Monday, February 17, 2020

Comments by Paul

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  • At age 50 I was diagnosed with profound attention problems. The diagnosis was made on the basis of a TOVA which gave a scientific measure of my attention levels rather than just looking at symptom clusters.

    My attention deficit is (probably) the result of a chronic dissociation. I have seen the dissociation on an EEG monitor and been able to see this as the times I lose attention.

    The clinic I attended developed a tailored program
    – Neurofeedback, then
    – Interactive Metronome, followed by
    – Kirshner Arrow Chart (10 minutes a day at 60 beats per minute) as ongoing treatment

    That has produced about a 25% improvement and I go backwards without daily use of the Kirshner Arrow Chart.

    Diet and supplements are also part of my ongoing treatment.I also practice mindfulness techniques and very slowly there is a shift in the dissociative fog.

    Attention is the building block of everything we do! Seeing the EEG and the very low numbers on the TOVA enabled me to make sense of a life of struggle and start to develop productive strategies to minimise the effects of my inattention. Medication is not one of them!

  • Having been in 12 step programs for over 20 years I find a lot of good stuff in this article.

    For me the God concept in 12 Steps points to the creative power of the universe and surrender of old ideas. I turn the word God from a noun to a verb. It’s what I do, not just what I believe.

    Using the word “religious’ as a pejorative can miss the point. One of the preachiest AA members in my area is an atheist, who speaks and behaves very much like a fundamentalist.

    I use the disease concept as a metaphor. It’s not a perfect analogy but in a broad sense it works for me. There are numerous casuative factors leading to my addictions – a cluster of influences – genetics, environment,neurology.

    I always encourage 12 Step members to explore other complementary treatments. I have done trauma recovery workshops, psychodrama, therapy, neurofeedback and interactive metronome – all of which were helpful.

    I see members who take a broad approach to recovery as the ones who get the best results. Even if all they do in 12 Steps take the program broadly, challenge assumptions about what meaning one ascribes to particular words in the Steps.

    Your observations about “take what you want and leave the rest“ is spot on! It allows the recovery process to become organic and non-programmatic. This is why in meetings I ignore members who offer unsolicited advice and who don’t share from personal experience.