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Addicted to worry, pain and being sick

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Tabathafromnj, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Tabathafromnj

    Tabathafromnj Peer Supporter

    I am reading through posts on the wiki this morning about anxiety and how to get through it since for me it is an underlying cause of TMS and I am realizing how attached I am to my sickness and symptoms. Don't get me wrong, I would do anything to get out of this diseased state of mind, a state of mind which has me fear sick, worry sick and symptom sick. At the same time, however I also see how attached I am to sickness and symptoms on some level. Being sick, whether it is sick with anxiety or sick with worry or sick with symptoms occupies my every waking moment - whether it is suffering my symptoms or being in an all out pursuit to find a cure, to read the next book, the next post, google the next thing- whatever it is- the quest for the cure can occupy my mind and life as much as the symptoms can. I really hate how much this, being sick in one way or another has encompassed my entire life. It has made my life very small, after all how much time and space is there to live a life when you are living in a life that revolves around sickness,symptoms and trying to get better. I want to break free and have a life beyond sickness but somehow I think this is where my mind stays because it is where it feels safe. It is the only world I know, a natural default to live in a very small world, revolved sadly around a disease and a diseased state of mind,

    I hear people say they are addicted it seems to worry thoughts, anxiety thoughts and fear thoughts and I can really relate. My mind in its disease distorts things and blows everything up out of proportion to increase the worry, fear and sickness. Worry and fear and anxiety are my constant companions and I want to break free, free from my attachment from sick thinking, symptom thinking and disease thinking. If only I could just shake it all off and live a calm and happy life.
    Pandagirl, Stella and Anne Walker like this.
  2. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tabatha, you are not alone with all of this. It may or may not be reassuring to know that all of us at some stage are obsessed over the pain, cures, getting better, feeling worse and worrying. If I am not worrying about some symptom or other, then my mind will latch onto something else to keep me in a perpetual loop of flight/fight/freeze, such as concerns about family members, my dog, something I should or shouldn't have said to someone, the state of the economy, identity fraudsters, terrorists, anything at all.

    What can you do about it? I suppose it's like starting to exercise after a long period of inertia. First you think about taking a walk. You mentally go through the motions of putting on your shoes and coat, walking out the door, being outside, moving forward. Find something you like to do - listen to some music, watch a film, call up a friend...Go through the mental process of you doing this activity first if you like. Try not to force yourself to do the activity and start out with short intervals. So you might not make it through the end of a song before a fear thought enters your mind. That's okay. Try again. Practice - you can't fail if you are just practicing, says Claire Weekes. Remember, no force, strain or pressure on yourself. This will just create more tension and make you feel like you can't do it. You definitely can do it, Tabatha.

    Eric "Herbie" Watson posted some links to some of Claire Weekes recordings on one of the other threads: http://tmswiki.org/forum/threads/day-13-envy-and-outcome-independence.2894/#post-17138 Have a listen to these and see what you think.
  3. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Could you maybe put a bit of time aside to meditate - get a guided relaxation tape/cd or do some mindfulness practice (there are links on this site) just so you get a window in the day when your mind is not concentrating on illness/pain etc. I have found it extremely valuable in my own healing. It is that catastrophic thinking - always trying to second-guess what the next awful thing will be. We just need to get a rest from it - and then proceed from there. I'm going to look up this Claire Weekes too. Good luck.
  4. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tabatha, I particularly relate to your post today. I explored this with a TMS therapist earlier. Knowing that our subconscious creates the pain and that there is the potential to be pain and anxiety free, it is easy to feel that we are responsible or that there must be some benefit holding us back from becoming well. But to think like this is another way to beat ourselves up for something that we are not freely choosing and I think adds more pain to our suffering. Be kind to yourself. I know we have all pursued a lot things but clearly we have TMS and if we follow the programs with patience and persistence, we will find a way to a life outside the pain.
    Tabathafromnj, Ellen and hecate105 like this.
  5. Tabathafromnj

    Tabathafromnj Peer Supporter

    As you put it Hecate, "It is that catastrophic thinking - always trying to second-guess what the next awful thing will be. We just need to get a rest from it - and then proceed from there" I could not sum up the problem any better than that. My catastrophic thinking and dreadful anticipation of what awful thing that will happen next keeps me perpetually locked into a vice grip of fear from which I can never seem to escape and from which all sorts of trouble arise from such as my current TMS problems. Worry and fear have been my downfall in do many ways.
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    You've had an important perception here I believe, Tabatha. The safe haven your symptoms provide your mind are all part of the evasion behind TMS: By continuing to have symptoms you're evading confronting unpleasant repressed emotions. This apparent safe haven though is purchased at too high a price because by hiding there you're not living your authentic life out in the flesh and blood real world. I'm afraid each and every one of us with TMS is probably afraid of doing that, for various reasons of course, some of them going back to childhood, others due to recent or current traumas, and for some of us it has to do with our innate personality traits. These would have to do with early childhood development too I'd guess. You just have to break that self-perpetuating cycle by engaging with the world out there outside your obsessive self-referential relationship with pain and suffering. What's that W.B. Yeats told John Synge, the Irish playwright? "Go express a life that's never been expressed before!" In this case, your own authentic life outside the mobius strip of your self-referential pain symptoms. I think that just using mindfulness to detach yourself from obsessive thoughts and pain sensations is an important first step in the TMS recovery process. I think yb44 has given you some excellent links.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  7. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yep, there's another thread about catastrophic thinking kicking around on the site too. I was chatting to my sister who's going thru all kinds of hell at the moment - and we realised that the catastrophic thinking is a learned behaviour that we inherited from our mum. Now we have both identified it and are working (separately) on it , we are able to laugh at ourselves/each other when we express that sort of behaviour - and say 'Don't be Mumish!!' Luckily - due to having different Fathers we inherited loads of differing characteristics too! It's like that poem by Larkin -

    This Be The Verse
    By Philip Larkin 1922–1985 Philip Larkin
    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

    Could be the TMSers poem!

    Just take some time out of the day - even 10 minutes will help...
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Laughing at myself and all the b.s. that goes on in life has kept me sane.
    I highly recommend stepping back, unplugging from all the effort to figure out our
    repressed emotions and enjoy each day and night. And when the stress and anxiety comes on,
    laugh it off.

    I'm a worrier too and everything is going to be a catastrophe. I have to tell myself
    yesterday's catastrophe never happened, so why should today's or tomorrow's?
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and plum like this.
  9. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Claire Weekes is superb. She has a knack of putting things into perspective so you realise what a silly goose you've been. It's a wisdom that extends beyond anxiety and pain to embrace life itself.

    Walt, I second your advice. Life is a gift. We must seize it with both hands, cherish it like a lover and not take everything so damn personally.
    hecate105 likes this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Claire Weekes is a gift in herself.

    I just took a 10 minute break from the computer and TMS and raked some leaves.
    God must have loved leaves, because he made so many of them!
    hecate105 likes this.

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