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Negativity bias

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by AC45, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Hi TMS Community,

    We've all heard of the negativity bias - you become what you focus on. I've been journaling for 15 months and rereading the entries regularly (per Sarno's suggestions). I've gotten much better physically - while I still struggle with anxiety and insomnia.

    I'm having a hard time letting go of these entries over the last 15 months - even though I know in my heart of hearts that I should go forward with the insights but stop the rumination. I think it is better after that much time to move on and focus on the present and the future.

    It is hard. It is almost like I need to close my eyes and shred it all. I don't really want my family finding it later yet I am afraid I'll forget the insights or a I might need a list in case I do trauma therapy later. I almost wonder if hanging onto all of this stuff is keeping me stuck.

    Thanks for listening,
  2. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Hi TMS Community,

    Ok, maybe I just needed to read how I really felt. I shredded 15 months of journaling.

    It was really hard but when you keep going over the same stuff over and over you can get stuck in it.

    Thanks for listening,
    plum and Ines like this.
  3. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Good for you!
    AC45 likes this.
  4. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Thank you @Ines . I feel really good about it and really sad about it! All of those insights I uncovered about myself are now shredded. However, they were all intertwined with my past difficulties and at some point I felt like I had to move on to get back to the present. It is still hard though. I carried around my TMS books and journals like they were blankies. At some point you have to rip off the blankie but it is hard.
    Ellen and plum like this.
  5. thecomputer

    thecomputer Well known member

    Well done ac

    I really think youve done the healthy thing to let go of them.

    I personally feel that any real insights stay with you, even if you can't recall them consciously. I wouldn't worry that you've lost anything at all. You've probably gained a lot from letting it go
    Bodhigirl, AC45, Ellen and 1 other person like this.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I read your initial post yesterday and thought about suggesting you commit them to the fire. I have burned reams of journals. I have never regretted it. I agree with @robodelfy, you will have assimilated these insights and should you decide to enter therapy, it will be with the distillation and clarity of having sifted and sorted much in advance. That does help.

    The sadness you feel is part of the grieving process. It is ok. As is the vulnerability you are experiencing. Be curious about how your healing is unfolding, about how you are flowering.

    Plum x
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  7. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Thank you so much @robodelfy! Your words are very encouraging!
  8. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Hi @plum

    Thank you so much for your note! I miss the insights and the inspirational things I wrote but I do not miss rehashing all of the pain. One of the tricky parts with Sarno's classic approach is that it focuses on the past and you are encouraged to keep rereading it. I can say that I healed my hands and reduced pain in my hip and knee so his methods were very successful.

    However, I am having a major relapse of anxiety and insomnia so this last week has been very hard. I used to be a really optimistic, strong, ambitious person who loved to seize the day. Dwelling so much on the past over the last year has helped me heal but it has pulled me out of the present and being present with my husband and kids.

    I want to tap into a part of me that is still there - joyful, loving and excited about the day ahead. She is still there inside of me but I haven't seen here as much since I got TMS 15 months ago. I have to remember that relapse is common, I will sleep again at some point and I can use mindfulness to get back to the present moment.

    I have to believe I can do my job even if I am slower than before and that I can turn this around. I always get confused about how you are supposed to feel your feelings yet st some point you need to get out of rumination and allow yourself to be different and to replace those thoughts with more healthy thought patterns.

    Thanks ... hard couple of days.

    Ellen, plum and Ines like this.
  9. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Thanks for posting this. I think we can all relate. It's exactly as you describe. You go through the past events and emotions and then at some point you have to let go. It's like a choice. Do I keep ruminating and dwelling or let go so I can be happy and present? You have to let go. You can't stay stuck in that dwelling space. Good for you...
    plum and AC45 like this.
  10. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    So don't keep going over the same stuff AC45. In life and TMS recovery do what works and stop doing what does not work.

    We all have had some sort of trauma in the past, the goal is to let go of the past and live for a better and brighter future. That will make your body gear up in a positive direction and that means less TMS and a better quality fo life.
    Boston Redsox and AC45 like this.
  11. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Thank you @FredAmir ! I appreciate your kind words.
    FredAmir likes this.
  12. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Hi TMS community,

    I would like to provide you with a quick update on this. I had a rough couple of days - little sleep and lots of anxiety.

    Then, two nights ago I had a dream that I actually understood. (I don't usually understand my dreams). Anyway, this one was like a "goodbye ceremony". I said goodbye to some relationships (old boyfriends, "friends" who I have moved on from) and some events. It was really something.

    I never really know when that "letting go" moment occurs but something seemed to have happened. By letting go of all of that writing, I feel like it completed some kind of "letting go" cycle.

    I've been sleeping better these last few nights. I thought I would share this in case it is useful to any of you. If you follow Sarno's classic advice, you have done some journaling at some point. Maybe you can relate.

  13. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    I loved this!
    A few years ago, I shredded maybe 100 journals, a lifetime of writing, reading bits and pieces...and writing a draft of a memoir as I did it. It was SO therapeutic!
    I shredded instead of burning due to bulk, but have burned many pieces of writing over the years. It's a wonderful custom and very freeing.
    I hope you do feel more free.
    My biggest lesson in humility was seeing some things about me truly are immutable patterns. I may improve my behavior, my reactions, but still the perfectionism and sometime self-hatred, the pressure I apply to me and nobody else... are alive and kicking. They just don't wind me up in bed any more. We all walk in circles, some more than others.

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