February 21, 2013

Pseudo Recovery

Most of the people who stammer (pws) find meeting other pws quite a liberating experience. It may not be a 100% liberation but lets say 1%. Now from my experience the liberation comes from a sense of validation. When they hear stories similar to their own, they feel all that they were labeling as negative and bad and even as something wrong with them is a actually normal and many others have similar experiences. Its quite strange but meeting others who have undergone the safe suffering makes you feel better. I can't even imagine the plight of people suffering from very rare kind of disorders where they may never get to meet someone else like them. What is it, that makes them to be at a state of peace with themselves ?

Now lets get back to the topic of this post - Pseudo Recovery. I have experienced it and have very recently started coming out of it.And from talking to many members in TISA, it seems quite common and many feel confused and depressed about the whole experience. Before I write more and more to compensate for not writing for a long time on TISA blog, let me explain the phenomenon. Pseudo Recovery - As the name suggests, its recovery from stuttering mindset that is not a "TRUE" recovery but looks like one on the surface. It happens when there are a lot of changes at the intellectual level of the person but the emotional level has not been able to keep pace. So while you can talk about acceptance and ways to implement it nonstop for 10 hours; how stammerers can transform their life if they follow these steps - A, B & C; may have conducted many workshops for pws; emotionally you still feel broken. This sometimes also happen due to a fiction that get created through your blog posts where you talk about many ideals that you may heard about or read somewhere and have been repeating them in your head (probably because you read about NLP or positive reinforcement) but not really experiencing them. People leave good comments and start looking up to you as a recovered stammerer. Now this contradiction between the mind and the emotion can lead to same problems as before and hence many may see it as being stuck in life.
If it happens to you, trust me its a normal step in recovery for many people.  Changes always start at the surface and then penetrate inwards. Due to a thick hide that we may have developed over the years, these inner changes may sometimes take longer than we expect. All you need to do is try to become more familiar with your emotions and where they come from. And you will be surprised to know that most of your emotions have no link with the present reality but they are just old conditioned emotions that keep coming back and we take the familiarity for their trueness. I have been able to get out of that phase due to listening to Eckhart Tolle and trying to start my own venture.Have you experienced something similar where people label you as recovered but you don't feel like one but are afraid to acknowledge it because it makes you feel like a "loser" just as stammering (sometimes) does ? How did you cope with it ?

P.S. -BTW to me it appears that if I change the heading to the above post to "Pseudo Self" it may be applicable to general human population and it all leads from being identified with your thoughts. What if we could see our thoughts/emotions as just passing thoughts/emotions and not derive a sense of self from them and not believe in each of our thoughts. Or as someone said - Don't take your thoughts/mind too seriously :-)


Dinesh said...

Wow JP! you have more than made it for your absence with such a amazing and fresh perspective :-)

Yes, I'm also at the junction of Pseudo recovery and dealing with it!!

Thanks for the beautiful post.

sachin said...

JP- you are right. I think- many of us - even in TISA- start believing and living that intellectual notion : Since I have done this, this, this- I must be "cured" by now.. totally forgetting that our emotional core is not so easy to access..
I think we all need to be a lot more HONEST with ourselves..
Harish- here is your contribution for next Samwad!
JP- let it FLOW!

jasbir singh said...

Meeting other PWS certainly helps. The feeling that you are not alone in this struggle gives a unique liberating confidence, which helps in relieving accumulated tension in brain. I would go a step forward, not meeting, even knowing or reading about some PWS gives this feeling.
I feel the so called recovery is a gradual process. Rather its a continuous management. The day we stop the management techniques, like breathing, slow speaking, not getting excited etc., stammering surfaces again.

Thanks JP for the nice write up.

Manimaran said...

Really very good post JP. I feel I recovered emotionally also to the extend of 99.9%.Now I am speaking really well and stammering occasionally only. Of course still I am having bad days also which is very rare only. The most important thing is I have ALMOST forgotten that I am a stammerer. And not bothered emotionally also what others may think whenever I stammers. This is due to my age factor and particularly after becoming coordinator of the Chennai chapter of SHG. I thing attending SHG meetings over a period of 4 - 5 years will solve most of our stammering problems automatically without taking any efforts like in my case. I am not taking any special efforts to overcome my stammering except conducting monthly meetings,reading all the TISA blog articles and giving my comments and try to participate NC whenever possible. I think this an easy on for us than spending sometime for speech therapy.

But this is applicable for those who settled in their life with good married life and good job. And not applicable for those who are unemployed and unmarried. They must do speech therapy along with acceptance concept for speedy recovery.

Harish Usgaonker said...

Yes JP. That was deep... Emotions are deeply rooted, and recovering emotionally is in itself a journey...

Have I gone through this? It's true that I have desensitized myself from the after-effects of a bad speaking experience. It feels much lighter now, with the emotional baggage gone. This happened because of reading about other PWS on TISA blog, interacting and meeting other PWS at workshops and conferences and attending SHG meetings. Honestly, I do not fret about stammering now, nor do I hate myself. I think these two things were the biggest giants that were eating up my persona.

Honestly, I haven't experienced the pseudo recovery. Perhaps because I feel free to express myself at the SHG meetings. May be thats the best way to deal with it- if you are feeling uncomfortable about something, just speak about it at the SHG meeting...

Thanks JP for posting such a thought provoking article.

@Dr. Sachin,

I agree this is a perfect contribution for Samvad.

J P Sunda said...

Thankyou Dinesh, Dr Sachin, Jabir ji, Mani sir and Harish. Harish, I really liked your honest response and If you plan to include this post in next issue of Samvad, you should also include your comment. Its very rare that we read two contrasting experiences in one article or am I wrong ? I think it helps to point out that we should never try to impose/project our experiences on others because different people have different experiences, some of which may be similar.