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Fighting off triggers and depression - this works for me

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Bubbleup posted 8/23/2013 14:02 PM

Well I'm a year and four months out from D-day and while it's still a long and bumpy road I found a way to thwart those overwhelming feelings that still creep in from time to time. I hope that sharing it might help some folks still struggling.

Basically I took some time and zoned in on and identified the one single happiest, most exciting moment of my entire life and embraced and imprinted those feelings. All of the visual, aural and emotional components.

For me it was the moment I saw our first born son's little heart beating in a sonogram. The realization that I was responsible for another life to come into the world was a wash of total bliss all over. By far the most exhilarating moment of my life wrapped into five or ten seconds.

Anytime those chilling feelings start to creep in I go back and revisit that moment and it over powers those bad feelings, allowing me to face the bad feelings more logically and objectively than emotionally.

Your milage may vary of course. And yes I'm always a bit cautious, concerned that I might spoil this moment by over relying on it but so far it hasn't been tainted a bit. And yes I'm aware that this moment ties strongly into my marriage but since it was personal joy that doesn't seem to taint it either.

[This message edited by Bubbleup at 3:42 PM, August 23rd (Friday)]

1ost0ne posted 8/23/2013 15:23 PM

BubbleUp. Thanks a lot for this post. Today, the roller coaster took a big dive after a painful trigger and I needed a lift. This is a good strategy that I'm going to have to deploy.

sable posted 8/23/2013 15:38 PM

Thank you for sharing this. Very cool idea! This sounds a lot how one performs the Patronus charm in the Harry Potter series to fight off a dementor. A dementor is a dark creature that feeds off human happiness and causes depression. They can also consume a person's soul, leaving their victims in a permanent vegetative state.

Harry: "What does a Patronus look like?"
Lupin: "Each one is unique to the wizard who conjures it."
Harry: "And how do you conjure it?"
Lupin: "With an incantation, which will work only if you are concentrating, with all your might, on a single, very happy memory."
Harry Potter and Remus Lupin

[This message edited by sable at 3:53 PM, August 23rd (Friday)]

Eyeofthetiger posted 8/23/2013 15:52 PM

Thanks for this. Morning time is extremely difficult and this might work to get my morning going faster.

I have been coming on here to read one thing in the am which has also helped.

HeartStings posted 8/23/2013 18:20 PM

Thanks for this idea. It is very good.

And I can remember everything about that moment of seeing my son's heartbeat on the sonogram, too. I literally could not breathe for what seemed like an eternity, then I burst into tears of sheer joy!

pewpewpew posted 8/23/2013 18:58 PM

Of course, the kids.
It always boils down to that for me.
I am a great mother - I live for my children and hope to be an example for them.
I'd do anything for my daughter. She's the reason I made it out alive.

broken0912 posted 8/24/2013 02:33 AM

Well, I wish I could say I had a happiest day in my life like yours, but do not and never will because I am nearly 50 yrs old and "chose" to remain childless for a man I decided was worth the sacrifice.. (He did not want anymore children, as he already had 3 of his own that lived with their mother).

The happiest day of my life was the day I married my WH, and when I think of that day, I can't help but realize that by the time I found out about the A, more than half of our marriage had been a lie. I am at the 1 yr point and the triggers and depression returned a few months ago and have grown into a sweeping tornado of renewed devastation and hopelessness with some moments, no hours of renewed intimacy and joy in between, as well as, a new found decision to live my life for me and quit sacrificing for someone else. It is his turn to do the sacrificing and he will have to do a lot of it to keep our marriage alive. I am sad, lonely, hopeless, confused, and don't know how/if I will ever feel good & whole after all of this.

Thefly559 posted 8/24/2013 07:45 AM

Wow ! Great post. Thanks for the advice. My children's birth was by far the happiest day of my life also her pregnancy and how much more beautiful she looked in my eyes while bearing my children. But for me these memories still are too close to bring up now. When I get the anxiety and triggers I push and push and I dive into them head first just to get past the pain , I cry and punch a heavy bag and blast some country music just so I can feel it ! Every time I do it , which is often, I find the pain less and less. That is what works for me. It's like pulling off the bandaid fast ! F--k it bring the pain on. It can't hurt as much when you get used to it. But I will try your method because it is a great thought at the least. Feel better and take comfort in knowing you are not alone in this.

noprincess posted 8/24/2013 08:40 AM


This is a great technique. I've read about it and later used it to fight panic attacks. It really can work. You have to spend quite a bit of time and effort doing the imprinting. Really involve all your senses. What time of day was it, what did you smell in the room, include as many little things as possible. Then, conjure that impression throughout the day (not just when triggering), develop the brain muscle to recall it fully, at will, and when you need it - voila! it will be there.

broken0912 - I do have an imprint that involves my son, but I have another too. Years ago I was walking my dog, Logger, along a country road on a crisp fall morning (that dog was my best friend). Anyway, we rounded a corner and came upon a huge Yellow Maple tree full of leaves, but the frost had come that night, and all the leaves were frozen, like yellow glass. It took my breath away, and still does. I imprinted this because it was such a visually beautiful moment I shared with my dearest companion. My point is at 50 years you've had a rich, full life. Take an inventory and imprint something beautiful for yourself and use it when you need strength.

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