To those who read every recovery story out there and are still not recovering, you will really need to start applying what people tell you, otherwise you're just going to be in the same state for the rest of your life. In order to get through this, you really need to shift your attitude from 'I'll never recover' to 'I know this is just a phase that I'm going through.' I believe attitude is the only difference between those who recover faster than others, just the same way some people recover from depression or anxiety quicker than those who may have had it for years. The truth is, without action no one would get anywhere in life, whether it is recovery or achieving life goals. Life is about motion.
Anyway, here are my tips for recovering:
- Understand what caused your blank mind - in my case I felt like I had no identity, which made me feel worthless and ashamed of myself. This negative self-image triggered my blank mind.
- Understand the way your brain works - I remember thinking I had a brain damage before learning that it was in fact severe anxiety. Realising that it was just severe stress/anxiety made me less afraid of the blank mind. I learned about the amygdala and how it was responsible for the way my brain reacted to the stress. Your brain decided to take the 'freeze' response as there was no option for the 'flight or fight' response.
- Get blood tests done - for me, I had Vitamin D deficiency. I have been having the supplements ever since I was prescribed, which I believe has been helping me get better along with other practices.
- Surrendering - as spiritual as it sounds, I cannot stress enough about the importance of surrendering to this condition. When you surrender and accept it for what it actually is, you are half way through recovery. Stop trying to runaway from it. Just allow it to be. Don't try to remember things and don't obsess about who you used to be, the 'blank mind' doesn't care. Just stop still trying to overwork your brain when the whole point of the 'blank mind' is because you overworked your brain already from thinking too much. Don't try to force yourself to have brain stimulation or any emotions. there's a saying that goes 'anything you chase in life runs away' I applied this to my state. Being desperate to be the old you or to have thought/emotions will only make it harder for you to recover. Pretend that thoughts/emotions don't exist. Act as if the whole world has a blank mind. Allow the blank mind to exist. It wants to exist. So just let it be.
- Realising that no one actually cares - I had to cut the victim mentality, as I've learned that no one can save me, even those people I speak to about the blank mind don't give a shit, so why am I clinging on to false hope, to people who'll move on with their lives once they recover? I realised speaking about it over and over again only reinforced the belief that there is something wrong with me.
- CUTTING THOSE WHO OBSESS OVER THIS CONDITION E.G. DP FORUMS/VIDEOS.
- Focus on others things (despite how simple they seem to be) - when I read recovery stories on 'exercising' and focusing on education etc. I personally couldn't do it. I just felt like my body and brain were not ready for that stuff yet (maybe it'll work for you, but I just listened to my body so listen to yours). The best thing for me was to socialise by seeing friends/family/ going parties (especially when I wanted to avoid them). Even though I was never into comedy prior to the blank mind, I thought maybe watching funny movies/videos will help me somehow, as laughing releases stress/tension. So I just decided to indulge myself movies and videos that made me laugh.
- Listening to positive podcasts - I made sure the podcasts I listened to were somehow related to the event that triggered my blank mind. I believe my mind needed to see the situation from a better perspective, and because I knew I had a blank mind, I just relied on my subconscious to collect the positive information, which I believed would help my anxiety to subside. I believe words can heal you.
- Believe this is just a phase - many people on these forums are so incredibly negative, and I believe there came a time where I almost started to buy into 'i'll never recover' attitude. I quickly began to shift my focus by stop giving the blank mind and the people who have the blank mind so much of my focus.
- Allow yourself to be negative when you need to be - part of recovery is to relapse. Be comfortable with it and don't beat yourself up about it. This is just a journey.
- Avoid anything that will trigger stress - whether it's work, life, education, you name it. Take a break whenever you can.
- SOCIALISE - we are social animals. There is no such thing as isolating yourself. I have never heard of anyone getting better by simply isolating themselves from family and friends. Just be there. Interact even if you sound stupid.
- Meditate - I used to HATE anyone telling me to meditate. It felt too good to be true. But as I got in the habit of doing this, I can now confidently say I see the benefits. In my opinion, the best position for me when I meditate is the 'prostration' position. Search 'prostration position yoga' on Google images. I sit in this position for around a minute whilst trying to connect with the universe/higher power/god. I do this about 4 times along with other moves. I meditate for about about 10minutes whenever I think I should. Again, I don't force myself. I just listen to what my body feels like doing in that moment. I do this about 3/4 times a week.
- Eat healthier whenever you can - I avoid coffee at all costs, but when i do have coffee, I make sure it's decaffeinated. I also try to cut down on sugar whenever I can. But I don't force myself to cut anything apart from caffeine, because I don't believe in forcing myself to cut things, especially when you're someone suffering from anxiety. Don't put any limitation or restrictions. Just pick whatever best option from what you have in front of you.
- Act like you're having fun and that there is nothing wrong with you - I just really believe we become whatever we act out. So I just tried to pretend that the blank mind wasn't there, but the trick to this is to this is that I also allowed myself to be upset when I really didn't want to act it out. And then try the next day all over again.
- Challenge yourself - take advantage of the days where you feel less miserable. Also notice the things you do that make you less miserable and keep doing them. I promise you, you will eventually get better.
So yeah, this is how I recovered.