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"Why" Leads To "What"

Once the question "why" is asked of what you are feeling, the question "what" can help you find information. 

In my experience, this has been a very important part of the process of PTSD.  If I never asked why something felt the way it did, I never would have arrived at what was physiologically taking place in the brain.  This was used for the symptoms that felt uncomfortable or frightening, but it can also be used on the positive end of the spectrum as well.  

Have you ever met a soldier that loves to fish?  I have met many of them.  Why do they love it so much? Some have even described it as the only place they feel like themselves anymore.  Why do they crave that time alone? Why do they feel like themselves in that environment?  Why is being by themselves important?  Why is it okay to have some time alone?    What are the elements in the environment that make them feel calm?  What is it that they focus on when they are fishing?  What is it that they are connected to in that environment?  What makes them feel like themselves in that moment?  Can it be described?  What is happening in the brain when a person feels safe?  What can help activate this place in the brain when someone isn't in that specific environment?  What elements of that environment can be integrated into their daily environment to help them feel calm?  What can they connect to about that experience that can be accessible in their day to day life?

I love questions.  I can fill a whole page with questions, but isn't it amazing how questions can make bells and whistles go off in your head without anyone actually answering the question.  If you can answer these questions for another, you can certainly answer them for yourselves.  PTSD is a dizzying experience that I believe has many layers. I've sorted those layers by asking questions of myself, my symptoms, and my environment.  Questions are okay, but they can't be laced in judgment of yourself or your symptoms.  If questions are asked in vain towards yourself, they become unanswerable because they are now being processed in the already overactive limbic system that creates hypervigilance, stress, and survival mode thinking.  This is not the calm, rational part of the brain that helps you process with clear thinking.  They must be asked with intention to understand and to learn.

Think of the place you usually go to in order to feel connected.  Ask why that place makes you feel that way and you can come up with your own list of questions about it.

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