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Big Psychological Breakthrough

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Aurora, May 11, 2017.

  1. Aurora

    Aurora Peer Supporter

    I finally came across some psychological help recently that really changed the way that I view anxiety and depression which were TMS equivalents that have bothered me for the last few years. I feel so much better and hopeful than I have in a long time. In the TMS community we learn that there is nothing wrong with your body even though you feel pain and any attempt to try to fix it with surgery or physical therapy just reinforces the idea that your body is broken. It's the same with your mind when you're feeling anxious or depressed. Your mind is not broken and going to a therapist to get to the bottom of why you feel so terrible reinforces the idea that your mind is broken.

    We're told to think psychological whenever we experience pain but that isn't always needed at least not in the way that a lot of people think it is. For example I was seeing a TMS therapist a few years ago when one of my TMS symptoms came back full force and I felt a lot of anxiety. My therapist encouraged me to journal and feel my feelings to find out what emotions I was repressing. None of that helped. Finally I came across a meditation book written by the author of Back Sense. The book simply encouraged me to realize that the sensation of pain and my resistance to it were two separate things and that if I allowed my experience in the present moment without adding a story about how terrible things were I would feel better eventually. I changed my goal from trying to get rid of the symptom to learning to be ok with it (I stopped feeding my resistance) and it worked. I felt better gradually. I didn't journal or think about what am I angry about in my life that I can't except. I just stopped resisting it.

    I had been suffering from anxiety and depression off and on for a number of years. Recently it seemed to be more intense. And again the way I understood TMS at the time I thought it meant that I was repressing an emotion or not feeling my feelings and I had to get to the bottom of it as though my mind was broken and I had to fix it. The second TMS therapist I saw led me in the right direction even though his technique didn't help me. He told me that I had to stop trying to get rid of anxiety and instead I needed to embrace it. That was a scary thought. Soon after I had an anxiety attack. I took anti-anxiety medication because I couldn't sleep and it didn't work. With nothing to lose I embraced the anxiety and it went away. It has returned several times since then but I no longer fear it the way I used to and I can't imagine taking anti-anxiety medication again. I know that with time I won't feel the anxiety so much any more. Sarno says that TMS comes about when we have unacceptable feelings and that applies to anxiety. If we say that anxiety is unacceptable and we must get rid of it our minds are going to respond with fear every time we think we're going to experience it or are actually experiencing it.

    Depression seemed to be different but it's the same. When I felt terrible I used to think about all the things that were wrong with my life and wrong with my thinking. I used to worry that my thinking was real and that I had to make major life changes that I was afraid to make. I would go to a therapist and talk about how terrible I was feeling. The therapist would agree with what was bothering me or try to put things in perspective. But I learned and am learning that feeding those anxious and depressing thoughts just makes them worse. I would just wallow in feelings of anger and sadness. I thought that if I didn't think about what was bothering me then I was repressing my emotions. Now I realize that feeling my feelings means: I feel angry at my husband, realize I'm angry but know I don't have to yell at him or start a story in my head about what a terrible person he is, I realize it's just a feeling or thought (I don't reject it or give it attention) then I move on with what I was doing.

    I'm still a work in progress but I feel so much more hopeful and happier than I have in a long time. There is so much more to explain that I can't write in this post but I highly recommend the book The Inside Out Revolution by Michael Neill.
    Fernando, Jules, livlive and 6 others like this.
  2. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    So beautifully put. Just what I needed to read right now. I had another very hectic day which is the norm the last few months and I was thinking, "When am I going to stop holding tension in my body? How am I going to think it away? " Well, thinking instead of feeling is what keeps it there.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wonderful post! You've very accurately described the process of outcome independence--acceptance and non-resistance. The more I study TMS, the more I see this concept is central to recovery. Thanks for sharing your insights, as they will be helpful to many.
  4. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Hi Aurora,

    Thanks for recommending the inside out revolution.

    I'll check it out.

  5. Aurora

    Aurora Peer Supporter

    I used to get annoyed when people talked about outcome independence or say that "you're still in pain because you're trying to get rid of pain". Isn't the goal to get out of pain and if I were truly outcome independent then I wouldn't be on TMSWIKI.ORG. Now I realize that pain is not the problem it's my reaction to it that makes me suffer.
    Baseball65, Jules and Ellen like this.
  6. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Wow - this so cool & in depth. Very helpful to me, thank you. Embracing anxiety-wow.

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