In the world of infidelity, D-day is the worst day ever imaginable. It is the day of Discovery (hence D-day) and the beginning of a new life, one you didn’t ask for and one you probably wouldn’t wish on your enemy. If you have experienced this day, you might recall the feeling of losing the blood in your body, the weakness of the muscles, the inability to think, the inability to control your tears and rage, and/or the deep agonizing pain in your heart and stomach.
And it doesn’t go away immediately. After days of numbness and still disbelief, you might be wondering ‘how will I ever feel happy again?’ Weeks and months go by and perhaps you have been in investigative mode trying to figure out the extent of what a fool you’ve been. Your spouse/partner may have disclosed even more transgressions since d-day. You may have uncovered the secret accounts used to fund his/her other life. Perhaps, you felt rage at the Other Woman/Man and even desired to confront them. You’ve cried and cried and screamed. You’ve laid in bed and lacked the motivation to get moving on most days. Perhaps you’ve started therapy. I imagine you have no appetite and have dropped several pounds.
You are not alone. This is normal and it sucks. It’s unfair and YOU DIDN’T DESERVE IT. But it did happen and you can’t change the past. At this point, you can only change your future by determining your path to healing. How do you ask? I know it seems impossible but it is important to realize that you have undergone trauma, a horrible and painful trauma, and similar to soldiers who return from war, or victims of abuse, your brain chemistry was changed overnight. You can wish it back to normal function and you can try to take deep breaths, control your anger, and keep busy, but that is ignoring the root of the problem. Your brain chemistry! This is critical to address and will make a HUGE difference in returning back to the person you KNOW you are.
Neurofeedback is biofeedback specifically for the brain and specific to your brain in real-time. Just like athletes use scientific knowledge to monitor their heart rate and oxygen consumption to optimize training, neurofeedback monitors brainwave activity to optimize normalized activity and balance between the hemispheres. Monitoring your body in real-time is key for successful outcomes, ask women who are giving birth, or a diabetic, an elderly man checking his blood pressure, or an anesthesiologist with a patient on the table.
In a typical neurofeedback clinic, you undergo a brain map called a QEEG, similar to an EEG but the data gathered from the scan compare your brain to the neurotypical brains of someone your gender and age. With this data we are able to determine global and focal sites of dysregulation within your own brain. Meaning if you are saying you are raging and finding it nearly impossible to regulate your emotions, most likely that will be represented as a dysregulation in your map as abnormal brainwaves in the temporal region. We take that information and train those specific waves in the specific region to a normal level. The training process continues until the brainwaves are regulated and the natural symmetry of the brain is restored. As you might have guessed this can take a VERY long time. I always say it takes one moment to jumble your brain but it takes months and months to heal.
But what if your unfaithful partner won’t leave you alone and you constantly get re-exposed to the trauma? Maybe he/she wants to get back together and won’t stop begging you. Maybe you try and work things out but they keep lying to you and it retriggers the earlier events. Or maybe you work together and your ex intentionally tries to make you miserable like he/she is. All of this is ok! You won’t go back to d-day. Neurofeedback makes long-term and lasting changes but we do recommend a maintenance schedule of once per week and if you get triggered, go twice that week. I can’t stress enough how important and volatile our brains can be and we need to do whatever possible to protect them, before and after the triggers.
Leaving neurofeedback for a minute, what are other things you can do to help with your mental health and healing? I give my clients a Supplemental Checklist that lists several things they can do besides medication (although if you choose medication, I support that too). This list includes deliberate cold exposure, supplement options, sauna bathing, sunlight exposure, alcohol tracking, bedtime restrictions, and more. If you are interested in this Checklist (free of course) please email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to share.
Lastly, I want to end this blog by saying, I am so sorry. I don’t even know you but I know the pain you feel is real and deep and unbearable. As I said, you didn’t deserve this no matter what the cheater says, you are more than this shell you have become since d-day. You are not alone (Have you seen the Chump Lady community on Facebook….you are definitely not alone). And lastly, don’t roll your eyes when someone says things will get better because they will. I know it will but you do have to do some work. If you don’t everything will stay the same. The worst is behind you so now you must take action, start with one thing, and don’t stop doing it just because it didn’t miraculously fully heal you. Stick with it and add something else in too. Keep going and you will crawl out of this mess. I know you can do it!