Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tolerating discomfort

One of the most difficult things we are challenged to do in our Recovery training is to not work up our symptoms. When our pulse quickens, our mind races, our eyes blur, it’s so easy to give into these feelings, accept them as valid, and react accordingly.

Yet Dr. Low challenged us to not let these feelings overtake our lives. He reminded us that “feelings are not facts” and that while feelings and sensations cannot be controlled, we can control our thoughts and impulses—our reactions to these disturbances.

Essentially Dr. Low was telling us to just keep moving on with our lives—no matter how uncomfortable we may feel. This can be extremely challenging because fearful symptoms can be extremely convincing. But Dr. Low assured us that if we truly have the will to bear discomfort, our symptoms will abate. We will improve. That is the promise of Recovery.

So when I spot myself working myself up, one of my favorite tools to use is to remind myself that these are just sensations—and sensations might be distressing, but they are not dangerous. And because feelings are not facts, I can continue with the task at hand no matter what my symptoms are. This sense of empowerment and hope makes me so glad that this year I discovered Recovery.

4 comments:

pasunesainte said...

Nice one, Doug--good spottings.

I also like to remind myself that "feelings and sensations rise and fall and come and go if we don't attach danger at their peak." Then I can bear the discomfort more easily. And sometimes I've resorted to timing the sensations or feelings as a way of being objective--which often makes them dissipate pretty quickly.

Please keep up your blogging if you can! (Selfish reason: It helps me to read your posts. :))

JAY said...

Great Job Doug...I always learn from your Blog....And from Recovery more then I have in oveer 20yr of councling

Robert said...

Excellent post!

Doug said...

Thanks, everybody! I'm truly touched that you enjoy my posts :)