1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 20 A positive cluster writing experience

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Moppy, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Moppy

    Moppy Peer Supporter

    I did the cluster writing exercise today which are aimed to give us an understanding and insight into current stresses. I ended up with quite a few circles stemming out of my chosen subject of “retirement”. I am 63 and was forced to take early retirement two years ago due to the severe RSI I was experiencing in both arms – which I now realise is TMS. It has been a very stressful period since leaving work as I was depending on having an income for at least another five years to gain some level of financial security after going through a traumatic divorce 10 years ago.

    After I finished drawing all my circles, I was just looking at them all and realised that there have been a lot of positives that have come out of this as well. So I got a different coloured pen and drew circles listing all the positive aspects for as many of the stresses as I could.

    For example, my great fear of financial insecurity has taught me to be a very good budgeter. I am much better at living on a lower income than I ever thought I would be and I still have a great time. Instead of going out to restaurants and cafes, I have friends over for coffee or meals – much more relaxed and enjoyable anyway. Instead of travelling to faraway places on holidays, I am spending much more time exploring the beautiful island wilderness in which I live – camping and bushwalking costs nothing! I also have time and energy to follow new passions, in particular newfound artistic activities and singing in a choir… never done that since school!

    Another of my current stresses associated with a sudden retirement was a loss of identity. But what this has given me the space to do, in particular through this TMS journey, is embark on an exciting journey of self discovery – in particular to begin to develop self compassion, and I now realise that my so-called professional “identity” was really just another mask...It wasn't who I really was at all.

    It was great to finish the exercise on such a wonderfully positive note – and I am very proud of having reached the end of my third week in this SEP program! Thank you everyone for all you have contributed to my journey– I get a great deal out of reading all of the posts and replies...It's so good to know that I am not alone.
    Stella likes this.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Moppy,
    I enjoy reading your wonderful report. It is so nice to appreciate ourselves for the work we do, and the progress we make. It seems like in this post, there are many levels of seeing and enjoying the positive aspects of your experience lately. It is neat to see what you did with the cluster writing.
    Andy B.
  3. Moppy

    Moppy Peer Supporter

    Thanks Andy. It was quite a change to finish the journalling on a high as i often end and feel really anxious/angry/sad....or in physical pain for a while. I have made an effort to end each session with a positive but it doesnt usually make me feel any better...unlike this last time.
    Stella likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like ending some journaling on a positive note. We often forget that our lives had joyous and happy times, by ourselves or with others, or our pets, and it is healthy to remind ourselves of them.
  5. Moppy

    Moppy Peer Supporter

    I do agree Walt. I think it can be tempting to just focus on the negatives while doing the SEP program. I can u dersrand why sometimes people give it a break...I've read a couple of posts where people say they are getting obsessive about it. So i will make a greater effort to see the good things with the people and experiences from my past that have also caused me pain. Thank you for your support.

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