Episode 11 - How to deal with: Too many choices/lost in the dark/overwhelming

Hello, my name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
Today we are going to do things a bit differently and I would really like to know if you like that.
What many people I help struggle with, is, that they don’t know where to even start. They are lost in the darkness and running in circles.
They know there is so much to do, but every time they seem to grab something it seems to dissolve and they land on the floor.
So today we are going to talk about what to do, if you are lost in the dark and/or with too many choices and/or everything is just overwhelming.

I remember the darkness, knowing not what to do, where to turn to, while the darkness lashes out and drains you. The longer it takes, the bigger the darkness gets and the more suffocating.
It seemed wanting to grab me and hold me and drag me someplace darker. While still my everyday life happened - life must go on - it was somehow bizarre.
I knew it was just in my head, I knew there was actually no reason for it, but still - I was losing that fight. Whatever it was.
There were so many options I could still take in life - I just left school and started studying, but still I felt trapped and with my other options just fading out.
It’s a feeling of the platform you are standing on gets smaller and smaller - and you can do nothing about it. I was in a storm of voices or thoughts, which were deafening loud and at the same time… silent.
There were good days were I barely even noticed it. Other days… I couldn’t even notice anything else.
There were too many choices, all fading in and out, and I really didn’t know what to do.  - Now I do.

Calm yourself
Breathe. Let it flow over you. It is important to calm yourself down. Some days that won’t be possible - which is fine - another day then.
As far as I have heard, never has the panicked mind been any kind of help. It is always best to keep a cool head.
So just breathe - don’t pressure it. Because Pressure is the worst thing you can do - which I know is very hard while feeling all your appointments and undone work breathing down your neck.
I still struggle with that to be honest. But the ironic thing really is - you move fastest when you relax and take it slow. Not that that stopped me from still trying it.
Meditation is really helpful, it helps to defog your brain and clear things up. The most simple one is just to focus on your breath an let your mind run freely. Just follow your breath in and out of your body.
It gives a lot of energy usually and makes things a bit clearer. So just breathe - if you can.

Go with the flow
Breathe…just focus on your breath as it flows in and out of you…and let it flow over you.
All those thoughts are like a stream and tornado - don’t try to do anything with it. Just breathe. There is no controlling this storm.
Let it come towards you… it wants to tell you something after all. So let it come towards you - while you just relax. It will come, no worries about that, so breathe and relax and -  wait.
Soon you should hear the first words, maybe even sentences. It’s a bit like bait. No need to be hasty or impatient. Breathe, keep on waiting.
Now we will slowly get clearer sentences or even scenes. Maybe just nightmarish daydreams our mind created. Either will do.
If you have a sentence or thought that makes sense to you or has a statement in it, then focus on that. Now we got our thought process. Or at least a good shot at it.
It is amazing what our brain thinks and what causes it. The cause of a thought can be completely unrelated to the topic, but our brain is able to connect the wildest things.
I recommend asking yourself, why am I thinking this? As tempting as shortcuts are, they are invalid. You think you know the answer, but if you did, why do you keep having those thoughts?
It is worth to walk the full line of thought. Every step - because every step has the chance to branch off into a new - more hidden - path.
There is also the need to sometimes walk the path for the path itself. Sometimes we know something, but we really don’t know it. We didn’t really realize it.
Sometimes we just need to walk the walk. Somethings need to be walked again and again, until it finally clicks.
Sometimes we just have to admit something to ourselves. Everything is alright. Take your time.
It is done, when it’s done. We can’t really control it. We have to do what we have to do, it ends when it ends.

Time of Change
Often things need to change. The thoughts of being in the dark, cornered, are usually a statement on and of itself. The walls that surround us are our own rules, social rules or rules we think are there.
Often we know things deep in ourselves, but it usually takes a lot to makes us admit to it - depending on the level of our stubbornness. The truth can only be shut out for so long…
Those walls used to give us shelter, but now they are trapping us. Breathe. They are easily breakable. But which one turned from a shelter to a trap?
Change is often hard and painful, that is why we shy away from it… also there is no guarantee it is going to be better right?
So, its better to stick to the old ways, right?
As much as things we know and always have known, give us comfort, at some point they can go from being helpful to hindering. We need to let some things simply go.
The good thing is, once we admit to ourselves, that it needs to be done - it does gets done. It can’t even be stopped anymore. You will just flow into the new position - and be able to breathe again.
It is a bit like outgrowing your old clothes. Once you got new ones, you realize that you can breathe now better… and move much better. And it’s a nice thing to have, despite your hesitation at first.
Change is pretty exhausting, so have seat, have a cup of tea and relax. I often find it very helpful to keep my hands busy.
Sometimes I would just stare into the distance or walk to grab a little snack and awake 30 min later.
I stopped asking a while ago and just go with it. Once I made it through, I could breathe and felt so much better. Sometimes you just have to walk through a valley.
Breathe, take it slow, you get there. As annoying it is - it just has to be done from time to time. Life is constant change - at least on this planet.

Everything is going to be alright
As much the thought of change might be frightening, it is a good thing, it means the dark times will pass. It means you developed yourself, usually if it happens like this, it means for the better.
As this reaction from the body - the visions of darkness, the fear, the storm - is a sign that something was imbalance. You don’t feel like this if everything is fine.
What helped me understand this a bit, was, that we are not the same physically. Our body constantly replaces its own cells and therefor kind of itself. You are literally someone else.
You are not the same person you were 5 years ago. And 5 years ago you weren’t the same person 2 years before…. And 2 years before that, and so on. You constantly change.
Which is a good thing, because it means we are learning, as I seriously I doubt you had it all figured out 5 years ago. Though I don’t think anyone has it all figured out.
The important thing is, that we don’t loose sight of what we value and who we are as a person. That we take care of the attributes that we feel define us.
Only through practice and engagement stay those attributes relevant. Everything we neglect dwindles, be it muscles or abilities or relationships.
There is no goal in life, that when you walk through it, you have it all unlocked and now don’t have to take care of anything anymore. The road IS the goal. And moving or changing is completely normal along the way.
So take a deep breath, if you can’t move at the moment, enjoy the landscape and see what you can do. There is no need to rush. Everyone gets there eventually.

Personal Words
Just a few words from me here. Sadly I didn’t manage the website in time, life just happened, as it just does. The situation is often quite frustrating at the moment.
It’s fighting against a vicious circle - my autism is causing this, so it’s only annoying, but not threatening.  I finally got my freezer today, but those delivery guys didn’t unpack it and placed it facing the wall.
Those bastards. That things weighs 60kg or 132 pounds… almost as much as me… and I kinda have 2 half dead arms. Luckily I get visit tomorrow who helps me put it in place.
But nonetheless a freezer means I can finally cook again. Food is important, gives loads of energy and betters the mood. Also the weather got a bit crazy, I went from sleeveless tops to winter coat in 2 weeks.
But I am a bit of a Softie regarding cold winds, I freely admit to that. A~and we are off to sleeveless tops again. But all is fine. No out of ordinary weather phenomenon at all. Totally.
At least I get to enjoy a bit more sun on my walks with my dog this way - it is really beautiful here.

And that was it for todays episode. I hope you liked it - and that you liked this style - if so, please tell me, as feedback helps me improve the podcast.
If you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at contactme@johannadraconis.com.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.

The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD ~ Episode 11 - How to deal with: Too many choices/lost in the dark/overwhelming
Ep 11 How to deal with Too many choices,
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