Today, Jeffrey's pain is not gone, but it is better. The neuropathy is not nearly as bad as it was. When I first met Jeffrey, his pain levels were somewhere between an eight or ten on a daily basis. I will seek wisdom. Knowing that wisdom waits to be gathered, I will actively search for her. My past can never be changed, but I can change the future by changing my actions today. I will change my actions today! I will train my eyes and ears to read and listen to articles and recordings that bring about positive changes in my personal relationships and a greater understanding of my fellow man. No longer will I bombard my mind with materials that feed my doubts and fears. I will read and listen only to what increases my belief in myself and in my future. I will seek wisdom. I will choose my friends with care. I am who my friends are. This version of yourself permanently rents the space on your shoulder and you can't evict it - it's claimed squatters' rights, it's a part of your day-to-day. And frankly, it is a massive inconvenience. But let's start somewhere that isn't bogged down in an overly laboured analogy. Let's start with the total bin fire that is my brain. I know you shouldn't use the word mad' as an adjective to describe mental health disorders. <a href=''>It</a> is, of course, a gross oversimplification and a term used flippantly by people who thinkrandom' is a personality trait. But it's easier to say to myself that I'm mad than to say, I have several quite prevalent mental health disorders that manifest in many bizarre ways and I am dealing with them extremely poorly through medication, self-pity and an often crass use of deflective humour. <br /><br /><a href=''>Let's</a> go withunique'. Or bananas'. <a href=''>Or</a>straight up bonkers'. Today, they hover around a four and never progress beyond a six. With this alleviation of pain, Jeffrey has learned to connect to his body from a place of joy rather than fear. After we built up Jeffrey's autonomy, we began to look at his fear of being alone. There, we found something ironic: while Jeffrey had a deep fear of being alone, he also had no tolerance for the way in which many of the people in his life behaved with him. These were people who Jeffrey had been friends with for years. We continued to work with boundaries, and Jeffrey set about establishing them with people in his life who were pushing him around or taking advantage of him. It was incredible to see Jeffrey realize through the process of doing this that he didn't have to tolerate people's bullshit. He could surround himself with people whom he wanted to be around. Jeffrey did all of this in a polite way, but also stopped caring so much about whether or not he offended someone in the process of establishing boundaries. And then an even more amazing thing happened: Jeffrey realized that he actually loved having his own space. I speak their language, and I wear their clothes. I share their opinions and their habits. From this moment forward, I will choose to associate with people whose lives and lifestyles I admire. If I associate with chickens, I will learn to scratch at the ground and squabble over crumbs. If I associate with eagles, I will learn to soar to great heights. I am an eagle. It is my destiny to fly.

I will seek wisdom. I will listen to the counsel of wise men. The words of a wise man are like raindrops on dry ground. Basically I need a word that differentiates the nonsense that happens in my own mind from what goes on in everyone else's. I'm different. I am different to how I perceive everyone else in the world to be. I watch the other human beings, all of whom seem to have their shit together, doing their best in the world and I simply panic. I convince myself that I am losing my mind. My friends on Facearticle post things about their marriages, their children, their brand new horse harpoons or whatever midlife-crisis shopping they are currently doing, and the closest I get to posting an interesting, life-affirming Facearticle status is: I ate an entire share bag of crisps by myself today' orI managed to hold a conversation with another person for almost two and a half minutes today and I only wanted to run away sixty-three times. No one knows what they are doing; We are all winging it - some of us are just better at convincing ourselves than others. At school they imply that by the time you're thirty you'll have your entire life figured out. You'll have whatever fantastical job you dreamed about at the age of six, you'll have a picturesque family with beautiful children, a dog called Ruffles or Barry or something, a herb garden, disposable income and a secret alcohol dependency. He loved living alone and making decisions for himself. He found that he had more energy to put himself out there and develop new, incredible, healthy, and supportive friendships. I believe Jeffrey was able to accomplish this because he was able to individualize. He became autonomous and learned to enjoy his life, his freedom, and his space, which left him with plenty of room to emotionally connect to the people he wanted to connect with. In other words, to form healthy attachments. What It All Means Jeffrey shows us that even when pain is present, what matters most is how our nervous system manages that pain.

When a person cannot find a sense of safety amidst pain, their nervous system further activates, resulting in greater intensity. The calmer the nervous system is, the greater the capacity to manage the intensity of pain. This goes back to the idea of interoception: the more heightened the experience of pain is, the less accurately we can assess it. They are precious and can be used for immediate results. Only the blade of grass that catches a raindrop will prosper and grow. The person who ignores wise counsel is like the blade of grass untouched by the rain--soon to wither and die. When I counsel with myself, I can make decisions only according to what I already know. By counseling with a wise man, I add his knowledge and experience to my own and dramatically increase my success. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. A wise man will develop a servant's spirit, for that attracts people like no other. As I serve others, their wisdom will be freely shared with me. Often those with a servant's spirit become wealthy beyond measure. In reality, every person, or at least 90% of us, at any stage of our being on this planet, is screaming internally and wondering what the feck is going to go wrong next. I know this, I can accept this, but I panic, I feel like I slip further down a rabbit hole of my own invention. This is just how my brain is wired. I can't take it back under warranty and ask for a new one, or take it to a Genius Bar and ask for a replacement part. The most I can do is try to understand why my brain programmed itself this way. A BRIEF HISTORY OF MY BRAIN Step one: Depression

Being a teenager is pretty much an awful experience for everyone. Your body hates you, so it makes everything as awkward as it possibly can - just in case social hierarchies weren't enough to worry about, now you have just one pube and a weirdly small testicle. You're completely obsessed with social status, education and expectation. Because of the body's innate ability to turn on its survival mechanisms, it is easy for us to go into fight, flight, or freeze when we experience intense pain. This only produces more stress hormones and only serves to produce more inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes pain. I'm sure you can see the vicious cycle this creates. Also, never discount the importance of connection when it comes to healing. Remember, pain is not just physical, it is emotional. And healthy connections and attachments positively impact our wellness. Healing from Disordered Eating When I first met Candy, she was so dissociated that she was unable to be in the room with me in any way other than the most literal physical sense. It was almost impossible for her to track what I was saying, let alone what she was saying. Many times, a servant has the ear of the king, and a humble servant often becomes the king because he is the popular choice of the people. He who serves the most, grows the fastest. I will be a servant to others. I will listen to the counsel of wise men. I will choose my friends with care. I will seek wisdom. Iwill seek wisdom.