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Can't decide on an approach

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Miller, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    Firstly I know I've posted a few times over the last week - sorry!

    I just can't decide on the right approach for me - I wake up every day and it's like "Ok what am I going to do today so get better"

    I end up focusing on a different approach every day - one day I'll try Claire Weekes approach, then I panic that I'm not dealing with repressed emotions, then I worry that I'm not relaxing enough and pushing too hard. Then I think I'm missing the meditation part of this. I have dizziness and there are many therapists who say you need to use neuroplasticity to focus on steadiness.

    I'm literally driving myself mad and I always think I need to be "doing" something to feel better. I'm so annoyed with myself because every day I think I've found the approach that makes sense to me... Then the next day I start all over again

    What is wrong with me!
  2. Sita

    Sita Well known member

    You think too much. Practice surrender, just try to let go a little.

    All the best!
  3. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    @Miller , you are not the first one in that situation. It can get overwhelming. Just remember, that every approach you have listed has a lot, if not everything to do with neuroplasticity. We are re-wiring our brains to not repress our emotions, to learn how to relax, to stop worrying. Whichever way you go, you are chipping away from the big rock that blocks your way to a better life.

    Everyone is different, but from reading your post I guess that you are prone to worrying. Most of the people who end up with chronic pain or other TMS conditions are worriers. Claire Weekes goes right to the heart of it, because worrying and anxiety are twins. If I were you, I would have started with Claire's audios. I believe they are more impactful than her book because they add magic of her voice. If you can add other things on top of working through her audios, like journaling or meditation - that's perfect. If your schedule does not permit more than one thing at a time, stick with her audios for a month, give them all your attention and then move to the next one. Keep rotating through them until you start seeing the change. Patience is what you need the most.

    Best of luck!
    Northwood, Neil and miffybunny like this.
  4. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Definitely don't worry about a "right"approach, as there is no such thing. The best advice I can give is to keep things as simple as possible and try things that appeal to you. It doesn't matter "how" you go about calming your brain, allowing emotions and changing thought patterns. It just matters that you do it patiently with no pressure. Shifting mindset is a process and there's no formula. My best advice is to read Dr. Sarno, Claire Weekes and "Unlearn Your Pain" by Dr. Schubiner. That's more than enough for knowledge and understanding concepts. Then, explore meditation (there are short guided ones on YT...it doesn't really matter) or journaling or walking in nature ....anything like that to relax you and get you out of your thoughts and keep you in the present moment. I never followed a structured program or meditated or journaled, but I did have therapy and I made changes to my life to reduce stress. Don't fall into the trap of having to do TMS work "perfectly" because that becomes tms'ing about tms lol. The goal is to let go and stop trying and doing. Start living and being yourself and doing the things that make you happy.
    Neil and TG957 like this.
  5. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    Hey guys!

    Yep very prone to worrying And thought loops about TMS.

    I've had symptoms for soooo long but they were manageable with anti depressants (I didn't know about TMS then) and didn't bother me too much

    Had a very stressful time a couple years ago and suddenly started to be more fearful of symptoms - I think I hit a threshold that the anti depressants couldn't handle! That's when the real obsession and anxiety started

    I think I'm frustrated at myself for not being able to accept the way I used to

    I did a few sessions with a TMS therapist but I was very stubborn that my emotions were NOT a problem, my personality was fine and none of it made sense to me. I wanted them to fix me quickly. LOL

    This has been a hell of a rollercoaster ride - hence why I'm still sitting on the fence scared to actually move forward and get it wrong AGAIN
  6. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    So what I'm hearing (please forgive all my questions, I've really been through the mill over the last year or two) is that firstly I need to deal with the symptoms and my current reaction to them day to day, bring the tension level down to where I can start to deal with emotions, perhaps meditate and work on some life changes that will support my emotional well being. But the first step is to remove the fear of the symptoms.

    So I can say to myself each day "I know my nervous system has been under alot of pressure from emotions, adding extra fear does not help. I can relax"
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is exactly right. It took me a long time to realize that a jittery state of mind that I was living in at the time was triggering my pain. At some point, I realized that I could bring my stress level down to the point that I noticed the jittery state of mind right away and learned how to get myself out of it. Then I was able to move through my recovery methodically and successfully. The fear of symptoms and general state of fear fades away as your tone down your anxiety. Anxiety breeds fear, fear breeds anxiety.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
    sarah0924 and Drew like this.
  8. Miller

    Miller Peer Supporter

    Thank you, that's helpful

    What I've been doing is trying to face the "repressed emotions" all at once as I tend to get flooded with lots of thoughts of everything that could ever have affected me emotionally and then panic about how I'm ever going to resolve it all so that I can feel better

    I think that's the fear that's holding me back - I can't grasp some of the emotional stuff fully, and I'm scared that's what is keeping me stuck. I'm a very "all or nothing" person and I've never been able to nail the slow and steady progress approach
  9. sarah0924

    sarah0924 New Member

    First let me say, I am still struggling. I can relate to exactly your description. I moved not long ago & found I had books in 3 areas...self-help, science, & religion/spirituality/philosophy. It is like I am "addicted" to the process. I have been in therapy for a little over a year because I was not one who "read the book" and was cured. I think a lot has to do with the patterns of response in my brain & re-wiring this.
    One thing that has helped me is to be in the "now" (as Exkhart Tolle describes). I have to remind myself to do this and breathe. Even when driving I prompt myself to look at the road, the scenery. The other thing is doing physical stuff so I am not "in my head" all the time. Yoga, walks, etc. It has been hard w the Covid isolation not to fall back to just being "cerebral" all the time...lol
    We are all on the journey, I came here and joined to get support from other people like me.
    Thanks for your post.
    Northwood likes this.
  10. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter

    I've been there, done that, and will likely do it again in the future.

    One thing that drives me crazy even though I know it might not matter is trying to figure out how this works...from information and my own experience the following three all could make sense

    • Brain is intelligent and sending symptoms as distraction from some emotion or hard situation. (This is what I lean towards when I have massive symptom imperative)
    • Physically symptoms are just anxiety, pure and simple, when either you aren't getting the message from anxiety or you need a break to let your body chemicals regenerate. (This makes sense when my pain and anxiety completely flip flop within minutes sometimes).
    • Learned neural pathways. Maybe you had real incidents happen but have since collected a variety of pain that your brain learns (this makes sense to me when I have condition responses).
    Problem is they all make sense and I feel necessitate a different approach. So I hedge my veys by doing things that could help in either case:
    • Not fearing
    • Going about life
    • Mindfulness practice
    • PMR before bed to relax
    • Free writing
    Wish I could help, but at least you aren't alone (I've read at least fifteen books so... analysis paralysis much??)
  11. Northwood

    Northwood Well known member

    I can appreciate feeling overwhelmed with options and paths. I started in January, and set out devouring as much as I could. There's no end to books and links and videos, etc. I agree with miffybunny about not worrying about finding the "right" approach. What's worked for me is to try different things, follow up on advice from others on this site, and stick with where the energy is. Also, I let go of stuff I feel I SHOULD do, but isn't energizing me when I engage it for a while. Stuff falls away and other stuff stays on, and eventually a path appears. For me, what sticks have been some books (Sarno and Steve O & recently Byron Kaitie's Loving What Is), mindfulness meditation (just sitting, attentively & non-judgmentally), lots and lots of free writing, and Gordon Allan's Pain Recovery Program (especially when starting out). Also, following people in the forums has been a godsend! What's worked less well--recently--but that I've tried (and may return to some other time): Qigong, creative visualization, guided meditations, Claire Weekes, the Structured Education Program. It's not that any of latter isn't great; it just hasn't felt right for me at the time so I set it aside and moved on. Some comments in another thread on the importance of the spirit of PLAY really impressed me. Being physical, having fun...getting away from thinking & figuring: "take a giant step outside your mind." Sound advice from Taj Mahal. Going that way, too. Feels just right! Good luck.

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