"Am I forgetting something?" Nope, it's Hypervigilance!

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Eidolon

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"Am I forgetting something?" Nope, it's Hypervigilance!
« on: September 15, 2020, 09:51:31 PM »
I realized something today!

When I finally start to relax, I immediately think I'm forgetting something crucial. Even when there's nothing I could possibly be forgetting! Originally I thought it was a memory issue, but that wouldn't be it. I think it's because I've never actually relaxed, so my brain doesn't know how to make sense of it. Being stressed about being calm is confusing sometimes. :stars:

Does anyone else relate? Am I off-base, or does that seem reasonable?

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woodsgnome

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Re: "Am I forgetting something?" Nope, it's Hypervigilance!
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 04:03:56 PM »
What you're describing, Eidolon, has been fairly common for me.

Years ago I wanted only to get to a peaceful state of being. Externally, I've gone a far ways to achieving that -- quiet life style, very peaceful and ambient home, pets (now just 1 cat; sometimes had more + dogs) -- relaxing music, great reading material, etc. Pretty idyllic except for the hypervigilance that never went away.

Yes, I'm trying multiple things to deal with it, and can do fairly well, mostly just for short periods. It's awful to have to be hypervigilant in reminding myself not to be hypervigilant!

So ... you're not at all alone, Eidolon.  :hug: I did mention that sometimes I can at least tone it down, if not swoosh it away entirely. Hoping you can find relief, and then more of the calm you deserve.

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rainydiary

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Re: "Am I forgetting something?" Nope, it's Hypervigilance!
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 06:02:18 PM »
I experience it too - even in my sleep.  Last night my dreams were filled with missteps and errors and I woke up in the middle of the night. 

I also find short term things that help - sometimes I donít realize something is bugging me or that Iím not managing as well as I thought until I canít sleep or end up having an EF. 

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woodsgnome

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Re: "Am I forgetting something?" Nope, it's Hypervigilance!
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 07:56:50 PM »
I feel like I need to add something that, in my current rounds of hypervigilance, I forgot about until a while after I'd posted my earlier comment in this thread.

Yes, hypervigilance (and so many other symptoms of c-ptsd) is horribly disconcerting, as the mind seems to grab hold and in cahoots with inner critic run riot on one's emotions. But after writing the earlier post, another thought galloped by, and I grabbed it.

See, one of the things I've found out over the years is to stay open enough for surprises. Well -- surprise! There was a time in my life that hypervigilance worked out well for me. Huh?

Okay, by way of explanation, through a variety of other surprises I ended up for quite a few years as an improv actor in a small theatrical troupe. Improv acting is done without a script, so it requires quick changes and reactions in whatever dialogue or subject is being bantered about.

I'd never have considered myself as cut out for anything like theatrical acting, let alone improv. Enter hypervigilance, which worked to my advantage in developing the needed quick thinking (I don't consider myself as a quick thinker in my 'regular' life -- just the opposite, in fact). So, long story short, I was both surprised and pleased to be able to draw on my hypersensitive nature -- in theatrical settings, it served me well.

The caveat -- was it so wonderful that I now think hypervigilance is a great thing? No way -- it often drives me nuts. But one of my goals in recovery is also to be open to surprise and the strange twists that might -- just might -- sometimes be in store.

I offer this not as advice, just as an example of how I was able to see this uncomfortable part of me in another light. That yes, I'm bothered by being so hypersensitive, but that -- surprise! -- it actually worked to my benefit while I was in a vocation that thrived on keeping the senses open, even if coming from within a hyper sort of backstory.

I hope this is understood. Mainly just to realize and be surprised by some things not always readily seen. To be slightly tacky (wacky?), finding that hypersensitivity could have a positive spin was, I suppose, one of those unexpected 'silver linings'. In this case the good part was that I'd never have expected it.

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Snookiebookie2

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Re: "Am I forgetting something?" Nope, it's Hypervigilance!
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2020, 05:33:19 AM »
Yes, I can relate.

I have almost constant hypervigilance, and it's close relation, overthinking.

I can say it's quite useful at times. It means I can preempt problems and avoid them. Makes me good in organizing and planning.

But it can backfire.  Occasionally I see problems that aren't there, and appear a little paranoid.   

But it's the cost that very expensive.  It's a personal cost. Being constantly on edge means I have tense muscles (body armouring) which is extremely painful.  Plus its emotionally very draining. 

I'd love to switch off.  To just enjoy the moment.  I try to be mindful, but I get sucked back in by "what ifs" and back into an anxiety spiral.