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Monday, March 29, 2010

I Just Want to Cry and Scream

Dear A. B.

Today's challenge seems to be the thought that I am faking. I am faking being happy, it feels weird. Maybe that's because it's so new.

Do I ever get to be negative? Like rant about politics etc? Maybe I just use common sense with this, if I feel stressed when I rant then, I can assume stress chemicals are being ramped up. If I calmly rant then it's fine? Heh.

I ask lots of questions, so I understand if you can't always answer or can't do so right away. I don't want you to feel like I am taking advantage of your kindness.... Or, I guess what is happening is actually that I don't want to feel like I am taking advantage...interesting.

I really seem to struggle with practicing Directed Thinking on days when I don't have much going on. Weekends and evenings are hard for me. Today started to doubt the process altogether. I think I could use some couching or reassurance. I am afraid that this alone won't do it for me. I recall a part in Brainswitch where you say it took you months in therapy to uncover some of your deeper fears. Does this mean I have to spend months in therapy? Can you tell that this has worked for people? I could really use the reassurance. All I really have to go on are you and a few Amazon reviews (and any courage I can drum up). I would love to hear from you that you have seen this work for people. You personally have seen more than you own life changed from this.

Also, to pull me out of this I mainly use the "green frog" type exercise. Is that the method you recommend? There are sooo many exercises in the book and I am a little intimidated by that. I would like it to be as simple as using green frog. My thinking about everything is so damn negative! I seem to see everything as a problem or a threat. I am so damn tense. I just want to cry and scream, why me? and when can I relax? I had a much easier time of it the first few days after I read the book...I felt inspired. Some part of me really does suspect that this could be my ticket to freedom, but I don't want it to be to good to be true. I understand that you have to believe for anything to really work. I guess I am asking for more to believe in. You really aren't afraid of it anymore? You know other people that aren't afraid anymore?

Again, I know you may find yourself busy, so...when you have the time.

peace be with you,

Dear R.

It will feel weird at first when you start taking control of your own brain because your new behavior and thinking (although I consider thinking behavior as well)needs repetition to make strong neural patterns. You make strong neural patterns by how often you think or do something. Since you have practiced depression for years, those depressive and negative thinking neural patterns are very strong. Your new neural patterns of more positive thinking and cheerfulness aren't strong yet. They will become strong in with practice. And cheerfulness will start feeling more natural than depression.

It isn't enough just to "know something" for you to be good at it. Like playing the piano. It isn't just enough to know the notes. You have to practice until the neural patterns form in your brain before you can actually play well.

Yes, I know of many people that have used just a simple exercise like "green frog," or "hippoty hop", or "so what" and have not sunk back into their habitual depression. The elaborate exercises are for further work .You can always learn something from them but they are not necessary to get out of depression. Many of these exercises I created in the beginning before I realized that they were unnecessary. I still use simple exercises myself whenever I need them. No, I'm not afraid of my own brain anymore as I am in charge of it. Your thinking does not ever have to be negative. You can always change it to something non-emotional or more productive. It is common sense. The opposite is untrue. It is simply untrue that you can't think a positive thought when you want. It is simply untrue that you are forced to only think a negative thought when it pops up and have no choice in the matter. So you are in fear because of something that is untrue. Does that make common sense? Yes, it takes courage to take charge and full responsibility for your own thinking when it is a new idea. Courage comes with the exercise of it. There is an alternative to thinking a non-emotional thought or a productive thought when fear arises. The alternative is to think a depressive or negative thought. But a depressive or negative thought is an unnecessary alternative. You are terrified of an unnecessary alternative. It is always easy to freak out. But it is not necessary. A. B. Curtiss

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