I wrote this on Dec 29, and it's time to post it, so here you go
So how exactly did this come about? You may recall that a little over a week ago, my friend called and said she was doing a whole lot better having attended a Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ seminar. I thought it sounded like something that would probably help me, too, so I looked into it, by which I mean, read the entire website.
What I took away from that was that when your body sustains some kind of injury, physical or mental, when you start healing, your brain might or might not come back out of fight-or-flight mode. Given a long-term injury, like living in a house with stachybotrys inside the kitchen ceiling for two years, your body could easily have forgotten what calm is. There was a bunch of stuff about what that does to your limbic system, and what I remember it saying was that when you're geared for a fight, you don't bother absorbing nutrients from your food, or sometimes even digesting it very well, your hormones get screwed up, you can't think straight, and you don't do anything with your own personal garbage, e.g. chemicals you inhale. So for the last five years, I've been taking nutritional supplements, and sometimes one to help me digest food, my hormones have been screwed up, I've definitely had 'brain fog' (my best example: I got lost in a drugstore in the summer of 2004), and I have chemical sensitivities.
It sounds like I got stuck in fight-or-flight. So I take a look at the seminar schedule, and there's one in April. Ok, so I need some money for that, but conceivably I could be seriously better by, say, June. Maybe able-to-go-to-the-mall-for-three-hours better.
That kind of revelation is enough to maybe make you relax a little. The 'articles' part of the website also talked about verbalizing how you're feeling because that helps you relax, too. Thus I found that I've been clenching something in my back for probably the last five years, because it kind of hurt when I unclenched it.
It probably didn't hurt that I was going to visit my parents the next day, either, which sounds fun instead of stressful (in my family, anyway), and I really wanted to be enough better that I could tolerate their house, with its kitchen-sink mold and a decorated fir tree in the living room.
So I got in the car at 6:30 am on Tuesday morning with my mask on, and my husband got us across town, and when we got just north of town, it was my turn to drive. Counting the snack break, which isn't technically driving, but I'm taking everything I can get, I drove for six hours. For the last five years, I have been uncomfortable driving, except going from my house to the really, really sick lady's house, which is a grand total of 1.8 miles on lightly-traveled roads. When we got to my parents' house, with a few minor modifications, our room was fine, and so was the kitchen sink. The tree didn't seem to bother me at all, and for the first time, the leather furniture wasn't a problem. I didn't try out the mall or anything challenging, and the worst thing that happened was that at the end of Christmas day, I was pretty worn out. The pie I was stressing over (!) almost didn't even last four hours in a house that usually takes a couple of days to finish a pie. We had to make another one the next day.
The drive home didn't go as well. We wanted to do the drive all in one day again since it worked really well on the way out, but I-5 freaked me out, and I wasn't even driving. There was a lot of traffic and sudden slowing, and by the time we got out the other side of the Los Angeles basin, where it was my turn to drive, it was getting dark, and I was fried. I drove for almost three hours anyway, but it sucked.
Now that we've been home for a few days, I've learned a few more things. My back stopped hurting when I relaxed it after about a week, and I started noticing a spot behind my forehead felt like it was relaxing somehow, too. I can make that happen on demand, but where the website talks about flipping a switch, I end up having to hold the switch. It flips right back to 'tense' if I let go of it, but today I was able to go in a bunch of stores and still hold onto it.
I suppose the ability to let go of the switch and have it stay where you want it to be is something you'd learn at the seminar.