Obsessed: a sports analogy




From “Obsessed: The Compulsions and Creations of Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz by Steve Volk

“The catcher (your brain), gives signals to the pitcher (your consciousness).

Just as the pitcher can shake off a signal and ask the catcher for another option, our conscious mind can shake off impulses from the brain.

Some of these impulses, like quick motor reflexes, get processed and acted upon automatically.

When I see a car drifting over into my lane, I register no choice to honk the horn and move to the shoulder of the highway; I begin the actions involved before I even have full, conscious awareness of the danger.

But when I receive an impulse to eat a peach, I can shake that off—I’d rather have an apple—like the pitcher telling his catcher “no” and receiving another suggestion.

“The fact is, we behave automatically all the time,” says Schwartz.

We behave without thinking.

The brain is constantly sending us messages and thoughts and possible actions, and we can’t control what thoughts our brain is going to bring up into our awareness.

But once a thought has risen to conscious awareness, then we can step up and choose where we will focus our attention.

And the behavior we focus on is the behavior we’ll perform.”

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rudid96 on July 25, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Liked the analogy. Presents a clear picture of what’s possible.

  2. Your optimistic this week Rudid96

    You ride the same rollercoaster I do

    Yes this analogy is easy for a normal non traumatized person

    An abused kid, his/her chance at performing a true letting go of intrusive thoughts and living in the moment

    Seems to be an issue for all of us or we would be healed and writing about baseball instead of suffering

    So Rudid96

    You healed now

    You just letting things go, shaking off the catcher and living a free and happy life

    Man I wish I could sniff that atmosphere

    Over a decade of trying to heal I must be a failure not being able make this analogy work for me

  3. Posted by rudid96 on July 25, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    Ha! Mindful Marty, right you are about riding the same rollercoaster. Normal people wouldn’t find resonance in your blog. They’re unbothered by repetitive, intrusive thoughts. They’re more capable of either deflecting life gunk or letting it go. In fact, they’re good at shifting it onto the shoulders of others.

    So – am I healed now? Haha, I doubt it. It’s more similar to resting on a park bench between the intrusive triggers. You remember those rests, right
    We take those lulls when they come. I used to believe “this is it, I’m healed!!!” However, time and age have brought the wisdom (or jaded beliefs?) to know that I can pin together my torn pieces but expecting an out-of-the-box whole persona is rife with disappointment. Still haven’t managed to retire the trigger reactivity, hypervigilance, social anxiety, & the need for large amounts of recharging time when venturing out among people.

    That being said, at this moment, I work like hell to use the tools to stay in the present and keep intrusive thoughts at bay. The air today is good. Tomorrow – who knows.
    Bottling some of my air and sending it your way Mindful Marty.

  4. I am happy for you

    I know your struggles

    My resentment for my life and what others have done to me has me hoping to not wake up in the morning. For the pain to stop

    That’s all

    I tire of the little quotes and sayings that make healing seem simple

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