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The Tyranny of TMS Thoughts...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Shanshu Vampyr, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

  2. yb44

    yb44 Well known member

    I am going to respond to this post rather than your last one because I don't want to talk to the fear-brain.

    It is true that benzos are scary things but you can stand detached and say this. Visualize fear in a bubble somewhere outside of you. The fear can't hurt you because it's in a bubble. You are just observing it like a smear on a slide under a microscope. It doesn't have to infect you.

    I had an idiot of a father who thought that I needed calming down so he gave me some his prescribed Valium whenever he felt it necessary. I was 12 at the time. Years later when I mentioned this to my cardiac specialist nurse of a sister who you would think would know better given her vocation, she defended my father's actions. What's scary is thinking about what could have happened. I got to a point where I was older and was stealing Valium from my father. Then I read a book called I am Dancing as Fast as I Can which frightened the life out of me. But that fear stopped me from sliding further down that slippery slope so it was useful at the time. But I let it go. I now view the incident from afar. Sometimes the inner child has doubts. The inner critic, possibly my sister, tries to get the better of me. Was dad justified in doing what he did? No, says the adult me. This was a bad thing to do and there is no excuse no matter what anyone else says.

    I know it's easier said than done. But fear is not infectious or addictive. It's just how we can perceive it if we choose. We can choose "Not". The same goes for anger. I am having an angry week. I am trying to visualize the anger in a bubble, to exorcise it from within me. Then it won't be able to harm me or make me say nasty things to other people. It's old anger, past its use by date. It's hard but we can do it.

    Yikes, I nearly used the evil S* word above.

    *should
     
  3. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Oh Em Gee.

    OMG.

    I'm glad I caught the fear brain this time.

    How did your sister not know growing up?
     
  4. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I'm so sorry to hear that yb...that's terrible!

    I try to just feel the feelings now without forcing them out...they kind of move through on their own faster if I'm not fighting them. But that might just be me.
     
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Be sure to give yourself credit for realizing it so quickly. That's a lotta progress right there!
    Taking the advice of both YB and Veronica, it IS possible to meditate, visualize, and breathe your way out of a fear attack. It's not easy, because you are fighting your brain every step of the way. For me, it's almost a physical struggle - I can watch my fear brain trying to overtake my rational brain, and it takes a certain amount of will power to not give in. This is where self-talk is very effective for me. It's not much more than a distraction, but it seems to work!

    Jan
     
  6. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Thanks all. I feel closer to you all in CyberSpace than I do, sometimes, to the living, breathing co-workers and friends in my life.

    Proud to report that I managed to stay away from the Xanax/Valium last night, without developing a "complex" about it even if I did. (There's a reason, I guess, they're prescribed "as needed"; sometimes they're useful). Even prouder that I have been managing to navigate through a horrendously busy night (admissions left and right) with an assertive and CALM mindset; I typically hate admissions. Still do. Prouder still that I managed to be mindful enough "in the moment" to stop myself from being roped into extra work by a fellow second-year, and assertive enough to propose a fair (emphasis on "fair") alternative that worked out better for not just ME, but the workings of the team in general.

    Score one for mindful, assertive Phil, looking out for the child within, not letting himself be bullied. :)

    Look Ma! No benzo's. :)
     
    JanAtheCPA, Forest and Livvygurl like this.
  7. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Off to do an ICU admission. Such joy.
     
  8. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    (((hugs))) I know, the forum has been really helpful for me too. I did tell most of my friends about TMS and they're supportive but it's nice to talk with people who are living it and working on it.
     
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  9. yb44

    yb44 Well known member

    Bravo to the new, assertive you. I had to do a task that I dreaded today at work. I could have postponed it but I knew the feeling of dread would come back again and again so I just got on with it. Things are rarely as bad as the images we conjur up in our mind.
     
    Forest likes this.
  10. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    yb44,

    All of the "heavy" work I'm doing, as meaningful as it is, makes me wonder whether, given a case by case, situation by situation perspective, whether it's nicer to medicate vs. not to medicate. I had a horrible episode about an hour ago that I DON'T think I could have gotten past without my Valium (and yes, it's prescribed, and I'm almost obsessive about NOT taking it). But isn't that being a little cruel to the inner child? Given life trying to dig this little child into quicksand, isn't it kinder to actually give the child a guide rope to pull himself out rather than have him flounder and flail and dig himself deeper into the quicksand? Sometimes you need a life vest.

    My experience on vacation at the beginning of last month, when I was waiting for a dinner at the hotel that didn't arrive for 1.5 hours and I was in incredible pain and mental anguish, has taught me that I can get past bad episodes without giving into fear/doubt/medication. While I certainly don't agree with your dad force-feeding you Valium, I feel like this situation an hour ago was different. I took a dose--haven't in perhaps 10 days--and feel psychologically and physically not just better, but "regrouped."

    Doesn't mean I didn't beat myself up for doing so (perfectionistic and self-critical much?), but I "caught" the thoughts and told them to go jump off a bridge.

    I worry not so much about the individual taking of each individual dose, but the "slippery slope." Even though my psychiatrist-brain tells me I'm nowhere near the precipice, really. Oh, but for those fear thoughts!!!!

    After all (despite how much I love superhero movies and motifs), I am but a man...not Superman. I'm really only human. :(

    After all, if you're exhausted by fighting each individual battle, I find it difficult to believe you can win the war.
     
  11. yb44

    yb44 Well known member

    Shanshu

    I can only imagine what it must be like for you working in your field, where you have people coding on you. And if you are dealing with the families and friends of patients, that's a whole nuther layer of anguish. You do what you have to do to get through it all. I can understand the turmoil, the shoulds the shouldn'ts. At best the inner critic puts you down, makes you feel bad, ashamed. At worst it terrorizes you.

    I have worked in various roles in the social care sector. Things have gotten pretty heavy periodically, like trying to convince someone they can get through their situation when all they want to do is throw themselves in front of a bus. Lately i have managed to avoid taking my migraine pills every time I feel one coming on. However there have been times where I have needed my wits about me, had to be lucid, on the ball, able to listen, comprehend and communicate effectively so I have popped that pill and told the critic at the sidelines to go and do one. Look after yourself and your inner child, Shanshu.

    As for your slippery slope, it is most likely your fear brain making you think you are at the precipice. Being a doctor, having had training in psychiatry...it can make you feel like 'the man who knew too much.' But you can use your knowledge to your advantage to be more mindful and conscious about your feelings and actions, including the reasons why you take the odd Valium.

    As for winning the war, I guess the key might be in our use of language. We can change our perspective and not view our lives as a battle, our workplaces like war zones. Otherwise we spend our days fighting and not living.

    P.S. My sister left the family home when I was about 6 and moved out of state. There's a big age gap between us. She used to visit occasionally and make a point of criticizing me, trying to play the role of third parent/disciplinarian, as if I really needed another one of those!
     
  12. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    :(

    This thread is called "The Tyranny of TMS Thoughts" for a reason. Even several hours into my Valium dose, although I feel physically better (it takes away a large percentage of the TMS muscle tension I get), the self-critical thoughts are still there. "Look at you," the inner bully says, "being weak and taking medicine to allay your fears. But do you really even know if you're gonna get better? Ha, ha. Now I have you thinking you won't. Will you or won't you? Will you or won't you? Will you die a benzo user because you can't help yourself? *sing song* You're gonna be a worthless addict, just like Dr. Hotshot Surgical Attending predicted. Will you NEVER be anything but a loser? Maybe those docs were right when they said you'd never amount to anything. Maybe Mom and Dad were wrong about you. You're not the Family's great hope, you're nothing but a lazy sod. I had high hopes for you when I pushed you into med school. Who would have known you'd turn out to be FAILURE after FAILURE? C'mon, who are you kidding, do you really think you have the balls to save lives? Or are you just play-acting like the immature, selfish brat you've always been. I sure thought you'd turn out different. *sighs, shakes head* "

    I am afraid to live. TMS wins every time I'm afraid to have fun, be jolly, do ANYTHING other than sit and mull its existence, worry that it will overcome me, make me panic as to how long this is taking. Yeah, it's fear brain, but it's so hard to fight because it's seemingly in every synapse and gray cell in my right hemisphere.

    I AM mindful of WHEN I take meds. Last night...I just couldn't cope. It happens. Sometimes quite frequently.

    *sigh*

    *puts on therapist hat*

    Do you think that part of the reason you went into the "social care sector" is because of the emotional fallout from your family life? Father pushing Valium, sister becoming an overbearing bully?

    You remind me of the psychiatric social workers I once worked with. Talk about burnout and being underappreciated.
     
  13. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    :(

    This thread is called "The Tyranny of TMS Thoughts" for a reason. Even several hours into my Valium dose, although I feel physically better (it takes away a large percentage of the TMS muscle tension I get), the self-critical thoughts are still there. "Look at you," the inner bully says, "being weak and taking medicine to allay your fears. But do you really even know if you're gonna get better? Ha, ha. Now I have you thinking you won't. Will you or won't you? Will you or won't you? Will you die a benzo user because you can't help yourself? *sing song* You're gonna be a worthless addict, just like Dr. Hotshot Surgical Attending predicted. Will you NEVER be anything but a loser? Maybe those docs were right when they said you'd never amount to anything. Maybe Mom and Dad were wrong about you. You're not the Family's great hope, you're nothing but a lazy sod. I had high hopes for you when I pushed you into med school. Who would have known you'd turn out to be FAILURE after FAILURE? C'mon, who are you kidding, do you really think you have the balls to save lives? Or are you just play-acting like the immature, selfish brat you've always been. I sure thought you'd turn out different. *sighs, shakes head* "

    I am afraid to live. TMS wins every time I'm afraid to have fun, be jolly, do ANYTHING other than sit and mull its existence, worry that it will overcome me, make me panic as to how long this is taking. Yeah, it's fear brain, but it's so hard to fight because it's seemingly in every synapse and gray cell in my right hemisphere.

    I AM mindful of WHEN I take meds. Last night...I just couldn't cope. It happens. Sometimes quite frequently.

    *sigh*

    *puts on therapist hat*

    Do you think that part of the reason you went into the "social care sector" is because of the emotional fallout from your family life? Father pushing Valium, sister becoming an overbearing bully?

    You remind me of the psychiatric social workers I once worked with. Talk about burnout and being under-appreciated.
     
  14. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    :(

    This thread is called "The Tyranny of TMS Thoughts" for a reason. Even several hours into my Valium dose, although I feel physically better (it takes away a large percentage of the TMS muscle tension I get), the self-critical thoughts are still there. "Look at you," the inner bully says, "being weak and taking medicine to allay your fears. But do you really even know if you're gonna get better? Ha, ha. Now I have you thinking you won't. Will you or won't you? Will you or won't you? Will you die a benzo user because you can't help yourself? *sing song* You're gonna be a worthless addict, just like Dr. Hotshot Surgical Attending predicted. Will you NEVER be anything but a loser? Maybe those docs were right when they said you'd never amount to anything. Maybe Mom and Dad were wrong about you. You're not the Family's great hope, you're nothing but a lazy sod. I had high hopes for you when I pushed you into med school. Who would have known you'd turn out to be FAILURE after FAILURE? C'mon, who are you kidding, do you really think you have the balls to save lives? Or are you just play-acting like the immature, selfish brat you've always been. I sure thought you'd turn out different. *sighs, shakes head* "

    I am afraid to live. TMS wins every time I'm afraid to have fun, be jolly, do ANYTHING other than sit and mull its existence, worry that it will overcome me, make me panic as to how long this is taking. Yeah, it's fear brain, but it's so hard to fight because it's seemingly in every synapse and gray cell in my right hemisphere.

    I AM mindful of WHEN I take meds. Last night...I just couldn't cope. It happens. Sometimes quite frequently.

    *sigh*

    *puts on therapist hat*

    Do you think that part of the reason you went into the "social care sector" is because of the emotional fallout from your family life? Father pushing Valium, sister becoming an overbearing bully?

    You remind me of the psychiatric social workers I once worked with. Talk about burnout and being under-appreciated.
     
  15. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    :(

    This thread is called "The Tyranny of TMS Thoughts" for a reason. Even several hours into my Valium dose, although I feel physically better (it takes away a large percentage of the TMS muscle tension I get), the self-critical thoughts are still there. "Look at you," the inner bully says, "being weak and taking medicine to allay your fears. But do you really even know if you're gonna get better? Ha, ha. Now I have you thinking you won't. Will you or won't you? Will you or won't you? Will you die a benzo user because you can't help yourself? *sing song* You're gonna be a worthless addict, just like Dr. Hotshot Surgical Attending predicted. Will you NEVER be anything but a loser? Maybe those docs were right when they said you'd never amount to anything. Maybe Mom and Dad were wrong about you. You're not the Family's great hope, you're nothing but a lazy sod. I had high hopes for you when I pushed you into med school. Who would have known you'd turn out to be FAILURE after FAILURE? C'mon, who are you kidding, do you really think you have the balls to save lives? Or are you just play-acting like the immature, selfish brat you've always been. I sure thought you'd turn out different. *sighs, shakes head* "

    I am afraid to live. TMS wins every time I'm afraid to have fun, be jolly, do ANYTHING other than sit and mull its existence, worry that it will overcome me, make me panic as to how long this is taking. Yeah, it's fear brain, but it's so hard to fight because it's seemingly in every synapse and gray cell in my right hemisphere.

    I AM mindful of WHEN I take meds. Last night...I just couldn't cope. It happens. Sometimes quite frequently.

    *sigh*

    *puts on therapist hat*

    Do you think that part of the reason you went into the "social care sector" is because of the emotional fallout from your family life? Father pushing Valium, sister becoming an overbearing bully?

    You remind me of the psychiatric social workers I once worked with. Talk about burnout and being under-appreciated.
     
  16. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Shanshu,
    You are really hard on yourself. It seems like your inner bully will latch on to anything whether it's taking your medication or something else. Tell it to take a hike!

    A few weeks ago I had a bad headache coming on and made myself deal with it all day and "tough it out" before finally taking something. later I was talking about it with my therapist who said it's fine to take medication as a temporary solution, I'm not making the medication the focus, I'm still working on TMS. The most compassionate thing I could have done would have been to just take the pills.

    Yes, Valium can be addictive but if you are taking it once a week I doubt you have a problem. It sounds more like your inner bully is using this as yet another way to scare you.

    You're working on TMS pain/anxiety so you aren't going to need or want Valium forever.

    Hope you are nicer to yourself today!
     
  17. Susan

    Susan Peer Supporter

    Shanshu,

    Sending hugs and wishes for a better day and night ahead. The Inner Bullies must have had a convention this morning. Mine has been in my face mode, too. I remind myself to tap into my inner strength when this occurs. Do you have a talisman or something that represents your inner child to you that you can sooth and hold when things get rough? I have a soft pillow I often hug and talk to or just put on my chest and stomach in the night when the inner demons show up. For me, this gets me into my adult and I can take care of my fearful, sad inner child. I bet you know all the tricks, though.

    Please do something caring for yourself today. Let us know how you are.

    Susan
     
  18. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Thanks guys,

    As predicted the lingering Valium in my system has given me the energy and space to regroup. The good news is, since I'm relatively benzo-naiive, taking a dose lasts me a good long time, maybe a whole day or so. Since my sleep schedule is all upside down because of work, I woke up from a decent sleep for once and just let my inner bully have it. I guess my coping strategy is Bear. :) *huggles* I don't much care that I'm a 31-year old professional person regressed to a 5-year old, teddy-hugging child, because TMS scares the shit out of me. Sometimes. That one, the inner bully seems to give me a pass on. No criticism of Bear.

    Bear actually goes wherever I go. Usually in a hidden pocket of my scrubs. :) Cute li'l guy. :)
     
    Livvygurl and veronica73 like this.
  19. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hey:

    First off, I must chime in with the rest that you are doing so well. You're catching on to your brain and working with it. Years of doing things and thinking things in one way - are very hard to undo. My mantra? Baby steps. You're going to get there and you are NOT weak. You're human like all the rest of us here. And remember about calender watching. You're going at your own pace while living your life.

    I'm amazed and inspired at your journey. You have heart-felt energy from here.

    BG
     
    Shanshu Vampyr likes this.
  20. yb44

    yb44 Well known member

    Every doctor should have one of these (even though should is a naughty word). :)
     
    Shanshu Vampyr likes this.

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