Posts Tagged ‘Pain’

Unworthiness turns into Self -Hate .

https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/

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Meditation for me was not about a spiritual journey, searching for enlightenment or an awakening. Whatever the hell enlightenment is, out there, achieved after two to three decades of daily practice.

Meditation was my last hope finding relief from childhood PTSD. My dads constant criticism and abuse created a big unworthy hole in me.

A parent demanding perfection from a child, damages that child beyond belief. Life becomes a struggle, unworthiness manifests as self hate.

We abandon reading what our bodies need and start trying to fulfill the needs of the parent. We become strangers to ourselves.

I had a therapist say, if your dad wrote your epitaph on a grave stone, it would be, never good enough.

That is damage at my core, not a flaw.

Enter meditation: It took enormous daily practice to see unworthiness as a mirage. It took ten times that effort to accept and be vulnerable in the face of an unworthy trigger erupting.

Unworthy started before my mind developed. It becomes stealthy, sabotaging everything we try to do.

Unworthiness seeks solitude, desires approval over all else, then runs from negativity or criticism.

Unworthiness brings so much self hate that some external approval is needed to survive. It consumes our existence.

I have seen self hate manifest in an outwardly happy go lucky man. The desire to appear normal or the need to gain approval at all costs springs from self hate.

My unworthiness fueled my professional baseball career. I could outwork everyone else without that much difficulty.

The need for approval was far greater than any amount physical exercise.

Life was dedicated to working out, the goal was to enjoy success, which brought approval.

I accomplished my goal, even enjoyed some adulation, sports fans are passionate.

Only one problem, approval has nothing to do with healing or happiness.

I had to change my goal.

The need for approval dissiapated the more I meditated.

It is always a battle, healing is not a point of time but a daily, moment by moment awareness.

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A few Roadblocks we face while healing

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From the blog https://kathyberman.com/. A great resource blog

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The first roadblock separates over 90% of people searching for a cure.

Taking daily action, facing our fears while sitting quietly, makes cowards out of us.

Denial or one of the millions of excuses prevents people from risking change. It is a sad fact,

Next for those who start a daily practice, a time arrives when healing begins and these scary, anxious feelings explode.

Our first reflex is to avoid, run or extinguish these feelings. We judge them as bad.

Healing is not comfortable, some of our trauma leaves in a conscious way, exiting violently.

Most people I encounter think they are getting worse, but the opposite is true.

My triggers erupted as they exited my mind and body.

I figured their intensity was proportionate to the violent abuse endured as a child.

This was my experience and what I have witnessed with others healing.

Healing was painful for me, then it became euphoric in a few weeks.

Please, accept the challenge and risk, take action, fight for your wellbeing.

Never give in!

Never give up!

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Recovering From A Polarized Freeze Response

Pixabay: geralt

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“Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving”

Recovery for freeze types involves three key challenges. First, their positive relational experiences are few if any. They are therefore extremely reluctant to enter into the type of intimate relationship that can be transformative.

They are even less likely to seek the aid of therapy. Moreover, those who manage to overcome this reluctance often spook easily and quickly terminate.

Second, freeze types have two commonalities with fight types. They are less motivated to try to understand the effects of their childhood traumatization. Many are unaware that they have a troublesome inner critic or that they are in emotional pain.

Furthermore, they tend to project the perfectionistic demands of the critic onto others rather than onto themselves. This survival mechanism helped them as children to use the imperfections of others as justification for isolation. In the past, isolation was smart, safety-seeking behavior.

Third, even more than workaholic flight types, freeze types are in denial about the life narrowing consequences of their singular adaptation. Some freeze types that I have worked with seem to have significant periods of contentment with their isolation.

I think they may be able to self-medicate by releasing the internal opioids that the animal brain is programmed to release when danger is so great that death seems imminent.

Internal opioid release is more accessible to freeze types because the freeze response has its own continuum that culminates with the collapse response. The collapse response is an extreme abandonment of consciousness.

It appears to be an out-of-body experience that is the ultimate dissociation. It can sometimes be seen in prey animals that are about to be killed. I have seen nature films of small animals in the jaws of a predator that show it letting go so thoroughly that its death appears to be painless.

However, the opioid production that some freeze types have access to, only takes the survivor so far before its analgesic properties no longer function. Numbed out contentment then morphs into serious depression. This in turn can lead to addictive self-medicating with substances like alcohol, marijuana and narcotics.

Alternatively, the freeze type can gravitate toward ever escalating regimens of anti-depressants and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs). I also suspect that some schizophrenics are extremely traumatized freeze types who dissociate so thoroughly that they cannot find their way back to reality.

Several of my freeze type respondents highly recommend a self-help book by Suzette Boon, entitled Coping with Trauma-related Dissociation. This book is filled with very helpful work sheets that are powerful tools for recovering. More than any other type, the freeze type usually requires a therapeutic relationship, because their isolation prevents them from discovering relational healing through a friendship.

That said, I know of some instances where good enough relational healing has come through pets and the safer distant type of human healing that can be found in books and online internet groups.

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A frightened little boy faces adulthood

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Being a narcissist, my father demanded total control, I do not think he meant to shame me. Shame was a by product of the constant criticism, his way of making me a great baseball player.

My father had a dream, having to get married because of a pregnancy at 17; my mom was 16, robbed him of his dream.

He would live his dream through me, he would take all the credit and I would be criticized with every imperfect move he deemed unacceptable.

Even healed, life is much different for a severely abused little boy.

I live a quiet life, I try to give and have plenty of gratitude for myself and others.

Being happy go lucky, knowing everything will turn out all right, I will never know the feeling.

Life is a struggle. This is my challenge, I accept and do my best.

Surviving my father, then healing, uncovered incredible skills along with the damage.

My willpower was a monster. Athletically I could push my body through pain and barriers others could not.

In sports I could defeat stronger, quicker, more athletic guys with willpower and smarts.

Psychologically, I could wear down an opponent, exploit their weaknesses and defeat them.

Unfortunately none of these conquests elevated my unworthy “Ego” or soothed my damaged inner child.

Some of us desire power, money, or status, my father gave me a goal of baseball stardom. He wanted his son to be the best baseball player ever to live. I was more unnatural than natural.

My physical traits were average at best, speed, oh I was slow of foot. I was average size and strength, a middle of the pack kid with a violent possessed narcissistic father.

I felt like a failure at 35. I had graduated college with a BS in chemistry, played seven years professional baseball and now enjoyed success in private life.

None of that dinted my unworthy soul.

Trophies, hall of fame awards were but momentary distractions, trauma ruled my world.

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Does your life with Chronic Pain feel like this?

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My chronic pain was like the wind, invisible, powerful and relentless at times.

How was I going to battle such a ghost. I named my pain Mr P. after the old Happy Days show, Mr. C.

Mr. P. Was my nemesis when I hiked. Mr. P. wanted to stop my legs from moving, from confronting my fear, from taking control of my mind back.

My mindset was centered around my greatest strength, my willpower, determination. Always incorporate your strengths as part of your solutions.

My mindset as usual, a jock accepts the challenge before him/her. No way was Pain going stop my legs from moving!

My exercise routine became an emotional battle between pain and my will.

In a way it was exhilarating. I convinced myself not many humans could hike in such pain day after day.

We jocks always imagined being at bat with the bases loaded, two outs bottom of ninth, game seven of World Series. This was my chronic pain version.

Visualization is powerful. I would imagine myself in “The Last of the Mohicans” running with Hawkeye, running for our life.

Music gave me a beat that I could synchronize my legs with. My legs would move to a beat when they were exhausted, ready to quit.

Chronic pain became a friend. Adversity makes us stronger.

Chronic pain strengthened my meditation practice. I truly learned how to focus and dissipate my pain level.

Pain constricted, became much more bearable, then faded as months passed. Aerobic exercise and meditation were my tools.

I would set in the middle of my pain with my breath, no judgments just observing.

My breath could dissipate my pain. My familiarity allowed me to sit calmly inside my pain. My pain received no energy from fear, attention or thought.

After a few years I had compartmentalzed my chronic pain.

Acute pain is a different animal.

Pain eats energy but does not touch my soul, or my enthusiasm for life.

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Limiting Pains impact

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This came up in the mindfulness group. A painful knee injury was disrupting a life.

First thing we do is use our breath to focus. We take our breath into the center of our pain. In this instance, take your breath inside that knee and hang out for twenty slow breaths.

Without judgment or bias we feel all the pain. We notice it’s strength, it’s qualities, sharp, deep, intense, burning, etc. Does the pain have a color, a shape, a temperament, or an emotional content.

Next, we concentrate on our strongest focus object. For me it is my breath using my model.

Build your intensity, follow your breath, notice how this focus has diminished the quality of the pain. Bringing intense focus elsewhere robs pain of attention, thus lessening its strength.

How we react or refuse to react to our pain impacts its power!

Ask yourself these questions.

Is my pain constant in intensity during the day or does it fluctuates?

Are there things that influence your pain, behaviors, thoughts or emotions?

Am I afraid of my pain? Do I avoid all activities because of pain.

Does pain damage me?

Does pain have emotion. Is it angry at us, punishing us, Mad at us, or is it a neurological reaction.

Pain can be a warning of future damage, if we keep up certain activities. Pain may alert me, my hamstring will suffer damage unless it is rested or given therapy.

Chronic Pain exists but does no damage until it reaches a severe intensity.

My chronic pain does no permanent damage to my being. Chronic Pain does deplete some of my energy daily but that is the extent of it.

I do not fear it or give it any attention. This post has given it more energy than it has received in days.

If you have chronic pain, your ability to limit its impact, directly relates to the quality of life.

Find a way to exercise aerobically to bring out our endorphins.

We can increase or diminish our pain with our attitude and behavior.

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Doctors eye deep brain stimulation to treat opioid addiction

 


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Associated Press:

Patient Number One is a thin man, with a scabby face and bouncy knees. His head, shaved in preparation for surgery, is wrapped in a clean, white cloth.

 

Years of drug use cost him his wife, his money and his self-respect, before landing him in this drab yellow room at a Shanghai hospital, facing the surgeon who in 72 hours will drill two small holes in his skull and feed electrodes deep into his brain.

 

The hope is that technology will extinguish his addiction, quite literally, with the flip of a switch.

 

The treatment — deep brain stimulation — has long been used for movement disorders like Parkinson’s. Now, the first clinical trial of DBS for methamphetamine addiction is being conducted at Shanghai’s Ruijin Hospital, along with parallel trials for opioid addiction. And this troubled man is the very first patient.

 


The surgery involves implanting a device that acts as a kind of pacemaker for the brain, electrically stimulating targeted areas. While Western attempts to push forward with human trials of DBS for addiction have foundered, China is emerging as a hub for this research.

 

Scientists in Europe have struggled to recruit patients for their DBS addiction studies, and complex ethical, social and scientific questions have made it hard to push forward with this kind of work in the United States, where the devices can cost $100,000 to implant.

 

China has a long, if troubled, history of brain surgery for drug addiction. Even today, China’s punitive anti-drug laws can force people into years of compulsory treatment, including “rehabilitation” through labor. It has a large patient population, government funding and ambitious medical device companies ready to pay for DBS research.

 

There are eight registered DBS clinical trials for drug addiction being conducted in the world, according to a U.S. National Institutes of Health database. Six are in China.

 

But the suffering wrought by the opioid epidemic may be changing the risk-reward calculus for doctors and regulators in the United States. Now, the experimental surgery Patient Number One is about to undergo is coming to America. In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration greenlighted a clinical trial in West Virginia of DBS for opioid addiction.

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HUMAN EXPERIMENTS

 

Patient Number One insisted that only his surname, Yan, be published; he fears losing his job if he is identified.

 

He said doctors told him the surgery wasn’t risky. “But I still get nervous,” he said. “It’s my first time to go on the operating table.”

 

Three of Yan’s friends introduced him to meth in a hotel room shortly after the birth of his son in 2011. They told him: Just do it once, you’ve had your kid, you won’t have problems.

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