Archive for April, 2016

Fight, Flight or Freeze? Clearly, I Freeze Under Stress

April 5, 2016

 

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“There is nothing to fear.” ~ A Course in Miracles

Calligraphy by my sister, Amy.

 

I could be wrong, but I believe I may be emerging from the longest most frozen freeze response I have experienced in my life to date.

Yes, that’s a lot of hedging, but I am not sure and I don’t want to make grandiose statements and promises about this. I’ve been really stuck for a long, long time.  At least, 2 years, if not more.

In that time, I’ve been single and dating no one for the longest span of time to date. I left a job. I moved to the dry desert & brown adobe world of Santa Fe, NM.  (Right thing to do at the time. Wrong place for me long term.) I have spent most of my days at home. I go out some, to coffee shops & Meet Ups, but not a lot. I am not on the phone much.  Me?  Not on the phone?

Instead, I hang out on Facebook.

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. In fact, it’s been great for me. I am the most active admin on a very good group for doing the practice called, “The Work of Byron Katie.” I chat and relate to people from China to India to Australia to Canada – and nearly every state in the Union.

I get to communicate!  And yes, that’s still pretty much what I live for – and to serve.

I take online classes.

That has been a whole new form of education for me. I deeply miss the in-person classroom, sitting at the front and raising my hand to answer all the questions.  No doubt about it – I prefer in-person classes.  Still, I did a lot of my master’s in psychology and almost all of my doctoral work in education online.

So, it’s not like I’m doing absolutely nothing.  I do stuff. I just do it from my couch online.

Still, it has been a form of the freeze response.

“Freeze” was added to the “fight or flight” idea decades ago. More recently added are “fidget” and “faint.”

Well, I tend to freeze.

I seem to have something like fibromyalgia (which tells us nothing – it means pain in the tendons – it is merely a description). I believe that the pain in my tendons and joints is a result of consistent lifetime freezing.

I was first aware of it around the age of 11. When I walked to school, only a mile away, my calves cramped severely. I told Mother about it, and she said, “You’ll get used to it.” I’m sure she thought it was just muscles working out the way they should.  It was not.

I’m 56 now. That was 45 years ago. Except for a few months about 10 years ago when I did work up to walking in the mountains about 45 minutes a day, it hasn’t gone away.  Rather, I have pain like that in every part of my body.

And please, don’t try to tell me I should just work out. Doing that can put me in bed for 3 days, unable to move, with pain that ibuprofen and aspirin cannot touch.

But not always, that’s true.

I have no idea when it does and when it doesn’t. It has something to do with how acidic my diet is. And how much caffeine, vinegar, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, vinegar, wheat, milk products, and so many other trigger foods I have eaten.

It also has to do with fear & childhood trauma.

I froze.

I’ve been relentlessly pursuing ways to thaw since at least 1985, when I was 25 years old. They have all helped.

Now, I’m learning TRE, Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercise. Find information on that here:  http://traumaprevention.com/

It’s a way to get the body to shake, the way an animal shakes, to release fear chemicals. It is not known exactly how it works. But it seems to help.

I couldn’t say for certain whether my recent feeling of thawing is attributable to TRE, hot baths, breathwork, The Work of Byron Katie, Mars & Pluto stationing retrograde or simply Spring.

I don’t really care which it is – except that if it’s some of those things I’m doing, I will want to keep doing it. I think TRE, being the newer thing, is somewhat responsible for the change.

I do know that this is my first blog in about 2 years. Blogs are fun. I like writing them. If you liked reading it, please Comment.

I like to co-mmunicate – that means “with.”  With you!

Much love,

Stacy

Oh, if you want to learn some of these things from me, particularly The Work, let me know. I’d love to help.