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brassmonkey

☼ Brassmonkey: Talking about myself

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brassmonkey

Hey CW.  Yea, I made up the term. I've been a technical writer for years so everything needs a descriptive title.  I've written about it several place I think I even copied some of the posts into my intro thread, but I usually tailor them to the particular threat I'm on.  There are pretty much four steps: 1) identify that it's happening, 2) defuse the situation, 3) change the channel, 4) go on with life.

 

Identifying the situation can be hard at first because it's very natural to fall into the spiral.  A person needs to go through the entire cycle several times to identify the pattern and understand the progression.  I find that I am several minutes into the pattern before I realize that it's happening again. Learning what ones triggers are is a good place to start and previsualizing situations where those triggers might occur.  That way a person can "keep on guard" when those situations arise. It's frequently the little things that set it off.  Getting cut off in traffic, a coworkers off comment, someones tone of voice.  When a spiral has ended I try to go back and coldly analyse it to see what the trigger was for future reference.

 

Defusing the situation is very important especially in "confrontations".  This is a matter of self preservation because things have a bad habit of escalating to violence, and that has a lot of ramifications.  The person who is angry is often deemed the "bad guy".  The one who hits first is always in the wrong, and the like. Because we're in the anger spiral that put us in the center of things and according to society we have to "control our selves".  So finding ourselves in a bad situation caused by our anger spiral we have to take control and make things right.  Trying to talk out way out of it won't work, the spiral is in control making it so we can't think clearly.  The best bet is to just walk away. It is much better to be seen as rude than violent.  Turn, walk away, relax, regroup and if necessary reapproach the subject from a different angle (work related things you just can't get out of) otherwise drop it and move on.

 

The key aspect of the anger spiral is ruminating thoughts.  Once the trigger happens it sets off of series of mental events that build out of control. There is the initial trigger which is frequently followed with a small flash of anger and then dropped.  A few minutes later the ruminating kicks in with an "I should have..." followed closely by "that's like when....." "those b******s" "I always get treated like this..."  all these thoughts swirling around and compounding each other.  This builds until there is an explosion.  Changing the channel at "I should have..." is the best way out, but it can be done effectively at any point in the spiral.  As soon as one realizes that the spiral is happening changing the channel is called for. I frequently use a stern "don't go there" close my eyes, deep breath and concentrate on what I'm doing.  While distracted I do deep breathing and progressive relaxation to regain control of my body.  I can take several tries to get control back and I need to keep an eye on things so the spiral doesn't try to sneak in several hours later.  This is the part that takes a lot of practice but with time becomes second nature and very effective.

 

Once the spiral has been broken it is best to just go on with life.  The event happened, it was controlled, it's in the past, move on.  Later, after things have had a while to calm down, the situation can be reviewed in a rational manner to understand how it progressed and what worked to defuse it.  It now becomes a learning situation.  During this analysis it is important to use a cold eye so as to avoid retriggering the spiral.

 

Hope that helps CW.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Oh boy does it ever! The minute I saw you talk about it somewhere I intuitively knew it was true, that trigger ---> anger---> thing and then the RUMINATION ......I am a master there!

 

I am copying it to my thread so I don't lose it. Many many thanks.

 

(Learning this stuff is how we manage to steer our lives in better directions so we don't go back on drugs....)

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brassmonkey

Had a full up migraine last night.  Not a bad one, but still.  Started with an aura about 11pm.  That only lasted about 20 minutes then the rest started to slowly flair up. Increased tinnitus, mild nausea and finally the headache.  Went to bed to sleep it off and spent the whole night coughing and trying to clear my chest.  This morning I still have a slight headache and the typical migraine hangover.  It's upsetting because I haven't had one in many years.  I got an aura a month or so ago but it didn't develop into a headache.  Oh well, one more thing to push through.

 

About time to start packing, we leave for Portland on Tuesday. 

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Shep

Sorry to hear about the migraine, Brass Monkey, but your ability to shrug it off and start packing for another trip is truly inspiring.

 

I hope you feel better so you can enjoy your trip. 

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AmyK

I had a migraine type of head ache too some weeks ago. I connect it to wd. It eased up quite quickly. Hope you feel better. Hugs!

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LexAnger

Oh so sorry Tom!

I believe the distraction of the trip will ease the symptoms and make it a short show.

 

Also, this reminds us how powerful the tiny dose can be. I remember reading you that you were considering jumping off to zero. I hope you reconsider to give it a bit more time, all these years, day by day, hour by hour extraordinary hardship, I truly hope you last tiny tail will be as smooth as possible.

 

Have a wonderful trip and look forward to hear from you fun stories.

 

Hug!

Lex

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brassmonkey

Thanks for the support ladies.  The last vestiges of the migraine are clearing this morning.  Which is nice because we are having a heat wave and migraines and high heat don't mix well.

 

My original plan was to jump at 1mg, but I've learned a lot over the years.  Three more drops will get me to .4mg at which point the powder will start to be a real pain to handle.  So I'm currently thinking a long hold there.  That will put me right at the five year mark for the taper so will probably take the plunge then.  We shall see.

 

The new luggage arrived yesterday afternoon so we are going to start getting packed over the weekend.  Then Tuesday morning we vote in the primary election and drive cross town (Los Angeles) to catch the plane right around noon.

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btdt

I have anger lightening when I have it... any ideas for that one Brass... you can ponder it while you play in the yard ;)

Comes from nowhere gone just as fast... I thought I was past all this but apparently I am not.

peace

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brassmonkey

Hi btdt-- I'm not finding and references at all to "anger lightning". Am I right in thinking you're seeing flashes of light during times of intense emotion? Would you give me some more details.

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Shep

The key aspect of the anger spiral is ruminating thoughts.  Once the trigger happens it sets off of series of mental events that build out of control. There is the initial trigger which is frequently followed with a small flash of anger and then dropped.  A few minutes later the ruminating kicks in with an "I should have..." followed closely by "that's like when....." "those b******s" "I always get treated like this..."  all these thoughts swirling around and compounding each other.  This builds until there is an explosion.  Changing the channel at "I should have..." is the best way out, but it can be done effectively at any point in the spiral.  As soon as one realizes that the spiral is happening changing the channel is called for. I frequently use a stern "don't go there" close my eyes, deep breath and concentrate on what I'm doing.  While distracted I do deep breathing and progressive relaxation to regain control of my body.  I can take several tries to get control back and I need to keep an eye on things so the spiral doesn't try to sneak in several hours later.  This is the part that takes a lot of practice but with time becomes second nature and very effective.

 

 

Thanks for posting on my thread and mentioning the Anger Spiral. I read the whole thing, but I really like this part about "ruminating thoughts" and "changing the channel". This is where the mindfulness aspect comes into play. Sounds like you really have developed some amazing mindfulness skills.

 

These same skills also work great for other strong emotions with ruminating thoughts like suicidal ideation and strong feelings of grief or loss. It's an amazing skill to have.

 

Thanks for your posts because you explain this so well.

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grandmaD

Tom, I was wondering how you grind the tablet into powder - do you use 2 spoons or have a mortar and pestle?

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btdt

Hi btdt-- I'm not finding and references at all to "anger lightning". Am I right in thinking you're seeing flashes of light during times of intense emotion? Would you give me some more details.

It is fast as lightening.. I am fine then it envelopes me.. from no place... I am just mad as he double hockey sticks.  I say things I am not thinking and feel possessed... I hurt people... :( that is the worst part of it... people who do not deserve it. People who have taken me at based on my previous face value thru all of this and they don't even know what is going on.. as far as I can explain it to them... which is not much I am sure they had thought it had passed or was at least better..but nope here I am again. It comes it goes I don't know why and can't sort it out.  

As far as lights I have had lights.. and many other visual distortions... if I have them when this anger erupts I can't say now... as I can't recall.  

 

I use to have good face value... not so much now.  

 

It has not happened in a bit once it does I cocoon again and try to wait it out as I know I am at risk... or risky.  It seemed to be bad awhile back since then I had a wk in bed for no apparent reason I just could not get up I was too fatigued I waiting for a cough or something but nothing came one day I just got up.  I was completely exhausted since then it seems my brain is not wanting to work so much... and I have in desperation tried new things... I keep trying. I am back to some old things too that I have not needed in some time.  I can't decide what the cause is... I can't sort it.

 

It could be the prednisone I had to take... or the antihistamines... but I have been a mess for some time now. About 6 months of this coming and going since an allergic reaction to a drug... an antibiotic and I can't recall things again... it really sucks. I am thinking it will pass but there is a tiny part of me that is afraid it is something else. 

 

sorry for the downer post... I am going to stop now... 

 

I wish you peace

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brassmonkey

I use the two spoon method GrandmaD. It tends to be pretty course so I then put the powder on a piece of paper and grind it a bit more with just one spoon.  I've wanted to get a small mortar and pestle but have never gotten around to it.

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brassmonkey

I actually do understand what you're describing btdt.  I think I've had similar things happen but it was a long time ago and I will have to think about it for a bit.

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brassmonkey

Leaving for the airport in a few minutes.  Off to Portland for a week to visit friends.

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mustangwoman

Glad the headaches are starting to clear.  Hope you have fun on your visit.

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LexAnger

Best wishes for a safe, smooth and fun trip!

Hugs,

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grandmaD

I use the two spoon method GrandmaD. It tends to be pretty course so I then put the powder on a piece of paper and grind it a bit more with just one spoon.  I've wanted to get a small mortar and pestle but have never gotten around to it.

Thanks Tom  Can you remember what the tablet weighed when you could no longer shave it?

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Martina23

Tom, I like what you have written on Shelby's thread. It helped me also. I must say, it was really very well written.

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aberdeen

Have a good trip Brass!

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brassmonkey

Been having a great time getting together with old friends and seeing some lovely countryside.

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btdt

Glad your having a wonderful time you deserve it. Enjoy!

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geminigirl

I have never been to portland, is it nice?

 

Hugs,

 

Yana

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brassmonkey

Well we made it back. All in all a good trip.  Had a great time catching up with some old friends and hearing all their plans.  Monica's sick as a bow wow.  Started as hay fever and then turned ugly.  Off to the doctor first thing in the morning. The plane flight from Portland to LA took just under two hours. The shuttle ride from the airport home took just over four hours. I can normally drive it in 45 minutes. Just another part of the adventure.

 

The city of Portland didn't have much to offer as far as cities go.  Bad traffic, cramped conditions and the like.  But the surrounding country was beautiful and peaceful.  The people we stayed with had tons of birds, and deer that came right into the yard.  The weather was cool and sunny and rainy, a nice variety. Going to be quite a shock because we are expecting 38C/100F for the next week here at home.  Sigh, I enjoyed the weather.

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LexAnger

Hi Tom,

 

Welcome back!!

Glad you had a good trip and nice time! Oh well, we all know so well about the pain of shuttle service to LAX, thankfully we don't have to take it too often.

 

Sorry about Monica's being sick. Hope she feels better now back home.

 

Hugs,

Lex

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brassmonkey

Monica is slowly getting better, the doctor gave her some stuff and it seems to be helping. Ends up that I have a good case of bronchitis. Coughing up all sorts of disgusting stuff.  This morning I can breath a little freer but my head is quite fuzzy. Doesn't help that it's 108F/42C out today.

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AmyK

I hope you two feel better soon!

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Shep

Sending healing vibes your way, Tom. Being sick on top of withdrawal is a lot. Hope you and Monica are up and running again soon.  :)

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brassmonkey

Thanks Amy and Shep-- it should be cooler tomorrow which will help. During the day my chest wasn't too bad, but it's kicking up now that it's dark.

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geminigirl

I hope you feel better Tom.

 

Sending you hugs,

 

Yana

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AliG

Thanks for the encouraging words on my thread  , Brass.  I appreciate it . I'm glad you had a great trip !  Get well , soon . :)  

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brassmonkey

Happy first day of summer/winter depending on where you are.  For us northern types the days will get shorter from now until the winter solstice as the year draws to an end. While our southern friends will enjoy the coming of the sun and the rebirth it showers upon the land.  Hot and cold, dark and light at the same time creating one overall unity. The way it always has been and always will be. 

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mustangwoman

Hope you and Monica are both feeling much better my friend!!  So proud of you!

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apace41

Glad you had a nice trip, Tom.  Sorry you guys are sick but it will pass soon.

 

The traffic from LAX won't pass anytime soon.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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brassmonkey

Well I got it really good, doctor says go to bed and don't get up till next week.

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scallywag

You bring yourself and Monica to visit friends and get this as a souvenir? I guess that's the last time you go to Portland. ;)

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