Game Changer: Amygdala versus Limbic

The quickest way to observe me melt down is a situation in which I think I have control, but I don’t. I pulled the chain off track for the roller shades. It’s a simple fix, pop the roller off the holder, pry open the clutch assembly, put the chain back and remount. The tricky part is the removal of the clutch assembly. Except, I can’t remove the shade itself. My ladder is 8 inches too short, a fact I know, because in my office, when I stand on my desk, I can easily reach the assembly and see the latch, The mount is inside, a fact I know because in my office, the mount is on the outside. I tried several times to randomly shove a screwdriver into the mount and pull on the shade. OK – for 30 minutes. Two hours later arranging lights and a longer, bigger screwdriver, I tried again. I realized, given my level of frustration and exhaustion, there was greater chance I’d destroy the bracket or slip and rip a hole in the blind with the screwdriver than doing a successful repair. I am going to need help. Grrrrr  I ignored the long game. The shade is the black out shade in the bedroom. The chain misalignment occurred with the black out shade completely down; so it still functions as designed. Most of all, it is fixable. Not that you would have known that by my histrionics. I got caught up in the short game versus the long game.

The part of the brain that registered I can’t fix the blind, is the amygdala triggering the whole fight or flight thing. The response was visceral. Like watching a scary movie and then screaming like a banshee and jumping into a corner with a blanket when there is a sudden noise. It’s not logical, you know what caused it, but the fight or flight, the survival instinct is real. Happiness is in the limbic system. Different part of the brain. So, no matter how much the logical part of the brain, the frontal lobe, tells me to calm down, fight or flight is activated until I come up with a way to ease the situation; like turning on a light in a dark room. Or in the case of the blinds, locate the number of the company that installed them, print out the information and attach it to Monday’s to do list. Basically, different part of the brain are different parts of the body. Wearing sunglasses do nothing for the pain in your foot because there is a rock in your shoe. Only removing the rock or the shoe will help.

Short game, can I get to the store before it closes, it is not as likely to trigger the fight or flight or the same frustration as a long game because, you weren’t counting on it much anyway. Your lottery ticket doesn’t win, you keep your day job and maybe buy another ticket. The trick is to recognize the brain trick. Don’t let an unexpected occurrence, an upset) in the long game, take you out of the game. I had to stop and not destroy the blind. I had to resist the urge to just quit the program. This week consider when you are ready to quit or just give up or something. Is it rational, this is not your thing, or, is it a triggered fight or flight when you really want to stay in the long game?





I have replaced kitchen faucets, garbage disposals, car horns, regrouted tile, stained concrete, installed ceiling lights, repaired non working gas burners all to be defeated by a roller shade assembly. Grrrrrrr

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