Analyzing the roots of illness

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2 AM. So there are at least two strands to this, and I can imagine three.

One – physical. I have not been paying attention nor communicating. So the body has been unable to get my attention except sometimes by jamming up the works.

Two – emotional. There have been payoffs for having asthma. The payoffs didn’t create the situation, but learned to take advantage of it. Getting attention is one, maybe. Martyr is another, maybe.

Three – another emotional strand, this one a cause – fear. Maybe jealousy. Maybe other things.

Four – to be determined, mental – ideas that continue it. Not causes but expectations.

Nancy said she had an image of when she cut into the black plastic she had laid down to prevent roots and shoots from coming to the surface. At the plastic barrier they were a tangle, as they had twisted and turned trying to get to the light. Similarly, the roots of this are tangled.

I can see this as a pattern for others, too. Any long-lived pattern must have multiple aspects, which prevents work on any one aspect from having a great effect. You could clear out one bit but see no result because other bits were continuing in effect. Now, if you knew that and were prepared for it, you could allow for it and not get discouraged, and just doggedly continue till you got it all.

Or you could just cut the Gordian knot.

That is more to my taste if nothing else works, or if time is short, or if one is impatient, or if there is no way to do the analysis, or no one to do it with. So how give people the sword to cut the knot with?

So in my case

Original cause – perhaps a fearful situation perhaps combined with a physical challenge. Maybe neither separately would have led to anything.

Investment – once the physical condition has gone long enough, the guys inside realize that there are payoffs to be reaped in dealing with it. It gets added attention. It may make you feel like a martyr. Maybe you come to enjoy the idea of wearing your suffering well. Maybe you come to be proud of it. None of this makes bearing it any easier, and none of it is under the ringmaster’s control; nonetheless it gets deeply ingrained and, like the cause, remains impervious to reason or logic or willpower because unconscious and thus beyond the ringmaster’s authority or grasp. Beyond – until he brings them to consciousness, at which time they can be reprogrammed.

Rationalization – once the cause set things in motion, and the investment kept them in motion, after while the mind perhaps begins drawing perfectly rational conclusions drawn on observation. “This often happens after X.” “The way to avoid this is to avoid Y or Z; if they can’t be avoided, there will be trouble.” And – I suspect – more complicated lines of thought than that.

And perhaps we should add

Ongoing cause – whatever physical causes bring on the situation when other conditions are right. For instance, a hard bit of laughing can bring on asthma sometimes. Sharp emotions. Too much physical exercise. None of these suffices in itself, and they may never happen together. But when conditions are right – temperature, humidity, physical exhaustion, prolonged unnoticed tensions, other unnoted stimuli – any of these may be enough to tip things over into an attack.

Or not! There are so many variables. But this is the beginning of an analysis, after merely 60 years of experience, give or take.

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