The trouble with my thoughts is that I can't seem to recognize them. I read all these wonderful posts, books, and articles. The authors all seem so enlightened and empowered to me. The only thought I seem to be able to recognize for myself is "why can't I think". I read a Byron Katie book recently so the legalist in me jumps right on that one with a judgment of that thought as "stupid". That is not reality Leslie, you're still alive so clearly your brain is still functioning, clearly the capacity to think does exist within. I guess the real trouble is that I can't recognize my thoughts, and without that recognition I cannot make connections between them and my emotions and/or my pain. I feel as though I'm rambling here so perhaps an example will help. Today I went to get my hair cut. I recognized my anxiety was on the rise as I was driving to the salon. During the hair service the anxiety changed levels multiple times, as did my pain level. So I tried to go inside and focus on my thoughts, try to figure out where it was coming from. What I ended up with was a bunch more thoughts. So now I was having thoughts about thoughts" like 'maybe I was thinking _____' or ' possibly I'm thinking _____'. I was making suggestions to myself about what the thoughts could be - like I was trying to provide a third-person assist. I could not concretely know what any of my thoughts were or confirm or deny any of the suggestions I made to myself. This seems ridiculous to me...shouldn't I know what I'm thinking? The past few days I feel like I'm chasing my tail with all of this, working like mad to catch it, having no realization that it is part of me, rarely succeeding, and being completely overwhelmed and surprised by the pain when I do succeed and realize I've just sunk my teeth into myself. (apologies for the analogy - I have a cat who seems to be spending much time lately doing this same activity). I've been journaling quite a bit. So much so in the past 36 hours that my hand feels like it could fall off and my finger is sore where the pen rests. It doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere. I cannot make any connections. The only realizations I'm making with my journaling is that I write way more questions than anything else, and I don't seem to have the foggiest of ideas about the answers to any of them. I didn't have a "book cure", I'm already on day 34 of the SEP and still in pain so a "SEP cure" seems unlikely to me at this point. Admittedly I am discouraged and the perfectionist in me is relentless in telling me that failure here is NOT an option - MY BRAIN is generating MY PAIN - I am ME - there is ABSOLUTELY NO acceptable reason why I cannot control this perfectly. It's infuriating and exhausting.