Saturday, August 16, 2008

Introvert. Heal Thyself!

It is my personal impression that introverts take a terrible beating where stress is concerned because everywhere we go, everything we do, we are coping with a world set up by and for others. We are very prone to chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and agoraphobia, conditions which, though horrible, give us the excuse we need to have time for ourselves.

It is part of my mission and consciousness raising outreach as an infp healer to suggest that if we give ourselves the time we need by ourselves, we can skip the part about chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. In the "j" and "s" type introverts it is more likely to be a skiing or other sports accident that allows us to remain in a room alone with ourselves for an extended period of time. Let's learn to ask for the time alone that we need and skip the abuse to our bodies. They serve us well :-) and we're going to be in them for a long time.

HOW I HEALED MYSELF - my letter to diane

Hi Diane,

You had asked me what changes I made to heal (chronic fatigue syndrome, agoraphobia, fibromyalgia, joint pains and eczema). There were a whole series, one supporting the other and in more or less this order.

I got a divorce, ending a negative situation that was draining and nonproductive on all levels. This was back in 1975. The rest is between then and now.

I did all the cosmetic things, lost weight, got a hot new wardrobe, began to read some self help books and noticed that the people who seemed to be really "alive" -- who had that "certain something" all believed in a higher power. Hmmmmmmmm. I tried to hang out with these people as much as they would let me. I was actually a pretty empty person at that time, though nice, polite, etc.

I found work that I loved and people I wanted to be around. I was with a successful, positive, health oriented group of individuals for the next 12 years. Wonderfully enough it was a real estate tax boutiique law firm. I found people who treated me very well, consistently. I was having so much fun, I went overboard with 10 hour work days, being a mom, projects, writing a book and commmunity involvement. One day I came home, the room was spinning. My daughter developed a nervous habit at that time. I knew it was time to look deeper. My appetite had apparently been bigger than my stomach. I was trying to do way too much!

I eliminated all nonessential activities and took a look at what really mattered in my life and how I was spending my time. This was hard for me because there are so many things I love to do but I had to strip down and prioritize, particularly as the single head of household. Someone gave me a copy of Ernest Holmes' "Science of Mind" at this time. I read it through slowly, twice. [I actually read it on a transatlantic cruise -- I sat in the library most of the time while other family members danced, gambled, saw shows and did the other extrovert things.]

Then I eliminated negative people from my life who were sucks [a term we psychics use for people who are empty and take an inordinate amount of energy from others; also called "black holes"]. I got away from people who smoked and drank. I weeded out meaningless social activities and invitations. I investigated every kind of alternative healing you can imagine. I've done them all! It was well worth the investment of time and energy.

I eliminated white sugar and quit smoking. That took awhile to adjust to :-) so I added some exercise and found sports I loved over the years which have varied. Currently you know if you read the BLOG, it's tennis and jogging. I made fitness a new priority. I got away from people who ate recreationally or used food as a drug or "sedative".

I removed elements of Type A from my personality and quit hanging around with Type A's. I quit giving that kind of orientation any validation in my own mind.

I went all the way out to lacto ovo vegetarian and back again finding out what my body liked and responded well to. I did this again by stripping down to the essentials in food and then adding things back again as I observed the results in my own body and how it felt with each new food. I would start with a juice fast, then tea, then reintroduce foods. It was fun. During this period I permanently eliminated cheese (molds) and also it was the acidity in canned tomatoes that most caused the eczema to act up. That just came to me intuitively as I held Edgar Cayce's papers in my hands. That led to a lot less spaghetti around my house (!)

I became a more committed positive thinker and spent more time with gentle, simple people -- all different sorts. I learned to meditate, or rather I became aware that I had always meditated and how to appreciate it and use it more in my daily life. Continued with all types of alternative healing and personal growth groups as time and money permitted.

I began getting therapeutic massage regularly and went to other bodyworkers. I discovered vitamins and supplements and experimented with results, mostly doing this intuitively. I feel a big part of my healing at this time was being my own authority and taking responsibility for my own healing. I discovered the staples of my diet at this time: lean ground beef, fresh green vegetables lightly cooked with a little butter, fish prepared the same way, for a snack a few potato chips maybe some unsalted peanuts (need something crunchy, carnivore memories), sometimes oat bran cereal or honey bunches of oats, oatmeal, eggs, occasionally bacon , baked potato, homemade soups of all kinds ... when eating out I will get a steak and also like beans for protein. I actually had an elaborate test at this time that confirmed I need red meat from time to time. I was sort of disappointed but it seems true. About twice a month I need that kind of protein to feel my best. By this time I had totally eliminated all junk food. Of course you need to find your own list.

I began to read up on nutrition and how the body uses food as fuel. Eliminated all the "sentiments" around eating by going on a nutritional supplement "fast" for six weeks. I chose a nutritionally balanced diet drink and had that 3 or 4 times a day, nothing but that for 6 weeks. It eliminated the fun and emotional factor from eating. I discovered what an enormous amount of time is spent on things like, "hold the lettuce, hold the pickle", "what's my next meal gonna be", "medium rare not rare", "over easy but not too easy", "iceberg not romaine lettuce", "olive oil and vinegar not Italian dressing", "I had that yesterday", etc.

It was one of the most powerful things I have ever done. I began to look at food as proper, efficient fuel. Kept socializing that oriented around food to a minimum. Took the emphasis off food and put it into other activities. Tried juicing. Loved it but too time consuming so switched to Juice Plus. Juice Plus has griped at me for mentioning their name so find an equivalent product. What's wrong with those people?

Eliminated more toxic people after giving it a huge try and seeing it for what it was ... me or them!

In spite of all of this, got fibro and chronic fatigue (just too much responsibility as single head of household with no outside financial or emotional support). Also got agoraphobic (somewhat, I'm not a whiner so I kept it to myself and under control) and had a freak accident (a bullring in Tijuana collapsed with me on the top bleacher) which loosened up memories from childhood. Spent two years getting that dealt with. Due to accident thought I would not lead a normal life again but got 2,3 massages a week and finally restored completely, stronger than ever. Now very familiar with every part of my body and the stress points. When they act up, I know to make a change. The first is my left knee. Then my neck. Then my stomach. If with a toxic person become completely incapacitated quickly -- head ache, nerves, tension, irritable, jerky, facial tics, generally feel whatever they are feeling in their body, aggressive, stomach cramps, depression, hatred, muscles aches, addictive, empty, etc. pure hell of being an empath, have to get away and clear the energy. Takes about 2 hours now. Used to take a LOT longer (a way of life). Stay away from these people, even as clients!!!

Made a career change that supported my introverted personality. I work at home and can control people's access to me. This also eliminates environmental stressors such as traffic, exhaust fumes, noise and congestion. Noise is probably my #1 stressor. These changes supported my infp personality because of my values.

Being myself, I have practically no negative stress in my life now. I live with an infp roommate who is peaceable and quiet. I am in right honest relations with every human being I know and know of. I guard my peace of mind by being kind, honest, aware and intelligent in my dealings with others. I'm an infp healer, after all. I love people. That is where my values are.I watch my stress level -- I have no choice! Sometimes I regret that I can't do "everything" but I figure there was a reason for all of this, that my introversion will turn out to be the best thing. I interact with a very large number of people every day but I am in control of the circumstances. That makes all the difference. I have found that people want to be with me so much that they will gladly cooperate with my terms and so I guess that's the way it can work for an introvert. We are such good listeners and so caring! I had one backsliding where I even started smoking again because of a series of poor decisions. I discovered how easily it can reverse itself so I am more guarded now than ever though hopefully it doesn't show :-) I think I have a relaxed, open and pleasant personality.

Presently my routine includes two hours of exercise a day, eating the way I described plus Dr. Royal Lee's supplements that I get from nutritiionist Mary Frost. I am now fond of the rowing machine and long walks.

I use Arbonne's all-natural skin products. I don't need much sleep. I have found that varying my activities gives me a whole new burst of energy. I avoid negative people and spend at least half my time by myself.

I hope this is helpful. I realize how much of a priority I made my health but it has always been of interest to me, even as a child. That's a whole 'nother story. Thanks for asking and good luck with yours!Oh I guess I should end by saying, I always trust myself, my responses to things, the information I get from my body -- even if everyone else thinks someone is "nice" and I find them toxic, I'm the law in my own land. I know myself, which is the greatest gift of all for the introvert. I never doubt myself anymore. That's very healing.


December 2004, revised April 2007 to eliminate references to Juice Plus.
Update September 2007: I now live with two infj's. Works fine!

Update August 2008: life is great. I feel better than EVER!
© nancy r. fenn

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