1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Anger stemming from the Pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by KevinB, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hello community,

    I'm just over a week in of a pretty nasty relapse of low-back/butt/leg pain. I've been doing the work that I learned here, and that healed me last time (reading, journaling, self-talk, acceptance, etc.), and it is improving, although slowly. I'm convinced that the reason the pain came back after 4 months of being 100% free of it is because I still needed to cultivate self love & self compassion, or at least much more of it. So I have been focused on that, taking suggestions I've come across here and other places.

    I'm still struggling to accept the TMS fully. This episode was triggered by weight lifting, as it was last time, so doubt crops up from time to time because the pain can be pretty intense....but my evidence sheet goes entirely against anything structural. Anyhow, that's not what I'm even here to post about. In doing my inner work, I've been tapping into a lot of anger/rage, but I notice that through the day, when in pain, I often get very anxious and sometimes angry, and I'm not entirely sure what to do with those emotions. On the one hand, I'm supposed to think psychologically, tell myself that the pain is created in my mind from a mild lack of oxygen and that it can't cause any actual harm - but is this a type of repression of those emotions when they are coming up, or am I just self soothing? Sometimes it feels like I'm consciously repressing them, telling them to get out of here, instead of feeling them. I get scared that if I feel them, I'm giving in to the pain.

    Any thoughts or experience with this?

    Thanks - Kevin
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Kevin. I might be off-base from a lot of TMS advice that says we should feel the pain in order to heal. I doubt I felt the causes of the back pain in healing so much as I recognized their emotional causes.

    Dr. Sarno says we just have to discover and recognize the emotional cause(s) that are giving us pain. We don't have to solve the problems, just believe they are causing our pain. And he also says our subconscious "gets it" when we discover our repressed emotions, and we don't have to tell it that again and again, so I suggest you give up feeling the emotion causing your pains. Then you can focus on self acceptance and self love.

    As one person I read about who is going through great grief wrote, he is confident that "The best is yet to come!"

    Happy Thanksgiving and feel your thankfulness.
    KevinB likes this.
  3. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Thanks Walt, great advice and inspiration.
  4. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Kevin you need to sit somewhere quiet and just feel the emotions you have, however uncomfortable they are. Trying to supress anger or anxiety will only fuel TMS pain.

    Explore what's happening in your day/week that might be setting off those emotions. This is what's causing your TMS pain, and you need to embrace this more fully. Acceptance of TMS will help to reduce any additional anxiety you feel associated with the pain ("when will this gooooo"). Acceptance is powerful and very healing in itself.

    Try to become ambivalent towards your pain - try the "yeah, whaa-ev-aaaa" approach, or alternate it with yelling at it to EFF off. It's all trial and error, but your intuition will guide you. I often talk to my pain like it's a friend, asking it what's it's trying to tell me. EFT is excellent and has helped me so keep this up.

    The main thing is to be defiant in the face of pain, as this dilutes its power over us.

    TMS healing has worked for you before, so try to revisit what approach worked for you last time. Doing the work is something you need to do daily, until it becomes a part of your being. Mindfulness is something you need to cultivate, and also soothe your tired nervous system each night with some gentle stretches or meditation.

    Devote the time to this every night and your pain will resolve.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi KevinB,

    My feedback is similar to Colly's: Try to allow, feel, and inquire (go deeper) into any emotion that arises. It is not something our conditioned personalities want to do, so it takes courage and practice. It also requires disengaging from the Inner Critic, which gets activated and attacking when we allow more anger, anxiety, sadness, vulnerability, and so on. You might tell it to "Go to Hell; I'm feeling my anger right now."

    I think the message you are telling yourself is good. This is one important track, your words and thoughts about thinking psychologically.

    This does not negate the other track of sensing into your body and wondering what you are feeling, and gently allowing it as best you can.

    The third track you touch on is self soothing. Deep breathing, mantra, chant, positive self-talk, self-touch, touch from others, good things to experience in general, as well as soothing words to yourself. This is very important when you are suffering, and especially in physical pain, or anxiety, I think. I think what you touch on is that you don't want to use soothing words to "spiritual bypass" the actual 'negative' or 'difficult' emotions that want to felt a little more. Here I think your instincts are good; you are wary of "talking yourself into something you are not feeling." But "thinking psychologically" is not bypassing what is coming up for you, unless you notice that you are using that particular way. Maybe you are...

    All three of these pieces can work independently and appropriately, in my opinion.

    For the anxiety, I would dip into it, explore it, witness it, and also work to soothe yourself with words like: "You're feeling anxious; this hard right now, and it will pass."

    Good Luck!

    Andy B.
  6. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Thanks, Colly, for you insight - it is very helpful to have support from people who can identify. Concerning your quote here, last time I did the Structural Educational Program and literally was pain free on the final day of that program. Do you think it'd be worth doing it again?

    I feel some major reluctance toward doing the SEP program again, mainly that I'll have expectations and also I want to lick this before 6 weeks! I know that both of those can retard recovery, expectation and calendar watching, but ugggggg... 6 weeks just seems like so long. And there's also a lot of fear that it won't work again because I've read peoples' relapse stories here on this site and most have said that what worked for them the first time around DID NOT work again for the relapse..... but Walt also suggested I give the SEP another try, and ultimately I have nothing to lose by doing it again.

    Anyhow, any further thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks again for the support, it really means so much to me.

  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Kevin, maybe don't think doing the SEP will take 6 weeks for the returned symptoms to go away. It could happen in a day or two. Just don't start the time clock to heal.
    Happy Thanksgiving and count your blessings. I bet the list is longer than you think.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  8. Lexington

    Lexington Peer Supporter

    Kevin how's it going today? I really feel for you. My relapse was only a week after feeling I was better although at that point I had only read Sarno and journalled a little. I hadn't done the SEP and my engagement was purely intellectual, so it was unsurprising that the pain was much much worse. It really got my attention this time! It must be so terrifying to feel you've done the work and to be back here after a long break.
    But I do hear genuine doubt in your voice sometimes about this diagnosis. I occasionally still get those physical worry thoughts but now I tell myself they're a cop out to avoid really confronting things both emotional and physical, I see it's no good to be getting people to help me and to take it easy and not risk an injury. You can become a victim of it. I don't ask anyone to bend over for me now. That's been the easy bit.
    Have you seen a TMS therapist? I think that could get you past this block. I am about to start seeing one I feel like I really know the issues I need to sort but still getting daily pain hijacks with hyperventilation and panic. My fear now is about the pain and like you said all those pain provoked thoughts are going to hold you back. Maybe you need some clarity on what outcome independence means. I know i do, it sounds like alchemy but I think it's the key and is connected to unhooking your amygdala somehow.
    Anyway keep in touch.
    Good Luck!
    KevinB likes this.
  9. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    You sound very self aware :)!

    Sometimes I'm not sure if my pain and sensations are purely psychological.

    Can you sense a sadness underneath the anger? Sometimes if I let myself feel the anger I can sense a sadness or hopelessness/despair underneath. Then I feel better.

    I find that if I let myself feel my feelings my pain lessens.
    KevinB likes this.
  10. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member


    I did the SEP for 7 days and then I just stopped doing it because I felt better. I kept journaling and reaching out and connecting on the forum.

    But I felt better enough so I took a break from the SEP. Nowit's a few months later and I have been having a relapse this past month so I figured I might start up again - and I may - but just connecting on the forum had been so useful -
    KevinB likes this.

Share This Page