1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

Frustrated

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Layne, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    Getting at that which my symptoms are covering up is like clawing my way out of a deep stone well. It's just.so.hard. I feel like it shouldn't be this hard. Can I really have developed defense mechanisms so sophisticated that it's THIS hard to get under them? Or am I making this harder than it has to be?
     
  2. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I agree with you Layne, but try not to spend too much time on this thought, arguing with reality won't change it. See if you can try to just accept that the reality is that it is this hard. I believe you're up to the challenge!

    Of course! You are that smart and powerful AND you've been developing them over decades. They didn't just spring up yesterday so it's not likely that they're all going to dissolve over night. We start out developing the defense mechanisms thinking we're protecting ourselves from others. We practice and practice until they become automatic and then one day we realize that we've gotten soooo good at hiding our feelings that we actually have accomplished hiding them from ourselves.[/quote]

    Possibly. Looks like your perfectionist might have been getting the best of you when you wrote your post. As wonderful as that trait can be, I know for myself anytime that trait gets back in the driver's seat when it comes to TMS, the walls of the well go from being a climbing wall with notches just far enough apart to challenge but not far enough to be impossible, to solid polished marble. Tell your perfectionist to get lost and let you enjoy your vacation!
     
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is in our nature, as TMSers, to make everything harder than it has to be. Every time you try to do something perfectly, even recovering from TMS, you are repressing and increasing tension throughout your body. Recovering from TMS is not, necessarily, about uncovering the thing that you are repressing. That is part of the reason Sarno mentioned that some people recover just by accepting their pain is not structural. I tend to think this is because, when you do that you release so much tension and stress that you have built up inside of you. That is where healing can begin, when you overcome the stress, tension, and anxiety.

    Steve O had a great post a while back where he said, "If you are digging up some pain in your past that's fine, do it, but beware of psycho-archeology. Don't keep digging for gold in an empty tomb. I've seen therapists keep people crying for months digging up their past, picking at the same things repeatedly. There's a time to dig and a time to put the shovel down and bask in the sunlight, thankful there is work to do, and problems--that really aren't that bad."

    If digging into your past is frustrating you, then start to incorporate new ideas. There is a great post about this in the thread Importance of Addressing our Childhood. This post has more to do with the present instead of the past. Finding ways to bask in the sunlight may be exactly what you need.. For starters, check out http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/ah-is-this-not-happiness.1947/ .
     
  4. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    There's a time to dig and a time to put the shovel down and bask in the sunlight, thankful there is work to do, and problems--that really aren't that bad."

    I love this quote! I'll try to use the basking imagery in my visualizations.
     
  5. myg

    myg New Member

    There's some great advice in this thread:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/thread...bout-my-childhood-just-for-tms-recovery.1781/

    I think that a certain amount of deep journaling is a wonderful thing for just about anyone. We learn so much more about ourselves and where our reactions come from. But I do feel that a major part of TMS healing has to happen in the present. If you still feel like you are making progress with your journaling, then I say, go for it! If you are feeling like you are hitting a dead end, then maybe it is time for a change. You almost certainly haven't figured out everything about your psychology that you will eventually figure out, but if you are hitting a wall (and I don't know if you are) it might mean that you have figured out everything that you are going to be able to figure out today.

    That's okay. You don't have to figure it all out to get better.

    I personally believe that a great deal of what drives our "Tension" Myoneural Syndrome is simply our own tension. Rhere is a tremendous amount of value to be had in just watching where your energy goes on a day to day basis. One way to start with this is the following very simple classic exercise: get a blank piece of paper and draw a stick figure in the center. Now, around it, draw all of the sources of tension that are using your energy. Just write the words out like a spider diagram or word map. Use the insights that you have refined from journaling to understand the sources of that tension. Then, as Alan Gordon emphasizes, ask yourself what you can do to be kind to yourself. What can you do to lessen that tension? Can you forgive? Can you accept? (It may take time, of course.) Can you make changes? Can you simply accept that some of the things will unavoidably cause tension and that while that is unpleasant, you can mindfully ignore that tension or feel it in your body and let it slip away? Can you use an affirmation to reduce the tension? Can you invent techniques of your own to manage it?

    Reading your initial post, I wonder if a great deal of your own tension might be coming from the very process of trying to heal! This is not uncommon, and I think that overcoming it is the idea behind Alan Gordon's two amazing essays, Breaking the Pain Cycle and A Word on Outcome Independence. This idea really jumps out at me when you write, "Getting at that which my symptoms are covering up is like clawing my way out of a deep stone well. It's just.so.hard." I can just hear the tension you are feeling.

    Healing from TMS is a great deal like meditation. Once you achieve peace with not yet being where you are going, that is when you will actually get there. This may seem paradoxical, but it can be done. Just watch your tension levels, and get drawn back into the life that your symptoms always distracted you from. Settle in to it a little and just focus on living (and enjoying) the best life that you can.
     
  6. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Monte Hueftle (Spelling?) has much to say on his web site and in his materials about how we generate tension in the present, and how once you've delved into the past for repressed emotions with a qualified therapist, then it perhaps might be more beneficial to become aware of the tension that you're creating NOW, in your present moments. I think Monte is very onto something with his approach to healing.

    Forest, I love this truth - so right :)

    "If you are digging up some pain in your past that's fine, do it, but beware of psycho-archeology. Don't keep digging for gold in an empty tomb. I've seen therapists keep people crying for months digging up their past, picking at the same things repeatedly. There's a time to dig and a time to put the shovel down and bask in the sunlight, thankful there is work to do, and problems--that really aren't that bad."

    Layne - Leslie said something important in a previous response to PaperCrane about how the subconscious accepts as truth the messages that may not be based in truth; the image of "a deep stone well" and your being at its bottom is very dramatic and of course, this is what your subconscious mind believes as truth. So, maybe if you were to visualize a ladder in the darkness that will bring you to the surface light, then you will be offering your subconscious a new "fact" to accept that is far more empowering.

    I do understand how challenging it is to think that way when you're down in that hole. I really liked Leslie's response to PaperCrane in the previous post so I thought I would re-iterate how her insight might help you as well.
     
  7. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    "Frustrated" encapsulates what I'm feeling today. I was SO happy to be pain free for a week or so...and then this morning could barely get out of bed because of what felt like pulled muscles down the center of my upper back. I put on some Biofreeze and went to work, but by 1 pm I was nearly incapacitated by the pain! Problems: 1. I don't think I did anything physical that would have caused this and 2. I also can't think of any stressful event that would have triggered it!
    I had a stern talk with my subconscious (SC) on the way home, and tonight just decided to ignore the pain and go for a walk. My TMS has never expressed itself this way before, but it seems that my SC could be trying to sabotage things as I approach my 1 month in the program.
    Good God! Three steps forward and two back!
     
  8. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    Wow, what amazing responses - thank you! It's not just about digging; it's also about even being able to identify which emotions I'm feeling at a given time. I have a really, really hard time giving them names or even paying attention to them until they're screaming at me. And if I'm working - you can forget about it. I feel like my mechanisms are so advanced that it's reflex to just shut them off. Does that make sense?
     
  9. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    I will try that visualization - thank you! I hadn't thought of that :)
     
  10. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Layne said:
    "...it's also about even being able to identify which emotions I'm feeling at a given time. I have a really, really hard time giving them names or even paying attention to them until they're screaming at me."
    This is so true, Layne. What amazes me about TMS is that I've realized that the littlest current events in one's life can trigger an episode of pain. How we are thinking moments before the pain is something to re-wind if you can catch yourself when the pain begins. Sometimes the pain pops up from the most mundane issue or or response to an event. I've found that I should stop looking for dramatic past events and consider the things that I'd just been considering when the pain began; it is usually within seconds of the negative thought that this occurs. Interestingly enough, my mom was suddenly in pain once and I asked her what she'd been thinking or doing before the pain came out of nowhere. She said she was reading the paper. Then I probed and asked what she'd been reading that got her mad... bingo! She realized that she'd just read about the legislators making cutbacks on a few benefit programs that may impact her and one of my brothers. She was so MAD about the content of the article that she subconsciously had a back pain attack. This was quite eye opening to her because the pain subsided as soon as she realized the source. So, it doesn't have to be some very deep dark past event that triggers the pain; that's why I say that Monte Hueftle has something very significant in his findings - he's one smart guy :)

    For me, being the detective in finding the pain trigger requires that I think to myself, "Ok, what just happened or what was I just thinking about a few seconds ago? 90% of the time, I can pinpoint the source and I laugh to myself, and yes, the pain subsides.
     
  11. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    I can do that sometimes and I believe it's very useful. However, during times like these, when I can look back and see that the incident was two weeks ago, I have a hard time going back there and undoing whatever thought started the "episode." Same thing with this headache I've had since Friday. If I don't catch it right it the moment, it seems to evade me...


    I just reread all of these responses and for some reason the concept of decreasing tension in the now struck me. I realized that one thing in this moment that I am doing that increases my tension is that I want to be alone and just be lazy but then I also want to reach out and connect. And there is tension between wanting to eat to calm myself down and wanting to lose weight and THEN there is tension when I give into temptation and overeat. There is tension between the competing desires. So, now what? What do I do when I recognize this tension?

    I am surprisingly feeling much more centered now, thank you all so much. I did the visualization of a ladder in my well and I could feel the tension lessening. :)
     
  12. PeterO

    PeterO Peer Supporter

    Hi Layne.

    Dont be despondent about the dig.

    I am halfway to China!

    Think of it as a journey to a genuine self,
    an expansion of your emotional world.

    You will find what you need to find.

    Pete
     
  13. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    This makes so much sense to me I could have written it about myself! Sometimes I can't identify them even when they're screaming at me - I can be painfully (pun wasn't intended but it works so LOL) obtuse and completely blind when it comes to myself. I think it's just autopilot. I made a few poor choices last week, which didn't even occur to me to be related to emotions at the time (I thought it was hormones). Spent a few hours hiking and talking with a great friend over the weekend and I was telling her about my poor choices (in an attempt to prevent them from tying into my shame crap). As we talked she helped me to realize that if I had just asked myself "why" during the deep breaths that ultimately didn't prevent the bad choices I might have had better results. Nope, not me, my instinct and impulse was to avoid the "bad". One day I'm going to learn to override these impulses! In the meantime I'm just going to be incredibly grateful for my wonderful friend who said - next time you find you're about to make that poor choice - call me! I'll ask you why!!
     
    Layne likes this.
  14. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I've been trying Monte Hueftle's "sitting with your emotions" for the past few days, and I've found it very helpful. It de-activates me and makes me calmer and less tense. What he says to do is not even THINK about what emotion(s) you're feeling. Just sit with whatever you're feeling--feel your emotions with your body. He says not to think any thoughts, including attaching a name to your emotions. Breathe deeply in order to stay in the moment.

    I wonder if this might help people who have trouble attaching a name to their emotions?

    Info is at runningpain.com.
     
    Layne likes this.

Share This Page