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Day 32 - Deja Vu...All Over Again!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Ami, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Ami

    Ami Peer Supporter

    In the past few days, some previously unrecognized-as-TMS symptoms have popped up; they are not completely new - just not my initial presenting issue ..(which happily, remains away). Interestingly, the issue of symptom substitution is part of the focus of this particular lesson. After several weeks, I had hoped to be less TMS-prone, so it is hard not to feel somewhat depressed to be experiencing a whole bunch of other TMS symptoms! Deja Vu - all over again. Will I have to go to the wall again in the same way on these symptoms? Dr. Schubiner's blog on Symptom Substitution has been very helpful and personally encouraging to me at the moment:

    "When symptoms shift, that is a good sign; you've got your symptoms moving, and as I always say, you've got them “on the run.” ... Step back and look at how much progress you've made, how much better you understand yourself and how you've been able to make your original symptoms disappear. (Yes that is true!) Have confidence that since you've come this far, you only need to go a little bit farther to gain control over the new symptoms. (So very glad to hear that!) Realize that your brain/mind is getting desperate; it wants to hang on to some symptoms and since you've caught on to the original symptoms, it is trying something new. And it may be trying to gain control and scare you into retreating to your old pattern." (Okay, great warning about the need to remain vigilant!)

    He goes on to explain, "The brain will continue to produce “other” symptoms or substitute symptoms for a variety of reasons.

    1. It is not ready to give up yet and you may need to continue to be firm with it. (Right, I guess my work is not done yet, sigh!)

    2. You haven't yet integrated the changes that you need to make in your life or in your psyche - obviously you have to figure out what those changes are, and that's where therapy may help as well. (For now, I will continue to journal, and I have just ordered Unlearn Your Pain. I am committed to becoming 100% pain free.)

    3. You haven't yet accepted yourself fully and completely, i.e. you are still fighting yourself, doubting yourself, being afraid of symptoms or of certain issues/events in your life. (Hmmm...food for thought and more journaling: " what parts of me am I still repressing? What history is still unacceptable to my conscious mind?)

    4. You haven't yet learned what you need to learn from your symptoms. This may sound odd, but several people in the program have directly asked their symptoms (in meditation or in writing) this question, i.e. “what do I need to learn from TMS? The body is basically trying to protect us by producing MBS/TMS symptoms. Once we recognize this, we can work with our mind and bodies to calm the fears, deal with the issues in our lives which are stressful and produce the danger signals that cause activation of the fight or flight reaction." (Another good journaling focus.)

    And finally, he ends with these words of encouragement: "The symptoms you are having are an opportunity to learn, to grow and cope better with life. Seize this opportunity and learn from it. (Thanks so much doc! Really appreciate the help!)
    Jilly likes this.
  2. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    My newest symptom has been headaches which is one thing I have never really had but now do. Yes, I see the symptoms as an alarm bell telling me to think psychological not physically. I would add a #5 to your list "all of the above". When I get in a stressful situation my head hurts, my right shin and the back of my thighs.

    I liked your note. It is very thought provoking. I have read it several times now and will come back to read it again. Journaling, journaling and more journaling continues to give me more intellectual insight. And more journaling.
    Jilly likes this.
  3. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    I'm working on being more mindful of my thoughts and feelings to catch them before they turn into a nasty headache or body ache. I am exploring body/energy work and how we hold the energy in our bodies. This energy must be discharged by simply feeling our way through them, letting them crescendo, and finally dissipate.

    From what I understand, after a while of repressing we become numb to the early subtle signs when we are troubled by something. The messages are going out to the body...but we have the mute button on and miss the early subtle signs. The process of repression keeps ramping up the intensity and sadly, we are asleep at the wheel. If we can recognize those early signs, we can intervene earlier with the appropriate response and interventions before we have a full blown migraine or terrible body aches. The work I'm doing involves taking many conscious breaks to check in with yourself, and really feel your body, feelings and thoughts.
  4. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Yes, my mute button has been stuck on for many many years and I never new it.
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  5. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    Mine too SandyRae, in fact mine is still a sticky button. Taking 30 second breaks throughout the day in various situations and just feeling all the sensations in my body and my thoughts or moods has really helped. I don't need to know WHY I feel a certain way, I dont need to ANALYZE, I don't need to problem SOLVE. I just let the feelings move through me, feel them, crescendo and discharge. Life happens through me, not to me .
  6. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    well. i sure like the discharge part.
    Jilly likes this.
  7. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Jilly, that's really very helpful. I can't quite imagine not analyzing, being the mental sort that I am. I'm going to really try practising like this, and see what happens. Sounds much easier and more flowing; in some ways I can see I've been trying too hard at all this. TMS personality hard at work.

    Sandy, I'm with you!
    Jilly likes this.
  8. Ami

    Ami Peer Supporter

    I am in total agreement with everyone, this is so helpful Jilly, and gives me hope! The awareness that I have have placed my early warning signals on mute sounds true, though I am not conscious yet, of how or when. I will start taking 30-second "feeling -awareness-discharge breaks" right away.

    Jilly likes this.
  9. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    We're all in this together, it is a journey and I'm loving this technique with really good results i.e less mental & physical pain and less anxiety. Why wait till we're in full blown TMS attack when we can do mini check in's throughout the day. I do have a sticky mute button and this is helping me 'un-stick' the button.

    I do believe there are many times we know exactly what the problem is and in those times try not to focus to hard on it. Allow it, let it be, feel it....don't try to find a new way to work it...just feel it. Feel the sorrow of it, feel the rage of it; allow your mind, body and soul to really feel it. Even when we know what it is that's bothering us, it will build, crescendo, and softly dissipate to discharge. It's in the discharge, that allows your body to be free of repression and it's painful effects.

    The problem won't be solved, it's not about solving, this technique is about allowing the safe passage of this emotion through you. Life doesn't happen to you, it happens through you. Just as the wind blows wildly through the trees, the leaves wiggle and wave, branches bend and almost snap, as the wind makes its way around the world to carry a butterfly's wing in a foreign land.
  10. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    We are such problem solvers and analytical - classic TMS 'ers :rolleyes: I had a small situation today...felt the tension building and instead of muting myself, I let it move through me, felt it build and crescendo (sensations of rapid heart rate and butterflies in chest and stomach, racing thoughts and dry mouth) then I felt the sensations soften, dissipate and discharge. Then I took a deep clearing breath at the hallmark end and said "ahhhhh".

    I didn't try to " solve it ", distract myself from it, or ignore it like I usually do. It was a tad uncomfortable but I reminded myself , " I can feel this now, or I can feel this later in my body, don't worry, it will get bigger " " Ego this is the new way we're handling these kinds of situations now " "I am in charge"

    I want to get to the pain before the pain gets to me. Right now I am just trying to learn how to let the emotions and sensations move through me and reunite my mind and body. The whole process took about 7 solid minutes. It felt so good and I know it won't hurt later !

    Let no man separate what God has brought together. The mind and body cannot be separated, in sickness and health, for better or worse...till death do us part.
    Ami likes this.
  11. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Jilly you are so quotable! I really like the one, "Ego this is the way we are handling these kinds of situations now."

    What I am finding is I am actually aware of the emotion, but I think I acknowledge and dismiss it too quickly. Almost like a 'mental emotion' if such a thing could be. I have no idea where it is connecting in my body.
    Jilly likes this.
  12. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    Your'e so sweet :p I think I understand 'mental emotion ' ... you said , " I dismiss it too quickly ". That's a form of avoidance to keep from experiencing discomfort or pain resulting in repression and TMS pain, the emotion does not flow through you ... and you avoid ' feeling it ' I think that's huge in discovering how you process emotions. Now you can take steps towards simply feeling the emotion a little longer and stopping the repression. The TMS repression cycle is broken !
    YA-HOOOO ! I am so excited for you ! ;)
  13. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jilly, this is very poetic and soothing imagery.
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  14. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    Thanks, I am really enjoying the journaling and expressing ... I felt soothed too when I read it and I'm happy it had the same affect on you .
  15. Ami

    Ami Peer Supporter

    Like Tarala, often my emotions/thoughts flit through me before I can catch them mentally or as embodied physical sensation; so I need to go hunting for them. I have set my timer during the day to remind me to "check in" with my feelings, body, emotions every 30 minutes and develop this new habit.

    [quote="Jilly, post: 6411, member: 642"" " Ego this is the new way we're handling these kinds of situations now " "I am in charge"....I want to get to the pain before the pain gets to me. Right now I am just trying to learn how to let the emotions and sensations move through me and reunite my mind and body. The whole process took about 7 solid minutes. It felt so good and I know it won't hurt later !
    Jilly likes this.
  16. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    I do it a few times a day. Sometimes nothing comes to the surface, other times I can make a list ! LOL !
  17. Ami

    Ami Peer Supporter

    Allowing emotion safe passage and letting it flow safely through.....realizing that I need practice at this to not get "caught" by the emotions going by. Didn't have much success this morning on my 1-3 times daily (usually upsetting, frustrating, powerless-to-do-anything) conversation with my (extended-care, wheel-chair imprisonned for the past 26 years) mother.

    As she related her usual list of grievances, problems, aches, anxieties, needs, and requests, instead of just going numb so as not to feel all my internal brew of emotions and helplessness, I asked myself, "what am I feeling?

    As I acknowledged my feelings, they didn't just flow by but attached to me, and I just plain got mad at the situation and my inability to help her in any truly constructive way. This wasn't who I want to be, nor did it help in any constructive way, sigh!

    Can you say more please about how to create a safe passage for emotions "in the moment?"

    Jilly likes this.
  18. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Hi Ami,

    My heart goes out to you-- it can be the most difficult to deal with loved ones, because we believe we 'should' do everything we can for them, be there all the time, and somehow make them happy. Anger in itself is neither good or bad, right or wrong, unlike some of the ways we often choose to express that anger. The pure emotion lets us know that something is not okay for us, for example we are not taking good care of ourselves or someone else is giving us a message that we are not good enough. In that sense our emotions are our most valued asset.

    Some questions to ask might be, "Am I responsible for my mother's happiness? Am I taking good care of myself? What is my anger telling me I need? Is it actually of the highest benefit to my mother to enable her to believe that someone else is responsible for her happiness? Am I a bad person if I don't meet all her needs?

    As for helping in a constructive way, it is certainly a great step away from a painful body. And if it helps you figure out who you really are and what you need, it is constructive. Maybe try just observing the anger, and seeing where you feel it most in your body, while watching all the 'shoulds' that come up. You don't have to fix anything. Becoming free of shoulds that don't serve us is wonderfully liberating.
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  19. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    Hi Ami...

    I completely agree with Tarala's post. Those are wonderful ideas...she is so good...read her post again and again...let her words soothe you

    One thing that really helps me is to accept what ever feeling it is that I am experiencing so I do not repress it. It's o.k. to be upset and mad over the situation. What is not o.k. is to repress your true feelings. You felt safe to express your feelings here...and the honesty of that will not allow you to repress. You took the first step. You recognized how uncomfortable you are with that feeling. You took the second step and did not repress it, you spoke up and shared it with us.

    The safe passage of that feeling or emotion is to accept it within yourself and not judge yourself over it. Your' e not a bad person for having those feelings. You feel the feeling build and it feels like its going to explode ... it crescendos...builds power. But if you sit with it and do not judge it or rush to quick fix it... the feeling softly fades. That is the safe passage. There is no resolution of the current problems. There is no repair. There is nothing external that brings you relief, the relief is all internal.

    "Events in life do not cause stress. It is the emotional attachment to the event that causes the stress, the reaction to it" ~ Steve Ozanich-The Great pain Deception p.255.

    It took 26 years to get to this place, it wont take 26 years to heal your body and mind. When dealing with people that are very draining, I like to imagine they are a patient of mine in the hospital. I have a shift to care for them and after my shift is over I can go home. I do my best to NOT take them personally. I remind myself they are in great pain emotionally and physically and the feelings, thoughts, and emotions they elicit from me is my doing, not theirs. * hugs * big bear hugs* hugs*
    Ami likes this.
  20. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Gosh, Ami, I am going through exactly what you are. I see my parents 2-3 times each week. It has taken me years of practicing all these personality traits with them. I know it is going to take me awhile to change them. I visit them and I am aware of the pain starting to increase. I think my mind starts panicking trying to do what I can mentally and physically to stop it!!! Well, I can't at least not yet. I come home and have to journal about it to get a deeper understanding of what happened and practice my belly breathing to relieve the pain.

    But I am amazed at how aware of everything about my parents has become. I can see the mask in my Mother's face. The very narrow band of emotions she allows herself to feel. She was stressed out and worried about a financial issue but never let that emotion come out at all. She was annoyed with me but never never showed it.

    They were going to be out of town for a few days. My Father did not call me to let me know he didn't have the suitcase he wanted. I was really annoyed he did not let me know because I would have to drive back home, pick it up then drive back to their apartment. I did ask him to use the suitcase he had and take a hanging bag for the other stuff. I could "see" the emotion cross his face of seeing he had made me unhappy and I made him unhappy. I stood up for myself.... yeah. One baby step with bigger ones coming... yeah.

    Everybody in my family tip-toes around each other never doing anything to rock the boat, never getting upset, never getting mad, never showing anything in the way of emotion. How exhausting. Sandy
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