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Day 1 Dipping a toe in the TMS pond

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Rajput21, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Rajput21

    Rajput21 Peer Supporter

    Last June (2012) was the first time I gave serious consideration to my pain stemming from the brain rather than from a physical defect. Since that time, I've come fully around and believe I accept the TMS diagnosis. Unfortunately, while I say that I fully accept my diagnosis, it doesn't appear that I have. After reading through some of Dr. Gordan's work on this site, it seems that I've accepted it intellectually (and even logically) but not on a deeper level. This too makes sense to me.

    I think one of the reasons it is difficult for me to accept the diagnosis, is that I am in an incredibly stressful work environment on a day-to-day basis. I'm not sure how this works, but it seems that this isn't an ideal way to overcome TMS. My job is actually designed to illicit a stress response from me and in those moments when the pain arrives, it can be very difficult to fully calm myself down or escape from the pain. I've been doing a lot of self talk and I've noticed it helps calm some of the more extreme reactions such as elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, and sweating. This is great. But it doesn't help the back pain, at least not yet.

    All of the success stories really give me hope, which is something I haven't had in a really long time.
  2. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you can't change your job/career ? Perhaps you could make some time for yourself somewhere else in your schedule - so that your body can recognise that you are setting time aside for YOU?! I have found I am having to be incredibly kind to myself - as well as strict with doing the 'Days' to keep some kind of balance. Otherwise it seems I'm beating myself up for making myself ill - which isn't true and does not help! I think the hope is SO important too...
  3. Rajput21

    Rajput21 Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the support, this forum is a blessing! Changing my job/career may unfortunately be inevitable for me although it worries me because my understanding is that I have to learn how to respond to stress properly and not avoid it (life is stress after all). But I do understand that a trial-by-fire might not be the best way to learn how to deal with the stress. Your suggestion to set time aside for myself is a great one, thanks. I've noticed that I seem to engage in behaviors to pass time mindlessly. I didn't used to do this before the back pain. What do you do to take care of yourself?
  4. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love reading and have piles of books waiting for me - so I may go out in the sunshine, lie on a recliner and read something I've looked forward to - maybe whilst sipping a G&T! Or I may chuck the dog in the car and go somewhere beautiful for a walk. Life gets so hectic its easy to say - short walk for dog, do the housework if you've got energy, get that weeding done - but really life's too short to squander our time - we ARE important and worthwhile, so things will get done when they do - I'm off to see an art exhibition - or eat cake and drink fancy coffee overlooking the sea, or surprise my husband with an M&S (posh shop) picnic dinner in a flower meadow!
    Maybe get a pen and paper and write a list of things you have enjoyed in the past, and a list of things (a bucket list!) you want to do. Mix it up - have a section for 'things I could do in under half an hour' (steady there!) another for 'half a day' another for 'a weekend'. Then rank them according to how much you think you would enjoy them - then DO THEM, and tick them off until you get thru the lists...
    This has got me going - I'm going to make my own list now!!
    Lilibet likes this.
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I agree that balancing your stressors is important. Doing things that bring you JOY. Dr. Sarno calls this the rage/soothe ratio. Anything that brings a smile to your face--not matter how insignificant it may seem to you--is important and can act as a balancer!

    PS more than "dipping a toe in" is required for success! :)
    Lilibet likes this.
  6. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Rajput, the way you describe your job makes it sound more stressful than most. It's true that life is full of stressors, but some stress is more than our bodies can handle. You may decide somewhere down the line that your job is just too stressful for you--not necessarily because it brings you physical pain, but because it truly detracts from your life.
    Lilibet likes this.
  7. Rajput21

    Rajput21 Peer Supporter

    Ha, point taken Lori!

    Gail: this is what I am struggling with at the moment, deciding what to do about my career path. If it weren't for student loans and a lack of direction without my current career path, I would have changed professions already. I'm going to try to make the best of my current situation but if the TMS doesn't improve, I may be forced to come up with an alternative decision. Figuring out what that alternative might be, is the challenge. Thanks.
  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi sweetheart.

    Many (most?) people struggle with doubts, intellectualising and finding a fresh, healthy balance. The really beautiful thing is the invitation to change our lives for the good. Overcoming tms and the journey there gifts us with many ways that we may reinvest into creating better lives, becoming finer people. I'm not yet healed but am on my path, and hand-on-heart, like the woman I am now much more than the pain-free girl I was.

    As for your career, do muse on alternatives, especially things that gladden rather than tax your heart. You are young and have acres of time.

    As for stress, tis the modern world. Too much, too fast, too unbalanced.
    Short of repairing to a quiet coastal village or a cave (and even then your mind travels with you), it does well to acquire skills to soothe and correct the inbalance. One of the boons of having read too much about tms is that I can easily recommend such things. I very much like Rick Hansen's audiobook 'Stress-proof Your Brain'. It not only explains the neurological and psychological aspects well, it provides guided meditations. These are short and profoundly helpful. I find they are easy to do in the heat of the moment, such as excusing yourself and sitting in your car for ten minutes while you calm down and nurture yourself. They are an excellent compliment to Alan Gordon's work too

    Hope some of this helps.
    Good luck and welcome aboard.
    Rajput21 likes this.
  9. Rajput21

    Rajput21 Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the encouraging post plum, it felt like a virtual hug! I'll look into the Rick Hansen audiobook, it sounds like something I really need.

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