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Rigidity is also very literal; It's difficult to move within that, and it certainly doesn't feel good. Rigidity opens the door to a lot of dysregulation in the nervous system, because rigid people become dysregulated when things don't go their way. A few of the Rebels had reached the wall now, and most of the shooting was point-blank. The colonel had drawn his pistol, and continued to fire at targets all around him until, without warning, the Rebels pulled back. As suddenly as they had appeared, they withdrew. Chamberlain's men cautiously stood up and took a look around. Michael walked quickly to the colonel, who was walking away from him. The rock wall was draped with the bodies of blue and gray. He passed a man who was crying and cursing as he held a younger man in his arms. Jogging to catch up with Chamberlain, Michael reached out and touched his shoulder. Chamberlain stopped, staring straight ahead. I know you are very busy, and I don't want to bother you, but why am I here? I stood outside the venue and chain-smoked, hoping not to be asked any more questions. I put on my suit and stood in a room while the registrar ran me through how the service would work. My face went bright red, I started sweating. While blushing is often viewed as an endearing feature, for many actually doing it it is a humiliating reaction. The body, without your permission, tells the world that your emotions are having a field day. Be it good or bad, the brain just screams feck YOU and makes your face bright red, just because it can. I got through the service in one piece, if not a bit worried that all our wedding pictures would feature my beautiful wife and some sort of bright red sweaty ham man standing next to her with a look of abject fear on his gormless face.

But for what is supposed to be one of the most stressful days of your life, our wedding was a great day for me. I was running on so much adrenaline (and nice whisky) that I can't remember feeling anywhere near the level of anxiety I had felt as I stood waiting before the service. I actually managed to go several hours without once thinking about it. And, in the real world, things often don't go our way. If you experience rigidity in your own life, stop and think for a second about how nice it would feel to be able to move with your circumstances rather than constantly pressing back against them. Even when things aren't perfect. How much more ease and fluidity might you feel on a moment-by-moment basis? How much gentler would the world and your own body seem? And, really, how much more productive could you actually be without constantly fighting an uphill battle against stress? To get to this point, we must learn to tolerate and build resilience around the discomfort that is required to learn to let things go. To let other people and circumstances and the world be as they are going to be without our intervention. We must learn to stop constantly pushing. At first, this will feel like a complete loss of control and safety, but the truth is that rigid behaviors create neither control nor safety. Chamberlain slowly shook his head. I don't know. I only knew that you would come. There is something I should learn from you, Michael pleaded. Think--what could it be? The colonel smiled slightly and raised his eyebrows. I am fairly certain I have nothing you would care to learn.

I am a teacher with a cause in my heart and men to lead. These poor men . I am only a stubborn man. I was accomplishing the things I had seen the normal people on Facearticle do, so naturally I fooled myself into thinking that this was it, this was my way onto the path of normality. Some movies tie themselves up nicely, the plot points all have closure, the character arcs are enjoyable and it just ends. But then, for some reason, they just have to make a sequel, an unnecessary sequel no one asked for. This is a very convoluted way of saying my anxiety came back. I had my first ever panic attack after I dropped a mug in the kitchen. Because that's a perfectly reasonable thing to have a panic attack about apparently. Until this my anxiety had been a constant hum in the background; Panic attacks are great because they make no sense and are completely stupid and need to get in the fecking bin. The police would come in and find a broken mug and assume I had been bludgeoned to death with a My Little Pony ceramic beverage container. All of this was going through my head as I lay slumped on the floor, wheezing like an air bed under a hydraulic press, my heart beating so fast I thought it was going to jump out of my chest like an alien (an alien from the movie Alien obviously, not like an alien from the movie Space Jam). In fact, they often create the opposite. That sense of control and safety were never real to begin with. You've Already Taken the First Step The one thing each of the clients in these stories of healing have in common is that they were willing to do the work. For all of them this meant, quite literally, facing up to their biggest fears. It required them to come to a point where they realized that confronting their pain head on in the short term was the best way to alleviate further pain in the future (or, at least, to have the tools to work through pain more quickly in the future). It meant getting un-stuck.

It's also important to note that many of these clients embarked upon a process of becoming unstuck from situations they had been existing in for a very long time. Getting unstuck and moving forward all begins with one step. That first step leads to the next step and so on and so forth until, at last, you realize that you are changed. That is my greatest advantage in this fight. I have deep within me the inability to do nothing. I may die today, but I will not die with a bullet in my back. I will not die in retreat. I am, at least, like the apostle Paul, who wrote, `This one thing I do . I press toward the mark. Do you have a note to give me? Michael asked. For a second, Michael could see that Chamberlain did not understand his question. Then recognition flared in his eyes. So after about five minutes of thinking I was dying, coming to terms with my own existence, getting extremely angry about what an inconvenience this was, I managed to get my breath under control, my heart slowed back to its usual beat and I sat up, although in a heap, on the kitchen floor. My chest physically hurt from the workout my lungs had just put me through. As this was my first panic attack, I had no idea what it was when it was happening. I, as a complete idiot, didn't want to trouble anyone else with these health problems, so I did the exact thing I am going to tell you not to do: I checked my symptoms online. After sixteen diagnoses telling me I had a brain tumour, five telling me I had brain parasites and one telling me I was giving birth, I found the section of the NHS website on panic attacks. My next panic attack happened on a rush hour tube. While still a massive inconvenience, I could understand the rationale behind having a panic attack on the tube - it made more sense to me than having one as a reaction to dropping a mug.

I've never liked public transport: it's too loud, too cramped, it's full of people and people are generally awful. A packed rush hour tube on a Thursday night is my third least favourite place in the world. So once again, I acted rationally and calmly. You are free. You are alive in ways you never could have dreamed of before. You will notice that none of these clients found a quick fix; However, they did find a way to overhaul their lives through a series of changes that actually feel quite organic and fluid once you decide that you are ready to make them. Part Two: Creating Change Assessing Your Problem Behaviors Now that we've seen what trauma and its impact look like in the nervous system as well as how to heal, let's begin to apply this information to your own life and healing. In this article you will find a series of assessments that identify the five most common manifestations of distress in the nervous system. These assessments are designed to help you begin to put together the puzzle of your own nervous system. Through doing this, you can begin to gain a clearer understanding of how your nervous system is currently functioning and, from there, understand what you need to do in order to create more systemic regulation. Yes, he said. I had almost forgotten. Digging into his pocket, he pulled out a small pouch. The pouch was hand-sized, navy blue, with two crossed swords, the symbol of a fighting man, embroidered on the flap. It had been sewn from stout cloth, but the rough treatment it had received had worn the pouch to a moleskin softness. The two gold buttons that closed the flap were metal, engraved with the image of an eagle. The pouch was beaten and threadbare, but it was still handsome-- regal in a sense--the possession of an officer.