Tammy’s suffering was intense. Despite her intelligence and sense of humor, when she first came to my office one June morning she didn't particularly like her job as a mortgage broker, was fatigued much of the time, and couldn't concentrate, but what was most difficult for her was the breakup she had with her fiancé 10 months previously. As a single mother with 3 children and her own business, she would appear, to the casual observer, to be coping quite well. She was comfortable financially, and her family had all their basic needs met.
But scratch the surface and you found a woman falling apart. She could not let go of her former fiancé. She felt overwhelmed and indecisive. She didn't trust herself, and judged herself as being flawed because he had rejected her. She spent her days feeling lonely, guilty, anxious and helpless. Most visits included deep and intense crying, and she reported she had cried every day since the breakup.
Exactly one month later, after 8 visits with me, Tammy stopped her visits. I didn't see her till two months later, but when she returned, she was a new woman. She had traveled to Paris alone, during which time she hardly spoke to anyone, spending her time wandering by herself and reading. She was relaxed, happy and curious about life. She had just gotten a job with a non-profit agency, as she had realized that that was where she really wanted to put her energy and focus in the world, even if it meant a drop in pay. (Her energy had increased, though she still fatigued easily. (Laboratory tests revealed the probable cause to be intestinal dysbiosis – a condition of proliferation of the wrong kind of bacteria in the colon - and a parasitic infection. I expect that her energy will increase as we treat those problems, but that’s a topic for a different discussion.)
While Tammy’s turnaround was a bit more dramatic and faster than some, it definitely leads to questioning our beliefs about the fixed nature of our internal reactions and of the ability to change our way of being. After all, little had changed externally in her life, but something very big had changed internally. So what had changed, what could have changed it so fast?
To begin to find the answer, to to A promising Brain Quirk, a brain quirk that may be the key to ease and self-acceptance.