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Re: Bury it! DaisyM

Posted by fallsfall on November 18, 2003, at 13:08:59

In reply to Re: Fear of Abandonment - DaisyM fallsfall, posted by DaisyM on November 18, 2003, at 10:53:29

I can relate to the "go to" syndrome. I'm trying to go to others more because I know that it isn't that they can't/won't help me, but I don't ask (and often actively refuse) for help.

Burying. I'm not sure exactly how I learned to do this. I have a "relax to sleep" tape that has a section about imagining a heavy box next to your bed. It asks you to put your issues into the box and then "close the heavy lid". At first, I didn't know how to do this, but I kept trying - I would think the word for my issue (i.e. my husband) and then think about putting it into the box. Then I would do the next issue. Some nights I had endless lists, some nights just a few. Putting the lid on has a finality - you know those issues aren't strong enough to take the lid off. The tape says that you can take them out in the morning when you need them.

Eventually I got to the point where if things were really bad, everything wouldn't fit into the box. Or things would jump back out and I'd have to put them in again. Or my husband kept sprawling in the box and his arms and legs would hang out. I would have to be firm about getting everything in the box. Sometimes I had to get a bigger box (but in fantasy land there is an endless supply of boxes). Sometimes it was hard to put the lid on - the issues didn't want to be covered up.

I did this exercise probably every night for over a year (or two?). I have also heard it referred to as "putting it on the shelf". My shelf is very high up, so when I put things there they don't bother me.

On Saturday, I was laying in bed feeling much too comfortable with "bad" thoughts. I decided that I had to get up, and finally convinced myself to call my therapist (I was incredibly anxious). He said we would work on it on Monday (so, again, I didn't have to put it away forever - I don't know if that is an important part). I guess that I mentally took the anxiety in my stomach and shoved it way down in my body, so that it was covered by all the rest of the things that are in there. If I started to think about it, I wouldn't allow myself to actually think about the details - I just knew that I was trying to think about it. Then I would tell myself that it was buried, so leave it alone.

I guess that the distraction training that I have had is also useful here. Watch a movie, play a computer game that really requires you to think, read a book, do something you really like (it is easier to concentrate on something you like). After a while it is easier to point your thoughts where you want them to be. It is sort of like if you are in a crowded, noisy room, but you want to hear what someone is saying - you try to filter out the background to focus on their voice. I try to filter out my issue and focus on the movie.

It takes a lot of energy to do this (and I'm still exhausted today). I'm not sure that I could have buried it if I didn't know that I would have his help with it on Monday. I knew it was an important issue, and I wouldn't want to have lost it.

On Monday, I started to think about how I got to my understanding of the issue (I had done a little writing the night before), and was able to start thinking it again from there. So when I got to therapy it wasn't buried so much. I had to be careful on Saturday not to write about it, and I was worried that I would forget what I had figured out. But I knew that if I wrote about it that it would be too concrete, so it would be too hard to bury.

I'd be interested to know how other people do this. It is a useful skill to have.




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