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My TMS Success Story (anxiety, tinnitus, skin crawling, back pain)

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by JayB, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. JayB

    JayB Peer Supporter

    I am a 47-year old man and have lived in Los Angeles with my wife for twenty years. I am a happy person, friendly, and think I have a pretty good sense of humor. I was raised an only child in a small town on the East Coast. I had kind parents, a good education, and never really battled any major struggles -- health or otherwise. Life has always been pretty good.

    My TMS journey officially began in the summer of of 2014. I was working at a particularly stressful five-month job and I had a big presentation one Monday morning. During the weekend before that presentation, my ears began to ring but I didn’t really think much of it. On Monday morning, just before the presentation, I turned to my friend and said, “If I faint, I’m not joking. I’m really fainting.” I had never said words like this before in my life. It was the closest thing to what I imagined an anxiety attack must feel like. However, I got through the presentation and everything turned out fine...except the ringing in my ears persisted.

    When the job ended, I was unemployed -- and my body began to freak out. My ears would scream 24 hours a day and my skin would crawl with a “pins and needles” feeling all over my body. I was overwhelmed by these symptoms and consulted with my general physician. He gave me a pamphlet about tinnitus (ear ringing) with exercises about tipping my head upside down. Needless to say, it didn’t help.

    The next six months were pure hell.

    Every. Single. Night. I spent hours researching my symptoms on the Internet. Was it Lyme disease? Something to do with my thyroid gland? Cancer? Diabetes? I began to obsess about my symptoms every single second of the day. I was having nightly, hysterical breakdowns to my wife. When I’d go to a dinner with friends, I would leave the restaurant and burst into tears in the car. Eventually, I stopped having social plans altogether. I would just stay home with my wife. And even then, I would feel that TV shows were too upsetting. I would retreat to the bedroom and just read more and more about what this could possibly be that was happening to me. My body felt like it was being squeezed like a sponge. I was terrified, and eventually ended up sleeping in the guest room for months, waking up every single hour of the night.

    During those six months, I saw more doctors than I had in my entire lifetime combined.

    I saw a chiropractor who couldn’t really help, but referred me to a therapist.

    I saw that therapist for nine months, but she never really said what was wrong with me. She just said I was “going through a change.”

    She referred me to an acupuncturist who specialized in ear disorders. I saw him for months, multiple times per week. He told me that i had “Adrenal Fatigue” and that I should stop going to the gym and just rest. He prescribed various herbs and tinctures. I spent so much money, but never had relief.

    I went to an allergist. I had hearing tests. I went to an Ears, Nose and Throat Doctor. I went to another chiropractor. I went to another acupuncturist, who put me on a 30-day cleanse and prescribed numerous herbs -- and still no results. I went to a highly respected alternative medicine who tested me for everything under the sun, but he couldn’t find anything wrong with me -- but I still signed up for his twice-a-week Vitamin C drips. (I think it helped a little with my symptoms, but the placebo effect didn’t last long.)

    By February 2015, my health concerns were consuming my life. I spent every second of the day obsessing about my symptoms or trying to come up with a solution. I took time off from work. I spent my days alone, and would just wait for my wife to come home so I could have a good, hysterical cry with her. Finally, the outbursts became too much for both of us. After six months of trying to treat my symptoms using both holistic and traditional methods, I was advised to see a psychiatrist. I was given an anti-depressant and Xanax -- both of which helped somewhat with my symptoms. However, I was still left with this nagging ringing in my ears and a deep fear about what could be causing it.

    One night, after another terrible day, I called my brother-in-law who is a Navy Seal. I asked how they treated soldiers who had come home from war with PTSD -- because that’s how my symptoms felt. While my mind might have been at peace, my body always felt like it was bracing itself for a car accident, 24 hours a day. He told me a story about a non-military friend of his who had been so consumed with his various health symptoms that he eventually ended up in a wheelchair, but after my brother-in-law gave him a book to read, he eventually healed himself and was out of the chair. The book was “The Mind Body Prescription” by Dr. Sarno.

    I had run out of options, so of course I bought the book immediately and read it cover to cover in one night. The book resonated with me deeply. I related very much to the types of people profiled in the book -- perfectionists, people pleasers, easily agitated -- and that their pain manifested in strange ways. (I also had constant lower back pain for many years that no doctor was able ever to help.) I did more research and came across a speech on YouTube by Alan Gordon at the Pain Psychology Center in Beverly Hills. It really moved me -- so much, in fact, that I called his office immediately and spoke with him! I explained my symptoms and he put me in touch with a therapist in his office that he believed would really be the right person for me.

    He was right.

    In March 2015, I began seeing Daniel Lyman for weekly therapy sessions. Within the first five minutes he used the word “anxiety” to describe what was happening to me. After nine months of research and doctor's appointments, no one had ever used that word. Everyone was trying to eliminate the symptoms rather than the cause. It was an epiphany moment.

    Within ten minutes of meeting Daniel, I started to understand that my anxiety didn’t start in the summer of 2014 -- it had been building for years. (Looking back now, I can see it clearly. I had hysterical crying fits over parking tickets, extreme stress while on vacation, insane road rage, picking fights with my wife for the stupidest reasons). Right off the bat, Daniel gave me a metaphorical “toolbelt” of coping mechanisms -- yelling back at my inner bully, stopping the internal ruminating thoughts with a loud “No!”, being compassionate to myself, saying no to things I didn’t want to do. Probably the best advice I received from Daniel was to slow….things….down.

    I never thought of myself as an anxious person, but when I started to become more mindful, I noticed that my thoughts were all over the place -- from when I first woke up until it was time to go to sleep. I was stressed in the shower, fearful I’d be late. I was anxious in traffic about being late. I was anxious about all the simple chores I had to do when I got home. I lived in a constant state of obsessing about micro-anxieties. By slowing things down, I instantly felt so much better.

    Prior to meeting Daniel, my hope and faith had disappeared. At our first meeting together, I told him all that I had given up based on other doctor’s recommendations -- caffeine, sugar, social plans, working out, etc. etc. He looked at me and said, “You took away anything that was fun in your life.” I had never thought of it in this way before. Daniel told me he had numerous patients who had been in the same boat as me - and healed themselves by retraining their brains. For the first time, in a long time, I had faith that I would eventually get better.

    Within a month of seeing Daniel, I slowly began to acclimate back into my life. I returned to work. I slowly added social plans with my wife. With Daniel’s encouragement, I went back to the gym (a year after that acupuncturist told me I should stop because it was too exhausting on my system.) I was finally living my life again.

    It’s been ten months since I started seeing Daniel and I feel like I am 80% back to myself. I am still on the anti-depressant and Xanax, but hope to wean off them this year. My ears still ring, but for the most part, I am learning to accept it and have faith it will dissipate. I still get extremely overwhelmed when I get bad news or my wife has to travel for an extended time for work -- but the freakouts may last five minutes now instead of an hour. My back pain is completely gone. I am living life at a slower pace now -- enjoying my surroundings, focusing on my task at hand, trying not to obsess about the future. I have definitely become a more compassionate person. I can see when people’s stress is manifesting itself as physical pain. I recognize the people in my past who suffered from anxiety. I have more patience. I think before I speak. I try to be less reactionary. So, in an odd way, I am thankful that this TMS both literally and figuratively stopped me in my tracks and made me look at my life.

    While my days can still be a struggle, I do find myself getting stronger. I look back at my life a year ago (holed up in the house alone, not talking to anyone, and terrified to go to the supermarket) to now and I am so proud of my progress. With Daniel’s help and my own perseverance, I know I will get to the other side of this.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
    TrustIt, Gusto, WorryWart and 15 others like this.
  2. Emma33

    Emma33 Newcomer

    That is a wonderful story to read.... Thank you.
    It's given me hope for my own future, I'm 39 with three kids and my life has been on hold for far too long now. May your healing and perserverance long continue .
  3. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Very power story thx you so much for sharing…you give us all strength
    Emma33 likes this.
  4. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am so happy for you - to be able to heal ourselves makes us stronger and more compassionate. So many people (most!) suffer and do not realise it. Those of us who have been able to understand and overcome our TMS are so lucky - so many won't -and battle away trying to solve symptoms instead of healing. I wish you well (literally!)
    Emma33 likes this.
  5. breakfree

    breakfree Peer Supporter

    hi JayB

    Thank you so much for sharing your story - its VERY powerful !

    Your detailed description (which is brilliant) of yourself and how you felt, describes me to a tee !!

    I am so happy that you have made so much progress, keep going until your 100% symptom free

    you said ''Daniel gave me a metaphorical “toolbelt” of coping mechanisms '' please could describe what the tools are , a bit more for me ?

    Many Thanks & Best Wishes x x
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi JayB,

    Thank you for sharing your story, and current situation. I think everyone here can relate to the low grade anxiety that we take for granted in the background of our experience, and never confront or question. We just go along with it, fueling it unconsciously, and accepting this as our inner environment. Your writing is easy to read, and so clear about your discoveries. How wonderful to have these discoveries! How wonderful that you don't have to live your inner life in such a painful way. That you have tools to apply, which work.

    One piece that sticks out to me is that you got expert help. I think many people come here to the forum, struggle for months or years, and never really do what you did for yourself: getting a high level of help. I am not sure why this pattern happens, although any real confrontation with what is not conscious, but is running us, is challenging and generally resisted. I am very happy for you!!!

    Andy B
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  7. JayB

    JayB Peer Supporter

    Hi all - Many thanks for your responses and support. This has, without a doubt, been the biggest struggle of my life. I have experienced a level of emotional pain that I previously didn't know existed.

    breakfree, to answer your question about coping mechanisms...I have found that slowing things down and being more mindful has been the most helpful. When I'm washing the dishes...I focus on washing the dishes (instead of everything else I have to do that day). When I'm in the shower, I try not to obsess about whether or not I'll be late for work. As a result of being more mindful, I have become a lot less reactive in my life. I have always been a very dramatic person -- overreacting about parking tickets or a scratch on my car or my wife buying too much at the supermarket. Now, I really try not to let that much bother me. I don't hold onto things. I don't overreact -- whether it's good or bad news. I try to live somewhere in the middle.

    I have also tried to incorporate meditation into my life. I used to think meditating meant sitting alone in silence for a long time, trying desperately to keep a clear mind. Needless to say, that only gave me more anxiety and more time alone with my tinnitus. By going to YouTube, I discovered Guided Meditations -- with a person taking you through various breathing and relaxation techniques. Simply do a search and find a person you connect with. They can last anywhere from five minutes to an hour. Sometimes, I even put on eight hour videos and go to sleep with them. It's a great time to dedicate to relaxation, and you feel so much better afterwards. UCLA has some great intro meditations that are short and easy...


    Lastly, I started to really feel better when I stopped ruminating about my symptoms. I like to use this analogy...

    About a year and a half ago, I had this unmarked folder in my mind. It was filled with all these thoughts, "Am I dying? Do I have a disease? Will this ringing ever stop? What's another doctor I can go to? Maybe I should research on the web." I would just play out these thoughts all day long, which I learned later, only exacerbated my symptoms. After I met Daniel, my therapist, I learned that the folder had a name -- "Anxiety". But this just gave me something more specific to ruminate about, "How do I stop anxiety? Why do I feel anxious? I'm not even anxious. Are my ears ringing less than they were this morning? Why are my arms tingling?" Over and over and over again It was only recently that I learned to stop this ruminating in its tracks. So if the folder marked "Anxiety" appears in my mind, I don't allow myself to "open" it. I shut it down immediately by mentally saying "Stop!" I believe this whole process is about retraining our brains, and I refuse to let mine run around like a bad child and take control of me any longer.
  8. speedysel

    speedysel Peer Supporter

    Hi JayB,
    By giving such a comprehensive description I think you´ve helped a lot of people. Your story is not only courageous but also emphasises once again that some people really need time,strength and infinite patience to get through this.... But they will get through and be ok. Retraining our brains is harder than any physical goal we could set ourselves, but it can be achieved just like any physical goal....bit by bit, training, getting stronger and stronger. Well done, I think you´re amazing!
    hecate105 and breakfree like this.
  9. breakfree

    breakfree Peer Supporter

    Hi JayB

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed answer, its very helpful

    Best Wishes x x
  10. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    Hi JayB, I wonder if you have some advice for me. My anxiety was pretty severe in the past, and I was able to tackle it with the help of Claire Weekes' work and my understanding of TMS from Dr. Sarno's work. But just recently my spouse and I are facing some very big changes that will come about next spring in our lives (moving countries, changing jobs, changing homes...) and I'm just recently finding myself very agitated. I work at focusing on how I feel and checking in with myself, which is what Alan G. recommends. But sometimes all I feel is numb, and it's hard to connect and vent what I'm feeling. Or sometimes I just feel agitated, anxious, and my thoughts race because I worry it'll get worse. I noticed you said you tried to stay in the present moment, without worrying about the future, and I'm finding that particularly hard to do since we are facing such monumental changes that require planning. It's all this planning that has me freaked out, imagining different scenarios, asking myself how the move will go, or whether the new job will be better or worse, and so on. The evenings seem worse (not sure why that is ... tiredness makes it worse maybe?) and it's really hard to just be in my own skin, regardless of what I'm doing, even if it's a fun activity that I would normally have enjoyed. I welcome your thoughts.
  11. JayB

    JayB Peer Supporter

    Hello there. I’m so sorry you’ve been under so much stress but so excited about your new life changes! As you and I know, through all of the various teachings, it’s not about getting rid of anxiety, but rather, observing it and watching it move through us — like clouds passing in the sky.

    It sounds like there’s a tremendous amount of anxiety around this move. That makes sense — you are about to have this whole new life and it feels like there are a million things to do before you get from point A to point B. I tend to do the same thing. I get overwhelmed with the details rather than focusing on the excitement of the unknown. May I suggest....

    — Get all of your concerns out of your brain and onto paper — including all of the things that need to be done AND all of your emotional concerns. I find it so helpful to unpack the big ball of anxiety and stress in my head and just look at it as line items. I usually find the list isn’t as long as I thought. For the to-do items, give yourself dates to tackle them and tell yourself, “This is all going to get done. I don’t need to worry about it. It will get done.” You’ve got to stop the worry in its tracks. As far as the emotional concerns, break them down. Try to reframe them as excitement rather than anxiousness. You’re concerned about liking your new job? Focus on everything you’ve learned up until this point — job expertise, office politics — you can walk into this job and totally reinvent yourself. Do you want to start dressing different or try a new hairstyle? Do you want to be treated differently by coworkers? This is a fantastic time to establish yourself in a whole new way. And if your greatest fear is “What if I hate my job?” —you don’t have to keep that job. We are not prisoners. You can change jobs again.

    — Meditate. I believe it calms you down in the short-term and helps you to stay in the present long-term. Find a few minutes to do it every single day. I like the Headspace app but you can find plenty of guided meditations on YouTube. It may feel like a chore in the beginning, but you will grow to cherish it.

    — Don’t run from the pain. I spent soooo many years doing everything I could to run from anxiety — television, eating, social media, mindless web surfing — all to escape the pain of being alone with my thoughts. I only recently connected that I could make active choices in my self-care. Being out in the world with friends is always better than being alone in my house. An extra fifteen minutes of meditataion is always better than fifteen minutes on Facebook. Tackling something on my to-do list always makes me feel better than ruminating about all the nebulous things I have to do. You are in control of your anxiety. It does not control you. It’s like a child that needs discipline. You’ve got to find your own set of tools that keep the child under control.

    I hope this helps. I am contemplating my own international move, so I know exactly how you feel. Big change is really scary. I think that’s why most people don’t make big changes on their own. They wait until they are forced to make a change, through circumstance, and are forced to act quickly. You’re lucky. You know this change is coming and can prepare for it. That is courageous, indeed.

    Keep us posted on your progress. Wishing you peace.
  12. hoolie

    hoolie Peer Supporter

    @honey badger -

    I went through an international move nearly 6 years ago, one month after the birth of my second daughter. I understand everything you are talking about, looking at so many life changes at once. In hindsight, for me, it was one of the many things that precipitated the onset of TMS for me,. I like to think I'm so much wiser now (I am!) but I'm still learning. Hopefully this will help you.

    When I look at how I approached the upcoming move, I can see how I avoided all contact with the huge, scary emotions that were lurking. I obsessively planned, made lists, looked at this that and the other thing, organized,etc. On the plus side, I was very well organized! But it was an escape. If I was planning, I wasn't feeling, and I was afraid to feel. I became almost robotic when I discussed the fact that I was going to give birth, pack up our apartment, leave our friends, my job, my coworkers, and fly overseas with a toddler and a newborn while my husband started a new job and I stayed at home with my two kids. Just like I was discussing how I would go to the grocery store later. No big deal. I was totally numb. In the rare instances that I melted down, my husband would do his best to comfort me, saying things like, "it's going to be exciting, think of the adventure..etc etc". He did his absolute best, but deep down that made me feel guilty for feeling sad and upset, like these feelings were wrong. (Side note, now if I cry, he just lets me cry--and tells me it's ok to cry. Our partners' neuro-circuitry can also be re-wired :) )

    What I am learning, oh so slowly, and what I wish I had known then, is to breathe deeply and say often, "It's going to be ok". Because it seems that in my case, and maybe yours, these worry thoughts and "what ifs" and obsessive ruminating are just bullying fear thoughts trying to torment you. They may seem plausible, but they have no positive purpose. They keep you shackled to this state of fear, and you don't know how to move on from there so you freeze. Caring for yourself, telling yourself that you are ok, breathing deeply....it will help bring you from this state. Whatever feelings do surface, they are ok, they are normal, they are safe.

    Although your move does involve planning, just like all of life does to some extent, try as much as possible to keep your gaze focused on the step just immediately in front of you, glancing periodically to the future as needed. Spending all of your time in that future space increases tension. It's easier said than done- just last night I found myself worrying about parenting teens and curfews and boundaries--and my oldest is only 8 ;) I reminded myself that I will face that when I get there.

    Feel free to message me if you want to continue the conversation- I learned a lot from my experience and fortunately, you are already in the right place to be supported through it!
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  13. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    JayB, Thank you so much for your post. Wow. You said some things that really hit home, and some that I needed to hear because they were really soothing. I really connected with your idea of reinventing myself at a new job. What a great way to look at it! I hadn't thought of it that way, but in that light, it seems quite exciting. I also really connected with what you said about not being prisoners of our circumstances. If the job turns out to be awful, I can definitely change it. I think there is a lot of my anxiety in feeling like I can't change things, like I have to live with things as they are. It's like a helpless feeling or attitude. I find that this is at the root of my anxiety, not thinking I can help myself, or feeling like someone is not going to let me improve things for me, or that I just "can't" do it. The funny thing is, if you knew me you would not think that I was this type of person because I come across like a doer and I 'get things done', but inside I feel a lot more vulnerable than I suppose I let on. And so much of TMS is not accepting who we are, or repressing it, and putting forward a persona (as SteveO explains in his book The Great Pain Deception). I also liked your comparison of anxiety as a child taht needs discipline and boundaries. That makes sense to me and it's a good way of looking at it.

    I really appreciate your post JayB. It hits right to the heart of things and it's as if you knew exactly what I was going through. I have an additional question for you. I've struggled in the past with meditation and writing things down. Sometimes both have helped me tremendously, and once things calm down, I end up feeling like I don't need to do either anymore. They served their purpose. I hesitate to push myself to follow through with them when I don't feel I need them. Clearly, it's not the case right now. I'm meditating every day after work, since your post, when it really seems to help. I am able to connect with whatever feelings there are and just be with myself, which is a very soothing time for me after a long day. But once things calm down, which I am already feeling like they might, then it starts to feel like a chore. And I just hate forcing myself to do things because I was raised with a lot of rules and must-dos and I am trying to be more gentle with myself. So many of us TMSers are hard-core perfectionists, and I want to avoid driving myself to do things, but also want to give myself things that are healing like meditation. How do you avoid the trap of forcing yourself to meditate or journal, so that you're not hard on yourself... or does it never seem like a chore to you because it feels good? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

    I wish you luck on your possible international move. I've done it 6 times now and sometimes it feels like an adventure, and sometimes it's scary as hell (because of anxiety mostly). I really thank you again for your post. It is just wonderful. I have copied so that I can have it in my own docs and remind myself of the things you've said.
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  14. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    Hoolie, thank you for sharing your experience and your comforting ideas. It really helps to have people like you and JayB to turn to. I see myself in a lot of what you're saying, The numbness, the going through teh motions of moving because I've been through it before so I expect that I'll do it right again, even though I feel anxious and panicked as this big change approaches. I do believe one of our overseas moves (we've done 6) was really traumatizing to me, and although it didn't start my TMS symptoms like it did for you (those started many years before), it definitely started my anxiety symptoms (a TMS equivalent, as I understand it). It is one of the reasons why I am not all that gun-ho about moving again. The saving grace is that this time we're moving back home, and I can't wait. That's what's crazy. It's absolutely the thing I want most in the world, yet I'm anxious about it.

    I do exactly what you're saying, ruminate over thoughts of what if's, and scary scenarios of things that could go wrong, and ask, are we making the right decision in moving home, and what if it doesn't turn out the way I hope it will, and so on. One of the biggest scariest thoughts I contemplate is, what if we waited too long to move home and it's too late now to resume a normal life, back in our own culture? What if the anxiety follows me there? Crazy but these thoughts just grab hold of me and they scares the pants off me. It's exhausting. And the thing is, I don't notice it until I feel panicked, or strangely agitated (usually in the evenings when I'm tired), and I notice that we are watching a good tv show and I can't enjoy it because something has got me upset. And of course, that makes me scared that this could get out of control, the way anxiety hit me in the past when I was feeling sheer terror and felt like I was non-functioning. I wasn't non-functioning, and in fact I did some things that I think were really awesome to take care of myself, but at the time I could hardly recognize who I was because I was gripped with fear and felt like I could be standing at the edge of a cliff. It was quite awful and I never want to experience it again if I can help it. It has never gotten that bad again because I have some good tools now that I am confident in, but the fear of falling back into it is always there, and in those evening moments of anxiety I don't feel that strong.

    And that's when I try to take inventory of my feelings. But I am feeling so disrupted by then, that it's much harder to soothe myself, and I really wish I could catch it before it gets there. I want to be kinder to myself, more accepting. I just don't notice when I'm not being so. I think I'm doing the right things and then a stressful situation looms around the corner (albeit it is a big one), and then the panicky feelings slowly creep up and they overwhelm me.

    I appreciate your thoughts and your having gone through it as well. It really helps to hear from people who have had similar experiences and have ideas that have gotten them through it. I'd be very open to messaging you ... just not sure how that works. I'm fairly new to this site. Thank you!
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
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  15. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Wow, I felt like you were talking about my story. It's so similar. It's so crazy how we put ourselves in this state. I'm so glad you are feeling better and thank you for sharing your story. In a weird way, I'm glad I found out about TMS and learned about being more mindful. Life is so strange.
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  16. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    I totally agree Ines. I find that my journey with TMS is quite interesting. I've learned so much about it, and now I see it everywhere. Anytime a friend says their back is sore, or their neck hurts after "sleeping wrong", or their shoulder pain is now manifesting on their feet ... I always think, aha! It's TMS! You're suffering from TMS! Most people though aren't ready to hear it, sadly. But that's okay. It's one person's journey at a time. I'm sure glad I learned about it though! I did not need a push. I was dying to figure out how to fix my sciatic pain, and that led to addressing so many other things in my life (TMJ, rashes, etc, etc). Anxiety doesn't take over when I see it as TMS, and that's a big plus. So glad you shared you feel the same way. It sure helps us not feel nuts if others are going through it.
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  17. thecomputer

    thecomputer Well known member

    Thankyou jayb for the story. I can relate to a lot of it and it's great to hear you are doing so well after a relatively short amount of time.

    Amongst other symptoms I have tinnitus in one ear that varies in intensity but seems fairly constant. After a year of extreme worry and obsession about it I have also come to a place of more acceptance with it. Learning to let time just do what it needs to and stopping trying so hard to fix it. Also saying 'if this ringing is with me forever I better learn to be ok with it'.

    I am sure you will find your way to a full recovery, and be a stronger person for it. The biggest breakthroughs are always after the darkest nights.
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  18. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I too stopped meditating and journalling when i felt 'better', but I found that it is really needed to keep me well... There are always stressful situations - life is full of them! Even the good stuff comes with lots of worry and what ifs... I am changing my life to a much more pleasurable, slow and pleasant one - but boy is it stressful to do so! The process itself is chaotic! I got out my journal and wrote like crazy this morning and felt much better for it. I also make sure I make time to meditate - it gives me a kind of 'pause' . This is a great thread - lots to identify with!
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  19. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    Hi hecate 105, do you meditate and journal daily?
  20. JayB

    JayB Peer Supporter

    Hi @honeybadger

    To answer your question about maintaining a meditation practice, I had a teacher once quote Jon Kabat-Zinn, “You don’t have to like it. You just have to do it.”

    I believe it’s like any other self-care ritual. We brush our teeth and bathe every day. We comb our hair. We do things to take care of our physical bodies. We don’t stop brushing our teeth just because they were clean yesterday. It’s maintenance. And we need to do the same things for our minds.

    I am just as guilty of letting the practice go when things get better...but I always feel it’s that much harder to get back to good after a rough patch if I haven’t been consistently meditating. I encourage you to incorporate it into your morning or evening routine, just like all the other things we find time to do in our days.

    There is always time to take care of our mental health. We all have to make it a priority.

    honeybadger - I just listened to an audiobook called Present Over Perfect. It was utterly lifechanging and I believe it would be of great use to you. If you have a library card, you can listen to it free on the Hoopla app...

    Check out Present Over Perfect #hoopladigital https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/11706318
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