Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Running on Empty

"Without the ability to assert ourselves, we will have difficulty living with integrity and self-respect. Sacrificing our rights usually trains others to mistreat us. By standing up for our rights, we should we respect ourselves and thus win the respect of others."
~Rollo May, Power and Innocence

     Has this ever happened to you? Trying to squeeze one more trip out of those last few drops of fuel is, for some people, a wonderful hobby! They know EXACTLY how far that gauge can move before the car is actually out of gas.

     In a former life, I worked in an autoshop, and saw cars come in with complaints of decreased performance, chugging, or not even starting. Turns out, many cars have their fuel pump located inside the gas tank. This does several things: the gas keeps the pump from overheating, there's less contamination, and there's less chance of exposure to air rusting out the fuel pump. This also means that, if you constantly run your tank low, you risk overheating your pump, clogging the filter with sediment from the tank (usually that stuff just sinks to the bottom and doesn't bother the pump), and shortening the overall lifespan with added stress.

     We're much more complex than cars, but there are certainly some similarities! Do you have warning lights that let you know when you're running low? Do you find that trying to squeeze out "one more trip" when physical, emotional, or psychological resources are drained is shortening your lifespan? Does it inhibit your performance?

     Then find ways to refill! Make sure you are taking care of you! Sometimes it only takes a few minutes of rest, relaxation, meditation, or conversation. Whatever it is, don't put it off until after you do one more thing!

     If you're struggling to find a way to fill-up, give us a call! One of our therapists can work with you and your family to ensure you see finding ways to fully engage in life!

888.631.EXFT (3938)

Running on E
(c) 2018, Nathan D. Croy

Friday, January 26, 2018

Embrace The Trauma

"Anxiety is freedom's possibility..."
~The Concept of Anxiety by Soren Kierkegaard

     I'm horrible at golf. I am my own hazard. It's bad. However, I really enjoy it! Playing reminds me of spending time with my dad and I've found it to be relaxing. When I was beginning, my father would stand behind me and offer helpful critiques on my swing. 

    During a particularly horrendous game, the first four hits had immediately veered right as soon as my club made contact. I was frustrated. It made no sense to me why the ball wasn't going where I was aiming! So, on the fifth hole, I lined my shot up to go far left of the green. It made sense that, if my shots went to the right, then I'd aim left and they'd go where I wanted!

     Standing behind me, my father piped up and pointed out that I was putting a foursome in some real jeopardy based on how I was lined up. I explained my reasoning of "ball goes right; aim left". He chuckled and offered some advice, "We don't change our game to match our mistakes; we fix our mistakes."

     Many people who have experienced trauma tend to change their life to avoid future trauma. If they have been in an abusive relationship, they may decide all intimacy is potentially hurtful and not worth the risk. If they have been in a car accident, then they may decide leaving home is no longer worth the risk. They begin to change their life to match their trauma, instead of addressing the trauma. 

     This empowers the trauma and minimizes the power in the person. Changing our lives to match the trauma only serves to keep us stuck in the trauma. There is an increase in anxiety when we begin to think of confronting the trauma. This can be uncomfortable, scary, and is absolutely necessary. There are various therapeutic and psychiatric means of addressing trauma to facilitate freeing ourselves from past experiences and to begin embracing the possibilities life has to offer. If you discover you aren't free to engage in healthy interactions with people because of your past, consider contacting a professional to help you confront those fears and get your life back!

    Don't change your game to match a bad experience, change the experience!

(c) Nathan D. Croy, 2018