Friday, March 28, 2008

Tapa, tapa, tapa

I did not get back here as soon as I had hoped. Mark went out of town for work again this week. I hate it. It's the snow. Scares the crap out of me every time he drives out of here in another darn blizzard. More of the white stuff predicted again today. sigh

Okay down to cases. Thanks everyone for the comments. Lori even tackled the subject on AFGZ. Episode two of "I Can Make You Thin" was about emotional eating. That would be me. I eat to zone out. As I have said before I fear strong feelings. Even happy ones. If I eat I don't have to feel. I always thought I ate mainly because after a sugar binge I could pass out and did not have to feel anything. Nay not so much. I eat because I stop feeling while I am eating. The minute food hits my palate I go unconscious. It is bliss. I get to go away from my body and my life for awhile. I sure hate to come back. I often cry when I return and find the food gone. Poor child.

This is mostly not about food. I know what happened to me as a kid was bad, but the enormity of the destruction has become apparent since I lost the weight. Children who are sexually abused learn to leave their bodies. I so learned this useful skill. Trouble is, I have used/am using this skill to escape life. I was overwhelmed by horror as a small girl. The legacy of the abuse is a fear of all feeling. If I feel at all it overwhelms me. I like being sort of emotionally even keel numb.

Enter Paul McKenna and his tapping. He says emotional eaters are easily overwhelmed and learn to manage their stress by overeating. No shit Sherlock. He says he has a way to alleviate the overwhelmedness (my favorite non-word.) Here is the process:

1. Using index and second finger tap your cheekbone under your eye ten times.
2. Using same fingers tap your collar bone ten times.
3. Using same fingers tap under your eye again ten times.
4. Using same fingers tap the side of your hand ten times.
5. Close your eyes and tap the back of you hand ten times.
6. Open your eyes, keep tapping, and look down to the right and then to the left.
7. Keep tapping and rotate eyes in a circle clockwise.
8. Keep tapping and rotate eyes in a circle counter clockwise.
9. Still tapping the back of your hand hum the first verse of a song. (I am using Jingle Bells.)
10. Still tapping count out loud to five.
11. Still tapping hum verse of another song. (Amazing Grace.)
Stop, you are done.

The first time I did this the only thing I noticed was Mark staring at me, hard.... Then after a few seconds I noticed I felt like I was standing in a very faint cool breeze. Refreshing. Then I noticed I did not feel overwhelmed anymore. In fact I was having trouble worrying at all. My surface thoughts were running along at their normal pace, but the underlying anxiety that never leaves me was silent. I had not realized the nature of my worry. It's verbal. A never ending litany of worry words. But, my internal nervous nellie was silenced by the tapping.

Intermezzo: A horse drawn black hearse just went by the house. Very odd to see the old black wagon followed by a line of cars. Someone being buried in our little cemetery I guess.

According to the show the tapping interrupts synapses in the neurons in the brain thereby creating a physiological change rather than just creating a psychological distraction. Or something like that. I'm a believer. It worked for me. This is another key to good mental health for me. What with this technique and saying my UFLS mantra I may just get well.

Happy tapping. Love Bea

P.S. This is the second time I have written this darn thing. I keep losing stuff as our wireless signal dies again. Wireless phone and Internet are for the birds. Mentor Mary says talking to me on the phone reminds her of talking to people on the phone in the early thirties. I love progress.


Cindy164 said...

Wow, I am going to print out the tapping instructions and keep them at work, and try it as soon as I have time. I am in a rush but wanted to respond to your sugar question. I do eat sugar. And I can and do stop. I try not to eat it very often. And I find if I do eat it in things like cake or candy, I have the compulsion to eat more and I tend to eat more in the hours and days following, but what I do is eat a lean protien afterward or try and get back to a healthy food as soon as possible. It would probably be best if I never ate sugar but I can't imagine life without chocolate and stuff. I can't explain why I can eat it and eventually stop. And I believe I am an addict. I don't know if it is intuitive eating or not. When I want to lose weight I cut the sugar out for a while because it is easier to stick to a plan that way. Sugar is distracting. It is possible for me to have one hershey kiss sometimes and not eat more. But I do experience the craving.

ar said...

Was so glad to find you back Bea, really missed you. Think your description of trying to escape from strong feelings is so much on the mark for me too. Have made a date with myself to study the tapping tomorrow evening.

Sugar can put me on a high depending on the state of my binging, as when I have been eating healthily for a while, sugar, initially, can taste excessively sweet. I am more of a sugar than a salt eater. Cheese and biscuits can do things for me as well as salsa and Mexican food. Also high fat creamy foods like hummus and moutabal on Arabic bread. I can zone out on all of those and sometimes find that sugar is an offsetting opposite of the other, i.e. once I have had a sugar binge, I need salt or the other way round. Think I need a tapping exercise now :>)

Vickie said...

I think the combination of the pressure points and the meditation in the tapping is excellent. I saw the first two shows also.

I talked about your sugar question in my post on Saturday. Helen said it turned into a manifesto - and that is a good word for it. Took me all day Saturday to wrap my mind around it - and it was a good thought process for me.

Cindy164 said...

OK I am at work and did the tapping thing twice. I love it. Thank you. I get this feeling of refreshment. Subtle but refreshed. Amazing. .

Helen said...

My last therapist used a tapping technique in our sessions sometimes and it was amazingly effective at breaking through the mind static. Thanks for this reminder! :-)

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