Tips for a very kinesthetic learner

NotTooLate

Confident
As someone who is very hands-on and action-oriented, I'm really struggling with the typical therapy of sitting and talking through things. I'm so sick of reading about meditation, mindfulness, breath work, bio feedback, etc. Those things are all great when I'm in a less agitated mood, but lately I am bursting at the seams with anxiety, anger and hatred of myself. I exercise most days and it releases some of the pressure, but not enough. I'm not physically fit enough to outrun my issues. As my counselor said yesterday, I am like a pressure cooker about to blow. She could feel the energy just flying off of me and decided that she'll bring in a punching bag for me next week and we'll do a guided therapy session to allow me to try to blow some steam. I'm happy she's thinking outside the box for me. I've been spinning out of control on what feels like a horrific amusement park ride that I just can't seem to get off of. I need something to jolt me enough to push me off of this crazy ride so I can focus enough to start actually healing. One thought I keep coming back to that I know is not even remotely healthy is that I wish someone would just beat the shit out of me. I feel like I deserve it. I feel like someone just needs to physically snap me out of this cycle! I don't know if punching the bag will help or not because I feel like my anger and hatred is all against me. I guess I'll just picture my face on the bag.

Can anyone relate to this? What do you do to take physical ACTION in recovery?
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
I have had times when my brain is saying the best thing I could do was slam full force into a brick wall. I never tried it, thank goodness.

I have found it useful to reconnect with my body, and use my body, in ways that are not self-loathing. Learning simple yoga helps. Another exercise I do with my therapist is what we call "mirrors". We stand facing one another. One person leads, the other follows the motions of the other, mirroring without touching. Music and dancing also helps me. I guess it's the idea of holding onto the physical movement, and that energy, but letting the self-hatred separate from the body. Sometimes when I do these physical things, very surprising emotions come up, and we follow those emotions.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Yes I do but my coping strategy for that form of heightened mood generally has been shit. Like confrontation-seeking and furious writing.

There was a moment I started krav maga and that was f*cking amazing. You punch, and you punch for real. It’s very demanding but if your instructors are normal people and not training freaks, they’ll adapt the lessons according to your capacities. I liked to associate it with dancing in my living room and then only I was capable of listening to some form of yoga. A friend of mine goes more on the kung-fu tai chi combination, and dancing too.

Hot baths, lots of scrubbing. I also spend quite a lot of time in front of the mirror, looking at my expressions, looking at how my body articulates. Not in a self-indulging neither a self-hatred way. But with curiosity.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
Can anyone relate to this? What do you do to take physical ACTION in recovery?
Yes.

The punching bag is one approach and I've found it to be helpful. I've got something else too, but you're probably not going to like it. The way my brain works, I don't really visualize in pictures very well. But it turns out I can visualize in sort of physical sensations. So, my T has asked me to remember what I felt like when..... take your pick, I was relaxed, or confident, or "safe", or what ever. Then try to conjure those same feelings in my body in the present. Like someone who can close their eyes and "see" a soothing scene might do. It's not easy. In fact, it's pretty hard. First you have to notice it would be helpful to do it, and I often don't notice. Once you notice, staying focused on what you want, rather than what's happening in the moment, is pretty hard. But it's possible and it gets easier with practice. In some ways, it's not as satisfying as breaking things, but it's probably more useful.
 
  • I found/find tai chi and kickboxing really good to reconnect with my body. Tai chi for the movement, kickboxing for the anger.
  • I'm also interested in horse riding if I can find a therapy horse somewhere local because I've heard LOTS of good things about that.
  • I also walk family/friends' dogs to get them out and active; seeing them happy and listen to me gives me a sense of control that I frequently feel like I miss out on.
My therapist and I are also going to arrange walking therapy sessions. So talking and walking out in native bush or local gardens. I think that'd be really beneficial for me in the long term.

I really struggle/d with my physical health because of a bad back. It's now been about 8 months since I had surgery to fix it, so I feel like I'm back at square one in terms of my physical health, so totally relate to not being fit enough to outrun my issues. Now I run with them! Well... walk... or swim... or tai chi...
 

NotTooLate

Confident
Thank you for all of your comments. I've read them all and definitely appreciate you sharing.
I got the perfect ball to throw at the wall today...just the right weight and bounce. My arm and shoulder will be sore tomorrow.
@Kitty and Sparrow you absolutely should try to find an equine therapy program if you can. My horses are honestly the ones that keep me going. I know my husband (and dogs) would do just fine and have a happy (maybe even happier) life if I weren't around, but I don't trust anyone to take care of my horses like I do. As far as I can tell, they are my only purpose.
 

NotTooLate

Confident
I'm wondering if it was a bad idea to start therapy. Everything is getting worse.
I can't pretend to be "normal" right now and don't want to put my hubby through any of it. I'm holding it in because I don't want him to get sick of me and my moodiness. I wish I could go back to having the emotions far from the surface.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I'm wondering if it was a bad idea to start therapy. Everything is getting worse.
I can't pretend to be "normal" right now and don't want to put my hubby through any of it. I'm holding it in because I don't want him to get sick of me and my moodiness. I wish I could go back to having the emotions far from the surface.
I can understand. But I lived with underlying emotions for 10 years and it wasn't good. It really wasn't. At a moment they did explode and went mad. Cuz either you keep the cap on and live sad and restraint in yourself, either it explodes in a meltdown. In therapy all these emotions get activated and feels scary at first, but you're in safe conditions to unravel and understand. Unravelling without bursting. Just gently unfolding, and that already is difficult..
 

NotTooLate

Confident
I'm 49 and the trauma started while I was in the womb. Decades of repression. Decades of not understanding why I could never truly feel happy no matter how many great things were in my life. Decades of thinking about therapy, but avoiding it because of the experiences I had in college when I was wrongly labeled with bipolar which led to a failed attempt at suicide. Decades of flailing around unable to find any peace or quiet. Decades of hating myself more and because I just can't seem to "get over it".
I don't want to live like this anymore. I'll stick with therapy knowing this is the hardest thing I have had to go through since the initial trauma, but I am honestly scared AF. What if I go through the process and nothing changes on the other side? What if giving oxygen to these pent-up emotions makes them larger than life and they're too overwhelming for me to handle? What if my husband finally decides enough is enough and leaves? He is the only reason I'm still alive. I've spent 25 years trying to pretend that I'm ok. I don't want him to know how bad the storm is inside my head. I don't want him to see me completely fall apart. He has enough on his plate already. I'm already a burden as he has to make the majority of the money to pay for me, my horses and our farm. If he didn't have me to take care of, he would have so much more money. Horses are expensive and he wouldn't have them if it weren't for me.
Sorry, this is turning into a diary post.
Thank you @ruborcoraxxx for reminding me that therapy is letting the steam out slowly without an explosion. I'll try to keep that in mind. I appreciate your thoughts.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I'm 49 and the trauma started while I was in the womb. Decades of repression. Decades of not understanding why I could never truly feel happy no matter how many great things were in my life. Decades of thinking about therapy, but avoiding it because of the experiences I had in college when I was wrongly labeled with bipolar which led to a failed attempt at suicide. Decades of flailing around unable to find any peace or quiet. Decades of hating myself more and because I just can't seem to "get over it".
I don't want to live like this anymore. I'll stick with therapy knowing this is the hardest thing I have had to go through since the initial trauma, but I am honestly scared AF. What if I go through the process and nothing changes on the other side? What if giving oxygen to these pent-up emotions makes them larger than life and they're too overwhelming for me to handle? What if my husband finally decides enough is enough and leaves? He is the only reason I'm still alive. I've spent 25 years trying to pretend that I'm ok. I don't want him to know how bad the storm is inside my head. I don't want him to see me completely fall apart. He has enough on his plate already. I'm already a burden as he has to make the majority of the money to pay for me, my horses and our farm. If he didn't have me to take care of, he would have so much more money. Horses are expensive and he wouldn't have them if it weren't for me.
Sorry, this is turning into a diary post.
Thank you @ruborcoraxxx for reminding me that therapy is letting the steam out slowly without an explosion. I'll try to keep that in mind. I appreciate your thoughts.
But sweetheart, do you think he'd take care of you financially like this if he already didn't love you and could stay with you for so long without noticing there is something that isn't right? Falling apart isn't something permanent. I don't know how your relationship is and how you relate to each other, but what I'm reading between the lines is that you're worried he's gonna abandon you because he would not love the real person you are. You perhaps can start from here in your therapy. A good therapist will not tell you to break your relationships apart or to collapse on yourself. You can choose a therapist that does gentle work. I had a guy that was awful, demanded to review every trauma I went through and that plunged me in a quite horrid spiral. With the other one, that I kept, things are much more progressive and centered on current relationship issues and how to manage in the day to day, then trying to understanding where that and that distress comes from. It worked well for me as I can gently manage things without having the impression I have to keep my inner life capped. And in this the forum helps too! Perhaps you can take a therapist that is a bit more of the coaching species and a bit less of the look-at-the-ugly-bits species. It can be slower but we'll, you have time. Everyone has their pace and rhythm to do things. In any case a therapy should give you the means to empower mentally to be able to chose what is good for yourself and in your own terms, even if it's hard, and not to conform in what you have been told and feel I uncomfortable in. And just having a different space that is devoted to you really does make a difference. Gentle nose bumpings, like horses!
 

NotTooLate

Confident
Luckily, my therapist is constantly reminding me that we need to take baby steps. I'm the one who is pushing to get it over with. She and you are probably right though, gentle bumps. I'm actually heading down to feed the horses now. I'll make sure to take a moment to give them all nose kisses 💕 🐎
Thank you for helping me get through this.
 
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