Acute Self-reflection Helps Me Better Understand Others

Frankie Perazzola avatar

by Frankie Perazzola |

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growth, accept, personal trainer, channeling energy, COVID-19, distractions

For those of you who continue reading my columns, thank you for sticking with me. To those of you who are new, welcome to “Fighting FA.” I’m glad to have you here and appreciate the time you take to read my writing. I know that each of you is extremely busy, so I’m honored you would spend your time here.

I have been a columnist on this website for almost two years. Writing has always been a passion of mine, but I never thought I’d be publishing a weekly column — especially one that talks about my journey through life and documents my growth. I enjoy looking at previous columns because it shows me who I was at a specific time. Although I am my toughest critic and I constantly wonder if I share too much of my life, I love looking at how much I’ve changed.

I came across a quote on Instagram that I really relate to: “ You are under no obligation to be the same person you were a year, month or even 15 minutes ago. You have the right to grow. No apologies.” I’ve never related to something on the internet so strongly before. I am always evolving and changing. Whether it’s gaining new perspectives on past situations or learning how to react differently to repetitive ones, I’m enjoying the process.

Epiphanies and self-realization have been the inspiration behind most of my columns. Looking at the choices I’ve made and dealing with the consequences — good or bad — are a big part of that. However, I became intrigued with how I am able to have those thought processes in the first place. I have mentioned this phenomenon before, but I wanted to do a deeper dive into it. 

I frequently have out-of-body experiences. After every exchange with a person or group, each conversation or previous memory replays in my head. Repeatedly. It’s like I have a VCR inside my brain and every tape I put in is some situation I was previously in. As I float near the ceiling, I watch myself as the memory plays. I go through every possible scenario, looking at how it made the other person feel and how I could have acted differently.

I believe this is where my sense of compassion comes from. I continuously put myself in other people’s shoes, which allows me to see what shapes their mindset. I wish I had the ability to do this in real time. It would save me a lot of remorse and embarrassment. But I am thankful for the ability to sort through everyday situations and learn from them. It’s also made me appreciate writing and to see how therapeutic it is.

On the negative side, it leads to a tremendous amount of overthinking, which isn’t great. I often assume how others are feeling, or I talk myself into being the bad person of a situation. That’s something I’ll have to learn to control and to deal with.

No matter what I end up replaying or realizing, I trip out at the fact that I am capable of such self-reflection. I didn’t have these out-of-body experiences until I started writing. Now that I have a better handle on assessing certain encounters or emotions, it’s allowed my brain to give me closure on things I wrongly believed had been closed.

So, thank you to all for sticking around. I hope you have a clearer idea of how my brain filters through situations and how it inspires my writing. See you next week!


Friedreich’s Ataxia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


Elijah Hernandez avatar

Elijah Hernandez

Hi, Frankie! I have similar problems of overthinking. I do have repeating loops in my head when I am angry. As the situation keeps rolling, I imagine what I could or should say, do, or respond differently, whether if it is a good or a bad action. That is also something I need to control and deal with. The loops are not always a bad thing though.
After I listen to a song, part of that song or a random one keeps playing in my mind. It can be annoying, but for me, it keeps my mind going and in return, it keeps me happy.
When I type or text, the reoccurring thoughts and emotions help me think of how to communicate them and how to edit what I have said or have to say.
I hope this helps in someway. Thank you for writing this!

Frankie Perazzola avatar

Frankie Perazzola

WOW! Elijiah, thank you so much for all the tips! You are much appreciated!


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