Discussion thread 7

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Forum Member:
I ask myself why it is always the same… Why there’s always a low after a high… and why it hurts always so much, also after all these years, dealing with this f**king problem… after 2 months of beautiful playing and great hopes, it’s low again…and it’s driving me crazy…sorry to show my disease, but sometimes I feel like a shrimp… 3 steps forward and 4 Back.. :'(

JG:
When we ask ourselves questions like “why is it always the same”, “why is it so bad”, “why did this happen to me” etc., your brain will always do whatever it can to try to find an answer. If you think about it hard enough, you will eventually come up with an answer: “It’s so bad because…a, b, c” etc. However, knowing the answer doesn’t help – it merely compounds the problem. I call this sort a question a disempowering or destructive question.

Instead of asking yourself these sorts of questions, ask yourself the following. “Ok, I *accept* that it’s a bad day. But what can I do, or stop doing, to make it better next time I pick up the instrument to play?” This empowering/constructive type of question immediately focuses your brain on finding a solution, rather than doing what all FD sufferers are guilty of – digging down into the problem

Remember, acceptance first, then ask yourself a constructive/empowering question.

Forum Member:
Jon, you’re right. But it’s so difficult sometimes.

JG:
Yes, it is difficult at first, but perhaps a better word to use is ”challenging”. You are challenging old habits and thought processes, and replacing them with new ones. This is something that must be conditioned over time (which is why drug–based quick fixes never work by the way! )

It *seems* difficult, and it is, but only because we make it difficult for ourselves, without knowing it.

I use this as a metaphor: Imagine you are standing in front of a locked door. You want to go through in to the next room. You study the door, the handle, the lock, the hinges. You learn about the composition of the wood and metal. You try to use force to break down the door, but you only end up hurting yourself and getting frustrated. You get injured, so you try even harder, this time hitting the door with your shoulder. You get injured again. You take a run up and try breaking a hole in the wall. You fall down, injured, frustrated, angry and sad all at the same time.

It seems that no matter what you try, you just can’t get through. You ask yourself: “Why is it so hard?” “Why can’t I get through?” Your brain comes up with some answers. “The door is too strong, the wall is too thick, I am too weak, I don’t have the right technique.” etc.

But then, someone comes up beside you and gives you the key to the lock. You turn the key in the lock and gently pull down on the handle. The door opens. You walk through.

So it is with recovery from musician’s focal dystonia, in my experience and the experience of others I’ve spoken with.

As you know, I’ve been lucky enough to find the key to my ‘door’. Several others here are also there. I maintain that anyone can overcome MFD – including you – as long as you find the right key to your ‘door’.

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