Is your nervous system short circuiting?

Ever feel like your nervous system is short circuiting? My brain often does. This is part one of two.

Check yes if this is you

  • Your nerves feel like they are hitting a wall over and over again.
  • Thoughts go on loop like they can’t find an exit point.
  • You can feel certain parts of your brain or nervous system locked up like a knot.
  • Clenching. So much clenching in your body and mind.
  • Overwhelming sensations: Jolts. Sharpness. Buzzing. Burning. Heat. Cold. Twitches. Pangs of pain.
  • Overwhelming emotions: Panic. Fear. Terror. Anger. Disgust. Rage.
  • Certain parts of you feel like an ice block or rock with lava like fire underneath, wanting to unleash.
  • Your senses dull but your adrenaline sky rockets.
  • Feel out of control and totally blocked at the same time.

Yes? I hear you. I’ve been here so many times, I’ve lost count. While there is no professional diagnosis or description of this, I call it “short circuiting.” Like an electrical wire gone haywire but one you can’t run away from because it is inside you.

Definition of short circuit

I’m curious about what the official definition of short circuit means, so I looked it up.

From The Spruce:

“A short circuit is an abnormal condition in an electrical circuit where the electrical current flows through an unintended, shorter pathway instead of following the circuit. An electrical circuit is a circular flow of energy from a home’s electrical service panel and back again. This flow is continuous and unbroken.”

Our nervous system works like an electrical service panel. When regulated, it flows between neurons in the body without lack or super-rush.

Wikipedia’s definition

“A short circuit is an abnormal connection between two nodes of an electric circuit intended to be at different voltages. This results in an electric current limited only by the Thévenin equivalent resistance of the rest of the network which can cause circuit damage, overheating, fire or explosion.”

Yes. Yes! I feel like I’m on the verge of overheating, fire, and explosion. I get this recurrent thought that if I verge into this short circuit, I will forever be lost there. Like a death sentence or lifetime of insanity. I will explode if I feel out this short circuit.

But…. By circling around it, it never heals. This energy is still there, running in the background, playing a huge part in my overall nervous system regulation. I am never fully at peace or feel happiness without fear because of this bundle of neurons running amok in my brain.

If you feel this enough times, you start to build up the belief that something is very wrong with you. How could you not? It feels so wrong.

There is nothing wrong with you

I know. Hard to believe. While there is definitely something off with the wiring, there is nothing wrong with you as a whole. This is an injury, not a personal defect. It needs to be mended, not vilified. Something happened in the past, perhaps repeatedly, that caused neurons to dysfunction. Survival energy got trapped and locked up instead of processed and released. Instead of the comfort and solutions to the issue you should have received, you had to compartmentalize, shut down, or just move on so you could survive the experience and get on with your life. You were harmed but not healed.

So let’s heal

How does one heal this? According to many trauma modalities, we have to feel it to heal it. I believe this. But how do I do so without getting trapped in there?

To see how I’m healing the short circuit, click this link:

I’d like to be clear about what healing is. It can be the removal of the problem, being the short circuit, through interventions like therapy. It can also be finding ways to ride the wave of the experience without it hijacking your body and mindset. Building new pathways, increasing resilience, holding more space and compassion for you and the flare ups, and grounding the intensity to decrease it are all ways of healing. The idea is to find what works best for you and have a tool box of resources so you can grab what you need at any individual time.

Part two discusses some of my effective strategies.

In this blog, let’s discuss a big part of our reaction to experiencing short circuits: shame.

Again, there is nothing wrong with you. Write it down. Repeat it often. My favourite way of imprinting this thought is to find where inside of me I actually believe this. It’s there. If if wasn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this and if you didn’t agree of some level, you wouldn’t be reading it. Let’s find it.

Find a comfortable position in a place you feel relatively safe. Bring in resources that help you feel comfortable if needed like tea, a weighted blanket, a sun spot, etc. When settled, say out loud, “there is nothing wrong with me.” “I have something off going on but I’m not defected.” Find your own words if there is something better said for you. Write it down or brainstorm about it. When you have your phrase that resonates with you, say it out loud. Then shift your attention to your body.

You may notice an instant retraction or “nuh uh” reaction. That’s ok. Keep looking. See if you can find a spot, no matter how tiny or dull, that agrees with your statement.

Sit with that spot. Embrace all the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that come with it. Let the energy hug you. Follow its path. It may want to move. If your body wants to move with it, let it. Enjoy it as much as you can. Make a note of it. This is a starting point for you to accept yourself and remove shame. It also can help heal the short circuit but I’ll discuss more of that in part two.

Come back to this often. Remember that your short circuit is a response to an injury or something you missed on that you needed. This exercise is one way of returning to yourself. Good luck!

Part Two Link

Curious about therapies?

I have compiled a list of therapies that have been helping me heal. I’ve tried just about every one listed. Some work better than others for me. Check out the link below to see a summary of them:

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