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Advice on handling TMS during crisis periods

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by c90danwaiel, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. c90danwaiel

    c90danwaiel Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone,

    So I've been doing fairly well the past few weeks. My pain has gone down. I've felt like I've had my life back. Everything has been going well. It still is, relatively speaking.

    However, two days ago, my house sustained a serious water leak and a third of my house flooded and sustained significant water damage. I came home Friday to 1" of standing water in my bedroom. As of today, I'm now living in a hotel while the repair work begins. I don't know how long it'll take to dry things out, but it could be a while - perhaps a few weeks, maybe even longer.

    I haven't gotten good sleep. My water's been turned off in the meantime too. The floor to my bedroom was ripped out over the weekend, and all my stuff is in boxes or is scattered elsewhere in my house. My life has kind of fallen apart. I'm also hitting a really heavy period of work right now, and so the pressure has ramped up there.

    Hopefully, living a hotel with running (cold and hot!) water should help things stabilize a bit. Insurance is covering the cost of my room.

    During all this, my TMS pain hasn't skyrocketed, but it has noticeably increased a bit. (My foot pain - one of my secondary symptoms - returned after being gone for nearly four days.) The fact that my TMS pain is not worse than it is encouraging to me. Just three weeks ago, if this would've happened, I would be in agony right now. Now, it's just noticeably unpleasant and I still have pain-free periods in the day, so I recognize that that's still a huge improvement. I'm doing great under the circumstances.

    My question is, does anyone have any tips on how to best handle these rather major crisis situations? Just trying my best to stay calm, not push myself too much, and focus on relaxing. Also going to see if I can get a lighter workload at work.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Geez, just what you needed! Honestly, it's like life is testing you for its own amusement.

    You certainly have a good question. Intellectually, you know there's no point in screaming and shouting about something over which you have no control - but at the same time, I think it's fine to let your inner child say out loud that it's not fair that you have to go through this! In other words, acknowledge that unacceptable emotion.

    There's a field of psychology called Existential Psychotherapy which postulates that everything we experience is related to four core human issues. These are: Independence, Isolation, Meaning, and Mortality. Four years ago I experienced two personal losses within weeks of each other, and I felt completely overwhelmed with emotions and logistics. I was afraid of not coping, but it was EP that saved me. My situation related to Isolation and Mortality. Recognizing that I felt abandoned was very freeing, because I could see that my brain was repressing that emotion as being too negative and selfish. Acknowledging it made total sense and allowing myself to feel it was empowering. Another emotion being repressed was fear about my own mortality - again, recognizing and acknowledging that as totally normal was a very healthy thing to do and gave me the strength to move ahead.

    Using the "core issues" of EP was a really easy way for me to discover the negative emotions that were being repressed due to these new life circumstances.

    So in your situation - how about Freedom? I mentioned losses - well, you've lost your home, presumably temporarily, but you've also lost the security you used to feel in your home, because it failed you. That means you've lost your independence - and in more ways than one, because you're now at the mercy of one of those insurance-industry "acts of God", as well as being at the mercy of the insurance company itself for financial compensation. To say nothing of the added time and inconvenience of the logistics you have to deal with.

    Those are big losses, and they all relate to freedom and independence which have suddenly been stolen from you. It might help if you allow yourself to consciously acknowledge your losses, and to grieve for them.

    Good luck, I really really feel for you! A friend at my condo complex is going through the same thing - the water came from the unit above hers, it's been a huge inconvenience.

    I don't want to forget to say that THIS is awesome:
    c90danwaiel likes this.
  3. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

  4. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi c90, life is full of challenges, we all have to deal with it sooner or later, try to look for some humor in every situations, it usually help reduce stress. Look at people's life who has it tougher than us, usually that help too, it help make our situation seem smaller, less important. It also make us realize we are much stronger than we think we are. If those people in Syria and Iraq, and N. Korea, and Afghanistan ... can handle it, we sure can handle it.
    We will survive!
  5. c90danwaiel

    c90danwaiel Peer Supporter

    Thanks! I'll definitely look into Existential Psychotherapy - that sounds like a very helpful modality of psychology (I'm mostly dealt with CBT so far, mostly for OCD issues, but haven't branched out yet beyond that). I've definitely lost some freedom and definitely a lot of security. I never had the organizational form of OCD (mine was Scrupulosity - the form that's based on thinking you did something wrong), but I've always gained a lot of stability from having a routine, making my bed each morning, having some sort of anchor, and now that's gone. Think I need to acknowledge some deeper things going on under the surface that I may not have realized are occurring.

    I'm happy to say, I am doing better today :) My pain is lower, and my foot pain has disappeared again. The hotel room is quiet, I've been able to get work done and spend some time focusing on myself.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. c90danwaiel

    c90danwaiel Peer Supporter

    Haha, if only my hot water tank was bigger, it might've leaked more and I could've gone swimming in my house! :)

    The standing water is all gone now, so I can't do much fun with that, but after a day of focusing on calming down and a good night's rest, I'm happy to report I'm doing better now.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. Wavy Soul

    Wavy Soul Peer Supporter

    Incredible pictures, and I also had a flood. The fire alarm in my apartment complex went off — it was so loud you felt as though you were going crazy. We all rushed out to the lawn and waited for the Fire Department. I had been running my bath, and by the time we were allowed back in, it had flooded and ruined part of my recently remodeled apartment, and much more of the two below it. For a couple of weeks I didn’t know if my insurance would cover it all, or if I would be liable (it turned out OK). This was on top of just having moved and organized remodeling on behalf of my landlord, and all of that happened when I had and was recovering from a very serious case of pneumonia. In all this I somehow lost some social connections and some work...

    Writing this down, I realize how many triggers are here. And I’ve been wondering why I have had TMS symptoms. Ha! Freedom, Death, Loneliness and Meaninglessness...

    Well, I’m glad a new year is coming, because I feel it is all almost behind me.

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