I had a flashback during the HRV screen in brain biofeedback. There I am glorying in an LF number that was higher than my sympathetic system’s number (meaning heart doing better) when boom: I know where I am, but I am reliving the early days of brain biofeedback when I was being trained in the windowless room on the old DOS computer with my first trainer, alone sans any support in this risky endeavour I was taking for my health. I had no idea if it was going to work; I was being told I was throwing money away; I was hearing the usual you just need to get on with your life. Training SMR was unbelievably fatiguing and I was battling sleepiness through almost every screen.
Twice a week.
After every session, I sucked back ginger ale to try and get glucose fast to my exhausted, starving brain while wondering how I was going to get home. Would I be able to get off the train at my stop, I was so tired and at times dizzy? Would I be able to walk home sans collapsing? And was I throwing money away as everyone said? It was hell.
I gained weight because I had no energy to cook properly and subsisted on frozen foods and chocolate and my twice-weekly pop suck-backs.
So there I am re-experiencing that hellish past, looking at the present HRV screen, watching my sympathetic system fire up in response to this PTSD moment, unable to stop the cascade of memory experience — until I remembered to recite the Lord’s Prayer. I’ve known it since I was 6, and it’s a ritualistic series of words that are comforting in their familiarity even if I don’t care about the meaning in that moment. Slowly, slowly, by saying the same words over and over in my head the flashback stopped. But boy did it want to return and take me over again. But I was able to finish the brain training flashback free.
While I was writing in SMIRB at the end of brain biofeedback, I realized I couldn’t shove away what happened like I had the previous few times it had occurred during sessions in the last couple of months or so. This one was too powerful. This time I had to tell my trainer.
She connected up some recent events and situation to why the flashback rose up and took over today. I felt less crazy and, importantly, supported. You see, it always pays to tell the professionals stuff even when you don’t want to with every fibre of your being.
It’s going to be a long year.