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  • Louise Coughlin

Like a mist had lifted

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

A client once said to me that doing EMDR was like a mist lifting. The mist was the belief that she was to blame for the traumas she had experienced. EMDR helped her recognise that, as a child, she had not been in control of the situation and therefore could not hold herself accountable. My client said that this was like living a new life through the lens that showed sunshine instead of grey. Although, like the weather, she didn't have sunny days all the time, she did recognise that this is the reality that most people experienced and that this was OK. Having the sunny days meant she had reserves for when the days were grey.

I thought about this client the other day. On Friday I received some information that troubled me. I was able to act on this immediately but I knew that this didn't mean it was resolved. My mind kept flicking to how I was going to deal with it more long term. I woke up a few times and it was the first thing I thought about. I considered the first few questions of my worry tree...does this need dealing with right now? Can I do anything about it right now? These questions calmed me enough to return to sleep...until I had to do it upon waking the next time. It is not unheard of for me to be awake early...a good run before works gets everything moving...but I didn't want to be awake at 5am on a Saturday but I decided to call it a day and get up. I was able to gather some more facts about my issue but it was still troubling me. I played some scrabble and Yahtzee on my phone, did a few household jobs, distracted myself. At 7am I decided it was time for a run. I was once told that a run can mimic the bilateral stimulation that EMDR is creating. Oh how right that is. At the start of my run I took some photos as I was captivated by the mist. As the run drew to a close I realised how much clearer everything was. Not only did I feel better (which or course could be the serotonin produced in running) but the problem had various solutions. The issue itself can not be fully resolved until Monday but I was able to contact who I needed to and get as far forward as I could and then go on and enjoy my weekend.

As I was close to the end of my run I noticed the weather had changed, the mist had gone and it was sunny. I thought of my client and thought it was fitting to take some more pictures.

I could have stayed at home and ruminated on my problem. I didn't want to go for a run. I'm pleased I did, it meant I could focus on my weekend rather than being absorbed in something that was solvable.

I hope you have a moment where your mist is lifted.

UPDATE: Note to self - remember what you discuss with clients - usually the reality is not as bad as the anticipation. This issue was sorted because people are reasonable and want to help. Thank you to those people who got this sorted.

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