Tuesday, 10 June 2014

It's funny learning about the brain

I found it really helpful to have it explained to me why I've been feeling as I have, and how the brain reacts to trauma. Even more helpful was being told that this is NORMAL. That this is the way the brain deals with things. Also, that some parts of the brain are different from others. Like the hippocampus, the part of the brain that's largely responsible for 'being stuck' and causing me to respond to dozens of triggers as if the danger were still present.

Knowing how and why I've been feeling and acting as I have has been really, really helpful to me. And knowing I was, and am, NORMAL has helped to remove any of the feelings of guilt that I shouldn't be feeling like this... that I should be able to 'snap out of it'... or that I was going crazy.

So, for me, a large part of the therapy has been helping me to accept that this is happening to me rather than trying desperately to 'snap out of it', that it is eminently normal, and that - given the right responses on my part i.e. various exercises set by my therapists - I would come through it. Like a physical injury, I needed to give it time to heal, and the right environment for it to heal in.

I've had a combination of psychotherapy and hypnotherapy. So far, the hypnotherapy has been helpful for dealing with my sleeping problems / nightmares. It's very relaxing, too!

I've also taken up yoga at home, to a soundtrack of spa-type music. Feeling physically stronger helps me to feel mentally stronger. (Also yoga is a good way to prepare for surfing and I plan to re-visit the surfing in September.)

Most important of all, I think, for me it's been a case of taking the time to be kind to myself. Not in a stroke, stroke, oh you poor little mother going through all this terrible trauma way, but in an acceptance that, finally, I have my life back - and I can move on. I just need to remind my hippocampus that this is the case. The danger has gone.

I'm not saying the trauma inside my head has gone completely, though. But I feel a million times better than I did, say, in January when I really did think I was going crazy!

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