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Sheltering-in-place: Day 46

 

A woman in a green skirt and black shirt stands, swaying her hands in her pockets. The text on the image reads  This morning started with horrible thoughts, but I did not let my amygdala win. Pockets in skirts are one of my strongest tools in this battle. Also, cookies.

 The text on the image reads  

This morning started with horrible thoughts, but I did not let my amygdala win.

Pockets in skirts are one of my strongest tools in this battle.

Also, cookies.

Intrusive thoughts are a reality for a lot of people. Getting them to quiet down and go away is a learned skill (for me, anyway). Even realizing that I have the ability to make those thoughts stop was something that I had to learn. It seems, in my layperson's perspective, that the worse the thought, the harder it is to remember that I can make it stop. But I can make it stop, and I can end whatever chemical chain reaction the thought started. I just have to remember to do it. Well, okay, and then I have to remember how to do it. And, yeah, sometimes, I have to try more than one method or use more than one tool. 

Today's tools included deep belly breathing, putting on a super comfy skirt I was gifted (IT HAS POCKETS!), a shirt I bought on a really good day, reminding myself that whatever that thing was that was intruding on my thought processes today is over and not happening right now, and, well, whatever "cookies" means today. 

I decided at some point to use "cookies" as a catchall term for yummy food that makes me happy. When it can be actual cookies, it is. Given food allergies (always) and the current grocery shopping situation, real cookies are not always possible. Sometimes, "cookies" are cupcakes or chocolate chips or a fruit smoothie. Maybe it's a second decaf coffee--maybe it's the first and only one. I revel in what I can get. I think that might be the real point of the "cookie", in all its forms. It's a tasty food thing that I can revel in.

I can revel in something. I can immerse myself completely in something that makes me feel good. I can not only tell my lizard brain to hibernate, I can show it that the panic is not needed. I can flood it with dopamine, or whatever. I'm not an expert, just a person floundering through a pandemic like everyone else. 

May all our lizard brains be calm.