I haven't written on my blog for a while, but thought that I would share this particularly significant Somatic Experiencing (SE) session. I came into my session exhausted beyond measure. I said to T (Therapist) that I just want to curl up on the small sofa bed in the room. T agreed that was fine, and asked if I wanted to be covered up by a blanket. At first I thought no, but then when T persisted thinking I needed covering up I agreed and was gently covered in a nice warm blanket. I shared with T how bad things remained for me, how a drug trial had left me feeling terrible, and of course yet again I was in recovery from 2 surgeries (since my last blog entry). I said to T how I had had several days in bed over the past week with not only pain but a debilitating fatigue which was how I was presenting in that moment. I became tearful, and we welcomed and allowed the few tears to fall.
T explained (again - see previous entries) about how my body remains in a 'sympathetic nervous system' state of hyper-arousal and vigilance because of previous bodily traumas. T said that 'a little midget' (a lovely name) - was around in my brain like a continuous CCTV still looking out for threats that were no longer there anymore. I said how it was from my childhood that I woke several times a patten that has barely been broken during an adulthood. There were reasons for extreme fear in the mornings for reasons I am not going into here - but this is why 'little midget' remained on alert in her sense for danger. T asked if I could try and communicate with little midget and ask her if she could just step aside for 30 seconds. T said it would be unfair to ask little midget to go at all far since she has been essential for my life-safety. We tried this, but it was difficult. We tried a few times, and eventually I shut my eyes for about one minute. T could tell I was looking more relaxed and peaceful. The trick is now to keep on communicating with 'little midget' and telling her she can effectively go 'off-duty' for periods of time as she does not now need to be around so much. If 'little midget' was now less around it maybe that my sleep would improve slightly as the sympathetic nervous system would be slightly turned down which is very much a part of the SE work.
I left the session very tired, and ready to go to bed almost as I got home. I made the mistake of eating something, when actually I should have gone to bed. As it was it was still 7pm when I did go to bed, and only because of such a long night of rest was I able to participate in a long choir rehearsal the next day and go away for the remainder of the weekend.
It is going to take quite some time with 'little midget' but perhaps if I just try a little dialogue with her each night, she might eventually learn to leave me for longer periods of time and then I might sleep for longer and have sustained and properly refreshing sleep, something I rarely have. Fatigue-driven and exhaustive sleep is just not the same. For now, thank you 'little midget' for all you have done for me, but you may now also rest yourself!