1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 8: Progress =)

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Calum, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Calum

    Calum Peer Supporter

    Hi all! Great news, yesterday at work I did not experience feeling any pain whilst using the computer. Either that or I simply didn't notice it/do not remember it now. I consider this a huge milestone for me and I am really happy. I full day of computer usage and no pain.

    The weird thing is I've not been connecting with anything particularly emotional, most of my journalling still does not produce a strong emotional reaction. My theory is that I've been absorbing information from a variety of different sources provided on the recovery program that is helping me accept the diagnosis deep down, building my confidence and reducing my fear. I've even considered going back to computer games just to prove I can.

    I got it all wrong! It just hit me around 5 minutes ago (one reason I love the unconscious mind I think it works on problems in the background when we are not actively thinking about them) that on Thursday night the night before my full day without symptoms me and my girlfriend had a row. This was a big deal for us because we never row not really. And the reason we don't is because when I get angry with her I suppress it, almost every time. And on Thursday night I didn't she shouted at me and instead of merely taking it like I usually do (because I fear making things worse, i.e. she could leave me, and I'm crap at conflict because conflict with my dad always ended badly for me) I shouted back because in my mind she was firmly in the wrong. We had a row and it felt good afterwards like a release of tension and things have been better between us since. I think that the expelling of all that negative anger cause me to have a day without symptoms on Friday and as a bonus things have been great between me and my girlfriend since then.
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow, Calum, great work! I like how you are thinking. I remember at the beginning of this process a few months ago, I was in marriage counseling with my husband and I got really angry because he got to talk a lot and then we ran out of time. It wasn't rational and I got very upset and let my husband and the therapist really have it. That was kind of embarrassing but afterwards my symptoms went away for a day and I gratefully was able to make the connection. But I also think because of that and everything I was reading, I started to really focus on not repressing my anger and letting myself loose whenever I recognized I was angry with my husband. This is not a comment on the positive experience you had arguing with your wife because I do think the ability to not be afraid and argue with your spouse on occasion can be a really freeing, healthy, and normal thing. But in my case, my newly discovered ability to unleash my anger on my husband and the tension I felt over trying to channel it in a more constructive way out of fear that I might be repressing and aggravating my pain condition, was a little misguided. Or perhaps I just needed to go through that process to figure out what could work better. I put my husband through a lot for a few months. Now I try to notice and be aware whenever I am experience a strong emotion in my body. Then I try my best to really connect with it, notice and observe what it feels like physically. Then I focus on accepting it, not controlling it and watching what it wants to do, where it wants to go. Then I ask what it is all about and see if it wants to answer me in some way. And I try to sit with it for a few minutes. If I have time, I write about whatever has come up. This may sound crazy, but intuitively I can sense that I am on the right track in my resolution and healing. I feel like this is the direction where the pain has been trying to lead me, that I have been struggling so hard to figure out. Even as I write this I can feel my pain symptoms sort of buzzing and relaxing as if they are calling "Yes, Yes"
    At first I was only seeing the pain in terms of a distraction strategy and I would scream at in frustration "What are you trying to distract me from? What can be worse than this pain? Whatever it is, I will face it gladly!" And it is a distraction, a very effective distraction, but it is also a signal. A signal to breathe, a signal to examine, and most importantly a signal to get inside our bodies and really feel what is going on without judgement, with complete acceptance. Much easier said than done, it takes a lot of practice. I really like what you said about how great our subconscious is at helping us, at working out problems for us without us even being aware. That is so important to remember because recently have been afraid of my subconscious, I felt as though it was working against me. No, it is trying to help and protect me. A few years ago I did some brain wave therapy and it is amazing to be hooked up in front of a computer screen and be able to visually watch your subconscious trying to figure things out. The trick is not to let your conscious mind get in the way. Our brains are incredible!!
  3. Calum

    Calum Peer Supporter

    Anne, thanks for your post, I'd love to do some brain wave therapy, I think seeing it working would be amazing.

    It is very good that you are able to listen to your unconscious and let it guide you to the emotions you are repressing and feel them. Actually feeling the emotions physically is something I'm really struggling with, I can only usually bring them to the surface using music, angry or sad, but then its just raw emotion there is no direction to it.

    I've also been wondering about my earlier diagnosis. Yes I have been feeling frustrated and angry with my girlfriend as we have moved in together recently and are adjusting to one another and I feel I'm compromising more than she is and letting some of that out did make me feel better, but my symptoms started over a year before I felt this way towards my girlfriend, so I'm thinking either a) I was merely releasing the most current source of my stress and suppressed emotions and I've not yet found the original cause or b) that I've been feeling resentful or had doubts about my relationship for a long time unconsciously and only now is it boiling to the surface, yet this is very confusing as we were (and apart from the odd spat still are) very happy. Maybe its just a normal part of being in a long term relationship when you are young (I'm 24 and consider myself very young), there will be doubts and fears, but its normal everyone goes through it, but if its normal why doesn't everyone get TMS when they realise they are in a long term relationship? See the knots my mind is tying trying to make sense of all this?
  4. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Very interesting Calum. Yes, you are very young! You know there is no right or wrong here. There also may not just be one answer. We can get very focused on figuring it out, finding the solution, the big "aha, that's it." Sometimes it works like that, but I suspect most of the time it does not. We are really just trying to connect dots until one day perhaps we can see a bigger picture. Being able to feel and accept your emotions physically can take regular practice. There are certain emotions that I run from, in particular anger, so first I have had to recognize when I am angry and then I have had to work on letting myself feel it and not rationalize it or beat myself up over it. I feel like I am just on the verge of making some real breakthroughs on the emotional/psychological front. But I have been really working at this for months and at first when I tried to focus on thinking psychological it just felt like an exercise. I went through the motions but nothing really new, juicy or meaningful seemed to come out. But now as I am learning how to feel my emotions and deal with my current stressors, I am beginning to see patterns, how they are related to other things I have experienced in the past. And in terms of why some people experience TMS more profoundly than others, its not the amount of stress per se but how we process and react to it. At least that is what I think.
  5. Calum

    Calum Peer Supporter

    Yes Anne what you are saying makes perfect sense, it sounds much more logical that the problem be a culmination of lots of repressed and supressed emotions than one big repressed emotion. I feel for you with regards to running from anger, I have similar problems with anger where I suppress it in situations where I think its not a good idea to let it out and I've been doing this since I was around 12 maybe earlier. Although instead of beating myself up about it mine tends to manifest itself as "displaced rage" particularly road rage and getting very angry with inanimate objects over very little things. Today I had an increase in symptoms and I think one of the reasons for it may be that what I'm trying to do at work at the moment is very frustrating, partially due to the god awful software I have to use to get the job done. This makes me angry and fustrated, but I have to suppress it as I sit next to one of the upper level managers in the company.

    I'm glad you are close to some real breakthroughs and I find it encouraging that like me you found it very hard at first to feel anything whilst journal-ling, but you are getting there now. I've just thought maybe my unconscious knows I'm about to journal and try and feel some emotions so its guard is up and it locks away the emotions even tighter?

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