Since I’ve found that the great therapists tend to sustain themselves off the tears of their patients, I’m not shocked when mine gives me homework. 😆😜
My current assignment is to write my journey here. But also to find where in my body the panic/anxiety STARTS. Not to be confused with where it lands (which I feel in my heart & upper chest by the time it’s a full blown panic attack). Supposedly this is the best way to cut it off at its knees before it gets unbearable.
I’m having a bit of a hard time with it. When I think about recent anxiety attacks, it just feels like I am in my head whilst in conflict with someone and haven’t really felt anything until it gets bad- that I’ve noticed anyway – so I’m a bit skeptical. But my therapist swears by it and it’s helped her so I’m going into this with an open mind and heart. She has pissed me off before but she’s usually always right in these matters. Haha
Once I’ve found the physical hints of anxiety, I can proceed to then do my breathing exercises (here are some in case anybody would like to know: Breathing Exercises ) and grounding techniques (like finding things I can touch/taste/see/smell/etc and some tapping).
Sometimes, with healing, it’s hard to see the progress because the journey isn’t linear. Sometimes it feels worse before it gets better or you think you’re “healed” and then have an emotional relapse, etc. But my therapist pointed out something interesting to me: that my feelings seemed to be more physical these days than mental. While it can obviously FEEL real shitty when negative events occur, I actually take that as a win. I take it as a win because I was dissociated and checked out of my body for so long – for decades, really. Even the things supposedly pleasurable like sex was numbing and I’d have to hurt myself to even feel anything. I was so checked out that if I’m now IN my body (which microdosing psilocybin helped me connect with), OF COURSE I’m going to now have to process the physical somatic of past shit. Maybe I’ve healed more than I’ve realized. It’s important to take the successes and acknowledge them.
I’ve had some people say to me that I live in the past. Yeah, well. That’s not false some of the time. But my body reacts in the present due to past traumatic circumstances so it’s not just “in the past” for me. These are present circumstances. If I feel like I can’t breathe unless I gtfo, that’s for sure a present problem.
Side note: If anybody is curious about how trauma is stored in your body, I highly recommend this book: The Body Keeps the Score
I watched some documentary on Netflix with Jonah Hill & his therapist, Phil Stutz and I thought it was really cool . Firstly, because it helps to end the stigma of mental health. Secondly, Stutz drops some nuggets of wisdom and therapeutic tips. Lastly, because it’s a well known MALE actor and I think it’s cool that emotional vulnerability can be tackled for the males among us along with all the rest of us.
Too many men are taught to repress their emotions. I can’t even imagine not being allowed to cry. I’d probably be in jail or dead tbh if I was a dude. Crying, for me, is my emotional outlet – if I’m happy, angry or sad, tears leak out of my eyeballs. No fail. If I was shamed for doing it like little boys are (think of how often we’d hear the words: “Man Up!”), I would be so destructive. Repressing everything is so unhealthy.
So maybe me writing it all here with what I discover along this healing journey will help someone else. It seems like a safe enough space to discuss this… when I do it in person, I seem to trigger people. Many people aren’t going to heal in their lifetime and feel no need to and that’s OK. But I kind of have to do this because the other option is ending my life. Some of us just don’t have a choice in the matter.
Almost hoping for a panic attack now so I can ACE this homework . Hahaha
Will keep updating as I go. Chat again soon ✌🏼