"Listen to your body"

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Shell92127

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2017, 08:01:40 PM »

The GREAT thing about meditating is it truly lets my mind rest and nurtures my body. Once my mind rest and stops focusing on ideas and fears, I drift into a zone where my body begins to nurture itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuHpbGrJdb4


calmness and peace - brain calms down and when you calm the mind you also calm the body
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb3aapcs_xU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txdZU2I0N0M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mcx3kAEY-U

stop your addiction to thinking
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmhkmLFc74E

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Seven

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2017, 09:38:57 AM »
I learned from a very early age to listen to my body.  At the age of 20 (possibly 21) i was married to ex#1 (i dont think he had a PD, but there were other stressors surrounding the relationship). I had become depressed to the point where i had the physical symptoms, couldn't concentrate at work, had the shakes.  It was bad enough to the point where one of the nurses at my work had to call my family doctor to get an emergency appointment.  He put me on a low-grade antidepressant to help with the physical symptoms, wanted me to go see "someone".  I wasnt on it long, a few months maybe.  Drove my then-husband to my sister's 4 hours away so he could learn a trade from her live-in.  The moment (and i mean THE moment) I turned around to drive home after leaving him there, i felt released.  Literally threw my pills away.  Thats when i knew what the problem actually was and what had to be done.

Sort of same scenario with uNPDx#2.  At the time i didnt know what was wrong with him.  Some people said bipolar (its possible still i guess, but i see more N now that im out of the situation...emotional and physical abuse in this situation.  Emotional abuse of the kids, my child from x#1 above and our son together).  Anyway, got really bad. Same depressed feeling as above (crying daily, unable to concentrate) but now I was skipping cycles.  Like every other month.  And then the stress of the thought that i was pregnant with another child of his Compounded that.  Now that i look back on it, this was going on for years.  I just thought this is the way my body works and I shouldn't stress over it.  It wasnt until he and i had a huge blow up and the words "i am not in love with you anymore" came out of my mouth....cycle was right as rain after that for the next year.  Then i knew what had to be done.   I was out a year later.

My current DH was having weird physical symptoms...indigestion for no apparent reason (popping OTC antacids like crazy), unexplained shoulder pain, unexplained pain on the left side of his body (where there are no organs if anyone is wondering).  This was going on since probably before i met him 8 years ago.  It wasnt until he had his blowup with MIL that these phantom pains went away.  And i recently pointed it out to him.  My physical symptoms this time manifested in the form of rashes. Not just redness, but actual itchy, weeping rashes that spread. This happened early on in the relationship.  I really thought that it was just from me doing workouts outside in the grass.  Got rashes under both triceps and in the crease of one elbow.  Went to family doctor (not same one as above) and he gave me steroid cream (big tube of it so it lasted me a good while).  Then the last few years it manifested onto my hands and as soon as it went away, it came back again.  It was concerning because it just kept coming back over and over and over.  Then i realized i havent had any in the last almost 2 years and that's when i went VVVLC with MIL.  DH has been NC android ST since May and was VLC before that during the previous winter holidays.  Luckily he came to realize I was not the "direct" cause of his mother's issues, because she would bring up something she thinks i slighted her for, but wasnt possible because I hadn't even been around her. What comes out of this woman's mouth is nothing short of amazing.

So yeah, i listen to my body.  And now DH does too.

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raindrop

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2017, 09:58:16 AM »
What a great thread! I have trouble with listening to my body too. There's so much wisdom and knowledge in this thread - I vote it goes in the toolbox.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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kazzak

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2017, 01:50:03 PM »
What a great thread! I have trouble with listening to my body too. There's so much wisdom and knowledge in this thread - I vote it goes in the toolbox.

I've passed that vote on to the admin team so they are sure to know. Thanks!!

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all4peace

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2017, 09:39:43 PM »
I received wise counsel from a friend today. As I await my parents' responses to 2 communications I sent to them, I'm feeling pain and tension build in my body. I asked her (she's a healer) for any advice beyond the usual self care.

Here's her response:
Friend: Talk to your pain. Ask your body what it is trying to accomplish. Try to get to the visceral level of what your body is doing.
Me: I'm preparing for battle. I'm like an animal, not sure what is about to come next, but tense and trying to be ready for the unpredictable.
Friend: What is your greatest fear?
Me: I'm afraid of being cut off from my extended family.
Friend: I don't want to overstep, but if there a fear even more visceral than that?
Me: I suppose I am afraid they could physically attack me. My mind knows that is very unlikely, but they often did in childhood and probably some part of my body is afraid of being attacked and is tensing in preparation.
Friend: Then talk to your body. Let your body know it is safe. Talk to your pain. Let it know you are an adult now. You are safe. You are in control. You are prepared. Talk to your pain, and it will be like one part of your mind talking to another part of your mind, but ask it what it needs to be released.

I started seeing this healer friend to get help with a lot of internal physical scarring that has been impacting my life, and it turns out she is the most incredible therapist I have ever known! She does a lot of talk therapy in which she takes me back to painful parts of life (imagine when you were born, tell me what age you first understood things weren't ok in your family, tell me what it felt like to have surgery, etc.) and then has me visualize myself at that age (infant, 10 year old, adult) and speak to myself at that age in whatever capacity would be healing.

So, for the terrified, medically traumatized, cold, startled, in-pain, alone infant, I went back to her and became her mother. I held her, comforted her, whispered in her ear that she wasn't alone, cuddled her, helped calm her and warm her. And during that session, i sobbed tears so long and hard that they left burns dripping down my cheeks.

For the 10 year old who knew her family wasn't ok, that the hitting and yelling and leaving were not ok, I became her adult friend, telling her she was right. Telling her that what she knew was right, no matter what other adults were saying to her, no matter what they were doing. That she was right, and she would be ok, and I would be her friend until she was grown up and would be able to leave.

I can only say that my physical anxiety symptoms are incredibly better than they used to be. I still get physical anxiety symptoms, but not even close to what they used to be. My life isn't debilitated by them, the pain is very manageable, and it seems to be on a steady progression towards better health.

Even in the time since I first posted this thread, a lot has happened and my body has been far less reactive than in the past. I've had more treatments, more time in T, more self-care, and more self-talk as described above. I really believe that with time my body will get to the point where it's sending me signals I need to honor and listen to, but will hopefully not be over-reacting in a way that is too much and too painful. I just want to be sure to continue to listen to it and never, ever again try to ignore what it is trying to say. I have definitely learned that painful and very long lesson.

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MIB

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2017, 10:31:26 PM »
Hi all4peace,

I've always dabbled in meditation but am using it now in a more consistent way as a means of coping/calming myself as I'm dealing with major parental drama/VVLC. It's helped immensely, along with yoga, this forum, reading books on the subject (I just read "Surviving a Borderline Parent" and found it remarkably helpful...highly recommend it) as well as having a good T who had actually met my parents/husband so has the context first hand.

It's all culminated in me seeing the importance of living in the now (which thankfully is pretty happy though busy with two small kids LOL) , trying not to ruminate (& getting more successful at it!), accepting things as they are and deciding to do what's best for me and my FOC. It's a journey, and I may take a few steps backwards here and there, but I am making progress and feel like I'm growing as a person. And that's a good thing, right? :)

Big hugs to you,
MIB
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 09:51:51 AM by moglow »

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Me_Again

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2017, 06:12:23 AM »
I had no idea my body was physically reacting to narc abuse until after I told uNPDxH I wanted a divorce and started researching PD. However, I had been dealing with elevated blood pressure, tingling in fingers, lips and toes, heart racing, etc for many years. I even went to my doctor who diagnosed anxiety, but I thought it was from long term money issues. It honestly never occurred to me to talk to my physician about what I was being put through from uNPDxH.

Once I started researching PD and narcissism in particular, I came across an article about the physical manifestations of narcissistic abuse, and I think I started crying. Tingling in extremities? Check! Increased blood pressure? Yep! Insomnia? Oh sure. Difficulty breathing (or change in breathing)? Constantly.

As I worked through my issues, I found that my physical symptoms lessened. But I was stunned and a bit frightened when they returned the day after uNPDxH and I finally came to an agreement regarding our divorce (shared parenting plan had already been agreed upon). I couldn't understand why my lips and fingers were tingling again (with a vengeance), why I couldn't seem to catch my breath, and why my head felt like it was going to explode. I should've been on top of the world. It was finally pretty much over. I had no residual feelings for uNPDxH, so I knew that I wasn't in any way sad that my marriage was that much closer to being officially over.

I came to the conclusion that just as our bodies have muscle memory, they also have emotional memory. My body, unbeknownst to me, immediately started preparing for the next "attack." It has lessened in the months since the divorce, but when I have to come into contact with him or any of his family members, I've learned to expect that emotional memory to come back. It's hard to go through, and I look forward to the day when my body and my mind realizes that I'm safe.

Great topic!

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2017, 03:29:08 PM »
All4Peace that is absolutely amazing and fascinating. It brings a real lump to my throat to read of your experience.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage. Plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is the key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
If others were self observant, introspective, this forum would not exist

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Moxie890

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2017, 02:46:22 PM »
Thanks for starting this thread, I have recently found myself wondering some of the same things. I am struggling with how much if any anxiety is ok. It manifests with a tightness in my chest and stomach that starts the day before an interaction with my mom, and how long it lasts after depends on how emotionally charged the interaction was. I am still feeling the physical effects of an interaction we had last weekend.

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kazzak

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2017, 03:54:11 PM »
physical response = somatic
trauma = ptsd

Somatic response to trauma. ime. it can be traumatizing and have long lasting residual impacts on my body.


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openskyblue

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2017, 07:45:31 PM »
What a great thread!

A few weeks ago I was talking with my therapist about the free floating panic that I've been having lately. I'm divorced from my ASPD ex, something that I've been working towards for 3 years. I have a good job and like where I live. I'm inhabiting the life I've wanted for a very long time. And I am STILL having this primal, fear/panic reaction. Some days it feels so overwhelming, it's all I can do to function.

My therapist explained that all of my fears and worries are valid, but the volume is turned way too far up on them. In other words, each worry issue has merit, just not a the defcon 4 level where I am feeling it.  As is so often the case, I actually forgot completely about this conversation until I read this thread. (CPTSD amnesia?)

I'm already putting this into practice with today's blaring panic -- being terrified I'm going to get fired after having a work review with my boss in which she said I had two specific areas for improvement. I didn't hear any of the other glowing compliments about my work from her, of course. So.... using my therapist's logic I should: 1 Recognize that my emotional reaction is out of proportion; 2 Pay attention and address the areas for improvement; 3 Breathe.


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all4peace

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2017, 08:25:37 PM »
Seven, life taught you some important lessons! I've been trying to tell DH for years that "just ignore it" and "don't let it bother you" just.doesn't.work. I kept pointing out to him that animals do NOT ignore their instincts, and they don't relax or ignore danger, ever. I'm glad you knew better, and that your DH has learned it also.

MIB, I love how many different tools you are using to get healthier! I just love the energy and optimism I hear in your post. That's a great thing, growing!

me_again, thank you for sharing that wisdom--that sometimes we may get worse again before continuing to get better. Once I unloaded some of the most difficult things in therapy, my T warned me that I should prepare myself for the grief to hit, and that my adrenal system might be off kilter for a while. It's as if being in fight-flight mode for too long just exhausts it all, and once we're safer it can just collapse.

I hope you soon have consistently good days and weeks. :bighug:

spring butterfly, I wish everyone could experience her type of therapy! I went into it thinking it would be purely physical, and it has been some of the most spectacular emotional healing as well. The first time I got a treatment, it was the first time in a very long time that I felt my old capacity for love. Sounds weird, but that's what I felt like. Loving. More loving than I had felt in a very long time, and that was a very, very welcome sensation.

Moxic890, I'm so sorry that you struggle with anxiety. I've come to accept very little anxiety in my life. I pushed it down so hard for so long that it nearly did me in. These days I have much more respect for what my body is trying to tell me and almost never put myself in situations that I know will cause anxiety. I hope you are feeling better this evening and hope some of the suggestions in this thread can be helpful!

openbluesky, I'm going to post below about what you're talking about here--anxiety and free-floating panic. It sounds like you're doing a good job of talking yourself off the ledge! I have found that the more times things go right, it becomes a precedent for me to refer back to the next time I'm worried about a similar situation. It gives you lots of reference points for self-talk. Good luck continuing to work through this!


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all4peace

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2017, 08:41:41 PM »
I went to a talk recently about adolescent brain development, but it turned out to be much more broadly focused on mental health. The psychiatrist talked about being stuck in endless loops in our head when we are facing a problem that we cannot find a solution to (dealing with PDs, anyone?) and that it leads to rumination, depression and anxiety.

He talked about seratonin, how each of us genetically has a range of seratonin production, some much higher, some much lower.
He also talked about our genetic coping ability, how much stress we can handle, how many activities. Again, some people can handle/cope with a lot, some much less.

Regardless of how much ability we have to cope, endure pain, or how much capacity we have for happiness, when we get overloaded, we will start to struggle with feeling joy or happiness. When our seratonin is messed up, we are not happy and may struggle to eat enough or with eating too much, insomnia.

He described our 4 primary human emotions and how we feel them, in order of ideal to nonideal, as below:
 
HAPPINESS                ANGER                SADNESS                                                                                                                            FEAR

Happiness is our goal.
When feeling stressed, we may move to anger (or a minor expression of it such as annoyance or irritation)
Then sadness (heading towards depression)
Lastly, in our primordial amygdala, we feel fear (and anxiety)
When we are completely overloaded, we start to shut down and experience depression. He said that a brain in depression generates much less electricity than a healthy one. Depressed people literally don't have the energy to pull themselves out of it.

He said that someone in therapy will come out of that sequence in reverse, which is often hard to cope with and/or upsetting:
Depression/anxiety  >  sadness/grief (which can be huge and overwhelming)  >   ANGER!! (which may be scary)  >  Happiness

He also mentioned that if we spend too much time in fear, it can really shut down our seratonin system and shut us down. (please correct me, anyone, if I'm getting some of this wrong)

I know that when I hit the toughest spots in therapy, my grief was massive. I would cry, often, for an hour at a time, gut-wrenching sobs. Everything made me cry. I started to wonder if I would ever stop crying. And then I got pissed. Now I'm feeling mainly meh about a lot of it. It was absolutely fascinating to hear him describe exactly what my process has been the last few years (including getting stuck in nonstop ruminations when we cannot find a way out of our dilemma, and how that leads to anxiety and depression).

His advice was basic and mainly obvious but a good reminder: Good amt of sleep, vegetables, exercise, time to enjoy life, time to connect with loved ones, therapy if needed, antidepressants if needed.

It was really meaningful and fascinating to me, the mind (brain)-body connection, described by both behavioral and chemical models.

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carrots

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2017, 08:55:16 PM »
Thanks for that, all4peace, it's really interesting.

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kazzak

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2017, 09:00:05 PM »
Thank you for sharing that! Great note taking, and appreciated on this end.

Barometer = appetite, digestion, sleep.,,

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2017, 09:43:02 AM »
All4Peace, that's some pretty great information and very much describes the path my journey took also. Do you have any information available online have this speaker or author? It might really benefit our members to be able to look into it further.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage. Plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is the key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
If others were self observant, introspective, this forum would not exist

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stasia

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #36 on: November 15, 2017, 12:54:05 PM »
Thanks for posting that, all4peace. I found it really interesting. And thank you for sharing the recommendations. I definitely see where I'm falling short on the self-care (though man, it is SO HARD to make time for it.)

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Trailblazing

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2017, 12:39:46 PM »
I'm also a member of the 'listen to your body' club.

Because, sometimes, I need a break from dealing with stuff and crazy magical thinking takes over, and I believe (fervently hope) that  I can solve my issues using shortcuts, by ignoring them and with minimal emotional investment. At some point my body says 'uhhuh Malini, nope, you're not getting away with this, this is too important and you need to deal with this'  and usually the type of ache and pain indicates what I need to work on.

 :applause: :applause: :applause: :yeahthat:

Just the thread I needed to read. Reminds me of Louise Hayes book about pain and the body. I read your post and scanned my body for the reaction spot to a hoovering email I have just received, literally, 1 hour or so ago. I felt pain, lurching, heaviness in my hearts stomach area. Plus jitteriness.

Great post. Thank you  ;D

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openskyblue

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2017, 03:27:01 PM »
Oh yes, rumination -- the vicious wet blanket of my existence.  Rumination has wasted more of my time and energy than Facebook, Instagram, Tetris, and bad television combined. I think it was the hardest thing to get a handle on when I was planning to leave my PD and afterward for about a year. I'm so glad you brought it up.

Now that I am NC, my son is having to deal directly with his ASPD father -- and the thing he complains about the most is rumination. He feels sometimes like it has taken over his life and gets depressed, but also angry about that. (I think the anger is probably healthier.)  Through talking with him, I've realized that how I push back the rumination might not be the best strategy for him.

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all4peace

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Re: "Listen to your body"
« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2017, 01:49:01 PM »
openskyblue, I learned recently about the endless feedback loop (rumination) that develops when we cannot find a solution to a problem. I wonder if that is what drives VLC or NC for many of us--we've hit a problem that we cannot solve, and it drains us of so much energy being stuck in an unsolvable relationship problem. I hope your DS is able to find a way to cope with his own struggles.


This holiday, as our vehicle headed closer and closer to my parents, despite having great conversations with my FOC, thinking about other things and listening to music (not simultaneously :D), I found my heart getting tighter and more painful as the miles sped past. Good ol' body, letting me know what was coming even if my mind was doing a pretty bang-up job of keeping it at bay. Still, it was very manageable. I worked on breathing, pumped up the tunes, and reminded myself that I am now an adult, with support, with power, with self-control, with many who love me. And the pain abated.

As 2 days passed, I felt the grief moving in. And instead of trying to hold it back, to deny it, pretend it didn't exist, I left the situation and headed home to those who love me, and those who I love. Once I was in the safety of my car I let it out in a crying session that simply lasted as long and as hard as it needed to be. And then I went home and will carry on with my beautiful life. I slept better than I have slept in a very long time. And I have plans for this beautiful day. I had bad dreams about family in the night, but other than that I feel well.

It has been VERY helpful to me to:
--surround myself as much as possible with love and beauty and joy
--take time for good self care, especially diet and exericse
--remind myself when I am terrified that I am now an adult, the child is protected and safe, and I now stand as an adult. Because I believe in God, it is very comforting for me to imagine him very, very close to me, in the stance of a tenderly loving and protective father, for me to remember that I have a family I have chosen and created who is healthy and loving, and that I have dear friends who share the most precious things in life with me.

My dear healer friend (and my therapist, 2 different people) have helped me understand that a lot of what happens in my body is because of triggers to childhood. A lot of their work has been to heal that child, and to remind me of the adult who now stands in her place, protected, surrounded by love, and armed with tools that the child didn't have and wasn't allowed to use.

When the grief or rage hit me like a tsunami, I work on letting it flow through. I acknowledge it (feeling intense anger, for example) and let it flow right on through. I breathe it right back out so it won't stay in me and do physical harm. I picture everyone I love standing around me and behind me, in support and protection. I tell the little girl inside me that she is now safe, she isn't alone, she is loved and protected and knew the truth all along, and now she has me and all the others standing behind her, protecting her. I breathe it out, I cry it out, I do whatever it takes to get it all out again. And then move on in my day and my life, and my body now holds onto very, very little.

I don't mean to go on and on, and I hope I'm not endlessly repeating myself, but I just want to share in case it helps anyone else. I know the physical pain and anxiety of dealing with PDs, and it has been a long journey in finding tools for coping, so I feel an urgency to share! :bighugs: to all of you.