

One of the first courses that I had written on Highbrow (which remains my most popular courses of all times) was on Overcoming Mindless Negativity.

The real reason for writing this course was because I found myself stuck in the big, flat gray so often that it physically bothered me. I had done my research, worked on the strategies, written that brilliant course and forgotten about it.

I decided that it was time to toe my own line.

So, I took my own course. I applied the strategies (which can be found anywhere really — the trick is to jump from ‘knowing’ something good to ‘actually implementing’ it in your life). It took a tedious ten days but I finally pulled myself out of the big, flat gray.

Thank you, Raffaele Vitale 🌋 for being the Universe’s messenger.

P.S. Yes, I would recommend my own courses. Why the hell not?!

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Sonia Chauhan

Written by

I eat diamonds for breakfast. Lawyer. Writer. Popular Loner. Top Writer on Quora ~ 2016, 2018.

The Shadow

We publish inspiring stories about different topics for a productive and entertaining life

Sonia Chauhan

Written by

I eat diamonds for breakfast. Lawyer. Writer. Popular Loner. Top Writer on Quora ~ 2016, 2018.

The Shadow

We publish inspiring stories about different topics for a productive and entertaining life

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