First posted in April 2019. We have grown so much more than we ever thought we would, and we want to share our earlier posts. We aim to reflect on the early struggles of our grief, and what we went through without our mum. We are proud of where we have come from, and of where we are going. We hope you are as well.
If you are struggling with your grief, that is okay. You are not alone.
Just as I have shared in part 1 post, I shared my worries about the flashbacks with my counsellor. It seemed alien at first to be sharing such dark moments of my life with a stranger, and here I am now sharing it with hundreds of strangers! She expressed to me how that little room was our safe space – and at first, I was a bit dubious – but today I go in there and sometimes I’ve started crying before I get to sit down.
She told me about a technique in which, when I feel anxious, out of control, my mind flooding with traumatic memories I simply hold on to my thumb – to feel grounded, to know that I am not back there, but I am in the present. For those of you who want to try this technique, it does take a lot of practice, so give it a chance. When you hold your thumb, try and think of a safe and calming space. This could be a place that you imagine, like a beach with the sound of the waves, or it could be a memory where you remember feel particularly calm. For me it is lying back on the trampoline, feeling warm by the evening sun, at about 12 years old.
Next, you can take your index finger, and you can attach a memory to it. Again, I was a bit sceptical of this too, but the mind is a powerful thing, and this is a powerful technique. While holding your index finger, think of the memory you want to attach to it. Really visualise it:
- Who were you with?
- What were you doing?
- Where were you?
- When did this memory take place?
- What time of year?
- What time of the day?
- What was the weather like?
- How did you feel in that moment?
- What was said?
You have to be really thorough here. Photos can help too!
My memory here was when Evee and I took Mum for an afternoon tea for her 53rd birthday. We were all so happy. I can remember what we were all wearing, the room where we sat on, the really comfy and luxurious sofas, and that the views were overlooking the beautiful grounds. I remember what we had to eat as well because Mum ordered a champagne high tea, and I nearly choked when I saw the price. But it was her birthday treat, so…
To really help associate this memory, I found that drawing it was a great way to remember little details. But if you’re not much of an artist, you could always write these points as I have bullet pointed them.
You can do this with each finger. And when you feel yourself getting anxious, you can take hold of your finger. This helps take control of the situation you are in by replacing those chaotic feelings/flashbacks with the happier calmer ones you literally have at the end of your fingertips! This is a really subtle and discrete tool that people don’t even consider out of the ordinary, which is a bonus.
I also did this once with Evee when she was having a panic attack. I told her to hold on to my thumb to let her know where she was and that I was still with her. I think it helped a little.
This is a gradual process, I only have two memories attached to my index finger and middle finger so far, but it’s working for me. So I thought I would share it with you.
In my last entry of this 3-part blog post, I will tell about memory boxes and how I created mine.
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13 thoughts on “Reality Revisited: 2/3 Memories Were The Best Things You Ever Had”
This journey you are on we be a hell razor no one can rely tell you what your safety button is time takes patience by the hand ….good luck my shingle is always out
A very good technique!
As with every new thing we do, repetition will make it easier and more ‘natural’ giving a stronger and quicker feeling of being at peace. It will help also if you can do this at times when you are in a ‘good’ place as this will strengthen the calming emotional effect you may need in the hard times. It might help also if you can supply a favourite or ‘appropriate ‘sound track/piece of music you ‘hear’ while doing it as this will involve more parts of the brain, making more neuronal connections to secure it in the mind. 🙂
Good Luck Katie.
I love this idea. Going to try this with my son.
Brilliant, I hope it goes well 🙂
I use the holding thumb thing if I have a panic attack. I wrote a poem to share with you beloved (I don’t usually put them on wordpress) and posted it today. I’ve called it: A Void Panic
Hi! Your poem is great and really conveys the feeling 🙂 thank you for sharing it
Love the post, and you are so right about the value of memories. I lost my mom to cancer back in 2008, and then my dad a couple of years after that. Those memories of them both are so very precious you cannot put a price on them. ‘Time’ and the wonderful, loving memories we make within the time we have here on our journey should be valued above all else. Best wishes to you both.
Great idea! Keep well and safe 💐💐🙋♂️
You too 🤍
💜 Awesome SupaSoulSis; reminds Me of a Technique I Was Taught in Therapy, Epiphany; basically SHE!!! asked Me to Share Three Epiphanies with HER!!! so now I Share Them with YOU!!! ALL in Chronological Order:
💎 – Diamond Hard – 💎
💎 1. My Parents ARE Human
💎 2. Marriage Doesn’t ALWAYS!!! Last
💎 3. It’s UnNecessary to Work to Pay
💎 – Diamond Hard – 💎
…keep up The Good Work Ladies; very good, carry on…