Tag Archives: brain

I Am Going Slightly Mad

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This has been a weird week, more ups and downs than your average rollercoaster and I seem to have experienced every emotion under the sun. Every female emotion under the sun. That’s not to say men don’t experience these things but I’m going with ‘female’ in that my moods have resulted in the following reactions to said low mood that I associate with being a woman. Namely:

a)      I feel low, I will eat every item in the house that contains sugar and, yes, now I feel sick and have a deep sense of loathing for my lack of control. Oh my god I have instantly put on weight

b)      I feel low, I will cry at anything and everything and very loudly

c)       I feel low, I have no-one to hold me. See, this is proof that I will die alone surrounded by dogs and with a big beard because I am destined to be furry when I am old. It’s a family trait, chicks with beards.

d)      I feel low, therefore the world has actually ended. Nothing matters other than how sad I am and obviously I will never feel any better, ever, because nobody cares

e)      I feel low and now I weigh 2lbs more from biscuit consumption. I swear I can no longer see my feet due to the excess fat

Yep, I think that is a fair evaluation of how it has been in my world this week. Bizarre to say the least and quite funny in retrospect from my point of view. I have spent a large proportion of the week at war with my scales. They are lying to me. I am convinced I have put on weight, absolutely convinced but the scales keep saying I’m losing weight. Normally I would trust them but I think they must be lying as I have eaten a LOT of biscuits and there is a definite hint of a gut going on there. In a bid to discover if the scales are lying I have taken to weighing myself in various positions on the scales….on one foot, leaning as far forward as possible, leaning as far backward as possible, breathing in, breathing out and weighing myself at different times of the day. It has kind of become a mini project and I still can’t figure out what is going on with them. How can I be losing weight when I just ate an entire packet of chocolate digestives (oh I am so proud of that achievement). I also tried measuring my waist with a tape measure but that told me I had put on weight, which I didn’t like to hear, so the tape measure must be wrong too. I do believe there will be no winner in this debate, neither the tape measure nor scales are making me happy this week. I think they have both ganged up on me and I am quite confused, irrational and tired as a result.

I stepped back to think about the crazy going on in my mind this week and realised it’s all because of these big life changes I am going through at the moment. All of my choosing and all very exciting but I think the Fear has unhinged me slightly in the last seven days. Even more so than usual. I am prone to being a bit dramatic at times ahem but this week has been something else. I tried to keep it to myself and avoided all forms of social contact but that didn’t really work. I have to go to work and speak. I ended up crying at a colleague in the office, poor love she is so good to me, hiding in the bathroom at least three times and talking to myself a great deal. I eventually talked to my dear friend that bears the brunt of this crap. Oh poor chap, he doesn’t half put up with me. In fact I honestly don’t know what he sees in me when I am like this, he must think I am batty. In fact he’d probably say he KNOWS I am batty.  But still he listens to me on the other end of the computer and actually understands and empathises with me. In his eyes it is okay.

My point today is the up side to all of this emotion. You can probably tell it has been a bit strained for me and I’m feeling like an extra from One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest right now. Pass me the sedative please. The up side has been peoples responses. I quite evidently dislike myself when I am weepy, needy, pathetic, in need of support, weepy, needy, clingy. I mean really, who likes those kind of traits? I would run a mile from me if only I could and leave me to sort myself out in a cave somewhere. Oh that would be nice, please can I have the option to do that and leave my barking mad brain in a box? BUT other people don’t treat me that way, they don’t seem to want to leave me alone and dribbling in a cave. They are quite happy to help me when I turn to them with big teary eyes asking for a hug. The biggest lesson I have learnt this week is it is okay to be me. All of me. I repeat for my own benefit

IT IS OKAY TO BE ME. ALL OF ME

You think I’d know this by 34 but past knocks have convinced me there is no space in this world for me to be anything other than perfect in front of others. I am generally an upbeat person with a smiley face and I love life. But I still have my moments of being a loon, a teary pickle and in need of being held up by the love of others. I just don’t generally let other people see that side of me if I can avoid it – this week I don’t seem to have a choice. I still can’t get my head around the concept that the less desirable sides of me are okay too but I am so humbled and grateful of peoples’ acceptance. I love the humanness in others and I like peoples’ inner crazy and inner vulnerability. It is what makes us human and it makes us all laugh when we see ourselves being daft. And surely unconditional love is about adoring someone not because of their perfection. That will always be there. It is more about loving someone in spite of themselves, in spite of the parts that are less ‘perfect’ to our society. But clearly I exempt myself from this rule. I know I am a basically decent human with a good heart but I think I need to love my inner child a bit more. You know, the fat teen with the perm that no-one else really liked at school. Can’t see why, I looked amazing with my perm and chins. The computer geek that liked to eat and get Grade A in as many subjects as possible. It seems other people love that part of me or at least work with it and see the good in who I am. The only person lagging behind and missing the big unconditional love train is me.

So, I decided to cheer myself up today and find a way to remind myself of the good in me, the good in chasing my dreams. In who I am and in how I will succeed in creating the life I want. What did I do? I joined LinkedIn. Yep, you heard me right. My antidote to sadness was to upload my CV onto a website. Does anyone else do this to get their kicks? No, thought not. But it worked, it really did work! I spent a couple of hours uploading my career history, my skills – does it count I listed enthusiasm as a skill? I went to town with my career ambitions. I re-read my profile and wondered who on earth this person is. I sound half decent on there. I think we should all do this, it is brilliant and definitely made me feel like I am awesome with a big A. Do it, do it now! And if you can’t think of anything decent to write just make it up. No-one said it had to be true. Just do it for the fun of reading it back and recognising how amazing you are.

Okay maybe you won’t want to go on LinkedIn but the method in the madness makes sense. If you’re feeling low like I have been, take a moment to write down something positive. It doesn’t matter how trivial it may seem, write it down. Write about who you are, what you dream of and why it is good to be you. And fight for those dreams, don’t give up on yourself or what matters to you.

Oh and the other thing I did, I booked an appointment to have a tattoo. I am rebelling against society by having a tattoo. But I’m not going to suggest you all do that. I don’t want to be responsible for anything permanent that you had done on the back of a bad mood. So stick with the list of happy and forgive me if I sound a touch jaded tonight. It’s because I am. But that’s okay, apparently jaded is allowed too.

 

 

 

 

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Hypno Me Happy

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Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, you are feeling veeeeery sleepy…..I decided to have some hypnotherapy sessions recently to conquer my fear of removing my scuba mask underwater. My brain mistakenly believes that if I remove my scuba mask whilst underwater I will die. No half way house, no ‘I may be uncomfortable but I will survive’. Nope, my brain believes no mask will result in sudden death. My brain took great pleasure in showing me exactly how it will react when my mask is removed during my latest scuba diving holiday. I had planned to practice removing my mask to become more comfortable with it on this holiday and with a very dear friend of mine. For those of you that have followed my blog, you will know I am moving overseas in 43 sleeps and part of my plan is to qualify as a scuba diving instructor. I want and need to get comfortable diving without my mask on and, being me, I am going completely over the top with preparations rather than just trusting it will be okay on the day. I have already spent a day in a pool with my old instructor practicing taking my mask off and that went well. I have sat in the bath and filled my mask with water from my pink elephant watering can whilst I relaxed with the bubbles and that went well. I survived; I definitely didn’t die suddenly on either occasion. My brain now believes that being underwater in a swimming pool or bath and removing my mask is not a problem. But the ocean…..whoa that is entirely different apparently.

My diving holiday mask moment went something like this. My dear friend and I went diving, the scenery was stunning and we had great visibility. We went deep and I got narked almost immediately – for those of you that don’t dive, it is a condition that leaves you feeling quite ‘drunk’ underwater and it isn’t particularly conducive to diving well and safely. I was narked and quite frankly couldn’t have cared less if I sank to the bottom of the ocean. I was giggling away to myself, could hear music in my ears and really had very little idea of what I was doing. We went shallow to ease the symptoms and pottered about looking at the beautiful reef and did our safety stop at the end of the dive. I was feeling tired by this point from being narked and my friend kept making me laugh with various underwater impressions from films we have watched together. Some things just make me giggle and I couldn’t stop laughing and flooding my mask with water.  In the end I had to face away from said friend so I could regain some form of control and sort my mask out. I must have been confused from laughing so much, as I turned towards him and thought he gestured for me to try taking my mask off. He knows all about my mask fear.

I was feeling brave, I could do this, I could so do this. I whipped my mask off and looked straight at him. For a fraction of a second it was all good, I had done it, I had actually not died from taking my mask off in the ocean. And then it all went wrong. I panicked; oh I panicked and looked like such a chump. My poor friend had hold of me at the waist as I hyperventilated. I kicked like an angry child who’d had her sweets taken away, looked at him pleadingly (at least I think it was pleading, maybe it just looked like insanity?) and wheeled my arms around as I tried to explain to him in sign language that I was going to die, I had no mask on. Sudden death would occur if I was not removed from the water at that very moment. Being the lovely calm chap that he is he didn’t let go of me as I bolted for the surface. Not that I noticed or cared. I was so far beyond reason it was ridiculous. We made it to the surface, I cried. We made it back to the boat; I cried again. He tried to reassure me it was no big deal. I cried some more and, in a high pitched unintelligible voice that sounded somewhat like a seal, I stated I was going to be the worst diving instructor ever. Ever. Another friend then wandered over and asked if it was a good dive, I cried some more and resumed the high pitched seal impression. I am an ADULT….seriously not cool. I think I failed to mention that my dear friend that I was diving with is someone that I, well, how can I put this? Oh let me be honest…I would like him to think I am awesome, cool, gorgeous, intelligent, basically one super cool chick that he would like to have in his life. Evidently after that performance he is more likely to think I am demented and insane.  And sadly he will be reminded of that if he reads this. Also, it turns out he wasn’t gesturing for me to take my mask off underwater at all anyway. Marvellous.

I don’t particularly want to go through that kind of embarrassment again, so I am pursuing any means possible to get over my fear and have booked myself onto a course of hypnotherapy. I genuinely believe that my mask fear and my willingness to understand and overcome it will give me compassion and make me a great scuba diving instructor in due course. Come the day I have a nervous student who can’t get their head underwater, who has a panic and a wobble of confidence at times, I will be able to help them through it to achieve their dream of becoming a diver. I am hopeful that hypnotherapy will be an incredible experience I can share with my students. And so far it has been just that.

I was so nervous when I went for my first introductory ‘chat’ and I sat there meekly on the chair hoping she couldn’t read my mind and that I wouldn’t blurt out too much information. To be honest, I was expecting the therapist to look like Mystic Meg and have the voice of Alice In Wonderland’s Caterpillar ‘Whooo…are….you?’ I expected to be made to look into her eyes, cluck like a chicken when commanded to do so and then be back in the room in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. She was actually a normal person, there was no looking into eyes and I have not yet clucked like a chicken. What I have done is spend an incredible couple of sessions learning all about fear management, how to reduce anxiety (Lordy knows I need to master that one) and have had a kip on a comfy couch and retrained my brain in the process. I discovered that I am totally aware of everything my therapist says when I am lying on the couch and the sessions appear to work. I haven’t yet delved too deeply into my mask fear, as she is easing me into this gently. However I do feel relaxed, calm and can visualise removing my mask underwater without my pulse going through the roof. That is a good start.

The part that is baffling me though is the appropriate etiquette for when one is being hypnotised. How am I supposed to behave when being stared at whilst lying on a couch? How should I look? What should I do? Being stared at is generally un-nerving for most people and I am not a fan of letting anyone ever see me sleep (in case I dribble a lot). As such, I find this situation quite difficult and way outside of my comfort zone. I just can’t figure out what I should be doing. I have given this a lot of thought and have taken to spending a large portion of my time on the couch trying desperately to keep still and to ‘look’ hypnotised. Yes, that is correct, I try and look hypnotised as I don’t want my therapist to think I am doing it wrong. It is ridiculous. So far I find my right leg has a mind of its own every time I am on the couch and I fight a weekly battle to try and stop it from lashing out at my therapist as she tells me to relax. Apparently involuntary twitching is normal when under hypnosis. Still, kicking her in the face would seem excessive. I also worry that if my breathing speeds up she will think I am coming ‘out’ of being hypnotised. To combat this problem, I have started holding my breath for as long as possible so that I look like I am breathing slowly due to being so relaxed. The only trouble is that I then feel a bit short on air at times, my heart starts racing and I need to suck great lungs of air in surreptitiously. Not easy to get away with in a silent room when you are trying to look appropriate. Oh, I also don’t dare swallow either in case that isn’t supposed to happen – which doesn’t help with trying to prevent dribbling. An hour is a long time not to swallow…After going through this malarkey for what seems like ages every session I usually give in and relax from sheer exhaustion. I can’t help wondering that if I relaxed sooner it may be even more beneficial.

But on the other hand, what if I relax too much and let out an almighty fart? Then I really will need therapy.