So originally, Sam Tripoli and I had been planning a Naughty Comedy show at the Improv back in April. Due to the fact I entered into rehab, and of course that the rehab was in fact for sex addiction, it seemed inappropriate to bring the fellow rehabians to this Naughty show, that is all about sex, so I canned my April appearance, and put it off until my release upon the world. Or LA anyway. Well, the putting off is about to be put on, because tonight is the big night, the night of dirty jokes, and comic relief, the night I’ve been looking forward to for over a month, and the only night where I won’t have to log my sexualized conversations because it will be the butt of all the house jokes. Literally. My ass will be the big joke of the evening, and I’m incredibly okay with this.
That being said, I’ve started doing this thing with Jilly Beans that is supposed to help unlock or unblur or unsquiggle all the icky memories in my brain, and allow me to process what exactly happened. It’s a process called EMDR, and this is what EMDR.com has to say about it.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)1 is a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach. It contains elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects.These include psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies2.
EMDR is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach to address the experiential contributors of a wide range of pathologies. It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health.
During treatment various procedures and protocols are used to address the entire clinical picture. One of the procedural elements is “dual stimulation” using either bilateral eye movements, tones or taps. During the reprocessing phases the client attends momentarily to past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences while simultaneously focusing on a set of external stimulus. During that time, clients generally experience the emergence of insight, changes in memories, or new associations. The clinician assists the client to focus on appropriate material before initiation of each subsequent set.
So today, we set up my “resources” so that next time I can start working on trauma. I’ll share most of that work here, as I find this whole blogging thing very therapeutic. The two resources we set up were my happy place and the container. The happy place is a place in my mind where I am safe, and nothing can hurt me. I visualized it, allowed myself to develop senses pertaining to the place, and created a single word that will help me to go there during intense trauma recall sessions. The container is a storage place for me to put memories that I cannot yet deal with, or if the trauma session is interrupted and we have not finished working through the memory, I can place it in my container and put it in a safe place where I can go back and grab it when I’m ready. I’m kind of excited for this whole process. Excited and scared. But I suppose that is only natural.
My happy place is in the sky. I’ve always liked the sky, and the fact that it is always there makes me feel safe. When I do yoga, my mantra is “My mind is like the sky, clear and blue. Clouds may come but they will pass.” The tibetan book of living and dying, Sogyal Rinpoche, says
“Our true nature could be compared to the sky, and the confusion of the ordinary mind to clouds. WHen we are down on the ground, looking up, it is very difficult to believe there is anything else there but clouds. Yet we only have to fly in a place to discover up above a limitless expanse of clear blue sky. From up there the clouds we assumed were everything seem so small and so far away down below. We should always try and remember: the clouds are not the sky, and do not “belong” to it. They onlly hang there and pass by in their slightly ridiculous and non-dependent fashion. And they can never stain or mark the sky in any way.”
In my sky, it is a little chilly, but only because the wetness of the occasional cloud touches my skin. There is a sound similar to the ending of Pink Floyd’s “how I wish you were here,” a swhooooooosh of wind that can take any impermanent thought from my sky. I can taste mango’s and smell star jasmine. And around me is clear blue, like today in fact, and below me is the entire world, and the small little things that drive me crazy in it. I’m suspended in air, gravity plays no part here, and I’m happy and content. I’m also completely alone.
My container is like the one sitting in my closet. It’s plastic, clear plastic, with a red top that opens in the middle, and connects like puzzle pieces. It’s completely empty right now, so there is plenty of room to put things. It’s fairly light, and makes a soft clicking sound when I close it. Whenever I want to put it away, I walk down the metro in Paris, through an arched opening, and nobody is there. A small closet to which only I hold the key is directly under the stairs, on the right hand side, it’s small and dark, and the door is very hard to see. I put it in the bottom of the closet, and once I close and lock the door, I turn around to see all of Paris’ commuters milling about, totally unsuspecting of my secret place. I hop on the train, and off to the next station, where nobody knows me, or where I’ve hidden my box.
I didn’t hit a meeting today, but figure a one on one and a group therapy session should suffice. Besides, tonight will be the biggest share of all. In a room filled with people, who are only starting to know my name.