Posts Tagged ‘ACCEPTANCE’

I have learned not to resist, not to deny, not to avoid, trauma thoughts, triggers, and emotions.

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I have learned not to resist, not to deny, not to avoid, trauma thoughts, triggers, and emotions.

What we resist, persists. This is a true statement for PTSD.

Paradigm shift: When trauma thoughts and symptoms arrive, we observe, we feel the body sensations or we focus intently on our breath.

Avoiding, denying, and distorting this anxious stimulus stops.

Observing trauma brings awareness without feeding the disorder.

Get to know the patterns of your mind, how he/she behaves when triggered.

Know your responses, how you react when a trigger explodes.

Work to make incremental improvements, stay present and focused for five breaths before taking off.

Build familiarity and courage, observe trauma from a short distance, focus on the breath and body sensations.

Feel the energy, the trauma drugs, and the thought patterns of PTSD.

The trauma song has a theme, a weakness and a whole lot of clouded memories.

Realize the real danger is over, the abuse energy is stored inside our head and body until we learn to release as much as possible.

Think of PTSD as damaging energy trapped inside us.

We can observe how this energy flows and grows.

We have to be courageous, we have to face PTSD head-on.

Feel its energy, follow that energy inside the body.

How long does it stay? Where does it accumulate?

Are these sensations dangerous?

Can we be calm in the face of this fear?

Yes, we can with practice.

Paradigm change: a trigger firing is an opportunity to heal.

Think of the difference in behavior this paradigm shift creates.

Instead of running in fear, we breathe calmly, focus, and observe.

Can you resist going down the rabbit hole of trauma thought?

Each trigger, expand how many focus breaths we can take before all hell breaks loose.

Once you realize the real danger is a mirage, life will shift.

It’s takes small daily improvements.

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Male and Female Brains Really Are Built Differently

Male (upper) and female (lower) brain connections (PNAS)

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The hemispheres of women’s brains are more interconnected. Does that matter?

By Olga Khazan

“Ready your knowing smirk, because here comes a scientific gem that’s sure to enliven even the dullest of holiday parties.

By analyzing the MRIs of 949 people aged 8 to 22, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found that male brains have more connections within each hemisphere, while female brains are more interconnected between hemispheres.

Yes, take that, Mike from IT! It, like, so explains why you just dropped the eggnog while attempting to make flirty conversation with Janet from Accounting.

Just kidding; we still have no idea why men or women do anything in particular. But the study, released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is interesting because it is one of the first to discover differences in the brain’s structural connectivity in a large sample size of people from a variety of age groups.

Male (upper) and female (lower) brain connections (PNAS)

By analyzing the subjects’ MRIs using diffusion imaging, the scientists explored the brains’ fiber pathways, the bundles of axons that act as highways routing information from one part of the mind to the other. After grouping the image by sex and inspecting the differences between the two aggregate “male” and “female” pictures, the researchers found that in men, fiber pathways run back and forth within each hemisphere, while in women they tend to zig-zag between the left, or “logical,” and right, or “creative,” sides of the brain.

Because female brains seem to have a stronger connections between their logical and intuitive parts, “when women are asked to do particularly hard tasks, they might engage very different parts of the brain,” said Ragini Verma, an associate professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the authors of the report. “Men might over-engage just one part of the brain.”

Child (B), adolescent (C), and adult (D) brains (PNAS)

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reciprocal inhibition

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AYtTG9ZArc-f5FtQ09BditDVwpLSC_6fO96LrdNCMiRSetI0PwM4qS8/

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Buddha’s Brain:

“Some parts of the brain are linked by reciprocal inhibition: when one part activates, it suppresses another one.

To some extent, the left and right hemispheres have this relationship; thus, when you stimulate the right hemisphere by engaging the activities it specializes in, the verbal centers of the left hemisphere are effectively shushed.

The right, visual-spatial hemisphere has the greater responsibility for representing the state of your body, so awareness of the body can help suppress left-brain verbal chatter.

“Right hemisphere activation increases further when you sense the body as a whole, which draws upon the global, gestalt processing of that hemisphere.”

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My two cents: In my opinion, Ptsd thrives on the left side, the cognitive, thinking side of the brain. Dissociation, leaving this moment to think about the past or future, is the strongest symptom of PTSD.

Thinking fuels trauma and ignites the other symptoms.

The right hemisphere has no words or thoughts, good or bad, right or wrong.

The right hemisphere only knows this present moment.

I meditate to grow my connection with my right hemisphere, my creative side.

Thinking is a minuscule thing the mind does, the expansive side is the Pacific Ocean, the left side, a beach ball.

So if we calm the thinking, the reciprocal right hemisphere will be engaged.

The reciprocal inhibition applies to emotions. Next time your angry try switching to feeling happy.

Anger turns that happy circuit off, and vice versa.

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Winston Churchill: quotes for PTSD and Life!

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“Never, never, never give up.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.

Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.

Vengeance is the most costly and dissipating of luxuries.

Everyone has his day, and some days last longer than others.

All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.”

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It takes Leather Balls to play Rugby and PTSD:…………………..Exposure Therapy

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/157837161931647951/

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When my dormant childhood trauma launched itself fully into my consciousness, life changed.

My already elevated nervous system became volcanic, cortisol and adrenaline levels surged.

I avoided triggers like my life depended on it, PTSD’s mirage of power.

Avoidance slowly became agoraphobia, down the rabbit hole I went.

In due time when my blog was young, I would announce it was exposure Wednesday.

My readers, fellow PTSDers shared the journey.

It was a badge of courage to face PTSD danger, take risks, and talk about them before and after the experience.

These outings were painful, sometimes resulting in weeklong suffering.

It was all worth it, it was the path I had to walk for healing.

In due time, my meditation and focus skills gave me a shield, a protective cover to face my triggers.

Those days are long gone however avoidance as a habit remains.

Yesterday I volunteered at a house being remodeled for 8 homeless teenagers.

I am caulking and painting, not highly skilled, not a thrill to pump the ego, however the giving to a cause is special.

The jobsite is hectic with five trades at one time on top of each other.

Usually a nightmare scenario for my PTSD. Lots of people crossing paths on a crazy job site.

It is my current exposure therapy challenge!

Well-being has never been easy for me, probably not for you either.

I am going back today, yes, there is some anxiety.

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is taking action in the face of fear.

Others do not get to choose our fears or triggers.

Healing from PTSD is earned from daily action and repeated courageous acts.

Our PTSD is not going away completely so daily action and facing our fears at opportune times is crucial.

May I encourage you to step out of the safety net a little and take a risk?

For me, even as a loner, I need to challenge my isolation, attach even when I lack any desire to attach.

I did that yesterday, it felt good.

Every day I meditate, practice applying my skills, and try to heal more whether yesterday was the best or worst day.

This attitude and daily action allow me to take risks when needed.

Even in the face of feeling unworthy, daily action and a good attitude are the only things we control.

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Two days ago I turned 70, ……………

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/842454674037258900/

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Two days ago I turned 70, anniversaries like this eventually turn to a look back.

Early in my life, things I thought meant the world to me are long forgotten.

Some of my narratives are about childhood abuse, the symptoms, and challenges of this disorder being dormant until my mid 50’s, then the latter after Ptsd came alive.

Another part would tout my worldly successes in a business and athletic career.

I am two different people, extremely different.

One has excelled as an athlete, in three halls of fame, free college, MVPs, and captain of those teams.

He is the confident extrovert, he transforms into another being when he puts on that uniform.

The other Marty always searched for a uniform like that for being around people.

He is extremely introverted, a loner, trusting no one, he is a people nomad.

One craves a crowd and leads, the other seeks solitude and hides.

Friends must know I am crazy.

I have been the life of the party. I have been afraid to go to the party.

Depends on the mood, dangers perceived and level of PTSD activated.

Probably a complex calculation going on inside my head.

Looking back, PTSD always brings challenges, symptoms cycle on their timeline.

Things that seem permanent, there is a fear of people that happens before thought.

I interpret that as part of survival mode, my mind subconsciously spends all its energy looking for potential danger.

That is happening before thinking.

My only influence is the response.

As you can see, engaging in things that set my danger signal off is not relaxing or enjoyable.

Over and over, I witness living in a hybrid survival mode.

While others relax and look for opportunity and connection amongst others, I stay detached, tense, alert, looking to get back home.

If I heal totally, will my nervous system relax, my survival mode turn off?

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My mind has patterns, some good, some harmful!

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My mind has patterns, some good, some harmful!

From the earliest memory, my mind and nervous system would lock on to my dad’s behavior, that’s where imminent danger lived for me.

My nervous system was always alert, ready to go to Defcon five in seconds.

This was reinforced every day I lived in that house.

To this day, my mind will lock onto imminent danger, (perceived imminent danger) my mood races to extremes, reacting subconsciously to its perceptions.

My mind, my stored implicit memory, thinks I could be gravely hurt by the current stimulus.

It’s called PTSD and our mind and nervous system are wired differently, hard-wired in extreme survival mode.

My childhood was 17 plus years of daily criticism, physical and emotional abuse.

My brain subconsciously scans the horizon, spotting danger, navigating around people.

My attachments have always been shallow, I always depended on myself, made my own decisions.

My PTSD brain is rigid, anxious, and aggressive, that is a male trait I believe.

I do not understand how people can trust, risk betrayal, or worse.

It is beyond avoidance for me, I do not trust or have a desire to trust.

There is nothing in my memory bank that reinforces attaching to strangers or anyone else.

Emotional safety is the foremost consideration before I leave this house for anything.

I hate it.

I could take anyone afraid of heights up to the top of the Empire State Building.

All the focus and breathing and thinking will not shut that fear down.

You will not be able to calmly analyze anything, think about a dinner engagement, or have a happy-go-lucky experience.

You will be tense, muscles, tendons, nervous system scared to death. You are frozen, parts of the cognitive thinking are offline, rational thought is impossible.

Think you could do some algebra or thread a needle?

Is happiness a choice right now?

How long will a mind be upset from a near-death experience? Hours, days, weeks?

That’s what an intense trigger felt like for me.

That’s PTSD.

Moods and different disorders

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/43206477665831215/

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Mayo Clinic describes the mood swings of bipolar disorder:

“Mood: mood swings, sadness, elevated mood, anger, anxiety, apathy, apprehension, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, or loss of interest or pleasure in activities.”

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My two cents: Ptsd sufferers experience all these moods except for the euphoria. I guess we are just polar.

Childhood abuse makes euphoria very rare. Manic is a mental state I am unfamiliar with.

Rudid96 somatic therapist told him, “Live the latter portion of life with integrity. “

That’s some abstract doo-doo, what the hell does that mean?

If we suffer from PTSD we lack integrity? Not a road I would travel down.

I do not see the connection, I fight like hell to get out of pain.

Integrity and Ptsd: we already have a tough time with self-image, so equating healing to integrity seems a bad judgment, in my opinion.

integrity is a label, a judgment.

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Normal mind and our PTSD mind

A model brain bisected IMAGE: THE THALAMUS HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS THE ‘BORDER IN THE BRAIN’ (FLICKR/DJ NEIGHT/CC BY NC ND 2.0)

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I can take a step back, pull away from my cognitive engine, observe my PTSD brain dysfunction.

It is like we have two minds, a Ptsd-driven side that runs by itself and our regular thinker.

The PTSD brain is automatic and reactive to triggers and trauma. Implicit memories explode, transporting us back into trauma events from the past.

The PTSD mind is rigid, consumed with fear, violent emotions, and anxiety.

He is an angry, resentful soul who seeks revenge. He has social anxiety, so isolation and avoidance have taken a toll.

The normal part of my mind is more present and open. He is much more outgoing and engaging, relaxed with himself and others.

This mind sees opportunity, calm, and some happiness.

The other PTSD part endures constant suffering, confusion, and fear.

He battles to extinguish the thoughts and negative emotions, to transform back into a somewhat normal existence.

I have to ignore so many harsh judgments that the PTSD mind creates.

He is like a sick Ego, wanting revenge, feeling outraged towards others.

Mistrust is all he knows, betrayal is kryptonite for him.

You can see how life can be all suffering when the PTSD mind is in control.

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My mind is the Issue……..he runs on his own at times

https://pixabay.com/users/jarmoluk-143740/

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Mood swings, intense emotions, and social anxiety are how PTSD manifests itself.

Depression has extinguished desire, or desire has extinguished depression.

Apathy has resulted in a lack of self-care.

I do not recognize myself.

My daughter says the force of nature she has known me to be is gone.

I hate the mood swings, but my mind continues to switch, dramatically at times.

It takes energy and time to unplug these disruptive moods.

Is your mind out of control at times?

These mood swings and thoughts come out from either of the minds, 60,000 thoughts a day neuroscientists tell us to cross our path.

That’s what a normal mind endures, a mind abused in childhood is dominated by intense, dangerous thoughts.

Most people do not connect the consequences on our life.

Most of our time is spent handling trauma, mood swings, avoiding, navigating around triggers, or keeping busy with distractions.

Social anxiety is an acute form of avoidance, add quarantine, masks, and six-foot distance required and I am a mess.

My inability to feel safe around people or trust them explains how my childhood abuse manifests itself.

I fight to stay present, absent of any mood, letting go of any trauma-related behavior.

PTSD runs without my input, intrusive thoughts arrive, rapid-fire like a Gatling gun taking aim.

It’s like our mind has something sinister running it.

Others do not have this burden to carry.

It’s not cancer, or blindness, etc. it’s invisible to everyone.

A dilemma for us.

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