Basically I took some time and zoned in on and identified the one single happiest, most exciting moment of my entire life and embraced and imprinted those feelings. All of the visual, aural and emotional components.
For me it was the moment I saw our first born son's little heart beating in a sonogram. The realization that I was responsible for another life to come into the world was a wash of total bliss all over. By far the most exhilarating moment of my life wrapped into five or ten seconds.
Anytime those chilling feelings start to creep in I go back and revisit that moment and it over powers those bad feelings, allowing me to face the bad feelings more logically and objectively than emotionally.
Your milage may vary of course. And yes I'm always a bit cautious, concerned that I might spoil this moment by over relying on it but so far it hasn't been tainted a bit. And yes I'm aware that this moment ties strongly into my marriage but since it was personal joy that doesn't seem to taint it either.
[This message edited by Bubbleup at 3:42 PM, August 23rd (Friday)]
Harry: "What does a Patronus look like?"
Lupin: "Each one is unique to the wizard who conjures it."
Harry: "And how do you conjure it?"
Lupin: "With an incantation, which will work only if you are concentrating, with all your might, on a single, very happy memory."
— Harry Potter and Remus Lupin
[This message edited by sable at 3:53 PM, August 23rd (Friday)]
I have been coming on here to read one thing in the am which has also helped.
And I can remember everything about that moment of seeing my son's heartbeat on the sonogram, too. I literally could not breathe for what seemed like an eternity, then I burst into tears of sheer joy!
Fool me once - Shame on you. Fool me twice - pack your shit and get out.
The happiest day of my life was the day I married my WH, and when I think of that day, I can't help but realize that by the time I found out about the A, more than half of our marriage had been a lie. I am at the 1 yr point and the triggers and depression returned a few months ago and have grown into a sweeping tornado of renewed devastation and hopelessness with some moments, no hours of renewed intimacy and joy in between, as well as, a new found decision to live my life for me and quit sacrificing for someone else. It is his turn to do the sacrificing and he will have to do a lot of it to keep our marriage alive. I am sad, lonely, hopeless, confused, and don't know how/if I will ever feel good & whole after all of this.
This is a great technique. I've read about it and later used it to fight panic attacks. It really can work. You have to spend quite a bit of time and effort doing the imprinting. Really involve all your senses. What time of day was it, what did you smell in the room, include as many little things as possible. Then, conjure that impression throughout the day (not just when triggering), develop the brain muscle to recall it fully, at will, and when you need it - voila! it will be there.
broken0912 - I do have an imprint that involves my son, but I have another too. Years ago I was walking my dog, Logger, along a country road on a crisp fall morning (that dog was my best friend). Anyway, we rounded a corner and came upon a huge Yellow Maple tree full of leaves, but the frost had come that night, and all the leaves were frozen, like yellow glass. It took my breath away, and still does. I imprinted this because it was such a visually beautiful moment I shared with my dearest companion. My point is at 50 years you've had a rich, full life. Take an inventory and imprint something beautiful for yourself and use it when you need strength.