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Really struggling! someone help me

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Natalie Kovak, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Hi all,
    Been a week or so since I've posted. I have been having a really hard time this past week and today. The weather has been really bad, and that always affects me, its a big trigger. I had to call in today from work because my face and head is hurting too much, I wouldn't be able to focus. That of course is affecting me too because I feel a sense of failure. When I feel like I am making some progress then I fall down again and have a lot of pain, and I feel failure and doubt set in. I will do self-talk all day long and self-visualization and don't see a change. This only adds to the frustration and then anxiety builds because the pain is building/not getting any better. I just want to see results so badly, I want to notice that this is working for me. I don't understand how you can hold onto your faith when you've been fighting daily for so long, think you've found the answer, but still are not responding. I just want this nightmare of constant pain to be over. I can't help but worry about trying to start vet school this fall, I know you aren't suppose to think that way, but when I have high pain days I think about how I will manage through school this way. I can't slack. I think maybe I need to work through this with a therapist, but I don't want just any therapist, I believe I need a therapist that practices TMS work??? Does anyone have an opinion about this? Or any of the things I said? I would love to just have 1 pain free day!!!!!! Thank you so much for reading and being supportive. This group of people is amazing.
     
  2. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Natalie,
    First of all I feel for you, I truly do. I had to take two months off work last fall because of the pain, and it was truly one of the most miserable experiences of my life.

    However, the thing that jumps out at me from your post is that you're worrying about vet school in the fall. It seems to me that the best way to treat TMS is to let go of the calendar--let go of your future plans. Do what you can do today. Focus on what you CAN do. What is the worst thing that can happen? You'll have to delay vet school. This is no great tragedy. You need to focus more on being with your emotions in the present moment, not thinking/worrying about the future.

    Gail
     
  3. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Hi gail,
    Thank you for responding. The problem is that I already did delay vet school. I had to defer for a year because I was in so much pain. And I have really done nothing work-wise for the last 9 months in order to take care of myself. I just started this knew part-time position, but I'm upset because I have to "play things by ear" for when I can go in. I hear what you are saying, but its very hard to say well I can put off school again. It's been my dream forever, and they will not hold my seat again, which means application all over again (another stressful period that probably contributed to my TMS). I'm trying to journal today, but I'm getting very upset because I can't get ahold of this pain. My patience is really fighting me today. How can you try to use the techniques to get better when you are in so much pain, yet your mind is just not letting go? Obviously I'm having a tough day with this whole thing, and crying about the pain doesnt help right? That's just focusing on the pain then, and aren't you Not suppose to do that? Ugh, I don't know whats going to help me and whats not going to help me. Sorry for being a downer.
     
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello love.

    Let's try to sidestep your pain for a moment.
    What is happening in your life right now?

    Let the future be. Let's focus on where you are.
     
  5. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Hi,
    Well mostly what's going on right now is just trying to get better and live normally, do things that I used to do, etc. I had a bunch of other doctor appointments scheduled by my dad but I decided I don't want to follow through with those because of this current therapy I am working on. There is no point in seeing more people, I've seen so many already. What I can think of that my be causing emotions to come up is that I've disappointed him in doing this. He's kind of been the decision maker with all of this medical stuff since my pain started, because he is a physician, but I'm just tired of being dragged around. I know he wants me to keep trying other things though. Other than that, there is just pressure to get well so I can start school successfully, since that didn't work out last summer when this all started. I could go on and on about childhood issues, but I'm trying to work through those in Dr. Schubiner's book/journaling. Maybe I need some meditation. I have a hard time staying focused when doing it though. I am not a quitter, but there are definitely a lot of days where I feel like quitting. Thanks for listening Plum!!!!
     
  6. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Natalie
    I am so sorry you are struggling. I've been in a similar situation to what you are describing very recently. I completely agree with Gail and Plum. There are a few things that are jumping out at me in your post also. Primarily your thoughts here are in the past and the future.
    . Even though this thought appears to have been in the present, it was actually in the future. You made your decision based on previous experiences with the pain combined with work and were expecting to have difficulty focusing.
    All of this is your perfectionist hard at work. As long as your perfectionist is engaged at this level the pain is going to keep working that hard too.

    And all of this shows the anxiety that you're experiencing is very firmly rooted in the future. You are telling yourself right here that you will be in pain in the fall. You're expecting it to happen, so it will if you continue on this line of thought. I don't know whether or not a therapist is required for you to heal, but what I can tell you is that if you truly do believe that you need a therapist that practices TMS work, as you've stated here, that will be the only type of therapist that will be effective for you if you chose to go that route.

    I know how hard it is to have any positive thoughts when you're in pain, the anxiety is high, and the weather is lousy. Lower the bar on your expectations. Set the goal as ONE positive thought for today and 30 pain-free seconds. Reward yourself when you accomplish those goals (notice I said "when", not "if") and mark today down as a success rather than a failure. Tomorrow you can set the bar a tiny bit higher and go from there with the baby steps of progress.
     
  7. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Hi Leslie,
    Thank you for pointing those things out to me. I know I really need to work on those things. My perfectionist personality gets the best of me and I alays set the bar high. I have a question. How can I work on the last thing you said about One positive thought for the day and "30 pain free seconds" if I've never actually had a pain free second? When I read that I immediately thought "well that's never happened for me." It's really hard when u are in such a high pain state, as you know. Thank you again.
     
  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sweetness, the pressure you are putting yourself under is palpable. I'm all too familiar with this, and my best advice is to pull back, slow down and be gentle with yourself. Cease trying so hard, trying to heal, trying to find out why...
    Rest. Sleep. Bathe. Listen to music...nice, pleasing activities.
    Did you explore Claire Weekes? Her words really are soothing and help at times like this because you need to soothe yourself, soothe your nervous system. Sometimes a good cry does the trick. Let go a little.
    We're here for you.
    Leslie is so right.
     
  9. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Hi Natalie
    I promise you, it takes someone who's perfectionist gets the best of them to recognize when it's happening for someone else! That automatic programmed response you describe "well that's never happened for me"...there's the trouble maker. Let's start there.....ask yourself very honestly...in your entire lifetime, is that statement 100% true? You have NEVER had 30 pain-free seconds in your life? I'm really hoping that you're in a classic state of automatic negative thoughts and you're awful-izing here. Let me ask you something else, do you sleep (not necessarily well or all the way through the night comfortably, but do you at least have periods of sleep?)
     
  10. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Thank you plum, I haven't looked at Claire Weekes stuff yet, but I think I will look into it today now that you've brought it up again. I do need a good cry.

    Leslie, what I meant by never having 30 pain-free seconds was since this pain started for me, not my whole life. So, the reason why I said that is because I haven't seen a pain free moment in a really long time. Yes I do sleep. It's often difficult to fall asleep. I definitely am in a negative state right now like you said.
     
  11. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    plum, do you recommend getting the Claire Weekes C.D.'s ?? or something else
     
  12. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pain feels like a runaway horse. It is scary. Maybe it would help if you kindly spoke to yourself, to your pain, like a horse-whisperer~pain-whisperer. Calm your self down as you would a frightened foal. I believe there is great power in such practices.
    At the moment your pain is amplified by fear, hence my Claire Weekes suggestion. If you have access to itunes or such I'd download one of her recordings ( Self help for your nerves or Hope and help for your nerves, I fail to recall which is available, sorry); draw the curtains, lie down and listen. She helps immensely in the understanding of the roles fear and anxiety play. It's not about pain per se but is very relevant and has helped many, many tms sufferers, myself included.
    Keep talking angel.
     
  13. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Natailie
    I am sooooo happy to hear that. The trouble with that thought "that's never happened for me" is that even though intellectually you know it's not a true statement, your sub-conscious knows no such thing. It has no concept of time, lies, or sarcasm. It believes everything you tell it, so if you have the thought "that's never happened for me", your sub-conscious is taking that to mean that it's an impossible mission, it has not, therefore it cannot, and it will follow your direction. The first key to breaking the negative state is simply to recognize the un-true messages your negative thoughts are sending your sub-conscious and do what you can (admittedly it may be very little at this point depending on how far into the thought pattern you are) to change the message. When I'm where you are I start with "I'm safe" and "I'm ok"...simply reminding myself that at this very instant in the present moment although I may not feel as well as I'd like, I am alive. As long as that is true, the rest can be manipulated.

    Even though it's difficult to fall asleep ,you do sleep, so technically your body does experience some pain-free periods of time each day. There's your 30 seconds for today! And here's a positive thought for you -- we're all here for you! If it helps you to stop the negative thought pattern by throwing them out of yourself and into a forum post or a journal page, or into the air at the top of your lungs (I recommend this one, it's great for stress release!) do it!!!

    Plum gave you some great suggestions for calming the anxiety. I highly recommend Claire Weekes as well, but I suggest you wait until tomorrow to look into it. Give yourself the much needed day off to stay in the present moment with yourself. Claire's work has been around for decades, it will wait one more day for you to take a bit of pressure off yourself!
     
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    We posted at the same time. *smiles*
    I just checked my ipod and I have Hope and Help for your Nerves. I think it is available on cd and certainly as a book. Bear with me as I may have a helpful, free, link to something.
     
  15. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Wow, just cried reading your post Leslie. I never thought about my subconscious taking my thoughts like that so seriously. Thank you for saying this to me. And I am amazed by how many people on this forum have been so supportive. That is definitely a positive thing!! I have heard a lot of people on this forum mention what you just did about "being present" with yourself when you are in a lot of pain. I am trying to understand more what that means. Do you mean not trying to control it? And trying to talk to it the way Plum suggested? Or is there another way to be present with yourself without really feeling all of your pain so much more.
    Plum thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions as well. I look forward to trying Claire Weekes tomorrow as Leslie suggested.

    You are both amazing, I am glad I've been able to talk to people who understand so well today.
     
  16. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sent you a pm.
    My phone is about to run out of juice so shall sign off for a while. I echo Leslie's sound advice.
    Take good and gentle care.
     
  17. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Natalie
    I'm here for you! The reminder about the sub-conscious always listening and how it understands things is one I have to give to myself regularly (I too get caught in those awfulizing negative thought patterns) so I'm happy to share it with you.

    As for "being present" with your pain (works great for anxiety too, Claire Weekes calls it "floating") is exactly what you said, not trying to control it. Just acknowledging it's presence but not giving it the thought required to try to control it. Remember, ultimately it is here trying to help/protect you, so if you're fighting to control it, it reads that message as fighting against help/protection. That will ultimately cause it to fight back that much harder to keep you from doing yourself in. Just because it's here doesn't mean it will be forever or that it has to be at the forefront of your thoughts. See if you can just be present with yourself, take a look inside, listen to your body, where the pain is, what the actual sensations are, and see if you can hear any of the messages that it is trying to hard to tell you about what is actually going on inside! It's ok to be Natalie's best friend once in a while - if you're anything like me, and from your post it sounds as though you are, you probably need permission to actually do that for yourself - so there it is! Do something completely out of the ordinary for yourself for the rest of today - treat yourself, and speak to yourself ONLY the way you would treat and speak to your best friend or that fella in the photo who appears to adore you! You are just as worthy of the kindness that you no doubt extend to everyone around you!
     
    plum likes this.
  18. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    You have really been very helpful today. I am really going to work on letting go and just being more accepting of the pain. I feel I can do all of those things you stated, except when I've tried to hear any of the messages my pain is trying to send I find myself searching again for answers. So, again might be trying too hard, or I'm not doing this in the right way. I really do need to be kinder to myself and not expect so much. It's easy to hope things will change quickly. Yes the fella in the picture is wonderful and supportive through this whole process. Thanks for pointing that out. I promise to you and myself that I will try to be kinder and more positive. Tomorrow is a new day. Thank you again for all your wisdom. One day I hope to be providing the wisdom! Wishing you the best of days!
     
    Leslie likes this.
  19. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Natalie, many people start the program thinking they're going to be one of the "miracle book cures" that Dr. Sarno writes about, and they become frustrated when they're not better in a month, or two months, or six months. You really can't go into this thinking that if you do the daily journal writing your pain is going to just melt away. It probably won't.

    What if I told you that in two years, you would be not only pain-free but that you'd know how to handle pain as someone with TMS and would therefore never be this incapacitated again in your life? Would you be okay with that? I know I would. Two years sounds like a long time but in the course of a life it really isn't that much time.

    Not that I'm saying it will take you two years. But you MUST learn to have patience. This is not a quick cure. It's a re-learning of how to deal with your emotional life. That will take time!!!

    If you go on tmshelp.com and do a search for "slow recovery" stories, you may find stories that give you hope. There are many people who take a long time to heal, but they DO heal. That's the important thing.

    I hope this is helpful. It can be a slow journey, but it will be worth it. Take heart.
     
  20. Eddie

    Eddie Peer Supporter

    Hey Natalie

    I stumbled upon your post and can honestly feel for where you are right now with your symptoms.

    I am also young and suffering with chronic pain symptoms that have persisted.

    I hope to one day be fully cleared of all my pain but until then I have to wait it out and try my hardest to learn and overcome my emotional baggage. We're in the same boat so I hope you know that there are other younger TMS sufferers.

    Best Wishes
     

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