More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework

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Blueberry

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #210 on: September 03, 2020, 10:26:25 PM »
Thank you san. Atm I'm not really taking it onboard, except that I agree I'd probably see the progress in somebody else, just not in me.  :thumbdown:

Today I went ahead and bought some icecream and then I ate it all. That was not healthy. But the good thing was that for the first time when mindlessly eating I felt into what was going on while I was eating it. The answers are pretty disastrous really. No, it didn't taste particularly good, I didn't like it being cold (!), I didn't really feel anything. It was a habit more than anything else. It's a habit which leads to me not being able to do anything else while eating. This time and other times too eating ice cream and bread (don't ask) made me so full that I felt incapable of doing anything else afterwards so lay down on my sofa and dozed though there are tons of things to be done or rather were tons of things to be done. It's now approaching midnight.

So mindlessly eating is an avoidance tactic. Or at least that's one big reason behind it. There may be more. But this is the one I have been able to grasp now. It's not really that surprising because that's one of the reasons I ate as a child. Looking further into the work I've been doing with my T in the past couple of weeks: What can strengthen me so that I don't feel?/think? my only recourse is avoidance? Today in therapy we came up with the idea of my M's friend in my childhood, the one who recently died, being simply there for me the way she was when I was a child.

I did conjure up her image before eating icecream and before disappearing off to my sofa again but I consciously decided for what seemed easiest, which was the unhealthy. But I know that one of the qualities of this family friend is that she is forgiving, she doesn't hold things against you and rant on about "it's all your fault. It's too late now, you can never change. Make one mistake or one bad decision and it's for life". No. That's all FOO thoughts (and still mine too when applied to myself). This family friend isn't like that. Her very presence in my mind is reminding me that I did feel into the situation at all and that was a step forward :cheer: And that I conjured up her picture of how Little Blueberries remember her, thereby pushing out FOO voices :cheer: All steps forward. Having done them once, it'll be easier another time. And probably also easier another time to do tasks without feeling the need to avoid them. No need to avoid, no need to eat icecream or chocolate or whatever beforehand.

It's also good that I wrote about this at all here :cheer: :cheer: I came on earlier to write this but felt too ashamed to write for various reasons e.g. it's such an easy answer why didn't I come up with it before? Compared to what everybody else is going through on the forum atm this is chickenfeed :blahblahblah: :blahblahblah: :blahblahblah:

One: it may be simple and straightforward, but it's definitely not easy for me, otherwise I would have had these realisations earlier. In fact, Bingo! Just realised it's possible reconnecting with a forgiving, motherly energy from my childhood has been what has made it possible for me to remember that eating was an avoidance tactic. Otherwise the memory might have sent me reeling, as realisations and memories that seem like 'not much' often do.

They may seem like 'not much' but that's trauma for you. Not logical, not rational that I feel thrown off course by these types of memories but it's just the way it is. Now after writing all that out, things are much clearer for me, much clearer than when I started.

The other thing I felt when eating icecream is fear, worry. This fear is that once I know what is behind eating icecream etc I won't have an excuse to eat icecream anymore. 'Not knowing' / ignorance is an excuse. Once I actually know, then no excuses. However just thinking about what I've written already, this rationale is bogus. Possibly some ICr. from way back in the past or possibly more recently.

Now I realise being open to these thoughts, realisations, and making changes in my mind is/was way more important than going on holiday or even teaching people I didn't feel capable of teaching, or cleaning or anything. In fact i possibly come to these sorts of realisations only when I've been at some sort of rockbottom for a while. My T has said before that what didn't work is the interesting thing in therapy, so no shame in talking about it.

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sanmagic7

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #211 on: September 04, 2020, 03:59:23 AM »
my dear blueberry, i totally relate.  just like w/ my smoking, doing something that's easier if not healthier.  no judgment here.  you're doing what you can to make it thru the day (by the by, bread is a biggie for me, too).

please, be as gentle as possible w/ yourself.  you deserve compassion and acceptance rather than what you've gotten in the past.  i'm glad you have someone who at least you can picture as being caring to you.  as you keep going, i don't doubt she and what she did for you will begin translating to what you can do for yourself.  love and hugs  :bighug:  sending a gentle embrace to bring you into a better place for you.

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Blueberry

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #212 on: September 04, 2020, 10:51:32 PM »
As I sometimes do, I was reading the earlier part of this Journal. I see how far I've come so I now feel more upbeat. I remind myself of things like remembering to do my breathing exercises, but also when I'm sliding around the way I am atm (past few days), it's probably because I'm in a multi-layered EF. So beneficial to be gentle with myself and not use my ICr voice. Also there's a reminder back there of focussing on my successes and not all on what I should/could be doing.

Successes today: Had a bath and washed my hair; went to somebody else's garden and picked some fruit; asked a few other people if they wanted any; delivered some; washed some dishes; made myself tea and drank it; stocked the FurBabies up on hay and attended to the pets I'm pet-sitting; took the time to sit there and stroke one of them;

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sanmagic7

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #213 on: September 05, 2020, 02:53:39 AM »
a great list of successes, blueberry.  well done :thumbup:  love and hugs to you :hug:

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notalone

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #214 on: September 05, 2020, 02:54:49 PM »
a great list of successes, blueberry.  well done :thumbup:  love and hugs to you :hug:

 :yeahthat:    Hug from me too.  :grouphug:

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Blueberry

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #215 on: September 05, 2020, 05:45:17 PM »
Thank you both!  :) :hug: :hug:

The big success I forgot to write about was: a few days ago I finally wrote that bill https://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?topic=6316.msg104663#msg104663

After doing that, I didn't feel anything. With my head, I knew it was good that I'd finally done it, but feelings? :Idunno: :Idunno:

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Today instead of eating sugar, I'm eating cheese. That isn't any better; cheese is a substitute for something. My homework would be to try and feel while I'm eating cheese what it's doing for me. And then sometime try and feel in advance.

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sanmagic7

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #216 on: September 05, 2020, 06:24:32 PM »
good luck with your homework, blueberry.  that's quite a process to go through, to my mind.  i don't know, and i'm not saying anything neg. against it.  just the idea of being so introspective about feelings sounds like a lot to me.  maybe it's cuz of the state i'm in, where i'm not feeling much of anything, either.  like i've put it all on hold.

anyway, congrats on getting that bill finished and out of your way.   :cheer:

you're making progress, tho, and that's never a bad sign, right?  slowly, surely, wins the race, even if we splatter mud about sometimes.  love and hugs, my dear. :hug:

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Hope67

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #217 on: September 06, 2020, 08:34:54 AM »
Hi Blueberry,
 :cheer: for the fact you finally wrote that bill.  That is great!  Do you think the feelings will follow eventually, or do you think they won't surface?  I just wondered - please disregard if that's not something you want to consider or reply to.  I just wondered.

What you wrote about food, it's interesting.  It's provoking thought amongst my own parts, as I'm also considering my relationship with food at the moment.  Sugar and cheese, quite different foods, but the effect could be similar or different. 

Sending you a hug, and also love  :hug:

Hope  :)

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Blueberry

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #218 on: September 07, 2020, 11:31:56 PM »
I haven't actually got any further with feeling into food issues. Possibly it's too early or just too difficult at a time when I'm hardly grounded anyway. In fact, I bought myself something fairly junky today so that I would at least eat something other than non-stop garden fruit.

Hope, I don't think the feelings will follow for that particular bill but maybe in the future at a similar kind of moment they'll come back up. Thank you for your support and love and hugs. It makes me feel quite emotional. This is a point in group therapy where Ts would say to me: "Stop. Feel it. Stay with it. Don't rush on with your head about other things." So I'm stopping to feel it and to feel support from others, like the deceased friend of my mother's and her daughter, my childhood friend. And then back to feeling it from you again, Hope. You're giving it unconditionally, whatever state I'm in and whatever I'm doing to myself. You too, san.

Atm I'm feeling shame about all sorts. I know I can write that here and nobody will say "Correct, you should feel ashamed of yourself." or: "I would too. Why can't you get your act together?" Not that I would ever think that about anybody else on here, but about myself, yes. But others on here don't say that to me! Just those (imagined) toxic voices from FOO.

A good while ago in T, I said something like I have to look at these things or keep working on them - something like that. My T said that I don't actually. Plenty of people don't. It's a choice. Which is sort of good and bad. It is reality. Nobody is forcing me to go to T or try and change and heal. It's good I suppose because 'have to', 'should' etc just make me rebel and do nothing but it's bad because in order to heal or even just leave my present slump and go back to trying to find small joys in life, I need to become active in the sense of at least making a decision to get back on the path... If need be, keep re-making this decision every hour or every day.

I attempted to write a Highly Recommended/Could list for tomorrow. For Highly Rec, I got down meds 1 + 2, get up and stay up. But balked at writing Meds 3 + vit D., so they went on Could list. Yet taking Meds 3 would really help me get back on track and get structured again. I was surprised otoh that there was no internal rebellion at having 'stay up' on my Highly Rec. list. So that's the kind of state I'm in atm.

I am reading other people's posts atm but hardly responding because it's too much effort for me. Sorry.

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Blueberry

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #219 on: September 10, 2020, 11:04:18 AM »
Today in T on a phone call because somehow medical conference call system not functioning properly, we worked on CSA. That in itself is progress because a few months ago my T suggested we maybe work on CSA next time I'm back in his office rather than doing it via video call and now we started on it just via phone :thumbup:

Anyway unusually for me I managed to write about lots of the session in my paper Journal right after the session. What's happened since writing all that: the cold in my knees which was followed by ache and then a wobbly feeling has now been replaced by a feeling that I have bubbles in my right knee joint. That does mean that my knee still feels a bit wobbly but it also feels as if something is being released and/or will be released in a good way!

It's fitting too because in the work we did today there was a lot of movement and impulse to release from my guts and later even from further down. 'from further down' is in itself progress. In T or when practising on my own I've often felt a channel or maybe more like a fairly wide tube running up and down between my throat and my guts through which sensations and emotions or even images and plain old breath can flow but this is afaik the first time in my decades long therapy process when there has been a connection right down into the base of my spine or more accurately a bit further towards the front of my anatomy. It's certainly the first time with my present therapist, so first time in 5 years, first time since starting qualified one-on-one trauma T  :thumbup: :applause: Huge progress. I'm even starting to feel tears behind my eyes, at the amount of progress maybe. I have an impulse to use the cheerleader symbol combined with that feeling like an inappropriate symbol for anything to do with CSA.

 :cheer: I've added it now because it went on to feel as if it's shame holding me back from using it. Like - 'how can you possibly use a cheerful, frivolous (OK, that last word is definitely my ICr. speaking) symbol when talking about something so serious as CSA?' Up pops an image of M (the one who did CSA) opining that if I can use the cheerleader symbol then 'obviously' no CSA happened, obviously my allegations are false. I'm putting M right behind an imaginary bullet-proof glass screen from which she cannot escape, and I'm now adding F, B1, B2 in fact the whole of extended FOO - uncles, aunts, grandparents (g'parent generation all deceased), cousins, even little nieces and nephews and long-term family friends of g'parent generation, they are all going behind the darkened bullet-proof glass screen which is chained to a wall and now expanded sideways to hold them all away from me. B2 has just escaped and it's time the SILs went back there too. So, just repeating the imagination process and adjusting further to reduce size of B2 behind screen, to make him less dangerous. (If anybody is interested that's Screen Processing in progress!)

Huge progress! It's totally legitimate to celebrate a big forward step in CSA healing  with :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: M is totally and completely off with her insinuations about CSA 'obviously' not having happened. So is F who has just turned up to support M. That's just typical FOO logic or rather 'logic', denial, gaslighting and attempt at brain-washing.

ETA (for myself as much as anybody):
a little bit more progress occurred while I was writing here https://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?topic=13773.0
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 11:20:20 AM by Blueberry »

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Snowdrop

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #220 on: September 10, 2020, 12:14:38 PM »
That's huge, Blueberry! A big Well Done, a :hug:, and a well-deserved :cheer: (which is completely legitimate)

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Blueberry

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #221 on: September 11, 2020, 08:05:38 PM »
Thank you Snowdrop!  :) :hug:

_______________________________
Today I knew I needed to do activities that would help ground me and keep me grounded: non-strenuous and simple physical activity. Basically household and garden. There's a better energy flow in me atm so cleaning and tidying are easier than they often are. I did well in taking little breaks throughout the day when I felt I needed one. At some point I lay down on my back, listened to calming music and relaxed into sleep for a longer break. I woke up quite refreshed. That doesn't often work but today I knew it would. I also did well feeling that trying to do some office work in the morning like contracts and bills wasn't a good plan so I didn't do that till early evening.

All in all doing quite well today :cheer: I got a lot done off my Highly Recommended + Could lists. The only thing is: it's pretty late for my evening meal, but I do need it. Too hungry to just go to bed without eating, I wouldn't fall asleep. That's something to work on: making time during the day to have my main meal instead of keeping on going with jobs. Cooking or other meal preparation tends to take longer and use up more energy than it 'should' so I put it off a bit, also in case I'm incapable of continuing any of my chores afterwards, which happens too unfortunately.

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Blueberry

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #222 on: September 15, 2020, 04:59:27 PM »
I am sooo tired. It just came on. I would like to eat sugar or lie down and doze. I'm meant to be going to choir practice in 45 minutes. Just dozed off in front of the computer in fact and been woken up by a dog barking outside, not remembering where I was or anything.

Part of me does want to go to choir practice but at least one part of me is so, so tired. Trying to feel what's going on makes me want to fall asleep. I'm meant to be going to choir practice reminds me of 'should' which is never good. Do I want to go? No. I do want to sing, even in a group, even in the choir but I don't want to go to practice. (Just feeling all that rn). So: I presume there's something (or somebody) triggering at choir practice. Inner Head nods. And I doze off again at the computer. It has been really pretty hot today, especially for Sept., which probably hasn't been helping my urge to lie down and rest, and maybe fall asleep.

Somebody was clattering about outside my office windows today while I was teaching. It was quite distracting so I opened the window to ask what was going on and discovered somebody measuring things. Apparently, ll intends to get major work done in the attic and then add balconies at the back of the building. (Why that involves measuring my office windows at the front of the building is anybody's guess). With both of those going on, there will be scaffolding at the front and back of the building. I notice how unsettling that feels. Unsettling is then triggering, in my case.

That really feels like enough for today: discovering how unsettling the latter feels and that that triggers; feeling the dilemma re: choir practice and knowing that cognitive ideas like: "oh, you should just go" aren't helpful. I also had a bath and hairwash this early afternoon. It took me till 12 noon to leave the house to go and do that. Bath (or even worse shower) and hair wash are so difficult that I put them off for days, then hours. I remember my T saying that doing therapy homework is not like training for a marathon but rather just to keep the ball rolling in T and in healing. My ball is definitely rolling. No stress, no pressure (on self)!

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Blueberry

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #223 on: September 15, 2020, 10:17:04 PM »
"I would like to eat sugar or lie down and doze." I did both. Well, ate sugary somethings not just spoonfuls of it. Then went to sleep for 2 hours. No choir practice.

I think after my doze I just needed time to do 'not very much'. It was way too late to go to choir practice anyway, but even if it hadn't been, choir practice involves work. Yes, it's a hobby, but I work on improving; my muscles are working, my breathing is working and psychologically there's often quite a bit going on too beyond what might be happening as a result of concentrating on breathing. My tiredness before choir practice that has always sometimes resulted in me not going at all is probably self-protective. Possibly more prevalent or at least more readily recognisable by me atm because I'm feeling more into my body, bit by bit. In fact, the topic: how can I exercise without causing myself constant exhaustion is on the cards for T quite soon. The answer will of course not be the usual "start slow, don't do too much" etc. This will be something that goes way deeper.

The past week or so when I've been moderating again, I noticed an interesting phenomenon. After I stopped moderating, I forgot so many of the rules so fast! A mbr on here not realised I had stopped moderating, sent me a pm question and I remember my response went along the lines of "I honestly can't remember." So then I have been so surprised that almost as soon as I was back moderating, I remembered the rules e.g. what kind of links can be posted etc.

That combined with how I report posts made me think that when I'm being Moderator, I'm displaying / practising hypervigilance and that that is probably tiring for me, even to the point of being exhausting (not to mention for my fellow Mods  ;)  ), but as soon as I stop Modding, I can at least turn the hypervigilance off and use the energy elsewhere. Well, it makes sense in my feelings anyway, even if I might not be explaining myself so well.

In work or other contexts, this hypervigilance may be seen as "great attention to detail :thumbup:", "overly picky", "indecisive", even "argumentative" or otherwise pretty negative especially from colleagues.

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sanmagic7

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Re: More Concrete Steps, More Therapy Homework
« Reply #224 on: September 15, 2020, 10:52:12 PM »
 :hug: