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Wednesday, 28 January 2015 03:22

In the Middle of Anxiety...

 Anxiety is many things. Those of us that struggle with it would never name any of those things in a positive manner. Instead we would say things like, anxiety is...

 

Tormenting

Suffering

Burdening

Painful

Exhausting

Scary

Confusing

Lonely

Life altering (negatively)

 

...amongst many other negative things. But, what if I told you that anxiety can also be...

 

Inspiring

Enlightening

Empathetic

Growth providing

Strength Building

Clarifying

Life altering (positively)

 

Would you believe me? Somebody in the middle of an anxiety episode would probably say no. But here's the kicker...its in the middle of our anxiety, smack dab in the core of its intensity, that we can experience those exact things. That's right. Instead of feeling and experiencing all of those negative things, we can experience the positive ones. Or at the very least, we can have both. Now before you write me off as crazy, or someone who just doesn't understand, hear me out. This advice is not coming from someone on the outside who has no clue what it is like to suffer the anguish of anxiety. To the contrary, I have been at the brunt of anxiety and its many forms (panic, generalized, social, health related, phobias, OCD) for as long as I can remember. To make matters worse, I did not understand what it even was until I was in my 20's. Up until then I walked around internalizing everything and wondering if I truly was crazy. And, 6 years later, I am still fighting the good fight. I actually had one of the worst years ever with my anxiety this past year. But, on the flip side, it was because of this past year that I experienced more growth and clarity than I have in my whole life. Facing the worst of my anxiety head on forced me to become stronger. It pushed me to understand myself better and what I have to offer.

 

Now when I think to myself “what I wouldn't give to never experience another episode,” I stop and remind myself of all of the good things I would have to give up along with it. In the end I wouldn't be myself anymore. I eventually had to ask myself, is that what I really want? To not be me anymore? I mean, sure I am anxious, but I am anxious because I love deeply, because I care deeply. Some might say I care too much which is why I worry about everything, but whats so wrong with caring on that kind of a level? Would I rather not care at all? Who says that is better? Sometimes I think others could be more empathetic and caring. Sometimes I see what not caring enough can do and I am grateful to be as sensitive as I am. I believe that people with anxiety are more than just worriers. They are what I like to call highly sensitive people. I don't mean this in the sense that you say one wrong thing and we break down and cry. I mean that we are highly sensitive to all aspects of this world.

 

I truly believe that people with anxiety see the world from an enhanced perspective. In turn, this allows them the ability to see the beauty in things, deeply feel the love that life has to offer, and to find the growth in every experience. This makes for excellent teachers, writers, advice givers, artists, creators and even leaders. Unfortunately, as a result of this intensity and sensitivity, we tend to dwell and flounder in the negative aspects of this world and life. This is due to our “knowing” of all that can be lost or taken from us. Anxiety truly is a double-edged sword. However, I also look at anxiety as almost like a sixth sense that we just don't know what to do with. But, once this is realized and respected, anxiety can be used to our advantage. Once those of us with anxiety understand it as being a direct result of our very nature and a key component in who we are as a being in this life, we can stop fearing it and start embracing and accepting it for all that it is, both positive and negative. Now, this is easier said than done, but it can be done. It takes work and it takes daily reminders and practice when you are in the thick of it, but you will slowly start to realize why your anxiety is manifesting and how to take that intense energy and put it towards something positive. Does this mean that I have it all figured out and will never experience anxiety again? Certainly not! It actually means that I am learning to accept it as an inevitable part of my existence, but at the same time I strive to find the positive in it as often as I can. In others words, I strive to let it lift me up instead of beat me down.

  

 For example, for me this requires writing. I realized that all of the thoughts inside my head need an outlet. It is important to me to find a way to inspire and help others with my words. It is a yearning in my soul. This inspires me to find the growth in every experience life throws at me so I can share my learning with others. It keeps me from feeling sorry for myself and gives me a reason to push forward. I also love to draw because it allows me to not think about anything for a change. I also know that being alone is nice sometimes, but too much of that is never a good thing for me. And I know I sometimes have to force myself to join in on certain activities or groups because in the end I know it will benefit me. I know I need to vent sometimes and have found a great therapist who understands me. I also have a great husband who has had to take on the brunt of a lot of my anxiety, and I am starting to learn that it is not fair and not best for me to expect him to know how to help me all the time. This is why I have my therapist, this community, groups, family, and close friends as well. I am also following my curiosity and yearning for understanding my spirituality and what I truly believe is beyond this life. This is a long road too, but I know it is crucial to my existence. Bottom line, I am learning to understand myself and am starting to explore my potential through all of it, the good and the bad. You just have to find what works for you. This journey will be different for everybody, but the goal should generally be the same. To learn to understand yourself, your potential, and to love all that you are and have to offer, because we are all perfectly imperfect and are designed to be just so.  

Published in Anxiety General Blog
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 20:55

60 days without a panic attack

So Its been 61 days without having any kind of Panic or Anxiety Attack for me. (I know this because I made a post back than here, and it says 61 days ago ^^)
Because this is a huge achivement for me (before that time, there wasn`t a single week without at least some small anxiety attacks) I decided to write down my thoughts on what made my symptoms dissapear.

 

Basically what happend was that I got pretty sick exactly that day I got this last and also worst panic attack. (I cant say if it was a coincidence or not) After one week of sickness I was hospitalized because I pretty much couldn`t feel my body chest downwards anymore. After some really rough days, things finally became better again, and day after day I got my feelings and strength back until I was pretty much recovered after an month after the outbreak.

 

The main thing i figured out that is different now, to the time I had attacks, is that I dont wanna change myself anymore. I always wanted to change my personality, wanted to be more outgoing, more extroverted and especially not anxious, and it just didnt work out. This created a huge pressure, I always tried harder and harder. Tried to prove myself to me and others, which possibly created my attacks in the end.

Now I have simply accepted the way I am and that there is no need to feel bad for beeing like I am, even though my personality is somewhat different from the mass. This acceptence of myself defenitly has been created during the really bad days in the beginning of my disease. 

With that pressure gone or at least decreased to a minimum, life feels a lot easier now. I find it a lot more easy to do exactly the things I like, and not feeling bad or ashamed about it, nor beeing affected by the opinion of others. Also I dont feel bad about beeing myself anymore, therfore I dont feel the need anymore to impress others. 

With all these factors gone, or at least decreased my panic and anxiety attacks also dissapeared.

This is at least how I think about it. Dont get me wrong I still wanna grow in terms of personality and so, but the approach is very different.

Back than I was unhappy with myself and simply tried to be somebody I am not. i put on a mask to hide my real self if you will.

Now I am happy with the way things are even if they are not perfect, and am trying to grow from this point. Slowly but consistently, like a tree building a solid trunk :)

 

 

At this point i wanna thank you all guys for your the help you gave me and will give me, you really are an awesome community. I also have to thank my therapist, who helped me tremendously in my Anxiety process, and of course my family. :)

 

 

I still have a long path before me, but now i feel good about it and now that I am on the right path.

 

tl;dr:
Accepting myself and my personality and not wanting to change anymore and beeing somebody different made my anxiety and panic attacks dissapear. 

Published in Diary
Thursday, 25 July 2013 18:36

My Wonderful World of Blogging

So yeah... I've been trying to make my own website basically just like  this one, but nobdy likes it I guess. Sucks to suck... but yeah if anyone actually cares I made a blog during the hardest part of my treatment called King Kong's Bitches. Yep. http://ocdfighter.blogspot.com/

My website for teens with OCD is called www.twaarp.wix.com and that blog is pretty boss: http://twaarp.blogspot.com/ LOOOVE IT!!

 

So yeah...

Published in Diary
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 21:53

Sleep Anxiety... Post #1 of my Journal

Last night I had a panic attack. I had spent the day barbecuing, drinking, and swimming with friends and at the end of the night, my boyfriend came over to spend the night.

We watched TV before we went to sleep. Even though I was the one who said I was tired, John was asleep in minutes. He began deep breathing/snoring which is common for him but before I knew it, I was in the beginnings of a panic attack.

After a minute or two of trying to prevent it, a full fledged panic attack overtook me.

I had to kick John out of my room, take a Xanax, and try not to throw up. Kicking John out of my bedroom was only because I tend to associate things with my panic attacks. If I get a panic attack while I'm doing something, I'll never do that something again, and obviously I don't want sleeping next to my boyfriend being something I try to avoid.

 

I had had a panic attack for the first time in weeks, maybe even months, three days earlier while on vacation. I ended up having to take two of my Xanax and throwing up. The next night I took a pill just in case-- before panic or anxiety could even begin. The night after that I was completley fine and slept in my apartment alone without any anxiety.

I don't understand why this happens to me. I had always been fearful of sleep situations as a child... I hated being by myself or being completely in the dark. I could never fall asleep before anyone at a sleepover for the fear they would wake me up. I have a fear of snoring or other sleep disturbances and these panic attack seriously take over my life.

 

I feel like no one understands what I'm going through and like it will never end.

Published in Diary

Siblings & Fires 

As a child life was not easy in my eyes. from the day i can remember i was the favourite out of 4 siblings. One older brother (now nearly 18) , One younger sister (nearly 16) , and One older Half-sister (25). 

They hated me. 

They bullied me, tormented me. Since i was a child. It happens all the time. I'm now a month away from turning 17 and it still happens. My brother suffers from ADHD and can be abusive when angry. He has shoved me once for having his shoe. He still torments me when he can. Just little digs but they hurt. My little sister was not as bad but she would just follow the others. Now days we dearly speak. She is under social workers due to many reasons and is bearly getting GCSEs (UK grades). The worse out them all is my oldest sister. She has always hated me. I was nothing to her but a waste of space. No matter what i do. just a few weeks ago she attacked me. In my room dragging me by the hair and punching and slapping me. All over hair products. She was forced to give me a apology by my mum & dad. However, I know she don't mean it. 

We all live with my parents. Its a daily thing. 

A few years ago there was a fire. My dad nearly died. I was 10 at the time. It was about 6/7am. was about to wake up for school when the fire started, flammable liquids started the fire. Our living room and kitchen was distoryed and everywhere was smoke damage. After the fire i was in shock. Didn't talk for days. It took two months for everything to recover. physically. I hated fire since. At age of 14 another fire. In the garden. It was 4am, i wake up to a bright light from the window, and i just saw flames. A uncle who hated us set fire to the shed. Everything burnt up. Including our poor rabbit. 

School

I hated school. I was a target for bullies. SInce primary they picked on me and shoved me. I struggled with words. I was a slow learner due to being half deaf. I cried myself to sleep and i felt alone. As secondary school started i though it would be a new start. Make friends, and start something. I was so wrong..... It just got worse. I was beaten many times and then one day a girl set my hair on fire with a busten burner. I had very long hair so thankfully i was not hurt. My mum took me out of school and was home schooled till i was 12. I started a new school. Nothing really changed much. Just 2weeks into a girl punched me in the face because i looked at her weirdly. A few months later i had enough. A girl was tormenting me in the locker room and i just snapped. I don't remember a lot but she was not expecting it since she got a broken nose. Life, got a little better after that. made friends and i started being a little happy, the bullying never stopped but it didn't bother me no more. 

My Mum & Dad 

I loved my mum and dad. But there not perfect. My mum was abusive to my dad. meanly and physically. Was not the best way to grow up. Night after night it just seemed to got worse as i got older. I get hunted by memories of them. My mum suffers from depression and a lot of other things that i don't know much of. But she has huge anger problems. And refuses help. My dad is a gambler. he is addicted but, i'm the only person that knows. everyday he is on the gambling websites. When no one is around. I stopped him loads of times. However, i never confuted him. I'm just a silly teenager to him. He also has heart problems, and diabetes and a lot of other stuff. So i leave it.

Right now events 

Both of my nans died of cancer (One is 2011, Other just few weeks ago) . We are planning the funeral that is on the 18 of June. My dad is waiting for heart surgery and my brother and younger sister is failing education. My older sister still lives with us and has no plans to leave for a few more years.

Help Me 

 

Since i can remember i had always had a little bit of anxiety because of all of this. However, i got sick in December. Its got a lot worse. I went to a doctor but due to ill health they where more worried about that. Once i was better (February) it got to a point where i could not continue education and my social life vanished. It could be something small to trigger. Memories, Small pains, arguments, or nothing at all! It just seems its only getting worse. I'm starting to give up and thinking this is going to be my life. My boyfriend of nearly 2years is feeling the stress and i'm worried about the future. I just don't know what to so no more. This has made my year (and life) hell. I'm lucky to sleep at 5am let alone at all. Also to add i live in London. So medical stuff here is limited due to the NHS. Please if anyone has any advise contact me!

 

I Don't Know What To Do No More.

Published in Diary
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 18:39

Doctors + Sertaline

 

Well, I dont know about anybody else, but visiting the doctors is so nerve racking.. i fear the unwell people around me, germs, and anything the doctor may say.

found something useful.. if anybody gets nervous in the waiting rooms, take a kindle! the need to concentrate on the story helps the time go faster and reduce the anxiety and panic x

But atleast its good news for me today :), i am however also upping the dose of sertraline to 150mg... anybody else on this medication? and on this dose?? it is tripple the dose i was on a couple months ago. whats your views on it??

Atleast i have a very understanding doctor who rreally goes the extra mile to understand, listen and do the best she can for me, i really appriciate it :) its nice to have someone you can trust with your health and wellbeing.

 

x

Published in Diary
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 16:19

Feeling Good Feeling Strong

Feeling Good Feeling Strong

If you had told me ten years ago I would be going to Weight Watchers meetings I probably would have punched you in the face. In fact, after punching you in the face I would have laughed at the absurdity of your statement.
I wasn't a believer in the whole "metabolism slows down after 30" thing. I'd always eaten junk food like it was going out of style. I even worked at Burger King for like, two years in high school. Mainly because I had a friend who worked there and she told me it would be fun. And I believed her.
(Are we noticing a certain naivete in my younger self? I think so.)
Sadly, everything I refused to believe has kind of come true. I'm not saying I'm wildly overweight and am on track to need a crane to get me out of my recliner. I'm just saying, I'm not digging my 34-year old body and think I could be doing a better job steering this ship.
I suspect a part of the anxiety I've been wrestling with has been about the belief that I am not strong in body or in mind. Because every time I had to do something out of my comfort zone over the last ten years I'd either have to drug the shit out of myself with Xanax and/or Clonipin (which did not always work, eventually my tolerance for that shit was on par with that of an angry rhino) or have a massive panic attack. Not an "uh-oh, I'm feeling funny and I'm a wuss who can't handle it" attack. No indeed. The best way I can explain my experience of panic attack is: my vision will tunnel so I can't measure depth of field well. My hands, face, and chest tighten and heat to redness and sweating.
My thoughts go from: "I'm okay, I'm safe, everything is okay, just breathe."
To: "I want to die. I wish I would get hit by a car so I could have an acceptable reason for this bullshit. I hate myself. I hate life. I ruin everything and I'm no fun and nobody should ever love me because I am a piece of shit and there must be something wrong with these people because they brought me to their (Fill in the blank - game, concert, batchelorette  party, etc.)
Mixed with explosive diarrhea and nausea and usually followed by a migraine.
So no, it's not "all in my head."
I talk about my anxiety a lot because it has changed the shape of my life. It is not for sympathy. It is to help you understand that if you're the one having the panic attacks in your world  there is nothing wrong with you. You are not defective. You deserve good things. You deserve to live the highs and lows of your life. You can do it, if I could beat it, believe me you can too.
It's also so the friends and family members of the individual with the attacks can understand how awful it is. How debilitating and humiliating and painful. So even though you're pissed that your plans got messed with, no matter how bad you feel, the person actually having the attack hates themselves and feels worse about themselves more than you could ever know. Because the one having the attack not only gets all the effects I mentioned above, but they also feel guilty and ashamed for losing their shit in front of you and letting you down.
Want to help someone in that situation? Tell them it's okay. You just want them to be okay. Hopefully, prior to your event, you listened to them when they said what they were and were not comfortable with. Most of us with anxiety know our triggers and have developed ways to avoid them. Personally, for me it was always of great comfort to know that I could get to an event just before it actually started so I wouldn't have a lot of down time where I wasn't being distracted. It also meant I needed to drive myself places so I could go home if things got ugly at any point.
Therefore, the awful day in Erin History when my husband innocently brought me to the Patriots/Miami game (we're Dolphins fans, well, he is, I just go with it) was one of the darkest we've had. Because despite my telling him numerous times I did not feel good about tailgating, he wanted me there with him because he loves the Dolphins and he loves me. He is a man who wants me to share his life with him and part of that life involves actually going places and doing things. He believed I could do it.
I, on the other hand and despite my best efforts hyper focused on being trapped in a parking lot with NO ability to get out at all in case of emergency (stampede? fire? terrorists?). I knew myself back then and I knew sitting around trying to eat of all ridiculous things would be hard for me. And big surprise! It was a complete disaster that ended with his friends having to drive him home (about 2 hours out of their way might I add) as I went to the hotel next door and got the concierge to have their limo driver bring me to the Home Depot parking lot our truck was in. Because I wouldn't let him leave the game entirely. It's once a year his team comes to town and I insisted he stay.
Afterwards he was furious with me and I can only assume his friends thought I was absolutely insane/high maintenance/selfish/whatever else. Disaster isn't a strong enough word. However, please understand, my husband has been through this with me for four years now. He struggled to believe the limitations his otherwise laid back, easy going wife had. It doesn't make sense that someone can't do simple, fun things. It defies logic and my husband is a very logical fellow.
It took me another two years to find my panic and anxiety cure. And if you've been paying attention you know that was due in one part to a brilliant psychiatrist and the rest was Rhonda Britten/Kripalu wellness and yoga center in western MA. It took me about fourteen years to get to a place where panic does not control me and I feel safe in my own head.
The physical body stuff I'm hoping and praying will be easier. Certainly less traumatic that's for sure. In about six months, I'll be 35. It's my goal to be lean and mean and ready to rumble! With like, muscles, and stuff. Today at weigh-in I was down 2.4 pounds. Go me!
It didn't happen by accident, but neither do most things. Call me Point Tracking Mama when you see me. And I will fight the urge to punch you in the face. I promise.

Published in Therapists Blog
Thursday, 16 August 2012 15:08

EMDR Part II

Yesterday I talked about how great EMDR is. I explained how it works by essentially allowing you to change your old negative pathways of thinking and develop new, positive ones. This allows those old, negative pathways to heal over and eventually disappear. I tried to describe the feeling and experience of EMDR but in the interest of time I decided to make this a 2-part essay.

Going to an EMDR therapist you should probably be prepared to see and experience things differently than when you go to your regular therapist. While you are doing EMDR it is probably best to put your regular therapy on hold so you can focus solely on your work in this model. A lot of the time, you will only see your EMDR therapist for however many sessions it takes for you to reach your goals. This depends completely on the therapist you choose. Some only do the intense EMDR work and that is all they do. Others mix traditional therapy with EMDR and you may end up seeing them for longer. My main point here is, EMDR is intense, it's draining, it's real, actual work. Going to your traditional therapist while trying to do EMDR may be too much to handle and if it is, that's totally okay. If your therapist cannot or will not work with this, find out why first and foremost. Your therapist knows you, they may have very good, clinical reasons for their opinion. Hear them out and try to figure out what will work best for your specific treatment. If they try to talk you out of EMDR but you still feel strongly about it, then I would say you may either want to wait or visit an EMDR specialist in your area and see what they say. They will likely be completely happy to talk to your therapist and attempt to work out a treatment plan for you together with your therapist.

I should also explain that EMDR is different than a traditional therapy session. Your therapist will ask you questions and will most likely ask you to close your eyes and really visualize your answers. This is helpful in getting you to relax and feel open and ready. Your EMDR therapist will ask you to be aware of your thoughts and your body - how does it feel? Do you feel any particular sensation anywhere in the body and what do you feel or hear as a message when you pay attention to it? Your therapist will ask you to allow your mind to go wherever it needs to go, you may see memories in your minds eye of events you had totally forgotten about. You may experience sensations in your body - warmth, tingling, aching, tightening - pay attention to these sensations and make note of them and what they mean to you.

Your EMDR therapist also uses tools to help speed up your brains processing and building new pathways. These tools can be one or all of the following things - an approximately two foot long bar with small colored lights inside held up on a tripod or set on a desk or table - you will be asked to follow the lights with your eyes. Another possibility will be what I have experienced with both of my EMDR therapists. Small rounded paddles, approximately two inches around held in your hands that vibrate intermittently while you are searching through old memories. Or, your therapist may just ask you to follow his finger with your eyes and stand in front of you moving it back and forth while you focus on the movement with your eyes.

Remember - EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Re-processing. Studies have shown that moving your eyes or focusing your attention left-right, right-left, etc, directly effects the building of new neuro-pathways and brings symptom relief for PTSD, anxiety, and depression sufferers.

Through EMDR I learned the following pathway was alive and kicking in my brain. I began focusing on the sensation of anxiety in my chest, my therapist had me hold the paddles and close my eyes. I let my brain bounce around, go wherever it needed to, and after a minute or so I saw my teenage self sitting on the porch of my boyfriend's house when I was about 17. I recognized this as a memory of my smoking pot and completely freaking out. I was not the pot-head type but the boyfriend was so I had gone for it. Only to find out, it made me want to die (I believe this may have been a panic attack brought on by the paranoia I got from smoking pot. Awesome.)
My brain then bounced to several other long forgotten incidents of my throwing up or panicking or freaking out. Eventually my brain bounced its way to a memory I had completely forgotten. It explained why I hated Boston and didn't want to go there ever. Apparently, in college I had gone to Boston with some friends and at some point, the T (metro) broke down. Underground. And it was really dark and really freaky for about 15-20 minutes. Surrounded by strangers, clinging to my friends and amazingly, not freaking out during the period of darkness, probably because I knew instinctively it wouldn't do any good.

Basically, my brain had built a pathway with all sorts of delightful stops along the way, that I had largely forgotten. And somehow along the line they became tangled and the messages I received from these long forgotten experiences were "You ruin everything. You kill the fun. You suck. You can't do anything right so you should just stay home. Boston hates you, it's out to get you. You ruin everything. You ruin everything. It is all your fault."

Um...well if that's not a Panic Attack Cocktail I don't know what is! And there were loads of these pathways in my brain created by many other incidents and traumas that had stuck with me. Never processed or resolved, just...basically squatted in my brain rent free for years. Years. Many of them. Seeing these memories allowed me to take the power out of them.

The best part of EMDR is using a memory of a time when things were amazing or wonderful. This is the heart of the experience - you will use this memory to flood your brain with delightful, delicious endorphins  and dopamine! Yum! When you end your session you will likely end it on this memory. You will use this memory like a mouthwash to rinse the icky off the session and replace it with minty freshness.

Find your truth and own it baby!
Published in Therapists Blog
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 15:00

EMDR Part I

"If it's hysterical, it's historical." - Words to remember when freaking out. My former therapist used this phrase to explain to me how far back the anxiety and panic response goes. It wasn't until I began EMDR therapy that I began to understand exactly how true those words are.

EMDR is an amazing form of treatment that is slowly gaining attention in the larger world thanks to the power of Google. EMDR is: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming. In a nut shell it helps you build new neuro-pathways in your brain which allows old, negative pathways to grow over. Picture your brain as a forest. If you walk the same way day after day, you will create a path. EMDR allows you to see, in your minds eye, all the stops along that pathway. What will blow your mind is how seemingly random the events that created that path appear. By bringing these old, buried memories to the surface of your conscious mind you are able to process them and take the power of negativity away from them.

You are then able to build new, healthy, happy pathways by flooding your brain with powerful, sensory memories of a time in your life when things were wonderful. Eventually, like any other trail, when your old pathways go unused, nature will reclaim itself and those old pathways will heal over. This is also why positive affirmations work. Because by repeating something over and over it eventually wears a pathway, affirmations are great, but it can take a long time to get results whereas with EMDR you have a direct line to your subconscious. EMDR is used to treat trauma but can also be used for just about anything you can think of.

In my case, EMDR blew my mind. I experienced it in my mid-twenties with my first therapist. I was nearly phobic of travel but really wanted to see my godmother and cousins who lived in Mexico. My brother and I planned a trip together and I was desperate to ensure my panic disorder wouldn't stop me from having a good time. I did the EMDR once and seriously had the best trip I have ever had. We climbed pyramids and ruin sites, we went into Mexico City and shopped, ate at awesome restaurants, and all without a hint of anxiety or panic. I became a believer of EMDR.

More recently, in the past year and a half I switched from my traditional therapist to another EMDR therapist. This EMDR experience was much deeper and more intense than my first one because I had a whole new decades worth of trauma, hurt, panic, and pain to dig through. It was hard. EMDR is serious. You will feel exhausted and wonky after a session. You will be more sensitive because you have literally dragged your subconscious into the light of intense examination and that feels awful a lot of the time.

Nobody ever tells you this so I'm going to - Growth and Change - the biggies that everyone wants? Feel awful. AWFUL. When they are happening. It is in the moments of struggle and hopelessness that we experience true growth. Lasting change. Intimacy. All of those things come from being vulnerable. We, however, are hardwired to avoid pain.

We're taught that pain is bad, we should make it go away as fast as possible. I challenge you to stay in the moment next time you find yourself trying to shut down when things get uncomfortable. See if you can allow yourself to feel whatever it is you're experiencing and name it:  Fear, Guilt, Shame, Anxiety, Panic, Hurt, Worthless, Angry, Awkward, Silly, Stupid, Sad, Frustrated, whatever. 

Feel it. Feel it and see - your feelings will not eat you up, you are not what you feel, you are separate from your emotions. Just because you feel worthless or guilty doesn't mean you are either of those things. It means that you are experiencing them and you have a responsibility to yourself (and your loved ones) to find the root of those feelings and make peace with it.

I couldn't have said it better myself.
Published in Therapists Blog
Thursday, 02 August 2012 20:47

Who Are You People?

In case you haven't noticed, I put a lot of my personal story into this blog. For me it's been almost a therapeutic exercise at times to share parts of my life that aren't exactly high points. About five years ago I went to Salem, MA with my godmother, cousin, and sister. We went to Laurie Cabot's shop - she is the unofficial (or possibly official?) Witch of Salem. While there we asked for a recommendation for psychic readings and they sent us to The Oracle Chamber. It was run by a husband and wife, small and unassuming you'd never guess this little shop could house something so special. Upon entering and meeting Therese and her husband (John? I can't remember, don't judge me) I was immediately put at ease. Never having ventured into the world of psychics, tarot cards, or palm readings I had no clue what to expect. What I got was an hour long intense and somewhat confusing tarot reading followed by a five minute palm reading that put words to something I never could but had somehow subconsciously sensed for a long time. Those words have brought me if not a sense of relief, at least a sense of peace. Therese so happens to be my grandmother's name so that alone made me interested in her reading and after hearing her read my cousin's palm and basically hit it out of the ballpark with her specificity I had to try it too. After grabbing my hand and shining a strong light onto it she started the reading and although I can't remember everything I do remember she pointed out to me that my palm creases in the shape of a five-pointed star and that I was a healer but a wounded one. A wounded healer.

This theme also came up loud and clear when I had my Numerology done. Huh.

So that's why my life tends to fall apart? So I can help other people more? I have always said, Erin Land is a great place but when things go wrong, they REALLY go wrong. The answer, apparently, is yes. Due to the epic mess of my life at certain points in time I have definitely grown more compassionate, gentler - with myself and others, and more open minded. Judge not lest ye be judged peeps. Or, more simply - don't judge anyone unless you have walked in their shoes.

I am fully aware that by putting personal details of my life on the internet I am opening myself up to criticism and God only knows what else. But if I'm helping someone get through their day or understand that they are not alone and there is nothing wrong with them, it's worth it. What I really want to know is, this page has almost 2000 views. And maybe 8 comments? What's up with that? Who are you out there reading this? Why don't you introduce yourself? Do you know me in real life or am I a total stranger you've managed to find? The anonymity of the internet allows you to read all about me and my little world - so what do you do after you're done reading? Here's an idea - leave me a comment - here or on Facebook or Twitter or Blogher. I'm all over the place y'all and I want to know who you are. Because I'm interested and curious and excited to know you and to hear what you get out of reading this blog.

Help me out here peeps. I promise to love you even if you don't but I sure will dig it if you do.


I didn't want to have to say it but...kidding! Sort of...
Published in Diary
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