I have a very fixed, unvarying daily routine. I need to break up this routine. The way it is now, I go day after day after day and nothing changes. The days are identical. The routine doesn’t allow me to meet new people. Sometimes on weekends, I can go without contact with anyone at all.
Some parts of the routine are inflexible, like work and caring for the dogs, cats, plants and house. But I am trying to identify and alter the parts that are variable. That’s why I went to the yoga class the other day, and again last night. There’s people there!
That is.my mission, break the routine. I also notice that if I’m alone, I either feel like I should be doing something and am wasting time (my life) or I’m depressed feeling. The inside of my head alone is often not a pleasant to be.
Below is part of a document I’m working on, something I’m investigating.
The lizard brain (amygdala) is located where the spine enters the brain. Its function is to take over the body and actions to ensure survival in times of danger. It operates the body in any way it deems necessary to survive. Near the front of our brain is the rational brain. It is our personality, who we are. Our social skills. Our experiences and memories and the things we learn in life. The rational brain runs the show when times are good, and communicates constantly with the lizard brain which learns things that might come in handy for survival.
The lizard brain learns from our rational brain, only in times without trauma. For example, when you learn to scuba dive, the lizard brain learns about scuba diving and how to stay alive in an emergency. I don’t think lizard brain learns from the scuba books we read, it learns from what experiences we have while diving. For example, a new diver may tend to panic and bolt for the surface if a problem is perceived underwater, but an experienced diver would not, because the lizard brain has learned from the rational brain during previous dives.
It seems as if there is a “trauma light” in the brain, when the trauma light comes on. The lizard brain takes over, the rational brain is cut off, and does not influence what we do or how we act. The light is on or off, there is no in between.
Trauma is trauma. If the trauma light is on, the lizard brain is running the body. If the trauma light is on, the lizard brain cannot learn new things, because it is disconnected from the rational brain. It cannot remember new names, cannot remember new details in a conversation. No new information is processed. When the trauma light is on, the lizard brain will do what it did last time, because it knows that it will survive taking this particular action. The lizard brain is modifiable only when the trauma light is NOT on.
There is no strong trauma or weak trauma. As far as the body is concerned, the trauma a combat veteran may feel hearing fireworks is no more or less than the trauma of a little kid who is afraid of clowns.
That’s probably the first quarter of the paper I’m working on. For what? I don’t know… I need to break up my routine. My counselor thinks I operate solely on my lizard brain almost all the time. In nearly constant fight or flight mode.
I got a new vacuum cleaner yesterday, it’s fantastic. It’s a shop vac that has more power, all the attachments and costs just over half what an inferior house model would cost. I’m very pleased with the purchase.
Above is a nice daily thought. It was sent to me by a friend in Jamaica. I don’t know what book it’s from.
Since my (now ex) wife left, I wake up exhausted every morning. In sleep, I cannot control my thoughts and it is torturous. This morning I woke up by sitting bolt upright, gasping for breath. I don’t remember what was going through my head that woke me up. Apparently I couldn’t breathe.
In the daytime, when I catch my “negative chatter”, I can stop it. The hard part is being aware of it.
Every night, I go to bed, 9:30 or 10, and pass out immediately. Then I wake up at midnight or one and after that it seems I have nightmares all night and am aware but somehow asleep. I spend the night wrestling to regain control of my mind. Among other things, I say terrible things about myself, the part of me knowing it’s not true struggling but unable to speak up in my defense. I also remember dreaming in screams, no words, no video, no humanness, nothing that is me, just “aaaaaahhhhhhh!” Screaming like an animal in my head, over and over.
this is sleeping in general, not just last night.
After a long night, my alarm goes off at 5 till 5, but I’m usually awake already, totally exhausted. Then I find myself in this beautiful tropical paradise and tell myself “the bad things are only in your head”. And it’s true. Then I spend the day trying to recover from sleeping by reading things like the page in the image above. And being my own cheerleader, the sane me telling the insane me “it’s gonna be alright”.
By the time I get feeling ok, it’s time for bed again…
Yes, I’m in counseling and yes, I’m doing everything I can think of to do. Someone told me it takes one month to recover for every year we were together. In that case, it’s going to be a long 15 months.
I’m going diving today. Have a good day. And night!
It is not my intention to be a cry baby. But I go to bed every night about 9:30 or 10:30, then I wake up at about midnight or one and I’m aware the rest of the night. I’m aware, but not really awake. During the time between wake up and the alarm clock going off, I’m trapped in a sea of negativity. I’m aware of it and I’m trying to pull myself out of it but I cannot.
I wake up in the morning exhausted and feeling like crap. The best thing I can do is tell myself it is all in my head and enjoy the here and now, the dog walk and exercise and the tropical paradise in which I live.
I have pretty good days, work, beach, swimming. I feel good mentally most of the day. But those are some long hours from the middle of the night until morning.
I don’t want this blog to be a bitch session or cry baby central, but I do want to remember what’s going on in my head for future reference sometimes.
Maybe somebody can relate to what I’m saying and know they’re not alone. Because those long nights are lonely and painful.
But like I said, after I wake up and get going things are OK.
Today is my Friday, tomorrow is a use it or lose it mate or lose it vacation day. I am looking forward to a long weekend again. It’s going to be hard going back to a 5 day workweek next year!
When I see an unexpected reflection of myself, I tend to be surprised at how mean I look, or angry, or unhappy. I never seem to look how I feel. I have a natural frowny face.
People with naturally smiley faces must live completely different lives. New people would tend to be less cautious and wary, instead of wondering “What’s going on with this guy?”
I think someone would be more likely to initiate communication with a happy or nice looking person than a mean, angry looking person.
I’ve noticed it many times, I walk down the street and see a reflection of myself in the store window and almost jump out of my skin. Glance up at the thumbnail of me on the virtual meeting, cringe, and try to erase the scowl. I feel fine, and I’m in a good mood, but it’s shocking to unexpectedly see how mean I look.
I took my car in for an oil change yesterday. For about a week, the weather report has been saying increased rain. So instead of riding my scooter while my car was in the shop I rented a car. It hasn’t rained a drop, if I was on my scooter, it would be pouring, don’t you think?
I have been told that negative thinking precipitates the negative things that happened to me. Yesterday a co-worker and I both had the weather apps open on our phones. His had a huge sunny icon and mine had a cloud with a thunderbolt coming out of it. Same time same place. Different apps. I don’t even think any of my weather apps have a big, cheery sun 🌞 icon.
I have often joked that I control the weather, whisper, I can put the plants out in the rain and by the time I get the last plant out, it will stop raining.
I have been working on improving my static thinking, but it isn’t easy to change your pattern.