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Day 10: Challenges

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Piscessoul1980, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Piscessoul1980

    Piscessoul1980 Newcomer

    Because my symptoms are not back and neck pain-related, as much as TMS makes sense to me, there is still a part of me that keeps saying “What if you don’t have TMS?” and “This is something different, what if you’re never going to get better?” My most burdensome syndrome is a debilitating brain fog/inability to think. My memory is basically shot, so I have a hard time retaining the information presented. And there’s a part of me that is always saying “You need to remember this for it to work.” So I definitely have a lot of cognitive dissonance going on.

    Journaling has been wonderful for me. When I choose a topic, often before I even start getting into it, within a sentence or two, I’m already crying. I’ve also been having some other realizations that develop from the journaling related to other memories and events, so there is connectivity. Before my symptoms started 4.5 years ago, and as a writer my whole life, I had always been a journaling enthusiast and very in touch with my feelings (or so I thought!).... then after my symptoms started I really shied away from writing and journaling. So it definitely feels good to be back into this.

    I think my struggle now is that when I’m done journaling, I feel like I need to continue to dwell on the emotions that came up (and the experience) to let them fully pass. It’s almost like I feel I must get over the emotions/experience right away... simply b/c I put them down on paper, I want them “gone.” However, I know that’s not the case, so I have even more cognitive dissonance and internal battles with myself around this.

    Would welcome any insight or suggestions on how to let myself “be” throughout this process.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great description of your process, great insights, and by the way, welcome, @Piscessoul1980!

    I guess the best thing I can tell you is to trust your own instincts, and to do what feels like the most loving and nurturing thing you can do for yourself in each moment. The process is so unique to each individual, that I can't say what that is - but I do know this for sure: it's your fearful primitive brain that's taken over and been in charge for the last 4-5 years, right? So your ultimate goal is to learn to listen to your inner dialogue, and to get a really good sense for when that primitive fearful part of you is trying to run the show. And fight back with self-love and compassion, and with logic to counteract the fear.

    There really is no one way to do this work as long as you are doing it with complete self-honesty.

    I think that so-called "journaling" is invaluable - I am finally (FINALLY!) getting in the habit of just writing for at least 10 minutes every night, simply letting my thoughts empty out onto a piece of paper - and it has REALLY improved my sense of well-being the next morning.

    The reason I put "journaling" in quotes is because I don't use a nice journal, I just use old notebook paper - and as soon as each piece of paper is filled up on both sides, I throw it in the recycling (if I lived with someone, I might shred or burn it, or put it into the compost bucket, LOL). This is what many people define as journaling, but according to Nicole Sachs and a number of recent articles about the value of writing shit down, you do NOT need to keep what you write, because there is simply no need to look at it ever again. The important and positive effect on your brain is achieved by putting your thoughts into a coherent enough form that you can get words onto a piece of paper (or onto a computer screen - which is what Nicole Sachs does, and her whole practice has evolved around her concept of "JournalSpeak").

    A lot of people insist that they can't journal, or that it doesn't do anything for them, but I believe that their real problem is that their brains are inhibiting them, not allowing them to be honest enough to really put down something that might expose negative repressed emotions. Perhaps letting those people know that their writing can be immediately destroyed will help, so I'm taking every opportunity to say so!

    Anyway, to get back to your concern, Piscessoul :p I don't think see how it could possibly hurt to experiment with this desire to dwell on the emotions that come up during journaling. Just be mindful of what your brain might be getting out of it - if it's allowing you to remain negative and fearful, that's something you can examine and work on.

    Keep us posted!

    ssxl4000 likes this.
  3. Piscessoul1980

    Piscessoul1980 Newcomer

    Thank you for the thoughtful note, Jan! I like your idea of letting myself dwell and seeing what happens..
  4. ssxl4000

    ssxl4000 Well known member

    I agree with Jan. Dealing with these emotions is almost like dealing with grief from tragic loss. It just takes time, especially if you were bottling up the emotions for a long time. If you feel ready to move on, do it. If you don't, then that's fine too. Certainly, if you feel at some point the "dwelling" is negatively affecting you, start taking some steps to consciously remind yourself that it's okay to feel whatever difficult emotions are brewing in you--the self love and compassion Jan spoke of. Try to remind yourself to live in the present, forgive past mistakes (yours or others'), and try to let go of fear/worry about the future. Present-mindedness really is great for dealing with stress, especially that brought up by past events. Keep up the good work!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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