About This Page
I’ve put together a comprehensive list of tips, notes and things that I did to help me cope with then eventually recover from all of the emotional, mental and physical suffering that was the result of having Late Stage Neurological Lyme Disease.
Hopefully one of these tips will help you. I am also always available to answer any question that you might have. Just email me.
Tip 1: How To Get Our There and Talk To Other People
Putting it all together…
Step one: Approach the person and ask your personal assistant to please be there for you when you are talking to this person.
Step two: If you continue to feel nervous say to yourself “Calm down ____________, you are just thinking of yourself right now and you are in self-centered fear. Try to think of this person. He or she might be having their own problems.
Step Three: Ask yourself if they have any problems and how they might be feeling
Step Four: Reverse reflection exercise: Whatever they are thinking about you is a reflection of what they can’t accept in themselves.
Step Five: Reflection Exercise: Don’t like a quality in them? Ask yourself what type of person would do that and ask yourself when you displayed that quality.
Step Six: Looking at them as a small child
Step Seven: Thank your personal assistant when you leave this person! Remember, don’t just “use” your personal assistant establish a real relationship with this invisible life saver!
Tip 2: The Importance of Support Groups and Consistency: the Bridge Back To Life
I really started taking a major turn in my Depersonalization when I started attending a support groups. It’s so important that you get a support group with people who have success stories. This is another way of taking the focus off yourself and using these peoples stories to change your thoughts about the hopelessness and despair. Similar to what we discussed above with your body’s fright or/flight mode this will start to put your body at ease hearing stories of people who experienced the same feelings and setbacks as you did and fully recovered. It is important that you find a support group that meets frequently and one that has various success stories. There are many support groups online such as Dailystrength, Yahoo, Google. It is important to find one that suits you best.
What is more important than going to these support groups is consistency. The key to getting out of depersonalization is Consistency and Action. It was very hard at first but when I started going to support groups to overcome by debilitating depersonalization and anxiety, I would go about 4 times a day! Hearing the speaker speak in the morning, late morning, afternoon and night was a way of breaking up those endless and hopeless thoughts. I would go 4 times a day when my anxiety was really bad. Depending on how bad your depersonalization is listening to other peoples stories and their stories of hope might almost be similar to an exorcism or an inner fight. However, I feel that this is truly a bridge back to the real world. It’s a way of quieting that voice that constantly asks yourself “can’t anyone understand this condition?” “I am I alone in this depersonalization hell?”
What even more important is Actions come before thoughts. Its interesting that were are always taught that thoughts come before actions. Example: let’s say I was thinking that I wanted something to eat. The natural thing would be to think first “I am hungry”, recognize it and then walk or do some sort of ACTION to go to the store and get what you wanted. Unfortunately, for us with Anxiety and Depersonalization our thoughts are so out of whack that you should seldomly trust any of these thoughts! I used to look at going to meetings like going to the gym. Your initial thoughts are not wanting to go but if you just walk to the gym and don’t think about it and get on the machine you will feel better. Do this a couple of times a day for a couple of months, Viola! A new you!
So now…were going to reverse things. Rather than thinking first you are going to ACT first and then think. What do I mean by this? Lets say you are on your way to recovering from anxiety. First I say congratulations! You can do it! Next, go to the nearest support group.
Are you thinking? Don’t think. Tell yourself you’ll think later when you’re there. Continue putting off thinking and do everything out of pure actions. The first couple of days will be very very tough. It will be hard to hear people speak because of all the noise in your head. Keep going and white knuckle it. Can I ask you a question? What other option do you have? I can tell you my experience I would go to three meetings a day just to get out of the depersonalization.
Now would be a good time to start asking for help from a higher power. Call 3 people once a day. Call people you trust and tell them that it is hard for you to talk to them. This is why it is so important to join a support group because these people will understand it when you say how you are feeling. They will be able to relate to you. The first three months going to a support group consistently (the more the merrier) is going to be the hardest thing you will do.
Tip 3: Fear analysis: Spiral method
Ahh, Fear.This is pretty much the problem with anxiety and depersonalization. It is self-centered fear. Certain fears I had was that I don’t know who I am, Fear of not really living and everyone was going on with their lives, Fear of not being able to connect, fear as if my soul is dying.
When I was coming out of depersonalization there was this great exercise that I did which really got to the root of my fear. Want to know what the root of most of fear is? Not that you’re broke or your house is being foreclosed but rather—death and being alone. Strange right? Let’s try an example:
I have fear that Ill get fired. If I get fired I’ll be poor. If I’m poor than I wont have a place to live. If I don’t have a place to live I’ll be homeless. If Im homeless I’ll be alone, if I am abandoned in this world then Ill be lost, if I am lost Ill struggle to survive, If I struggle to survive people around me will slip away, if people slip away then Ill die never knowing myself, if I die Ill DIE.
Wow! Look at that DEATH is the last one.
Lets try this again…
I have fear that my sister is mad at me, if my sister is mad at me then she’ll never talk to me again, if she never talks to me again, I’ll be alone, if I’m alone, I’ll DIE.
DEATH and being alone again…well I guess that PUA and being at ease with DEATH is important after all—its at the root of your fear.
Fear: I have a fear because——-(do the above spiral method)
Then ask your PUA to please remove your fears and direct your attention to what you would have me be.
Tip 4: Coming to terms with Death and BEING ALONE
Did you know that most people that are happy with life are actually okay with death? Ironic huh? Let’s do an exercise. My professor at Social Work school asked us to do a homework assignment where we had to write an obituary as if we died today. I remember sitting at that computer with the cursor blinking for hours. How could I possibly write an obituary as if I died today? I couldn’t die no matter how much I wanted to end my pain.
What was interesting is that if you were to ask me my definition of being ready, I would give you a vision of me as a grandmother, having a family, children, grandchildren, a career and a life filled with love. However, I then realized that this is just my definition of being “ready.” Other people might be ready by confession, religious means such as getting closer to God, seeing or living in a place that they never heard before or truly mentally ready to die through suicide or other mental illness. I think also that this vision of being “ready” or being a grandmother in my old age has a lot to do with our society and what I grew up believing. Years ago many didn’t live to see this old age and therefore I think that their perception of being “ready” was different. Moreover, some career driven people might think that their time of being “ready to go” is when they are financially successful.
Regardless of what being “ready” is, It is only in my self-assessment of falling short (i.e. not having a family or being too young to die) when I realized the difficulty of writing an obituary as if I died today. I think the difficulty lies in the emotions that come with it such as fear, anxiety, hopelessness, loss, sadness and uneasiness. I also realized with these emotions came a variety of unanswered questions such as: what happens to me when I die? What happens to my soul? Does my soul live on? Is there a heaven? I guess I never know but now realize that for me having faith in something greater than myself might bring me closer to being ready.
There is one fundamental question you should ask yourself if you are fearful of dying and most of your “fear spiral exercises” lead to death or loneliness. The question you should continue to ask yourself if “what happens to me when I die? Where did all these people who died before me go?”
I started asking questions about life, the cosmic universe, who made the stars and whether there was something beyond this world. Other questions that are important to ask is why people are in your life? Wouldn’t it be cool if some force was brining things in your life to help you and lead you to a path where you are supposed to be? Also start asking yourself if these people are in your life as a coincidence?
So, next time you check out your groceries and the lady says “have a good day” ask yourself if your PUA put her in your life to say that! Its kinda cool!
Tip 6: Dealing with friends and family that can’t understand
This is a tough because sometimes family can make being in Anxiety, Depersonalization or sick with a disease of the mind hard because you well you “look fine.” It is so important at this point to look at that person as “sick and suffering.” We are all a reflection of each other so basically that exercise where I had you look at other people and asking what type of person would do that is exactly what they are doing! But they don’t have the tools like you do.
Also, if this family member is abusive to you its so important to try to look at them like a small child. You might look at them and the fact that they are “in the world” and youre not as “better than you.” But really they are not doing much better than you and whatever is borthering them could be all about them. You have to ask how you have been hurt by them. Then finally its so helpful to write a letter to this person who has hurt you but write it to them as a child and not the way you see them now.
And if there is someone that is abusive to you and they call you and constantly yell at YOU for the bad things that are going on in their lives—REMEMBER That is THEIR misfortune NOT yours. Everyone has their own PUA and path. It is important not to take on other people’s suffering as your own.
I hope this was helpful for all of you. I wish you all health and recovery. Honestly, I know how scary it is and please remember that there are people out there that understand completely.
List of Resources for Lymies:
Great Books to get:
Please note that I don’t endorse these books…I just want to share the ones that were instrumental in my healing and really helped me during the dark times:
Note: The first three links are CDs. During my ordeal with lyme and depersonalization I couldn’t read or found it hard to concentrate. These are the best.
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers (Audio Book)
90 Minutes in Heaven
Conversations with God Foundation
Addiction to Love; Overcoming Dependency Relationships
ACOA – Sourcebook for Children of Alcoholics
Choices, NYC – Store
- The 12 step workbooks and literature were great from this store!
- I purchased a God Box during my time of healing. Every time I had a wish or a prayer I would put it in the box. It works!
Related Resource Pages
Do you need a health and wellness coach to help you through this process? I can help! To learn more, visit my site www.naturalpureliving.com