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A few more hurdles

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jamejamesjames1, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter

    I think I've come a long way through my tms pain (although usually it feels like I'm at square one)

    I accept the diagnosis 100 percent. I've too many examples not to be fully convinced
    I have brought in the symptom imperative, where multiple symptoms have been taking turns for awhile
    I've been doing meditation, journaling, and exercise for some time now.

    Two main issues I'm facing at present...
    When the pain is gone, my mind doesn't let go. I think about it until it shows back up again even though I KNOW that attention is the reason. If I fight the thought that just makes it happen even sooner.

    So how do you get my mind to stop looking for it, or, if the thought comes up to actually let it go before it turns into rumination and eventually return of symptoms?

    Similarly, I feel like I have the hardest time when I have free time. When there is no distraction it's much more likely to surface - but I can't stay busy all the time!! Funny that the pain is more likely when laying down than going for a run haha

    Finally, when the pain comes I'm still afraid and giving it my attention more often than not. Not because I worry about anything structural. It just hurts so much sometimes that I feel I can't help but be afraid of it and focus on it even though I know the exact opposite is what you need to do. It's very hard for me to do anything else when in pain. When I do, I'm often only doing it physically as mentally I'm still locked on the sensations of pain.

    I try to tell myself hey, it's here right now. If you can ignore it it might not get that bad and go away in a few hours.

    If you stare it down it's just going to linger and linger...

    Yet my mind doesn't listen to itself...

    Any advice at this stage of my healing?
  2. Northwood

    Northwood Well known member

    When I was a kid and would get a frightening thought in the middle of the night, I would "change the channel." I did this by crossing my legs. That meant the channel in my head changed and that something else would come up, usually something pleasantly goofy. The point here is that whatever unwelcome thought pops into mind is just suddenly, uncontrollable there. In one of the TMS books or maybe somewhere in one of these posts, someone remarked that you can't control the thoughts you get but you can control what you do with them once they're there. Sometimes it's really, really hard to stop that "looking for it" or to let a thought go "before it turns into a rumination." I've finally given up on the illusion that I can think my way out of obsessive thinking: the belief that if I just discover the right idea it'll all come together, and THEN I'll be utterly at peace. This has sometimes sort of worked, but the technique has a very short shelf life, often measurable in minutes. What works better, I've found, are different kinds of distractions. Sometimes doing a kind act for somebody else--anything at all--helps. The act gets me off my hamster wheel. Listening to music, too. For me, music has the most wonderful way of altering my mood; the right music at the right time can shift my whole attitude and reinvigorate my sense of hope. Then there's breathing, or reading poetry that speaks directly to my deep self. Get twelve books of poetry from the library (whenever they open again) and flip through the pages, staying only with the poems that compel and delight you. (Or try "Poetry Daily" on the Web.) I find welcome openings in that sort of experience. Getting "lost" that way (really re-oriented) teaches me skillful forgetting. It's rough to get beat up again and again by the thoughts you don't want; these days I'm trying to be more curious about these miserably dogged thoughts, letting them be, letting them flail at the air while I regard them from my own sidelines with curiosity,with real amazement and an intention to be kind, even to them. And this approach is helping me to experience my physical pain in more constructive ways. Still fail often and still have plenty of unpleasant moments to choose from, but now and then I'm blessed with a sensation of ice breaking up, just a little bit.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sarno was actually pretty darn clear on this point. He said that whenever you catch yourself paying attention to the pain to "Immediately and consciously shift your attention to a recurrent source of irritation like a bad relationship, personal problem, financial problem etc". This sends a message to the unconscious that you are aware of what it is doing and no longer need it's 'help'.

    I have been pain free since '99 and only have occasional attempted incursions, as I call them, and I STILL use this strategy. The longer I have practiced it, the faster it works. The other night out of Nowhere I had a shot of sciatica down my leg... enough to distract me from reading.

    I immediately put down the book and meditated about How PISSED I am that I have been working for months to get ready for baseball and now all our games are cancelled. I also thought about how I finally have enough money to buy a house but it might get eaten up by the current financial uncertainty due to the bug....and then I nodded off...when I woke up 20 minutes later, the symptom went away.

    I have aborted countless symptom outbreaks with this over the 21 years I have been doing it.... If it lasts more than a few minutes, I sit down with the books again, page one, day one and read and scribble as I identify with the text.

    Sarno was clear about this; He did not treat pain. The whole object and purpose of TMS education is to prevent it!

    Once you know yourself (GNOTHI SEAUTON) this awareness becomes part of who you are.... the occasional 15 minutes of 'negative thinking' is well worth the other 99.999% of the time being pain free.

    We are wired to NOT think about really scary or negative things....like the unconscious is afraid we'll snap or quit or???? I have actually had a vastly improved demeanor since I have switched to this type of thinking... to the point that my friends are shocked when I say something negative.... which is very, very different from how I was in '99. A Paradox.

    This is also efficient for getting rid of OCD like symptoms which you seem to be implying by your explanation of the checking and rechecking. I had OCD and when I catch myself drifting into any circular thinking, this works, along with STOP therapy

    ..and ultimately this is the highest purpose for which we exist... but be careful... our little whiny 5 year old is very selfish. I talk to that guy all the time, particularly when I am doing things for others. "I know your scared and selfish, but I don't have time for you right now...we'll talk later"
    I listen to him... I just don't let him run the show anymore.

    Northwood and Tennis Tom like this.

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