Monday, May 10, 2010

Left Brain + Right Brain = Wise Mind



I used to be ashamed for being "smart"; I actually felt stupid because I was told I was wrong for using my brain especially in my attempts to find my way out of that dark place. In hindsight it was kind of like the mechanic that doesn't want you to know how to change your own oil or he will lose business.....creating dependency.

Each time I would find a seed of hope or insight....or disagreed on being labeled as "lifetime member" of Club MI....



My hand got slapped and I was typically told I was "intellectualizing" or being "difficult"

But part of using my "smart" is that I learned how to recognize when "being smart" and searching for my own answers became another "avoidance" behavior that was hindering rather than helping me along in my journey....

For some reason being smart isn't allowed; compliance is what's expected - I often had T's and Docs that would tell me to stop using their "lingo"...to stop trying to "intellectualize" this stuff and "just do it" - with no instructions no less...

T: "you are co dependent" or "you need to set some boundaries"....yeah; thats kind what I'm doing here so how would you suggest I do that?....

...yet

That is exactly how I found my way out of the darkness.

Knowledge is power, and truth sets us free...

I had one person who encouraged me to use my intelligence to connect with my emotions.

And I did.

Left Brain + Right Brain = Wise Mind

So I drew my own map and began this awesome Journey!

W00t!

:)


9 comments:

Ellen said...

Yes, sometimes being 'smart' can be an avoidance tactic, but sometimes you just need to be smart. Good for you for not being discouraged by authority figures and sticking to your questions and thoughts. It's really important not to give our power away!

Stacy said...

I think I do a lot of avoidance through "trying to figure things out". I'm always trying to "figure things out". It's come up in therapy often that I may not be able to figure things out. Sometimes I wish I'd quit trying and just get on with it because there are indeed thing in life that make no sense.
I struggle with this issue in DBT to. I'm always trying to think of where the error is in the program. And if there's an error the whole thing is a wash. Obvioulsy not. Every program has an error, we just have to work it the best we can.
Ultimately I end up with trouble being to rational as a way of avoiding feelings. Obvioulsy I have feeling because the come out in all sorts of inconvenient ways, but I wish and I try to be completely rational. Obviously, it doesn't work. Really though I just have trouble knowing how I feel at all, which of course makes wise mind difficult.

Susan said...

Thanks Ellen! Your support and encouragement just filled my inner soul tank up and made me want to puff up like a proud bird and kind of strut my stuf a little! It does feel good to know that I'm in charge of my recovery and no one else!

Susan said...

Yes Stacy - I get you on this one; me too....it seems like I've spent a lifetime trying to "figure things out" too. :)

And I so hear you on the feelings are there...I think part of it was that I learned early on that feelings or showing of any emotion wasn't ok. I used to say I had 2 emotions - depressed and way over the top but nothing in between.

I think thats why my emotions would pop out at such inconvenient times - like a tea pot that the lid is on - if you don't let some steam escape there will be hot water everywhere as the lid starts popping and the water starts boiling over.

And just like that tea pot - I learned how to "let the steam off"...and in the beginning it felt odd to choose to "go with it" instead of finding another way to "avoid" it.

It was hard to learn that life and emotions aren't flat like a dry desert but once I learned how to connect with the emotions life became a lush forest with flowers, rain, storms, sun, rolling hills that went up and down and then leveled out where I found all the color that a complete range of emotions has for us.

lifeisterminal said...

Sometimes I think that intelligence is a curse. I can't count the number of doctors and therapists who have said "Oh, well you're so bright, you'll be fine." I think it is worse - I have the insight and understanding, but it doesn't make the change easier, it just gives me more ammo to beat myself up with, adding to the shame and confusion of understanding intellectually steps I could take to change, but being incapable of making it happen. Don't get me wrong, on the other hand, I'm grateful for the intellectual understanding of my disorder(s) and I read and research to find greater understanding, but I resent the implication that it is somehow "easier" to heal because I am smart. I wonder if I had less insight I could be more accepting, maybe it would be less of a struggle. Maybe it wouldn't hurt so much.

Kristin said...

A doctor once told my daughter that she is probably smarter than most people who were trying to help her. He went on to say "You will have to learn to accept their authority. They have been educated to know how to treat you."
She was repeatedly smashed down this way. Instead of listening to her and her insights into how she felt and making adjustments to their treatment, they tried to "push a round peg into a square hole" and it never worked.
I am heartened by your story of discovery - using your intellect.
xx Kirs

Kristin said...

I hope that you won't mind - I wrote about your post today. It really rings true and I wanted to talk more about your discovery.
xx kris

Susan said...

Hi Lifeisterminal! Boy oh boy do I hear you on that one. I was in that place for a really long time; once I got the message that compliance was the game - I played it really well for many years and got exactly no where.

There's a thing that happens in this journey for many of us who are in the same place you described in your comment - knowing there is more to life than what is being experienced - but not knowing how to reach it.

It's a dilema that I and many others have faced in this journey. We want change, we read, study, attend therapy, see the docs...we're "doing" all the things we are told to do but for some reason it's not working. Its a chronic cycle of hope and hope lost.

And this is what this here blog this is about - how I found my way out of that place you described in your comment. It sucks to be in that place and I'm sorry to hear that this is your struggle today.

I'm really glad you dropped by and introduced yourself today...and thanks for your comment. It always is helpful to connect with others and know we are not alone in this journey! :)

PS we haven't announced it yet - but on June 3rd I'll be doing a new monthly Blog Talk Radio program on these issues...:) Stay tuned! This is just starting to get fun!

Susan said...

Kristin; thank you so much for your heart felt story. I'm so sorry to hear that this was your daughters experience....and I am honored that you would share part that story here.

Please do post away! This is a message that I am so passionate about. I have a firm belief that while not everyone will choose to take this path in their journey, I do believe that every single one of us has the capacity to LEARN how to go through this dark place to get out of that pain and begin to live in the light.

I'm so glad you stopped by today, Kristin!