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Day 6 No Feelings while journaling

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by sleepyjay, May 6, 2023.

  1. sleepyjay

    sleepyjay New Member

    So yesterday i really tried to journal seriously and it went great, i felt quite a bit of anger and sadness. But today i just felt detached, it was like i was watching through a glass wall.
    I know that i should have felt something about the situation i journaled about but for some reason no stronger emotions except a short flicker here and there came up.
    Eventually i just stopped.
    I don't know, did something like that occur to someone else on here? I'm mostly unsure if i should try again another day or how to deal with this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi there, @sleepyjay. This sounds like your lovely TMS brain doing its best to make you feel uncomfortable and uncertain about the writing exercises so that you will give up.

    Don't be fooled! This kind of reaction actually is a good indication that you are on the right track! In fact, pushback from your brain starting at this point in the SEP is absolutely typical, so hooray for that!

    You could take a short break, like a day or two, and use that time to explore self-compassion. There are a ton of free resources on the topic, including free public library downloads of e- and audiobooks by experts such as Kristin Neff and Tara Brach. Dr Neff's website is compassion.org.

    Also, go ahead and talk back to your TMS brain - you can literally thank it for trying to protect you, but assure it that you are physically very safe, and it's okay to be doing this.

    Finally, give yourself credit for doing this work, and for checking in with questions. You'll get there!
  3. Manjuno

    Manjuno New Member

    Same here. No reactions despite journaling about the most significant traumatic experiences I can recall. It's like they don't concern me anymore - I feel like I'm journaling about some other person. I do acknowledge all of those things happenned, I do accept that they reside inside me causing tension but I'm mostly indifferent towards them. To the point where I can talk quite comfortably about them with my therapist or my significant other. It's weird because on an intellectual level I know they should be evoking strong emotions but I just can't get to those feelings, unable to dig deep enough.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Manjuno, you'll see that I highlighted the word "should" in your statement. "Should", as my therapist regularly reminds me, evokes PRESSURE on yourself. Self-pressure leads to self-judgement, and self-judgement leads to symptoms, and you end up remaining stuck where your TMS brain wants you to be.

    Think of this as just another distraction by the TMS brain mechanism, to keep you from doing the work.

    Look - reactions to the writing exercise are just as individual and unique as the many different ways in which we all experience TMS symptoms. @sleepyjay described their example of experiencing a strong sense of detachment. You are describing the experience of judging yourself for failing to feel what you think you should feel. These are both legitimate responses to doing the SEP.

    The question is: now what? Your brain wants you to quit doing the work. YOU can choose to do it anyway.

    I don't recall strong emotions from the writing exercises. What I do remember is a couple of "aha!" moments - where I recalled childhood experiences that weren't at all severe or even traumatic - but they did illustrate just how long I've been carrying around certain fears and neuroses, or they explained things about me which were based in family dynamics.

    My therapist recommends curiousity about whatever you uncover, without judgement.
  5. Manjuno

    Manjuno New Member

    I don't intend to stop. If it doesn't harm me in any way, then why not continue and see what it brings further down the line. :) At the very least it brings me some new perspectives and leads.

    I'm simply a bit surprised there's nothing close to a breakthrough here or at least some tear-eyed moments. Though you're probably on point when writing about me pressuring myself.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. sleepyjay

    sleepyjay New Member

    Hey Jan,
    First of all, thank you very much for your kind reply! You're absolutely right, i probably should practice some self-compassion since i also noticed, after reading your reply, that i put myself under too much pressure while writing
    And thank you for the recommendations, i'm going to check them out!
  7. sleepyjay

    sleepyjay New Member

    Hey Manjuno,
    I can relate to what you're writing. I even noticed that i sometimes journaled in third person, maybe that means my brain is trying to prevent me from feeling my emotions.

    Pressure plays a big role for me too. Typical TMS-perfectionist

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