Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’

Ego versus true self, divine presence, soul

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“Ego, the self which he has believed himself to be,

is nothing but a pattern of habits.”

Alan Watts

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My two cents: Our true self, soul, divine presence, is the same since birth, our shining light.

He/She stays mostly hidden because we concoct this identity figure, our “Ego”, that hogs the conscious stage.

Common sense and neuroscience tells me, he/she is a created myth.

How do we know this?

In observer mode, I can watch the thinker work.

Who is it that is observing the thinker?

Not the thinker (Ego), must be the power of our being.

Our true self, soul, divine presence is the Observer.

A healthy Ego is essential for wellbeing in limited quantities.

Our “Ego” was made for identity, a way of differentiating us from them, not the captain of our ship.

Do not promote an Ego, who behaves like a petulant adolescent at times to supreme leader.

Observer does not judge, he/she exists in present moment, empty of thought.

It is our default position, so we can take an unbiased look at our “Ego’s” latest judgments.

We see reality, clearly in observer mode.

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Discovering PTSD’s hidden components

Pixabay: ugglemamma
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PTSD has a hidden component, Childhood trauma (C-PTSD) is much stealthier because our brain was still developing.

For abused kids, our biggest hidden component is an unworthy, a damaged “Ego”.

At 69, finally, my unworthy “Ego” has been exposed.

We have to explore our inner world, discovering what is hidden, then determine its influence in our life.

We create this person for identity “Ego”.

Heavy influencers are initial caregivers, peers, friends and enemies.

We create Marty at his core from my attachment or lack of it in childhood with my initial caregivers.

Next we evaluate how the world treats us, peers, friends and enemies, then we add how we see ourself into the mix.

Then we create our identity based on these life experiences.

Wow!

Look at how much of our self image, self worth is based on external factors.

We all need to work on changing self image, it’s kind of our “Ego”.

Our wellbeing depends on a healthy “Ego”.

Our “Ego”, the thinker is the one who has PTSD.

PTSD dies when I meditate, when I reach a focused no thought space.

Words, judgment, right or wrong, good or bad do not exist in this space.

Our right hemisphere, the expansive side of the Brain, does not know the past or future even exists.

PTSD lives, thrives in the past and future.

It’s called Dissociation, the lynchpin, the power of PTSD.

PTSD proliferates inside thought, the longer the duration the more fuel.

My healing is a moment to moment awareness or lack of it.

That building block determines my wellbeing.
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Survival Mode: “The Body Keeps the Score”

Pixabay: Comfreak

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“In other words: If an organism is stuck in survival mode, its energies are focused on fighting off unseen enemies, which leaves no room for nurture, care, and love.

For us humans, it means that as long as the mind is defending itself against invisible assaults, our closest bonds are threatened, along with our ability to imagine, plan, play, learn, and pay attention to other people’s needs.

Darwin also wrote about body-brain connections that we are still exploring today.

Intense emotions involve not only the mind but also the gut and the heart: “Heart, guts, and brain communicate intimately via the ‘pneumogastric’ nerve, the critical nerve involved in the expression and management of emotions in both humans and animals.

When the mind is strongly excited, it instantly affects the state of the viscera; so that under excitement there will be much mutual action and reaction between these, the two most important organs of the body.”

The first time I encountered this passage, I reread it with growing excitement. Of course we experience our most devastating emotions as gut-wrenching feelings and heartbreak.

As long as we register emotions primarily in our heads, we can remain pretty much in control, but feeling as if our chest is caving in or we’ve been punched in the gut is unbearable.

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A loyal follower responds

Pixabay: jLasWilson

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Rudid96 responds to a post “PTSD has a counterintuitive dimension”

“I’m finding that if you survive the abuse, it’s residue is far worse than the event(s). You see, that had a beginning & end. However, my mind seldom allows me freedom. My thoughts run amuck. As 2020 draws to a close, there’s much talk of goal setting, fresh starts, new interests. Try as I might, It’s so disappointing to feel that I’m floating through the days aimlessly; purpose, goals, & dreams elude me.

That’s the real devastation of physical abuse & emotional neglect: to live with the emptiness of soul, the inability to trust, the inability to connect. Will 2021 be different? One can only hope?”

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My two cents: For an event to be stored as implicit memory (PTSD), we must be terrified, in a perceived or real imminent danger event.

Our adrenal stress response fires violently, bp, heart rate and pulse spike, cortisol and adrenaline are dumped, while pain killers and coagulants secrete. Our mind , is literally out of our mind, survival becomes the sole purpose of life.

We freeze or maybe black out and the ending of our trauma is not finished inside our brains.

Healing or improving, that is integrating our trauma to present moment completes the storyline. That is why we lack an ending.

For me, I have to focus on specific actions.

My awareness becomes omnipotent. I try to let go of any trauma thought immediately.

Rudid96: “It’s so disappointing to feel that I’m floating through the days aimlessly; purpose, goals, & dreams elude me.”

My purpose is simple, intense daily action, not an abstract goal like healing.

I find that my dreams suck, my purpose eludes me, life is a big quandary. Accomplishing goals has never calmed my PTSD, achievement has not lead to healing.

I am best, when focused in this moment, mind clear of thoughts, in observer mode.

I have no purpose, no goals, no judgment, and life has calm and some freedom.

That’s what I know, it’s only this moment that I can impact.
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This Will Change Your Mind About Psychedelic Drugs

https://pixabay.com/users/therapeuticshroom-16662245/

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Excerpt from https://time.com/5278036/michael-pollan-psychedelic-drugs/

“For years, the field of mental health has been largely barren of meaningful treatment advances. But now, scientists have new hope in the least likely of places: psychedelic drugs. Recent research suggests that certain psychedelic substances can help relieve anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction and the fear surrounding a terminal diagnosis.

“The biggest misconception people have about psychedelics is that these are drugs that make you crazy,” says Michael Pollan, author of the new book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. “We now have evidence that that does happen sometimes — but in many more cases, these are drugs that can make you sane.”

What do psychedelics do to the human mind?

The honest answer: nobody quite understands. We’re really just at the beginning of exploring that frontier. But psychedelics appear to diminish activity in one very important brain network called the default mode network. That network is very involved with operations having to do with our sense of self: how we integrate what’s happening to us in any given moment, with our abiding sense of who we are.

The interesting thing about psychedelics, both LSD and psilocybin — the ingredient in magic mushrooms — is that they take this network offline. When that happens, you have this sensation of ego-dissolution: that your self is evaporating or dissolving. And that seems to lead to new connections in the brain temporarily forming.

Your emotion center starts talking directly to your visual cortex, let’s say, and you see things that you’re hoping or fearing. New connections are made that could produce new insights, new perspectives, new ways of looking at the world.

Your book talks a lot about the scientific approach to psychedelics. What do scientists believe that psychedelics can offer people?

The feeling among the scientists is that these chemicals allow us to essentially reboot the brain. If the brain is stuck in these narrow grooves of thought — whether it’s an obsession or a fear or the story you tell yourself — all those deep grooves that lock us into patterns of both thought and behavior are dissolved and temporarily suspended in a way that allows us to break those patterns.

What psychedelics do you think show some therapeutic potential?

There are two drugs that show the most potential and will probably be legalized for medical use soon. One is a drug that isn’t always considered a psychedelic: MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or Molly, which has been shown to be incredibly useful in the treatment of trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers or in rape victims. A study recently came out that showed great effectiveness at treating those problems. That’s very encouraging, and that may be the first of these drugs to get approved.

The second is psilocybin. It appears to be very useful in the treatment of anxiety, depression and addiction in both smoking and alcohol.”

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My two cents: Psilocybin has been legalized in Oregon. Everything I have read always said a magic pill is a fantasy, but rebooting the brain along with our practice has me interested.

Tips for navigating the mechanical side of PTSD

https://www.turningwithin.org/fight-or-flight

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Serious PTSD sufferers live with an elevated nervous system, some underlying agitation is always present.

For me, the fight or flight exploding was like getting shot in the solar plexus, intense, an electrifying jolt.

Those are the easy times to know the condition of our nervous system.

Bringing more awareness to my inner world, I have noticed a few things.

First, my baseline activation is higher, my nervous system has more agitation at rest than a normal person.

I have learned my nervous system, or anxiety level can be raised to an excited level without me recognizing it consciously.

When intrusive thoughts are active, then I notice my agitation consciously. I guess it needs to reach a certain intensity before I become aware of it.

Being sensitive to smaller levels of activation helps us navigate PTSD much better.

An elevated nervous system depletes our energy, wears on our emotional stability.

This is the mechanical, the physical part of PTSD that we can learn to calm.

They teach Navy Seals to handle fear (high anxiety), their fight or flight mechanism, using their breath, focusing on elongating the exhales.

Yes, slow focused breathing can dissipate adrenaline and cortisol while activating our parasympathetic nervous system, the breaks, bringing calm.

I have learned that fear, it’s physical embodiment, our adrenal stress response (fight or flight mechanism), contains no fear.

Fear is added by our thoughts. I choose to focus on the body sensations, taking my breath into the middle of the agitation or unrest.

While hiking with my chronic pain, I would summon my fight or flight mechanism to fire, then use the Adrenaline and Cortisol for my workout energy.

While handling my fight or flight mechanism everyday hiking, I became more familiar, more comfortable with that intense feeling.

The more we know about our nervous system the better.

Now I do not fear my chronic pain or my fight or flight mechanism firing.

If you weather the storm sitting quietly, motionless, focused on your breath, your confidence and power will grow.

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Childhood abuse, do we ever trust

Pixabay: Myriams-Fotos

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Awareness preempts any change in my humble opinion.

Many habits and patterns go unnoticed right below the surface of consciousness.

Recently, I realized how sensitive or paranoid my behavior has developed.

At all times, in any situation, I am aware of everything around me.

I have always been like this, always knowing where my father was, what mood, what danger existed.

It is second nature to me, my peripheral vision is excellent, I even know what is behind me.

Now I see this as a defense mechanism (PTSD symptoms), where real danger rarely exists.

My behavior has developed from a violent, abusive childhood.

My Survival mode is always activated in some form no matter where I am or what I am doing.

I am not physically afraid, in fact quite the opposite, however emotionally, imminent danger has always been close.

My complete childhood was spent more or less in survival mode.

Spotting imminent danger overwhelmed all other circuits.

Part of it is hereditary, I inherited my mothers nervous system, high strung and anxiety ridden.

When my fight or flight mechanism would fire, it was violent and intense, numbing, almost paralyzing.

Meditation has calmed my nervous system.

Unfortunately now I see my Nervous system does not fire violently, however he is on high alert constantly, spotting danger.

It has been mostly subconscious, nothing overt or any conscious effort.

All this happens automatically without thought or input.

Being able to trust is so important.

How do we trust with only betrayal in our past?

Trust is just something I know nothing about.

How do you start trusting at age 69?

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Childhood abuse destroys a kids ability to trust others or himself/herself

Pixabay: GregMontani

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How do you trust when one parent is your violent abuser and the other is his enabler?

Conditioned love from your caregivers, places all self-worth and value as a person, on performance (approval) for the dominant abuser. 

I was conditioned to have no intrinsic value except for the achievements my narcissistic parent picked out as valuable.

My narcissistic father demanded I would be twice as good (at baseball) as any other kid in my hometown.

At five I was informed I would be a great professional baseball player or else.

How does a little boy handle such as outrageous demand. Oh yea, I played six years for the Baltimore Orioles.

Now, is my self worth dependent on being twice as Good? 

You better damn well believe it did in that household.

Sad as a little boy, that’s exactly how my father valued me or I was beat violently and portrayed verbally as worthless.

He did not care about anything else, cold, calculated and extremely violent was his demeanor.

Now, at 69, weakened by chronic pain, spinal fusions, and complex PTSD, my abuse overwhelms me.

Once a strong advocate for fighting for every breath, now my spirit is tired of the humiliation I have endured.

My strength is gone, endurance crippled by a serious car wreck, and my chronic pain grows as I age.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I have read enough, meditated enough and healed enough to understand the mountain I faced from birth.

With ten years of intensive healing under my belt, the mountain of trauma inside my brain keeps pouring out.

My expectations: I thought all my effort would heal me.

I did not expect trauma would never stop haunting me, or would be endless until I die.

For me, life has been filled with abuse, betrayal and suffering.

I think I have fought the good fight, my reward is always more trauma to endure.

I am lost in the middle of this recent eruption of old trauma.

It feels like trauma has consumed my existence, stole my life.

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My childhood Abuse haunts me, it was hard wired

https://pixabay.com/users/tabor-1546010/

I have been watching “Queens Gambit” on netflicks, so I find this pic funny. Yea nothing to do with the post but entertaining for me. That’s an active PTSD brain functioning, I think. The Jethro Tull t-shirt completes the picture.

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My childhood Abuse haunts me, it was hard wired into my brain and nervous system before it developed.

It is like a bad dream when it is awakened, it is intertwined with our brains normal development. It existed before some parts of our brain matured.

It is highly irrational by definition and ever so confusing.

I never had a healthy ego, autonomy, or even safety in my entire childhood. There is no core, no resilient piece developed, I functioned in survival mode.

Many healthy circuits are ignored and thus damaging our chances of ever being normal. Survival mode, means high alert, spotting danger replaces any creative endeavors, building deep attachments etc.

If you follow this blog, you have seen me as a crusader of healing and then other times like now, you have also seen me in the abyss of active suffering from PTSD.

It is a battle, those who suffer from childhood abuse, physical, emotional or even rape know the nightmare they live.

Our trauma scares the shit out of us, commandeers our nervous system, then floods our minds with intrusive thoughts.

My healing was like a war zone. Violent exits of childhood trauma that I finally integrated were the best feelings.

Then in a few days more trauma arrived. After five years of daily, 8 plus hours of meditation, reading and applying every healing technique I could find, it was frustrating to have more abuse always surface.

It seemed it was limitless and finding peace impossible.

My optimum space for healing, found me totally focused on my effort.

If things got worse, I practiced more.

Another big advantage, I learned from being a pro athlete.

We worked out five months in the offseason without worrying about results until next season.

Childhood PTSD (C-PTSD) is not going to change much in a day, a week, or a month, so I placed all worry or concern into more practice, more effort.

Worrying is a nasty form of Dissociation, our biggest enemy stopping us from improving.

No great direction in this post. My posts are so different when my PTSD is active or dormant.

It feels a little vulnerable sharing when my ptsd is this active.

Thoughts?

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Mothers – Daughters

https://pixabay.com/users/milucernochova-1555503/

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“Self-trust,

self-love, and

self-knowledge

can be taught

to a daughter

only by a mother

who possesses

those qualities herself.”

Dr. Karyl McBride, from Will I Ever Be Good Enough

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