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Detaching from pain...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by amarie133, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. amarie133

    amarie133 Peer Supporter

    So I thought I was on the road to a pain free existence :) But this pain flare has lingered since last week after spending several days pain free. Its amazing how one thought can turn into a downward spiral if you don't catch it in time. The pain also changed to a very sharp sensation (nothing palpable, just a perception) in my forearm and thumb extensors. This set off the doubt of this being TMS, and the ensuing fear and anxiety that followed was a bit much this week. Despite I've just kept moving ahead.
    I had another massage client scheduled today which was creating a lot of fear and anxiety. But I told myself if this is TMS, a psychological condition, then there is no reason why doing a deep tissue massage would make my pain flare. While I was doing the massage, any time pain came up, I just refocused on what I was doing. I ended up in no more pain, and no less pain than before I started the massage.
    So then I decided to go to yoga right after the massage. Did a pretty intensive workout that had a lot of wrist extension which should have spiked my pain. But it didn't.
    So now the sharp pain is just there, and although it's not a pain free day or week, I'm feeling mentally and emotionally stronger than I have been the last few days. I'm feeling less attached to the pain, and any sort of negative consequence that could come about from using my forearm. Its funny because the last few months, anytime I used my arm or moved my thumb, I would have a pain flare. Our minds will associate physical movement with physical pain, and continue to associate the pain with an actual physical injury.
    So will just keep doing my meditation and affirmations. I know I will probably continue to experience pain, fear and anxiety but am feeling less attached to it all.
    I hope all my fellow TMSers out there are finding relief with their suffering. Sending you all Aloha.
  2. SunnyinFL

    SunnyinFL Well known member

    Good for you, Amarie133! I love the way you are talking back to the fear and anxiety, i.e., telling yourself there is no reason why certain activities would make your pain flare. It's not easy to disregard pain or to be indifferent to it - that, alone, is a big success. It sounds like the meditation and affirmations you mentioned doing are working well for you, so please continue to persist.

    Your post reminded me of Alan Godon's discussion of "outcome independence." Specifically, he says, "the way you respond when your symptoms arise can have a direct impact on how bad they get and how long they last. Often TMS sufferers go through constant cycles of hope and disappointment. When the pain is either gone or minimal, there’s a desperate hope that it won’t come back, and a crushing disappointment when it does. To eliminate your symptoms, this pattern needs to change; your objective needs to change. In the short term, the goal isn’t to prevent the pain from coming on, but to change the way you respond when it does."

    It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job with detaching from the pain and being outcome independent. Congratulations, and please now that we all are cheering you on! Sunny
    amarie133 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  3. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    Amarie - I am going through something very similar to you. I keep getting flare ups. I am have a reasonably bad day today. However, I refuse to slow down. I realize that an activity neither increase nor reduce my pain level. Bending my spine does not make it worst, and doing a stretch does not make it better. This is an affirmation that I have TMS.

    That being said, I struggle with figuring out what is causing this flare up. I have no clue what by subconscious is hiding today. Maybe its because my mother is about to visit, maybe the desk change, maybe the increase in responsibility at work.
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  4. amarie133

    amarie133 Peer Supporter

    Hi sunny!
    Thanks so much for your support. Yeah it's been more of a "oh there it is again" attitude and just move on about my day, instead of trying to resist it.
    Second massage of the week scheduled tomorrow! I am comforted by the fact that although I have pain, it is not structural, and therefore I will not harm my body.
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  5. SunnyinFL

    SunnyinFL Well known member

    You're welcome, Amarie133. It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job with your detachment and self talk! Please keep persisting - there's often ups and downs for all of us. Keep us posted and good luck! Sunny
    amarie133 likes this.
  6. amarie133

    amarie133 Peer Supporter

    Hi Levfin003,
    I'm sorry to hear you were having a bad day yesterday! Lots of up and downs on this journey. I was reading a bit of your history and its understandable why you would have physical pain. Just wondering if you have thought about therapy. I went to a psychologist at a pain management center and told him I thought I had TMS. He didn't understand and kept focusing on the physical. I found a much better therapist who believed in me when I said I didn't think my pain was a structural issue.

    She's helping me get to the roots of what triggered this. I had a session with her yesterday, some memories that resurfaced from the last few years of dealing with a very difficult preteen stepdaughter. She also helped to calm my nervous system with some relaxation exercises. Today I felt great. Only a couple twinges of pain and I did TWO massages today, one a deep tissue. A few months ago I was diagnosed with tendonosis/tendonitis of the forearm and thumb extensor muscles of my right forearm and then tendonitis of the biceps in my left shoulder.

    Good luck in your journey. I know it is rough and painful at times. I know how some days can be worse than others but I think its amazing you are able to understand the mind/body connection and strive to get to the root of your suffering. Take care and let me know how you're doing.
  7. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    Hi amarie - I just started working with a psychologist. Guess what! After hearing my story, the first thing she said was that I have psychosomatic pain. I was almost surprised that she brought it up before I mentioned TMS to her. I hope that would make it easier working with her. She did provide me a lot of comfort, and said she wants to help eliminate the psychosomatic pain.

    I know that there are many types of psychotherapies. What style of psychotherapy are you seeking? I am curious what kind would be most effective with TMS.

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