Past, Present, and Future – Episode 011

Past, Present, Future

Hello again, I’m Shayne Sullivan from After the Waiting Room.

I hope that you are finding these recordings useful as a way to look at things differently. 

The way we view ourselves, other people, and the events in our lives, whether in the past, the present, and into our future.

Having many different ways to view our reality maybe a powerful way to help us make decisions about our lives, so that we live it more fully with lots of choices at our disposal.

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My practice involves engaging with people who are injured, exhausted, fearful,  anxious, depressed, skeptical, angry, healing, empowered, joyful, happy, resilient, and informed.

The list could go on all day!

And, I not only treat people in the oncology realm.

The other areas are chess sports performance, pregnancy, lymphatic and lyphodemic issues, scar management, pallative,

And what I term “just because I want to.”

Even though there are many different reasons why people come to my door, they can present with various degrees of some of the emotional states listed previously, usually the ones that aren’t serving them, and they are literally backed into a corner with seemingly no way out of their pain.

A recent conversation I had with one of my clients was about their hypervigilance.

I find that a common thing with people who have had a diagnosis of some sort – not necessarily cancer.

This pain cycles seem to be caught up in the diagnosis they were given and it seems to be getting worse.

What I suspected was, what I’ve called this episode, past equals present equals future.

Each time this person came in for relief of their pain, they were literally dragging with them a big bag of the causes, a big bag of their past.

I’ve got this pain because…

I woke up worried because I think such and such…

I can’t do that because… 

And all of these things happening to me is because of my condition.

I keep having to check in at emergency and at the doctors because I thought I was having a heart attack even though all these tests were negative.

In fact, all the tests were normal.

In turn, increasing the inflammation, increasing the pain, the allergies, feeding tolerances, and of course, collecting evidence that they were right.

The trouble was or the trouble is still they are still modeling these strategies to their child.

Every time they presented to the clinic, they drag their condition into the room.

At home, they would talk about their symptoms with each other, collecting more and more evidence.

These clients are not stupid.

In fact, they are highly functioning, highly intelligent people, and very excellent at researching their condition, which had become part of their identity. 

So, we talked about their hypervigilant behaviour and how it was linked to their pain cycle. 

The soonest they we noticing something uncomfortable, like a back twinge or stomach pain, they would become anxious, and probably saying something to themselves, and then the pain would worse.

The unconscious mind is so closely connected to our physical body that we are not even aware that it begins to run the strategy of “Ok, it’s time to do the pain thing again.”

Releasing our own hypervigilant chemicals to our circulation and nervous systems.

Remember our unconscious mind has learned over time different strategies to keep it safe. 

Pain is one of those strategies.

I explained that a simple way to take back control is to, first of all, recognise that if they start to feel anxious, it’s because they have said something to themselves and they’ve made something that’s uncomfortable mean something.

I’ve had this conversation with myself from my cancer diagnosis and I recognised that I could make myself quite upset and ill if I let the worry strategy take over.

I suggested to my client that instead of boarding the roller coaster ride again,Just say, “thank you” to your unconscious mind for bringing it to their attention, and that the thought is only a thought.

It’s keeping them safe.

And, if need be, seek assistance to give them peace of mind.

Knowing that keeping a calm, firm attitude towards these fleeting thoughts will allow them from refraining, from going down that rabbit hole each time in a frenzy of worry and pain in all its forms.

I also suggested to my client that what we focus on is what we get.

Focusing on other things they can do instead of all the things they can’t do may be a better strategy.

It can be as easy as that.

Until next time, don’t just exist, live life!

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