Day Twenty-Four

Things are feeling less dire, more hopeful today.

I stopped the program except for seeing my psychologist. Our meeting today completely different from yesterday. I was calmer, she was calmer. I felt heard and treated with respect. I think that my royal, sobbing freak out yesterday scared my psychologist and doctor for some reason, and their response was to defend the program and take me away from the other people. Maybe they have had dangerous patients in the past. I’m not sure. But I feel ready to forgive today.

And I had a lovely lunch on the lawn with my friends in the program.

The traumatic fear and intense sensitivity to pain in my right knee is coming and going. But even within this massive flare-up and traumatic fear, within what I think of as the worst that could happen, I am using tools I have learned in this program. Something major has changed in my relationship to avoidance. I am less comfortable avoiding the scary things now. I see how that too causes suffering; it makes me feel that the world is a dangerous place where there are many threats. For example, when I lie down after sitting gets uncomfortable, it makes my nervous system think that sitting is a dangerous thing. It’s only by sitting through the pain and discomfort that I can retrain my nerves. But if I don’t do it very gently, with some sense of safety, calm, and self-compassion, it will overwhelm my nervous system and I’ll panic.

I’m not sure what the right path is, but I am just taking it an hour at a time. I am focusing on what feels good–going outside, a hot shower, a little walk, a swim, gently moving my body while I listen to a TV show. And not thinking too much. My mind is not much help when I am in a nightmarish mood.

2 thoughts on “Day Twenty-Four

  1. Hi Jacob, This sounds like it was really tough. You are incredibly brave, and it seems like you are doing so much ‘right.’ It is no small thing to maintain an openness to unknowable, uncomfortable situations when past similar ones have been trying, painful, traumatizing…. And to navigate them while also remaining true to yourself, in the face of outside pressure that is at least partially antagonistic just takes so much internal fortitude. I am happy for the discoveries you said you made while there, and for maybe some new friends :))) Just wanted to drop a note of appreciation.


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