Day 18

Day 18 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

They attached electrodes to my earlobes and  to the top of my head. I could watch my brain waves. It was amazing, not just to discover that I actually had some, but to visually see my brain in action.  The goal was to be able to visually see my brain waves freak out when anxiety crept in, and then be able to control them.

There was a variety of games; “pacman” where calmness made the yellow guy go and overanxious waves made him stop, skateboarder where she fell off her board and crashed if you were going too fast or too slow, cruise liner where you helped the boat get to an island by encouraging it with calm thoughts.  I TOTALLY SUCKED AT THESE. Pacman refused to move, the skateboarder ran into everything.

My internal dialogue was something like this:
“Ok. Calm. Breathe. Relax. Wait?! Why won’t you move you freakin’ little . . . Calm. Breathe. Breathe slower. I hate this game. I hate it I hate it I . . . Ok. You got this . . . OH MY WORD, You are an ugly skateboarder. I’ve always hated skateboarders . . . Is my time up yet? Damn. Only 10 seconds used up. . . .  I have an itch. Let me think about it. I wonder if there is peanut butter yet in the cafeteria. I think its my butt that itches.  Oops. I have gas. That frickin’ sugar free stuff gives me gas. Oh, skateboarder . . . .right. You’re still sitting on the ground. Hope that hurt your ass when you fell you stupid little . . . Calm. Your time is almost up. WHAT? I have another 2 30 second intervals to go?”

My charted brain waves seem more useful to predict a seismic anomaly of a huge scale than calming my anxiety.  But believe it or not, eventually I could be a little more focused and a lot less spastic about this torturous therapy. Actually, it was really fascinating and very helpful. My point is, I wish I had a screen in front of me all the time to tell me if my brain was racing, anxious or spastic. Many days I can’t tell until I’m in full out panic. I really need that today. But I’m working on it. It is slow going for sure.

And my ship never did reach its destination. Surprise.