That’s a long title, but I had to fit everything in. Had no other choice.
Short of using Kolinahr to suppress feelings, desensitization or undoing of classical conditioning is the next best thing if you ask me.
I did actually google “how to suppress emotions” once, because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do in a particularly difficult situation. I thought it would make things better. I thought it was the right thing to do. Now I know that I wasn’t doing myself any favours by choosing to stay in that situation, and it doesn’t seem as severe in hindsight. Let’s not go there. Rant done.
So , here I (or we) am. Using classical conditioning and desensitization to suppress memories. To stop recollecting them often, and gradually not at all.
Apparently the first bit is creating a hierarchy of anxiety. Diving in, 1 being the mildest and 10 being code red.
1. Losing my friends. In all fairness this has happened before and I don’t particularly think of it as a disturbing situation to be in.
2. Being unemployed. Will need stronger anti anxiety meds for this one, stronger than the prescription ones I’ve got now.
3. Recollecting memories that I don’t want to anymore. This is a particularly difficult one for me, and I do try. Sometimes it catches me off guard and comes flooding in, that’s when I take a deep breath and swallow my tears back into my eyes. Don’t let a single one slide down my face. Not a single one.
4. Losing cognitive function, or even temporarily impaired cognitive function.
If it gets worse, this one’s a very real and very scary possibility. I can’t let that happen. And I hate that I can’t control it.
5. I’m completely peaceful right now, despite everything that’s going on. If you knew, perhaps you’d expect me to OD on my meds and find myself in the mad house against my will, which very nearly happened about two weeks ago, perhaps three, but I’m not. For the first time in a very, very long time, I’m really peaceful right now. I can breathe, and it feels good just to breathe. I don’t have to worry about text messages going out or coming in, I don’t have to worry about who’s calling whom and how long we haven’t spoken, who has to meet whom how often and where, who has to tell whose friends and family, who likes whom best and who expresses what to whom first or second, who has to sleep where and who does what. I don’t have to worry about any of these things and I don’t want this to go away. I want this intact, this little bubble, I don’t want it to be broken. So if anyone tries to force their way in, old or new, I’ll pack up and go some place else. My little peaceful bubble is the most important thing in my life right now.
Hierarchy of anxiety. Check.
The next step is apparently imagining each situation from the list, interspersed with a few minutes of closing your eyes and breathing. That last one is what most people would call meditation I suppose, but I don’t like that word for some reason.
Imagine the situation ’til it becomes tolerable. If it’s tolerable in your head, it’s tolerable when you open your eyes.
Closing my eyes.
Before I delve right in, all images are courtesy of Google.
Deep breaths now.