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A little dissapointment, A little progress, And some fear

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Guava, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Guava

    Guava Peer Supporter

    So I decided to go to the cinema today (was very bored, and not in a particularily good mood but thought it would be better than staying in the house all day doing nothing) so I ventured out. I haven't had very good experiences in my previous couple of times at the cinema (due to the bad pain coming in my neck when sitting for some period) mkaing it a nightmare and very hard to enjoy the film. But I didn't think of it today in terms of whether or not there would be pain...i just went.

    I'd been managing pain much better recently, and even managed sitting on my laptop for short amounts of time, and watching tv for much longer periods. Was in no pain making my way walking there, buying tickets, and entering, but literally 3 minutes in (ads still on) the pain started (without me thinking of it) and continued to get worse. I put up with it. 15 minutes in, it was getting the better of me. I started to get upset, shifting continuously but I put up with it still. 30 minutes in I was on the verge of tears, and then the tears came, but I told myself I didn't want to leave and waste my mums money!

    I shifted my seats and went about 3 rows back to be further from the screen (thought this might help with the neck comfort) and remained. Eventually the pain subsided a little (around 50 minutes in), and then quite a bit. I was able to sit relatively ok! (*confused*) So I continued to the end (although fearing it would get worse later on), it didn't. I got to the end of the film, and left the cinema, walked home, and am now typing on my laptop. I'm still relatively ok.

    I have to say I was disappointed, it did ruin my film experience and bring some bad memories back, but at the same time I have noticed a small amount of progress at least. Previously simply putting up with periods like this practically left me bed bound, and aching several days later(at top pain level!)At least it went down again! Although I have to say i am still a bit fearful-i'm hoping to return to university and sitting in lectures was a BIG problem for me. The fear surrounding my return is much greater and i worry it will drag me back into the dreadful pain hell that took me from uni in the first place.

    Anyways...just thought i'd share. Its deffo convinced me further of TMS though.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Congratulations for sticking through it, Guava. It takes a long time in TMS for the conditioning to build up and it likewise takes a long time for the conditioning to die down. In the meantime, you went to the movie, took what it thew at you without letting it define or limit your life, and learned that your body is strong. Only a doctor can diagnose TMS, but I think you are on the right track.
  3. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    You did so well!!! It is very difficult when we do an activity and we so have pain. Often, I believe we have an association with the activity and pain
    (a conditioned response).

    I would have pain when I would go to the supermarket. And, I love to food shop. The pain would be so bad and I would be so concerned that there were
    no chairs in the supermarket; where would I sit, how would I check out, I did not think I could do my whole food shopping.... I started realizing
    fear was gripping me. At first, I let it consume me. Then, I thought I am going to use some visualization of imagining myself food shopping with no
    symptoms (using the techniques from the Fred Amir's book Rapid Recovery from Back and Neck Pain). I decided if I had pain that was O.K., I
    will ask the store to bring me a chair to sit down. I did do that several times. Little by little as I kept using my imagination and letting go of fear.
    I would go shopping whether I had pain or not. I refused to get discouraged even if I had pain. I not sure when the pain went while food shopping
    but it did go. I am so thankful I can enjoy food shopping again.

    I do believe for me the pain came in the supermarket because I was expecting it to come (a conditioned response). Once I started to go even if I had
    the pain, I just tried to do what I could do. It took some time but it did get better and better. I have used the same strategy for many other activities
    and it been working for me. Now, I am working on getting back to the gym. I just make small goals and try to accomplish them. I do try to always
    think psychological, also. Sometimes, I don't always know what is going on psychologically and that is O.K. I don't fret about that.

    One of the strategies that has helped me the most is not trying to analyze the symptoms so much. I don't try to control them or try to get rid of them.
    That seems to really help. I think everyone has their own recovery path. This is what works for me. I am trying to enjoy life with pain or without pain.

    I hope this encourages you to keep going. You are doing well!!
    gailnyc, Forest and Birdie like this.
  4. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Good for you, Guava!!! I think the hardest thing to do is to not let the fear take over.
    Here's what works for me: when I feel the pain escalating, I yell at my subconscious for taking this inappropriate response to stress. Then I say, "And is this the best you can do? Bring it on!" That breaks the hold of the fear that the pain will get unbearable. Finally, I focus on something else. And then the pain goes away, in a matter of minutes.
    I'm impressed that you hung in there. You were able to break the fear cycle. Kudos.
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Glad to hear of your progress. I think some fear is natural at the beginning of this journey. A new way of thinking (de-conditioning) takes time to sink into our brains.

    I would also suggest journaling about your fears. Remember to end on a positive note!
  6. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member

    I concur with everyone on the thread. Fear is the greatest weapon of TMS to use to keep us distracted. Experience with the symptoms as TMS is a great way to disarm fear. I encourage you to seek out other ways to disarm fear for it is the number one distractor that you will deal with going forward.
    Forest likes this.

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