Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life.
Well I've been under hypnosis for the first time in my life today as part of a trip to the therapist. I apologise if the following is all a bit of a ramble but I really want to get it all down in case I forget anything.
After a bit of word association (which isn't easy at all!) I was asked to get myself comfortable on a reclining chair, I was covered with a blanket and then told to relax. Now I am not the greatest relaxer in the world. It is something I have always found very difficult. I have had counsellors and even yoga teachers talk me through relaxation techniques before and I have always found that I haven't relaxed properly. I probably stop myself relaxing if the truth be known. I suppose it's about having the confidence to let go.
Anyway back to the consulting room. My therapist started to talk me through relaxation and whereas before I have not managed it, the technique she used seemed to get me as realxed as I have ever been before without either having a shag (steady) or taking pre-meds in hospital.
She then started asking me to think about my childhood. It was all very strange as I saw loads of images from that time whizzing through my minds eye. She asked me to settle on one that had caused me some upset as a kid and I found that I could very easily. It was an emotional experience and my feeling of anxiety really increased at this point. I could really feel my chest getting tighter and felt really scared and agitated. I really felt the isolation and hurt that I had felt at the time of the incident, which involved being made to wear a blazer mended with patches on the elbows to school. This is not a cool image for a 14 year old boy. I doubt even someone as cool as Johnny Depp could carry it off. I got loads of piss taking form my peers because of that and it didn't do much for my self image, esteem or confidence. After another couple of memories that had also made me feel bad I was asked to describe the anxiety in my chest as an image. To me it resembled a hole in the ground rather like a trench with wooden shored sides. It really surprised me just how vivid this image was and thinking back, just how apt it is too. I also had to describe what words I associated with the the hole. Unsurprisingly I was able to think of loads of negative words to describe how I felt. I was asked if I could get out of the hole and at first I couldn't find a way but after a bit I saw that there was a ladder leading out of the pit. This was to be my escape.
After describing the hole I was asked if I could see anything in the hole and I can remember seeing a cut red rose lying on the floor. I was asked if I knew what this signified to me and I remember saying that I felt it signified romance (call me old fashioned). I also saw a blue cup and saucer filled with tea!! Then I spotted a pair of scissors. It ws obvious to me that this signified cutting the ties with the past that would allow me to move forward. There wasn't any time that anything I saw was suggested to me so it must have come from the sub-conscious. When I was asked if there was anything else there I saw a large sack filled with wet sand. It seemed to me that this was the weight that would stop me climbing the ladder and getting out of the hole.
I know we then talked some more about what was about me in the whole and I remember seeing a cat sitting there. It was a pretty indistinct cat but it was definitely there. The therapist then asked if anything had changed and to see if I could lift the sack of sand because she felt it might not be as heavy as I thought it might have been. To my surprise I found it became full of feathers instead and was suddenly much easier to carry. I was asked to gather up all I had found, picking up the scissors last of all (the cat got out of it's own accord) and make my way up to the top of the ladder.
When I reached the top I was asked how I saw the scissors as a way of cutting the ties with the past and how it manifested itself. I clearly saw a shop doorway with a ribbon across the door waiting to be cut. I was asked to snip the ribbon and step across the threshold, taking one last look behind me. I was then asked to imagine writing down all the negative words on a piece of paper and then screw them up and throw them in the hole. Once I had done that I filled in the hole using a bulldozer. (I don't fuck about when filling in holes I can tell you).
Once I was out I was then asked how the tightness in my chest felt. It definitely wasn't as acute. It now resembled a blue plastic football. I was asked to think of lots of positive words and to fill the ball up with them. By doing that the ball became a lot lighter and changed into a red and yellow beach ball. I was asked to visualise this ball everytime I started to feel anxious and to replace the hole with it.
I was then 'brought round'. Thinking about what happened later it all seems a bit strange. The sub conscious is obviously very powerful, far more powerful than I realised it could be. For a good few hours after this experience I had no anxiety at all. It has been a long time since I felt so calm. It is back a bit now but not as bad as it has been. The proof of just how successful the session was will be in the coming week when I try to put into practice what I learnt today. It is the first step along the road and I'm much more confident about it's success than I was before I started. I have already booked up for another session next week and hope that with that I can take my second step along the road to having greater self esteem and belief in myself.