Once, in a group session, I made the distinction between a nightmare and a bad dream. The psychologist really appreciated that, because they are fairly different. I thought I might look a bit closer at how, and maybe add this new one to the mix while I’m at it.
I’m going to try to pick one of these apart as best I can, in my own inimitable way, with an example from my own life, and with only enough sciency words to satisfy my own love of them yet not confound those who don’t.
I have smiled occasionally, and now even look specifically for things that will help me smile because I like smiling. I talk here about successes in my journey, rather than the horrors that put me on this path in the first place because it’s healthier for everyone, especially me.
Some examples I’ve mentioned here have been explored and will be again I’m sure, as I think more on them or find myself learning from others. Right now, though, I think I might put on some Pharrell Williams and start dancing in my living room like a crazy person because I’m happy.
I wanted to begin getting out for events like this with other first responders, not only because my little hole in the ground was becoming constrictive, but because it’s important and I am eager to become more involved in my own healing, and that of others.
Man, it was hard, though, and is it ever still. There are leaps ahead often followed by stumbling falls backward, but generally there’s that thwumpsnick sound of my feet getting sucked back down into the mud, and there’s me with both hands trying to pull it back out to take another step.
After my mother had passed, and already struggling with my injury worse than I ever had before, I remember sitting right here, at this very desk, and, wracked with big, heaving, sobs while the sun still shone outside my window, Googling “if I kill myself will I still go to heaven?”
Prejudice, a preset belief in what one thing is without any actual experience or fact to back it up, runs through all of us in various shades, and in ways even those of us with a more progressive mindset would find surprising.
Nobody ever taught us much about panic attacks in paramedic school, or at least to the degree that I remember. It may well have been a module in the wee psychology course we took, but the only thing I can really recall from that was giving a presentation on kleptomania and as I did, walking between the desks and casually nicking pens, lighters, and coffee cups. I thought I was being terribly clever.
This past US presidential election has found me thinking on the nature of hate, so prominent as it now seems to be. In a past entry I touched on this briefly and described it as a learned behaviour, not a natural human emotional state, and an unhealthy thing to let wander freely through our noggins.