Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by eskimoeskimo, Apr 20, 2015.
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Andy B and Ellen said what I was trying to say, but they put it better. It's not about the "aha" moment of insight. It's about letting yourself feel. My therapist is always telling me to listen to my id -- my innermost feelings, my instincts, my heart.
A couple of years ago I came down with horrible back spasms that got worse over a few days. My best friend had just told me that he was moving away to another city to get married, and I was very sad. The spasms came because I was quashing the sadness -- I didn't feel comfortable showing him how I was feeling. It's a guy thing. In that case I did have an "aha" moment -- while getting heat on my back on a treatment table at the physical therapist. I suddenly burst into uncontrollable tears, right in the middle of everybody, as it hit me how devastated I was. An awkward place for an outburst, but my spasms cleared up quickly after that. But it wasn't the "aha" that made the difference. It was the letting myself cry. That came first. The understanding came after.
I teach a technique which allows more acceptance of our experience, exactly as it is. It is a matter of being with yourself in your suffering. Not subtly rejecting yourself for your situation or experience. In my experience really being with ourselves --in intimacy with our suffering-- creates a sense of satisfaction and rest which we have been wanting for a long time. We don't need to keep pressuring ourselves to change, in order to have contact. Our habitual self-coersion to change ourselves in order to be in contact with our love objects goes back almost to birth. So it is a deep relief to find our own love, as we are. Love is generated in relationship to the level of inner pain we are in contact with.
Some people take to this approach. For others there seems to be too much anxiety to just allow our condition to rest as it is.
In being closer to ourselves, it is also a matter of dealing with the Superego, which will always try to intervene to "not allow feelings." Alan explores some of this with his Inner Bully in the TMS Recovery Program.
So these were the things that I was thinking of, to work more skillfully with the feelings around your TMS efforts, like frustration, fear, and so on. I teach this because it is the most satisfying inner work that I can do for myself.
You all have given me a lot to think about and I deeply appreciate the guidance and support. I do feel like I'm seeing things a little bit different now, and hopefully clearer. I think my brain's ability to undercut my attempts to get better are so divisive that sometimes it's difficult to know what's working and what's not... but this discussion has better oriented me to see how I've been using "getting better" as a means to feel worse. I also realize now that I've been focusing too much on individual symptoms, which ends up strengthening all of them, instead of thinking more globally and psychologically. It's like I've been focusing in on my neck and saying "cmonnn you're just a psychological thing get out of here, but oh wait! my damn heart! okay you're just anxiety, ohh but my knee! ok let's figure this one out" ... it's easy now to see how that could be counterproductive.
Thanks to all of you
You are welcome Tyler.
Very interesting - sometimes what appears to be internal tremors for me is very rhythmic and I believe it is my heart beat I am feeling as it matches the speed of my pulse, and that actually relaxes me as I know it is a benign sensation. One of the biggest problems for those of us who have anxiety is that we notice the smallest sensation in our bodies that most people would not notice or would not give a second thought to. Being highly observant is not always a good thing. I seem to get worse the more 'observant' I become and my anxiety goes up, and, well, the cycle is cemented.
Eskimo, if you haven't tried it yet, Ace's Keys to Healing are perfect for when you've tried everything else for your TMS and you just want to heal. He's an oncologist who used the keys to heal his own TMS. Check them out here: http://tmshelp.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7765 The thread goes on for 12 pages because so many people have found it helpful. Just read the comments in the thread. That stuff works.
I too was stuck where you're at for a very long time. I actually gave up on TMS for a while, thinking that it wasn't my answer. When I got back in the saddle, here are a few things that helped me in moving forward:
1. Find happiness. Work on fixing your life. Your pain is there as a physical reminder that you are not on track to living the life you feel you should be living. Something is off. Maybe it's in your relationships with people, or your career, or trying to be someone that you're not. Work on finding things that make you happy. Focus on that. The pain may still be there for awhile, but your attention will be redirected on making your life as great as possible. Once the pain becomes background noise to your awesome, busy, productive life, it will lose its power and fade.
2. Try to become numb to the pain. Try to not have any emotional reaction when your pain is present, or worse than usual. Think of your pain like a stubbed toe. You stub your toe, it hurts, but you never think "Oh my god, is this ever going to go away?!" "What if I can never walk again?" It's just pain, and it will go away. You don't worry about a stubbed toe, and eventually the pain goes away. A measure of TMS success is not how much you can do without unbearable pain, but rather how little you care about the pain. Try to eliminate the fear and develop an indifference to the pain. Some days will be worse than others, but try not to react when it gets worse. Your brain will notice that you are not reacting, and will realize that the pain is no longer working as a good distraction because you just don't care anymore. Think of it like a bully at school. The bully will taunt you and taunt you until he finally gets a rise out of you. He made you upset and got exactly what he wanted, which will just reinforce his behavior, and he will continue to bully you. But if you start ignoring the bully and don't react to anything he does to you, he'll eventually stop trying because he's not getting what he wants anymore. TMS is the bully. Just ignore it and it will eventually stop bullying you.
3. I found that researching and reading more about the subconscious mind/reprogramming the brain helped me. The symptoms continue to bother you because you are thinking in the wrong way. Our brain is an organ of habit, so you must apply the appropriate techniques to change that habit of negative, fearful, doubtful thinking. Once you change your thinking, your pain will fade away and your life will change. I read this on another TMS site and it resonated with me: "I like to think of unconscious thought patterns as a strong current. Trying to fight these symptoms, trying to journal and apply Sarno's methods, trying to face and accept these symptoms without reprogramming your brain is like swimming against a very strong current. You may work your ass off, and get somewhere, but you can't fight the current of habit for long, and once you tire out you will be pushed back. Change your unconscious thinking and the tide will change, the current will go with you now. Now you can simply float with it." Check out "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind," by Joseph Murphy for starters.
Thanks you Phaedrus, this comprehensive "key" is going to prove very helpful I think.
These two in particular reinvigorated my 'subscription' to the TMS protocol. In sort of sneaky ways, I've made 'healing from TMS' a prerequisite for doing anything else with my life. You've reminded me to deflate its power.
Dear friend, I believe our bodies are talking to us. Ask this pain what does it need? See what it says. What does it want to express? Be gentle with yourself. I see you are trying so hard. Yay for you. I see how earnest you are. I wish you well.
Have you had a chance to try the keys to healing out? Are you finding them helpful?
Read over them many times now. Still "deeply frustrated and scared"
Thanks for checking in though
Yes, it is applying them that is always the challenge. One thing you could try is choosing one each day to do a meditation on and just really focusing on that. Someone named "plum" did that over there and posted about it in a series of posts called "Ace of the day". If you make an account and search for them, you can find them.
But overcoming fear is always the most important thing. Nothing will hype someone up like fear and in the end, the keys to healing won't help you overcome that alone. You might try acceptance. Just allow the fear and let it pass over you.
Suffering = Pain x Resistance
I've known a couple of people who only got better when they finally lost hope. Resisting TMS feeds the TMS because what the TMS thrives on is attention. For those people giving up was what it took for them to stop resisting.
Keep us updated.
So you see, you have been fighting your pain for quite a while now. Has it worked for you? I suppose it hasn't or you wouldn't be here. As long as you continue fighting your pain, the cycle will continue and you will still have pain. There can be temporary placebo cures, but as long as you are running away from your pain, it will keep doing what it does, because it is beautifully serving its purpose.
This is the truth. People don't get better because they are not willing to accept the truth. The truth is that you must stop searching, you must stop fearing your pain and just let it go, but the problem is, there is no method for this. You are searching for a method to get rid of the pain and you will keep searching till the end of time, because there is NO method. You either stop fearing the pain and let it go or you don't. It's up to you. No one can tell you how to do it just like no one can tell you exactly how to lift your hand.
Wow, I just found this thread last night and I read it through just before bed. Pretty much everything eskimo wrote could have been written by me, right down to suffering 8 years with neck pain. I found Katie's post above to be the most helpful, and others have been interesting. I will be following this discussion closely.
One thing that I've wondered about recently is whether or not one must have faith in the TMS cure as well as the TMS diagnosis. At this point I don't have faith that anything will help because everything I've tried has failed. In fact, I don't think I really had faith in anything when I started, either. I'm thinking there might be some sort of opposite to the placebo effect at work here, maybe call it an anticebo effect. If you don't believe the treatment will work it won't work.
I'm actually LOL'ing at this post. Not because its content is itself funny, but because you sound like me! You said you could have written my posts, well back at you!
I understand the AntiCebo intensely. I can often recognize that my symptoms, physical or mental, are self induced in this way. But that's my illness! How do I stop it! I feel like the TMS modality is basically: "Stop doing that to yourself!" and, well, I Can't! At least, I haven't been able to yet.
Let's keep each other posted on our progress or otherwise... because it sounds like if either one of us figures it out, we both win.
Best of luck,
I hear you, but I'm not sure how to stop fear.
Dr. Sarno found that patients who had backgrounds of strong religious beliefs like Hasidic Jews grasped TMS concepts more readily. My interpretation is that they had a practice of belief that aided them in believing the TMS principles, basically a hopeful outlook.
The opposite of placebo is NOCEBO.
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