Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

3 tools for calming the nervous system

.

.

I know of three ways of depleting cortisol and adrenaline.

First is our diet, what we eat and how much body fat around our belly is influenced by our cortisol levels. Certain foods help deplete cortisol.

Second tool is Slowing the breath, focusing intently, activates our parasympathetic nervous system, applies the brakes.

This calms us, settles us down and lowers cortisol and adrenaline. It’s called meditation, it has many variations.

The third way is purely physical, aerobic exercise works like a charm.

Aerobic exercise to near failure works like a miracle. Start slow and adapt, then build up so you can exert maximum energy.

We have to want to heal more than any desire we entertain. I have never read that in any psychology book.

Therapy and my two therapists, one in San Diego then another in Eugene , helped me on my journey. I was encouraged to explore and try new things outside therapy.

Aerobic exercise and meditation were my two most valuable skills. Being a former pro jock, aerobic exercise was easy for me.

All my friends doubted I could ever meditate, I was always amped up, excitable and kind of high strung.

Do not let other people’s judgments rule our behavior. We get lost and run over by others because we are different, stay strong and try like hell in the face of worry and doubt.

I laughed at my friends, you think focusing on the spin of a baseball while hitting with 25,000 screaming fans can not be turned internally.

For a jock, being told we can not do something, is not something you want to bet against.

When my mind was frozen from trauma, my legs could still move and my willpower drove me to exhaustion.

Mechanically I can calm my body completely down.

We can not separate our mind from our body, they work as one.

There are many skills or tools we can learn to improve.

Yesterday, I started hiking to exhaustion again.

It’s half mental and half physical. It builds willpower.

How bad do you want to heal?

What is your level of commitment, are you in a little, a medium involvement or are you all in.

Intensity is a necessity for optimum results.

.

.

An abused childhood brain

Pixabay: Anemone123

.

.

There are events that change a life forever, the winner of the harmful events, trauma.

Can you think of the time before your trauma? How did your mind function? You have experienced the mind without trauma, remember back and mimic that experience.

You have a much better chance at healing than a kid abused throughout childhood.

For childhood trauma, many never knew a time without abuse, their minds were always in some form of survival mode.

We have to watch healthy people live or read books about what a mind without serious abuse feels like.

My childhood PTSD did not explode until my mid fifties, but I always had symptoms.

I was puking by the time high school arrived, my stomach and nervous system had PTSD symptoms. There was no safe place for me at school and especially at home.

Of course I hid any weakness from my father, I was terrified by that monster.

My anxiety levels were off the chart, there was no escape.

I have no idea what a mind without serious childhood abuse feels like. My mind never fully relaxes, ever, he is always on guard, always somewhat hyper vigilant.

Trust is something I tried once, it turned out to be the worst event of my life. We are terrible at picking a mate that is trustworthy.

I have read that we are incapable of having a healthy relationship, I finally agree. It is a consequence beyond our control, we did not ask to be abused as children.

.

.

Navigating life with PTSD active

.

.

My PTSD has come alive again with a repressed memory. How do I navigate life until this new trauma is integrated?

For most of us, PTSD either survives our healing efforts or there is much more trauma below the surface.

How do we live life until we heal? How do we respond to our trauma, do we avoid going near anything that feels dangerous?

I sure did for a long time. PTSD got much worse avoiding.

At my worst, agoraphobic for six months, I started a weekly exposure therapy. I would pick one day a week and go out and face my triggers.

The emotionally tainted fear was palpable, my resistance acute, it felt extremely dangerous. Part of PTSD’s irrational nature, it is an invisible battle inside our body and mind.

What is real and what is trauma? I do not have an answer for that, I am way to close.

Looking back, it took enormous courage to face mundane, neutral situations other people take for granted.

Where others see opportunity for attachment, we see danger.

How do we act like normal people who feel no danger, no anxiety? I have never pulled it off when my PTSD was active.

Even if I had the courage to practice exposure therapy, I was a mess, anxious and guarded the whole time.

My mind could hardly think, it was scouting for imminent danger instead, confused and nervous.

A few minutes felt like an hour, I was heading right at my trauma fears, the opposite of avoidance.

All of this is invisible to everyone around us. It is a lonely journey until we improve.

Afterward, I was euphoric, in the face of PTSD fear, I had triumphed. A small victory, but a vital one.

For me and for you, we must find the courage to face our trauma fears or we will suffer.

I focus on improving, healing is to large a concept for us.

Work to improve a little each day, healing is so much bigger an animal. Keep it simple.

.

.

PTSD: a mental illness?

This Pinterest poster made me uncomfortable, so I used it.

.

“Trauma disorders are mental illnesses that are caused by traumatic experiences or significant stress.”

https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/trauma-disorders/

.

.

My two cents: I believe serious childhood abuse is a significant mental illness.

Many harsh connotations for people with mental illnesses.

Hell, I have always been different than all the rest, why change now.

There is an internal war going on, battles are intermittent but intense.

Hard to ignore triggers firing, hypervigilance and intrusive thoughts.

It’s like warring with yourself, any wound harms both participants.

See how irrational PTSD can be.

Does admitting we have a mental illness, help us?

.

.

Dissociation again

.

.

“The Body Keeps the Score”:

The overwhelming experience is split off and fragmented, so that the emotions, sounds, images, thoughts, and physical sensations related to the trauma take on a life of their own.

The sensory fragments of memory intrude into the present, where they are literally relived.

As long as the trauma is not resolved, the stress hormones that the body secretes to protect itself keep circulating, and the defensive movements and emotional responses keep getting replayed.

.

.

My two cents: Dissociation is the king of all PTSD symptoms, it is where trauma fuels itself and takes over large pieces of time.

Conversely, PTSD has a difficult time functioning in this present moment, when we are focused.

It is simple, not easy, in fact our biggest challenge Childhood abuse brings to our doorstep.

.

.

Bad days look like this now

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/types-of-anxiety/ptsd

.

.

How do we describe something no one else can feel or see? It is PTSD of course.

Yesterday my nervous system ramped up enough to make me uncomfortable.

I felt something bad was going to happen, it is a theme that has played since my earliest childhood memories.

It is subconscious and insidious. Certain feeling predate my brain developing, so it feels ghostly to me.

Life became guarded, like someone with a gun was going to ambush me. Abstract and unknown.

PTSD does not explode with triggers anymore, it manifests like this now.

Unworthiness and shame have replaced triggers firing violently. It is a vast improvement but PTSD survives.

Damn, I have worked hard and long to kill all my trauma but some always survives.

I play defense until it breaks.

It is a day of letting go and distracting myself with chores, tasks, meditating and exercise.

It is a time to let thoughts about depression and unworthiness flow on through.

It is a time when PTSD steals my opportunity to feel normal, happy.

It unplugs all my healing as PTSD raises its ugly head again in my life.

I have to control my anger at my abusers and betrayers.

PTSD has become much more stealthy and subtle, not the triggers exploding mess it once was.

People without childhood abuse have no idea, no clue what life is like for us.

.

.

Some feelings from childhood never left

https://pixabay.com/users/ambermb-3121132/

.

.

On my journey much of my trauma has been integrated, great improvement has been achieved. How much more remains, I have no clue.

I lived a complete childhood fearing what was going to happen, and terrible things happened every week.

Now it is the unknown, out there. With our trust issues we believe harm is close.

How do you change that kind of fear, that feeling something bad is going to happen. I have always lived with that feeling deep inside.

I would ask others, what it is like not to feel this way? I guess this is why autonomy and worthiness are strangers to us.

I do not remember a time, when I felt confident life was safe. I have been happy at times but that never eliminated that doom was near. So any happiness was rigid and contained, able to be destroyed in a second.

Failure, loss, ridicule and suffering happened multiple times every week.

How do you change a nervous system trained to fire at imminent danger every week as a kid.

My nervous system never knew a safe space, never felt safe.

I always had to go back home as a child.

When your trapped for 16 years like this, our nervous systems will never resemble a normal persons.

Realizing this fact, let’s me set expectations that are realistic.

If I think happiness is being like a normal person, that is never going to happen.

We can achieve happiness but it will be entirely different.

I do not expect to trust others but I do expect to be happy.

I know others have their subconscious fears of the unknown.

.

.

Healing takes massive change in our behavior

https://markmanson.net/

.

.

I have made massive changes in my life to improve from childhood abuse.

Thoughts are treated like air, useless for the most part.

Those 60,000 thoughts that arrive daily, I try to allow all to flow on through.

Emotions are ephemeral, transparent and fleeting now.

Thoughts and emotions along with anxiety ruled my world for many years, that has changed.

My awareness is a main actor on life’s stage, finally.

Do no harm starts with the guy looking back at me in the mirror. No derogatory self talk or unworthiness is tolerated.

My nervous system has become my friend, an enormous change.

I am much kinder to myself, more accepting, more loving.

My gratitude grows as I battle.

I am not afraid of traum anymore.

It is still there and takes a toll from time to time.

Guilt and worry haunted me.

They have lost great power but survive.

.

.

This is how a narcissistic parent operates.

https://pixabay.com/users/pixel2013-2364555/

.

.

Understanding our weaknesses is the first step in filling the gaps.

Realize we were like an it, a thing, an inanimate object to our narcissistic abuser.

Narcissist empathy centers are not functioning correctly.

My dad was incapable of seeing me as a person needing support or love.

Why should I be pissed at that. Brain damage or mental illness is just that.

Expecting him to repair his empathy center is beyond foolish.

Right now, it does not matter, what he felt or thought.

Healing is the responsibility of the guy who looks back at me in the bathroom mirror.

If I believe I am at the center of my happiness, this moment is the most important moment in life, then we move onto the next moment, free of any baggage.

I have carried my trauma baggage long enough.

Healing also happens in this present moment.

I can not go back in the past and alter my abuse or go into the future looking for happiness.

All we have is this mundane moment, that’s it.

Nothing I accomplish in the future can bring happiness or fix my abuse.

If we can not find a way to be happy right now, we will never be happy.

Happiness lives in one time zone, now.

This is our invisible war, no one else knows or sees happening.

.

.

Childhood abuse happens over years and years

Quotes (Inspirational +Motivational+Love Quotes)

.

.

Inside my head, childhood abuse (trauma) is extremely confusing, memory extremely spotty, and accuracy is influenced by the terror at the time it was stored.

The duration of time involved, 13, 14 or 15 years maybe.

The incidents of abuse are to many, to varied and to jumbled together to see a clear narrative.

Childhood abuse carries a ghostly quality for us, things did not work out. We will carry certain traits through life because of this abuse.

That is what we face. Know the enemy.

My inward exploration of PTSD has helped me improve.

I know exactly where my trauma manifests in my body.

I take my breath into the center of my solar plexus, observing the unrest with a curiosity.

In due time, my fight or flight mechanism became my friend, trauma did not scare me after that.

Oh it has risen up and disrupted my life, but I am not afraid of my PTSD anymore.

Reflect on your relationship with your PTSD.

You probably have experienced the worst PTSD can do to you already.

We get lost and confused.

Why fear what you have been able to endure for how long, years?

Responses are encouraged, this is not meant to be a monologue.

.

.

%d bloggers like this: