I am making some suggestions regarding which direction you might go. These are by no means absolute. I am still searching for ways to effectively present these concepts that took me so many years to learn. I learned the hard way. I don’t believe that you have to travel the same desert that I crossed.
Please take my suggestions as your “manual” to calming down the nervous system. It is helpful to have a life coach or other mental health professional help you along. However, it is not necessary. In the end, I pulled myself out of the deepest hole that exists in the human experience. You can do it on your own.
My intent of this chapter is to try to organize the mental health concept presented in prior chapters in a way that gives you an overview and template for you to chart your own journey.
I feel that working on anxiety first is critical. As you progress into peeling away your victim role, you will feel more anxiety. That is one of the blocks fully engaging in the process. Anxiety represents a feeling of being vulnerable and helpless, and anger represents power, which masks that feeling. If you have the tools to deal with anxiety, then you are able to press onward.
Confronting your victim role is the “continental divide” of whether my patients really move forward or not. Remember that anger is a “turbocharger” that drives your negative anxiety-producing thoughts. The problem with chronic pain is that not only are you truly a victim, but the circumstances are often very intense. It is extremely challenging to move past that deep of true victim role.
Many practitioners focus on awareness and meditation as first steps of the reprogramming process. These are wonderful tools, but in my experience, they are more effective when used later in your journey. I tried these as the primary focus for a couple of years, and it just did not have the same effect as the writing. I feel the writing is the foundation. It creates a physical space between you and your negative thoughts.
The last section represents the most recent phase of my journey. It is not the last phase as there is truly no end to this journey. I present some visualization techniques and also the Hoffman process. It is an eight-day in-house process that gives you a very powerful set of reprogramming tools.
Engage fully. If you find yourself hesitant, then start digging into your own issues to find out why. Maybe you choose not to believe any of this works. Maybe you just have habit patterns that are not changeable. Are you so damaged you cannot change? Find out the answer and engage.