Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Was HipNOtized

Well, if the purpose of hypnosis is to induce general feelings of anger and despondency, I would say that today's session was a rousing success.
I am just being honest here.
And quite frankly and quite honestly, I don't think this is going to work for me.
I am not saying that hypnosis doesn't work or even that it would not work for me. However...
Oh fuck it.
He wants to do EFT next week. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique and from what I've read, it sounds as if it very much relies on the placebo effect and not that I'm dissing the placebo effect but I just can't really believe it's going to do much more than cost me a bunch of money.

The doctor who does these sessions is quite elderly. Nothing wrong with that. And to give credit where credit is due, he IS a retired physician. There was no acupuncture used today although sometimes he does use acupuncture. It went about as I thought it would. A little talking and then he said that he was sure he could help me, that anxiety is actually his specialty and that he has been doing this for almost seventy years. I'm almost certain that I've heard that he's 85 so...did he begin his training at the age of fifteen? Did he get one of those courses they used to advertise in the back of comic books?
See. I shouldn't be having these thoughts.
He put earphones on me and there were the expected sounds of waves and seagulls and new agey "music" which I've never considered to be music AT ALL and it would build and then fade and the waves would kick back in and the seagulls would begin to shriek which was disconcerting because I was trying to visualize myself in Cozumel and I don't really remember seagulls being in Cozumel and so that would distract me from my visualization and his voice also came over the headphones which was also disconcerting because I could hear him in the room as well. I mean, he was only about five feet away. And he led me into a guided relaxation not unlike one you would experience after a good yoga session in savasana.

"You will feel tingling in one or both hands or perhaps around your eyes. Lift your index finger for yes, your little finger for no.
Little finger duly lifted.
Then I was told that one of my hands would feel very heavy and again with the fingers. I indicated that yes, one of my hands did feel very heavy and  I suppose it did although in that state of relaxation, what doesn't feel heavy?
And then I was told to allow my stomach to feel the clenching, nervous feeling it gets when I am anxious and so I did my best to feel that and then I was told to touch my thumb to my forefinger very tightly and to move the anxious feeling in my stomach to the fingers, etc.

Okay. I swear. I was trying. I wasn't fighting it. Hell, I wanted this to work. However, I frankly don't think that the physical sensation of my stomach being unsettled needed to be addressed on the first visit. It's not like I'm developing an ulcer or that the sensation of feeling as if I'm about to go onstage is really a big part of my problem. That is merely a symptom of the anxiety disorder and as such, it doesn't really bother me. So I don't really feel like eating sometimes? Big deal. I ain't in any danger of starving to death at this point. Trust me.

When it came time to "bring me up" he said he would do a countdown and started at 5 and I was perfectly able to feel pretty darn conscious even when he started the countdown and his voice grew louder and louder as he got closer to 1 at which point he was almost shouting and my eyes had been open since four so that made me laugh.
"You feel very emotional right now, don't you?" he asked me as he flipped on the lights which did, in fact shock me.
"Uh. No. Not really."

I did, however, when I went to pay.

And then I got angry and I'm not sure why. It wasn't just the cost. I knew approximately what the fee would be. But I started thinking about the EFT and the tapping on energy meridians and I'm sorry. I'm just not that kind of woman. I know that acupuncture can work. It worked miracles on my husband when he was crippled from sciatica. And he didn't particularly believe it would help at all when he went in the first time and now he's a convert for sure. It didn't do a thing for my hip pain but I'm sure that different ailments respond differently to different treatments. And this doctor, this very doctor  I saw today stated that acupuncture is not that effective in treating anxiety and isn't EFT sort of a continuation of the acupuncture theory? That there are energy pathways in the body and they can be opened or unblocked via needles? And with EFT through tapping?

I don't get it. And I don't think I WILL get it. I don't especially want this man tapping on my head and face.

I'm going to keep on doing what I'm doing and if things don't improve with time, I will ask for an antidepressant which can also help with anxiety and that's that.
I will continue to walk and to exercise. To eat as well as I can. To face the realities of my life and try very hard to believe that there will be an end to this. To have that simple thing with feathers, which is hope.

In a semi-related way, another of Matt Haig's blog posts which I read today rang so very true to me. You can read it HERE and it is short. It addresses the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, free will, addiction, anxiety and depression. I think that Mr. Haig is an incredibly empathetic person and when I read his blog posts or his fiction, I get the feeling that he has such a tender and loving attitude about humanity which is sadly a bit rare.

Perhaps I believe in the healing powers of love more than I believe in the healing powers of moving an anxious feeling in my stomach to my thumb and my forefinger pressed together. Although- trust me! I will try that if my stomach begins to bother me too much.

So that's my report on being hypnotized.

After I was done at the doctor's office (which made me feel anxious, because it was IN a doctor's office) I went to a place that sells cosmetics and I bought some of the stuff my friend was using that I talked about on Sunday. I walked through the place feeling...angry but I bought it and I sprayed some Chanel on my wrist but I didn't buy any and I drove home to Lloyd and ate some leftovers and took a little nap and then got up and in a frenzy, swept and mopped and washed rugs and threw away some of my dead porch plants and sewed a button on some shorts because it is warm enough to wear them and swept the front porch and gathered two eggs, one blue, one green, and my husband is on his way home and I'm still feeling a bit angry, a bit despondent.

I'm tired of feeling this way but as I said, I do have hope and if one has hope, all is not lost.

Be well.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. I'm absolutely not that kind of woman either Ms Moon. At all. I completely get what you're saying here...I would have reacted in the same ways.

  2. I tried hypnosis and got tickled. I was in a very comfortable chair looking at a spiral thingy on the wall in front of me and the hypnotist behind me talking in looooow soothing tones through my headphones.

    It was like trying not to giggle in church ... I felt sorry for him... yeah, that's right I felt sorry for him.... typical me

    BUT when he said ... food was not my friend? katy bar the door... I just lost it ...

    He walked over to me … I apologized … he said some people just can't be hypnotized ... and asked me what exactly was the funny thing he had said.

    well… that made me explode with laughter … then I apologized again .. said … you are telling me what I already know. You're giving me positive reinforcement notions … yes… of course, I know food isn't my friend… I like that phrase, however and I'll use it as a mantra… and so on and so forth ...

    The session was $500. He reduced it to $300 because we had maybe had 20 minutes talking and then watching the spiral. I appreciated that. but seriously

    I had 30 pounds to lose. I thought .... I'll just mosey on over to Weight Watchers. but dang! the thought of not being hungry? was extremely appetizing.

    coping with our whatevers is an interesting, ongoing endeavor. One of my favorite things is for someone to say... just have a positive mental attitude.

    the ones that say that are usually batshit crazier than I am...

  3. Whether this man knows it or not, it seems to me that he is ripping people off. You can learn EFT on the internet for free. Hypnosis? I was hypnotized once and all I remember was that she said that every time I saw the colour red I would relax. Bullshit! Yeah... that didn't work either.
    Fuck, Ms. Moon. Are we stuck with this forever? I am barely eating because I have felt sick to my stomach for 2 1/2 months now. It is stressful to breathe. I don't know how much more I can take of this. And dear god, I am so tired.

  4. I attempted hypno therapy when I was younger and it didn't work for me, so I understand wanting a therapy to work and having it fail.

    Guided meditation sometimes works for me, there are several on YouTube that are very good. I like TheHonestGuys because they did a series of Middle Earth Meditations which don't annoy me.

    I hope you find something that helps calm the anxiety.

  5. At least you tried it, and now you can scratch it off your list. Fingers crossed.

  6. SJ- I wanted it to work. I did. So very fucking much.

    Carolyn- Maybe hypnosis is for people who have never really self-examined a whole lot. Which would not be US! I don't know. It just seemed sort of ridiculous.

    Birdie- NO! We are not stuck with it forever. Trust me. And I keep wanting to ask you- have you had your hormones checked? I swear- I think a lot of it is hormonal. It's worth a blood test.

    Shannon- There are things which calm me. Not all of them exactly healthy, some extremely so. I am doing my best to do the best I can for myself. I am sure you understand.

    Nancy- True. Who DOESN'T want to be hypnotized? At least once.

  7. Mary, I hope it's okay that at certain points in this I was giggling so hard, it was so funny to imagine you sitting there trying so hard and him thinking he was giving you a transforming experience and well, not so much. I am sorry you feel despondent now though. I hope the night gets better from here and that tomorrow is good too. But dang woman, you have great comedic timing.

  8. Angella- I didn't even mention the fact that only one of his eyes appears to be working and I kept thinking, "Really? I'm going to let this man put needles in me?" It had its truly funny moments.

  9. Glenn Harrold. Seriously. His techniques are using guided meditation to teach you how to cope with anxiety when it comes up. He teaches diaphragmatic breathing which is the single most helpful thing I've ever learned, after learning how to wipe my bum.
    It takes a while to master it, it really does. But it's worth trying, and it's cheap compared to snake oil salesmen and voodoo doctors.
    I can't read anymore about PSH. It's so depressing when we lose an addict. I just want him and his family to have peace.

  10. Oh dear lord, that does sound like a whole bunch of malarkey. But it's good that you tried it. One time I took Sophie to a woman in upstate New York, and she used this weird pendulum and she told us that the Chernobyl disaster had caused a whole lot of bad air and stuff and then she told us to remove all chemical products from our apartment and to buy a vaporizer and put a bit of this water that she blessed into the vaporizer every night. And I did ALL THOSE THINGS. Ha! You know the rest of the story. We do these things, Mary, and you're doing all these things, and one of these days, something is going to help your anxiety -- or maybe not. But you're going to be ok. I just know it.

  11. I would like to tell you to be open-minded and all that, but the god's honest truth is I would feel exactly like you do in that situation. I believe alternative medicine works for some people, and why I do not know, but I am not one of them.

  12. Oh Mary, this was sad, but funny, too. And smart. What good is a long life if it doesn't teach us who we are and are not? You are not one to be hypnotized, and certainly not by this guy. Clear.

  13. That was really interesting to read. I'd always wondered what it was like. At least now you know for sure, what you thought you probably knew. It was worth a shot!

  14. Well... EFT is neuro linguistic programming, not exactly about unblocking, just meant to reach right into the subonscious and bypass the rational response. Maybe read up on it a bit more?

    I think it does just irk a lot of people, though.

  15. This post made me laugh out loud a couple of times. You are so perfectly sane and wonderfully alive.
    When I tried hypnosis, the good woman first collected all sorts of favourite places, sounds, images and tastes from me. That should have got me worried, I know but when she started to go on and on in this "calm" voice about the beuatiful intense smell of mangos I had to force down my WTF and tried my hardest to stay silent. Needless to say, it was all pretend from then on, But at least my health insurance paid up.

  16. Heartinhand- I will check out Mr. Harrold. Thank you.

    Elizabeth- Desperate times call for desperate measures, don't they? Even when we know...well. Gotta try. Thanks for telling me this story. I love you all the more for it.

    Steve Reed- I'm with you, brother.

    Andrea- And yet, I'm feeling like- maybe I didn't really give him a chance. But my gut says, "Oh yes. You did."

    Lora- It was deeply relaxing, I will say that. But I still came home and took a nap.

    artgirl- I can't even wrap my head around the words "neuro linguistic programming."
    I'm sorry.

    Sabine- Oh for god's sake. The beautiful intense smell of mangos? Just eat a damn mango, right? I don't know. I do not know.

  17. Oh my. I imagine that's how it would go with me. I am hyper aware, and no amount of sea sounds or smooth talking can stop my brain. It has a mind of its own and it listens to no one but itself.

    At least you tried, you did. You gave something else a shot, that's brave and counts for something.

    It's always good to cross things off the list, tried it, didn't work.

    I'm thinking there's an answer out there, we just haven't found it yet.


  18. oh dear. this is both sad and hilarious. so hoping you feel better soon.
    ps great piece by Matt Haig. Thanks for the link!


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