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A Breakthrough Moment with Anxiety and Rumination

Well this all feels very new and hopeful!

Last night I went to bed feeling pretty mentally peaceful, with a feeling of serenity that I’ve experienced a few times recently. But that’s just the background to what happened next.

You know that feeling in your mind when you’re trying to remember something but just can’t? You can kinda feel the shape of the thing you’re trying to remember but that’s about it; you don’t get any details or clues that you could use to check other memories for more clues.

So the serene feeling is like that, but the memories that fail to appear are the unwanted thoughts that I’ve been having previously. So this is a *good* feeling.

The New Stuff

Normally, that serene state is quite fragile and vulnerable to the intrusion of unwanted thoughts. And the part of me that I’m fighting has a habit of lobbing something in to that quiet space and suing “Ha! Thought you were safe? What about this?”

Last night, what was different is that, yes, unwanted topics entered the space, but somehow they didn’t do so *verbally*.

Normally, my mind chatter is basically verbal conversations between me and a part of me that wants me to feel bad about something I did, or unsettled about something that might happen. Sure, images might often accompany these verbal exchanges, but they are secondary.

But last night, the thoughts arrived in a way that I haven’t experienced before and that is difficult to describe. They had a fuzzy visual appearance of tiny pretzel shapes that were almost the same colour as the background, and an awareness of the topic that they represented that was, somehow, not verbal.

And I was able to allow these images and the knowledge of what they represent simply drift by without engaging with them verbally or emotionally.

That felt absolutely awesome. In the past, becoming aware of just one of these topics would have had me instantly catastrophising and arguing with the thoughts to reassure myself that they were not true, helpful, or likely to happen.

But last night, almost all of the troublesome topics drifted by and I acknowledged their presence without reacting.

It’s almost as if they have been transformed into a less troublesome form, like a kind of vaccine based on dead virus maybe. Perhaps this is like an anxiety vaccine that will protect me from the live worries!

Hope and peace

When I woke this morning, the same thing happened again! Normally I’m luckily if I get a few seconds or minutes of peace when I wake, before the day’s chosen worry comes into clear view and demands, and gets, attention.

But I am now hopeful that this huge step forwards can be made to stick. It certainly feels like it can, and I hope that writing it down will help it to become a new way of being for me.

I’m quite excited to see what comes next!

I don’t know it this is ongoing progress started with my QHHT experience, or the practice of Exposure and Response Prevention that I’ve been doing, or a combination.

But whatever made it happen, I’m very happy about it!


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