Saturday, September 26, 2015

Every Breath You Take

This amazing video talks about the science of our body reacts to stress by flooding us with hormones to take action in a crisis. Some of us who experienced constant trauma tend to over produce these reactions. They go on to talk about how professionals use breathing to control these reactions. People like military and police learn to control their breathing during a stressful incident.

I've mentioned before that one way I get to sleep comes from breathing in on a count of four, holding for two then out on four. I guess I knew it also worked for curbing a panic attack, I just hadn't consciously used breathing for those kinds of things.

I felt "meditation" seemed too close to some kind of faith based activity. I have recently realized that at its core, meditation is simply an exercise in practiced breathing. I'm down with that. Though I think we can do it anywhere, anytime in any position.

So take a breath and clear your mind. Train yourself during moments of calm so that when things are decidedly NOT calm you can remember what it was like.

Evolution trained our bodies to fight or flee danger. It will take time to learn how to redirect these impulses into new self preservation strategies. We must continue to value ourselves during these learning times.

Some of us may have to use medication along with breathing to reverse years of trained reaction. Do whatever makes sense to you and your medical professional. I prefer to explore calming and thinking strategies before going for drug intervention. Keep in mind that only YOU can decide what is best. Please carefully research medication as there are side effects that may detract from their effectiveness.

Just after some breathing, consider making a list of things that create stress strong enough to trigger a panic attack. Write down as many as you can think of and then assign a value to the amount of anxiety each event causes.

For me, going to the doctor is a recent stressor. They do need to do exams to make sure my blood pressure is stable and I don't have a recurrence of cancer. I notice that if I exercise before going to the doctor's office, my pressure is lower and I feel less anxious. So I try and make that part of my plan.

Go over your own list and figure what personal actions will help you through the stress. Some places and even people might need to be avoided for a time. Just until you figure out how to handle them without triggering a panic attack.

Keep calm and remember to breathe. Kind comments welcome

Sunday, September 13, 2015

We Shall Overcome

I survived an awful childhood. In a way, I wear it like a badge of honor. As a brave soldier receives a purple heart, so to I proudly display the purple butterfly medal of distinction. The careful observer notes that a butterfly has a middle that shows it's caterpillar roots. So do I. With my tears and pointless rage I show the tiny little girl who defied the fists, insanity and neglect.

I Macgyvered an adulthood with bits of information and guessing. As others supported my efforts, now I do the same for people who read this blog.

Have I mentioned lately that I use song titles for blog titles? Sometimes it's a pain in the rear to come up with something. A couple of times I've repeated titles and only noticed later. Ah well. Now I go to Youtube and use a few keywords for the topic I'm writing about an almost always find a song title to match.

I've written about things that relate to understanding myself. My feminist ways in You Don't Own Me and Shop Around that talks about finding a loving partner.

I use my life as example on how to survive and thrive while recovering from an abusive childhood. Because self abuse runs rampant among survivors, I gave advice on self care and suicide in posts like: I Got Knocked Down and Suicide Is Painless (It's just a title of the song, I don't think it's painless for the person trying or the people who love them.) In Joy to the World I tried to show how to find happiness even when you're mixed up.

Then in 2013, the year of hell, I started writing about surviving cancer. This so triggered all kinds of feelings of what I deserved and what I survived. What's new PossyCAT tells the story of my facing the CT scan test and Luck Be a Lady Tonight tells of my second surgery. Just as a jump ahead, the surgeon got all my cancer. I do have to checked every year by a dermatologist, but I am okay now.

I'm also writing a book about deciding to take a whole month off and wallow in self pity. I outline the book and chapters in a post I called Paperback Writer. I've written two chapters and most of the way through a third. I love writing and not to brag or nothin, I am actually good at it. Every once in a while I will want to share something with a friend on Facebook and I'll go find a blog post and read it to make sure it's on topic. I forget some of what I've said and I start thinking, "Wow, I really like what this person has to say." Then I realize, that's me. It feels really good and REALLY silly at the same time.

So that's me. This blog is me. Afraid? Sometimes. Awesome too. Kind comments welcome.