Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mind Change Day 1: Education

Today's the start of a one-month, daily post project to document the progress I've made in reprogramming the "complex, sophisticated computer" of my brain, as David Hanscom writes in Back in Control. That book was written to address chronic pain but the strategies work--so far to a moderate degree--on my Post-concussive Disorder. Every day I'll go through a different step I've taken over the course of the last six months of following his DOCC (Defined, Organized, Comprehensive Care) program,

Don't worry, the posts will be brief, covering just one concept and how it's worked for me. This is not a review of the concepts because those are well-explained on the website. I've also (hopefully) explained why I'm doing this in my concussion series.

When I started the book I wasn't overly hopeful. I'd read quite a few books, that's one of the things I do best. Healing from a brain injury is an extremely passive process--rest, wait, be patient, stuff comes back. Reading is pretty passive so it was one of my daily activities. But reading about someone else's problems is depressing, and reading about some else's recovery isn't inspirational unless I can apply what they did to myself. I'd been trying all kinds of things to more actively heal my brain and regain lost skills (exercise, brain games, medications, memory strategies, organizational systems, taking classes, daily writing, yoga, mindfulness, meditation), but in a kind of helter skelter manner. I felt like I was getting slowly better but couldn't tell if I was speeding things up, slowing them down or having no impact.

Here are the two things that hooked me into this program:

  • It's specific and bossy. It says "Read this. Do that. But you won't get better until you can do both at the same time, along with X." I like that kind of direction. I'm tired of freelancing.
  • It's focused on brain science. The first assignment is to read The Talent Code, which proposes
    both that to make your brain more efficient and skilled you can lay down new myelin-sheathed network though focused practice, and that this practice should be slow.
Hey, I can totally do slow ;). And things I was doing slowly and methodically were the ones getting closest to baseline (i.e driving, cooking, writing, yoga). So I thought these guys might be onto something. It gave me hope. 

Here's the clip. See what you think. 

See you tomorrow.

Love, Lisa

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