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Day 6 Day #6 The benefits of pain and inner child rage.

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by cookie_777, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. cookie_777

    cookie_777 Peer Supporter

    Hi guys,

    So my program has been keeping me so busy, I think my inner child might be in a rage. I have so much work to do daily, I have no time to do my TMS work, and yesterday tried journalling but was falling asleep. Even now I'm half asleep trying to type and have to be up in four hours (but I'll miss the first class) for more classes. It makes me upset and angry that I can't do this right now. Overall pain is 10% better. Two observations.

    One. Sometimes I find myself clenching my fists, or holding on tightly to my seat or just tensing up my shoulders. It happens a lot. I just find my body sort of frozen then I relax it and a couple minutes later it does it again.

    Two. Today I discovered the benefits my pain has given me and a conscious reluctance to give up those benefits. When I was thinking about how in two months I will probably be all healed up, and so what would I do with the rest of my life I thought, ;oh crap, if the pain goes away, I might actually have to follow my career paths and goals and won't have the pain as an excuse anymore for why I wasn't able to do it. A major fear of mine for example has been moving to New York and trying to make it as an actress. They often pick up jobs as waitresses or like at stores, so I have been so worried about not being able to do that kind of labour it stresses me out. But now that I think about the pain going away I'm still like, oh no, so I'll actually have to move to new york and try the artist thing? Or, oh no.. So I'm going to be an actress?

    Yesterday, during a lab session thing where we sow each other some scenes we've worked on, everyone knows that I need a chair to sit on and so if there's anyone standing they usually offer me a seat because cookie is in pain. I rememember walking in yesterday thinking, oh no, if I don't have pain anymore I'd have to stand through shows. If I don't have pain anymore I would actually have to go to all my classes. If I don't have pain anymore, I would have to carry my own things and I wouldn't get any more sympathy for my issues. That's terifying! For some reason that's terrifying. Is that weird of me to think that way?

    Also, the mornings have my shoulders all tensed up the moment I wake. I think sometimes that even my dreams are stressful and anxious. I believe i have tms now 87%. My brain still wants to do my phsio-therapy exercises, and to be honest, I think I'm conflicted about whether to stop pt or not. Then againn it gives the excuse of leaving campus. Would love to hear your thoughts..
     
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  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Awesome insights, cookie!

    Hah - not weird at all! It's just that the vast majority of people don't recognize it! Acknowledging the truth of these thoughts is the first step, and it's a BIG one - so congratulate yourself for that. The next step is to accept that these thoughts are perfectly normal. What you eventually choose to do is something else again. The first choice is to heal - hopefully you will make that choice. After that, the choice is whether to stick to a path you announced at some point in the past - or whether to reject that and feel fine about doing something else. Because the great thing about our modern world and especially about being American, is that you can do whatever the hell you want to do. As long as you choose to be healthy doing it :cool:

    Exercise is good. Ask your PT if you can graduate to more challenging strengthening exercise. Or take yoga instead - one of the more calming types of yoga (to counteract the physical and mental stress of your theater class). Hatha, maybe Vinyasa, or Iyengar if the props appeal to you (but the props are often used to accommodate injuries and pain, which you don't want to buy into if you don't have to).

    This is your stressed-out brain keeping your body in constant fight-or-flight readiness. Keep working on this - it will get easier to remember over time, and it's really worth making a regular effort. This is my current project, in fact. Start with a short meditation and visualization just before you're ready to sleep: relax and calm yourself with some deep breathing, unclench all of those clenched muscles (I know them well) and visualize the muscles staying relaxed all night long. You can this in just a couple of minutes, last thing at night, and also first thing in the morning. Once you learn to recognize your relaxation response (there's an old term - that's Dr. Herbert Benson, I believe) you can do it often during the day - your eyes don't need to be closed.
     
  3. cookie_777

    cookie_777 Peer Supporter

    You're amazing! Thank you! I will definitely try it today and let you know how that goes. I'm actually a Kenyan living in America right now for college- my symptoms started when I moved here. :-( I'll ttry the visualization tonight!
     
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi cookie,

    I agree with Jan, in that you're now able to see more clearly some of the fears which were in the shadows before: about going to New York, or about "doing all your classes." Pain creates fear, don't forget. So does life! These fears are to be felt, explored, understood... and then you will have more clarity. Then the choices will be more clear.

    I also want to say that Dr. Sarno said cases of TMS being related to "secondary gain" ---the excuse to do something you really wanted to, but did not allow yourself to really do, like "not take out the garbage because you had a good excuse, because you're back hurts" ---were extremely rare in his experience. What he is telling us is that we don't have TMS as a way to avoid doing things, or an excuse to do things we don't want to do. This is really important to remember I think, so that you can untangle those possible inner critic attacks, from more important information inside the fears you're finding. Knowing Dr. Sarno's understanding of the lack of secondary gain was important for me, in unraveling my feelings.

    Andy B
     
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  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, THAT explains a lot! Goodness, I don't think I've ever known a more goodist and driven population than international students! They are also really awesome and talented people as well, mind you. But I think that the expectations and the bar for success, given the trouble and expense of going overseas, is very very high. The daughter of some close friends took on too much and burned herself out in just one year studying overseas in Ireland (where speaking a second language wasn't even an issue). She had to come home to do her second year at the local university - where she's still taking on too much, of course - and is now waiting to hear about an internship in Spain, for crying out loud.

    But I have to say, she's an awesome kid. Her parents are very proud of her, but they are also sensibly a bit worried. You sound pretty awesome yourself, cookie. But please, don't burn yourself out, okay?
     
  6. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    This is a great thread. Cookie, when you said, "Sometimes I find myself clenching my fists, or holding on tightly to my seat or just tensing up my shoulders. It happens a lot. I just find my body sort of frozen then I relax it and a couple minutes later it does it again."

    I could have written those words.

    Jan and Andy are both brilliant, you have great support here and are NOT alone. I'm curious. What would Sarno say about "muscle memory" and the "freeze" response. I myself, feel that I was in an emotional "freeze" for nearly a decade after a series of very traumatic life events, and my TMS was my waking up from the emotional freeze. But now, my muscles feel frozen. I would love some thoughts on this.

    Cookie, don't give up. You DEFINITELY have TMS and you can get better. What if you just said, "My back feels fine, AND I don't want to do...". You're allowed to say no. Try saying no more. See if TMS releases it's grip as you speak up for yourself. I was a working actor for many years (20+). See what happens in your acting when you become more authentic in your needs. You are human, the BEST actors know how to hold vulnerability as their greatest ally. Best of luck.
     
    Moppy likes this.
  7. Moppy

    Moppy Peer Supporter

    hi cookie. thank you for sharing your journey. I am on my second go round of the SEP now but have stepped asIde for a bit to do the Recovery Program again. i only realised the other day that there are definite benefits to holding onto the tms pain for me too and I'd never realised this so clearly before. Like you, i get sympathy, help from others and can get out of things i dont necessarily want to do. It's reassuring to me that someone else is writing about these things, so i guess it must be pretty common. You are definitely not alone!

    I think Andy's comments about seeing the fears behind these feelings is very valid...i know fear is huge in my life and has a lot to do with my tms history. eg the sympathy that others show me for my tms pain is actually reassuring me that i am not worthless, people must quite like me or they wouldnt sympathise with me; my embracing of tms pain as an excuse to get of things i dont want to do is often a way of avoiding a situation in which i fear i may be a failure. I suspect this could be similar for you with your fears of moving to New York? Plenty for us to think about....and thank you again for giving voice to your fears and learnings in this forum. It helps many of us. :)
     
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