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Dealing with enablers?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by LittleWildflower, Feb 28, 2023.

  1. LittleWildflower

    LittleWildflower New Member

    I’m getting asked ‘how are you feeling? Shouldn’t you be resting? Are you better now?’ A lot! And it’s really irritating me and I think… sabotaging me. They’re enabling me to feel bad every time they drag it all up. Every time someone draws attention to my illness/pain I’m reminded of it and then I feel like I have to explain what’s going on or tempted to body scan myself looking for symptoms. Im reminded of every sensation, every doctors appointment, every sleepless night. I’m thinking I should just tell people I’m much much much better now, feeling AMAZING and hopefully that’ll put me in a better position mentally? I don’t want to be told to ‘take it easy’ ‘rest’ blah blah blah because it’s all over protective sabotaging nonsense that’s enabling my TMS to keep flaring up. ‘SEE! Everyone says you’re broken and ill so you MUST be broken and ill’. And if and when I have a relapse I’ll just deal with that quietly and privately.

    Does that sound healthy and sensible? Boundaries? I don’t think I’m in a strong enough position yet to educate others or have a relationship with my body where I can be curious yet. I need a safe distance from rumination. And lying about how wonderful I feel seems like a good idea.

    thanks xx
    lindyr likes this.
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh @LittleWildflower
    Can you take a step back.
    Can you see you from a distance?
    Can you see those people who you now fear walking up to care about you? Their concern? Their love?
    Think about what might be going on here far more deeply than you realize. People show love and you flip it around to be a scary and frustrating.
    You do not have to explain one single thing to anyone. Explaining is a choice you are making to stay in that fearful narrative. It’s just the tms brain doing its best to draw you back.
    Why not try going to the emotion people’s words create within you instead of heading back to the symptom. “What am I feeling when they say those things”?
    Boundaries are super healthy! I find I need them for myself as well as others.
    Finding kind ways to express your boundaries is a fun challenge. “I’m doing ok today, how are you?”
    So many opportunities to learn about yourself in these moments.
    JanAtheCPA and Ellen like this.
  3. Bonnard

    Bonnard Well known member

    Thank you so much for posting this @LittleWildflower !!
    This is one of my biggest struggles with TMS issues. When I first learned about TMS by being introduced to Sarno's books, I was successful in addressing my back pain (typical stuff you read about on this forum--herniated discs, and a doctor thought surgery was the next step). It took a while and the gains were on-and-off at first. I'd have good and bad days.

    I worked two jobs then--in an office during the week and waiting tables on weekends. At the office, folks were always checking on me, suggesting the right chair or sitting position, etc. etc... At the restaurant, I had quite a few days where I went to work in spite of symptoms. I'd get the courage to return to normal activities (and waiting tables is so physical) in spite of the pain, and then be reminded of the pain for the entire shift because I had co-workers yammering on about their own issues, about their concern for me, etc etc... It's kind of like gossip at work--once you take part in that, it's like a never-ending conversation, even when you want it to stop.

    Unfortunately, I've had a return of significant TMS symptoms recently.
    I had to take sick days at work (just the one office job now) and have really struggled. I've had to skip work travel, cancel attendance at a workshop and a conference, etc. So, it's very noticeable that something's going on with me.

    >>I’m thinking I should just tell people I’m much much much better now, feeling AMAZING and hopefully that’ll put me in a better position mentally?
    With my current situation, I just told them very limited details at work. AND, I'm about to start saying "I feel much much better now, feeling AMAZING...."

    I told my bosses extremely limited details, just that I had a significant medical issue I was trying to sort out. I let them know I was not going to tell them specifics, partly for privacy and partly so I could work without talking about medical stuff all day. I told the HR person some of the details to cover myself, and I told one close trusted friend at work. That's been working out amazingly well!! Not perfect because I still get questions about whether I'm ok. And, on every Zoom call, I get those long stares, as if they're going to be able to see my injuries or state of health if they stare long enough. A couple times, I just turned my camera off...

    It's not going so well in my personal life. I told family members and friends and wish I hadn't been so open with details. I'm now getting all the questions you mention above, and they're not helping me at all.

    I wish you well with your situation and all the questions that come your way!!
  4. lindyr

    lindyr New Member

    I just tell people I am doing fine and they eventually limit saying anything. Good luck...

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