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Exercise and the TMS personality

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by srton, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. srton

    srton Well known member

    Hi All,
    I've been thinking about exercise and how it relates to this round of TMS pain. Like you, @Chimpmama and @TheWayBackUp @nato1003 my TMS is a series of "injuries" that are absolutely ridiculous.
    I've lived most of my life enjoying fairly intense exercise almost daily - I used to joke that it kept me sane. I now that maybe the endorphin high and following extreme calm I get from exercise was a way I used to avoid sadness and anxiety. This enabled me to be the most cheerful and easy going girl around.
    However now that my leg and butt are hurting I'm reconsidering this tactic. The goal is not to be the easiest going person. The goal is to be myself.
    I don't want to live forcing myself to avoid sadness and anxiety literally running away from my feelings.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, srton. It looks like you're doing a good job of discovering who you are and how to live by accepting your feelings. Just be yourself. Do whatever exercise you can. I've noticed that very few people who exercise or run look like they're enjoying it.

    There are some good exercise videos on YouTube. Easy does it. Even moderate exercise will lift your spirits.
    TheWayBackUp likes this.
  3. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    Hi srton,

    What you said resonates with me. I think I have used/use excercise as a measure of how accomplished I am for the day...and therefore, if I had/have "done enough" I'm a "good" person to be around--more relaxed, less anxious. I wonder how to find that correct balance--and to love myself for who I am rather than what I have done.
    I think the pain was a sign for this...that I was obsessing too much, guilt and pain kick in. Now it has become an automatic response...the pain comes and I feel like I did something wrong whether or not it is correct.

    Maybe that wasn't exactly what you meant but what you said does bring up a really important point.

    Tennis Tom and TheWayBackUp like this.
  4. srton

    srton Well known member

    @mnjeaner29 glad this resonates and thanks for your reply! I've found so often that my pain goes down a notch when I read about others' experiences here on the forum. Maybe it's just a reminder that TMS is real and that we all have some similar traits that have brought us this "pain."
    Back to the whole exercise thing...in the past I've used exercise as an escape - like "you never feel worse after a workout "
    I miss being able to lose myself in exercise. One of he SEP prompts asked "what would you want to do if you didn't have TMS" and good around with my body - dance stretch lift run walk swim with no pain.
    Now i have to sit with my feelings. It's very new to me! There are so many lessons in this pain...and as always I'm so humbled!
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  5. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    I wish I could offer more...but at the moment I want to just say I couldn't agree more.
    Let's keep this dialogue going--keep me posted on any new thoughts.
    I'm sorry I cannot be more helpful--but you are right--knowing someone else has similar sentiments absolutely helps. I can tell you it it sounds like you really are doing some good things. So don't forget to remember this every day when you start to beat on yourself.

    You helped me today by starting a post.
  6. nato1003

    nato1003 New Member

    Hi srton, I know what you mean by using exercise as a mistake. To this day I often use exercise as a way to avoid having to have conversations. I'd much rather just play ball or lift weights than deal with many social interactions. People would be chatting on the sidelines and there I am just shooting or lifting. It's helped a lot athletically, yet I used it as a crutch to avoid social situations.

    While having TMS, I was forced to talk, because I could not play. This has helped me significantly, and I no longer avoid social situations during exercise. It's just for fun, and I'm far more relaxed because of it. TMS has helped me, I'm glad I had it. I've become stronger with it.

    As for the exercise, I'm having a breakthrough right now. Better than ever. Even when the pain comes, just go for it. I've pushed myself past the pain at this point. My body has adjusted to exercising again. Perhaps you are tensing up when you move into positions that are painful? Right now, I'm working on ensuring that when I make bending and twisting motions, I do not hesitate and go at them normally, without tensing up. This has helped retrain my nervous system to accept challenging positions as normal again, and I can relax.

    Hope this helps.
  7. srton

    srton Well known member

    More thoughts - hope I'm not boring you all with this post but I keep coming back to it in my mind and have so enjoyed hearing your input as well!!
    For me the exercise was/is a way of reaching outside myself for peace. It is almost like an "inner bully" pushing pushing pushing until the end when there is an endorphin treat and calm bliss.
    The onset of TMS has forced me to dial it back and focus on healing my mind and inner child. Gentleness and self love had to take the place of the inner bully. Had to cultivate inner acceptance.
    Hope everyone is having a good Saturday!
  8. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    Srton that is exactly what I am grappling with...right now I haven't achieve the self-acceptance and I feel "guilty" for exercising in part because I have used it to allow myself the endorphins to accept me.
    I feel devastated at the thought of having to slow down and start over again as I have done so many times with running. It pains me to have to back off. And it seems to reinforce the idea that "something is wrong". I want to believe I can just "slow down" a little bit.
    Please continue to share any thoughts! This thread has been helpful.
  9. TheWayBackUp

    TheWayBackUp Peer Supporter

    I totally relate the the guilt that what you did might not have been correct.
    mnjeaner29 likes this.
  10. TheWayBackUp

    TheWayBackUp Peer Supporter

    This is really good. I think a lot of times when I start to feel something I tense and it makes it far worse. The other day I had the return of an 'old' pain I hadn't had for a good month. I at first started panicing, but then I thought of it as just an unusual anomality like any other sharp pain that might come for not a serious reason (like turning your head the wrong way or something) and didn't project that it meant my terrible problem was back for good. I had a great day afterwards with no trouble. It was great.
    srton likes this.
  11. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    How did you respond? Keep "pushing" or calm it down a little? Thanks for chiming in!
  12. TheWayBackUp

    TheWayBackUp Peer Supporter

    For me I was talking about the fact that I tend to think I did something to cause my pain. Like, 'oh, should I have done PT yesterday or taken a day off?' Kind of blaming myself anytime I have a problem. I have been trying to think about staying present rather than worry about what I did yesterday or what I will do tomorrow. And that many paths lead to the place I want to go. No right or wrong way.
  13. srton

    srton Well known member

    @mnjeaner29 just a thought - my own experience only!!!! but when you asked if one should "keep pushing or calm it down a bit" i think that at the onset of pain the only thing that needs to be "pushed" is acceptance of emotions.
    The pain is just a signal to drop everything and FEEL.
    Worrying about doing another mile or rep is besides the point - it's a distraction from the cause of the pain - the feelings.
    Sending you good vibes!!!
    Sciatic Sally and Lily Rose like this.
  14. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    Thank you TheWayBackUp and srton.

    srton....this is really a good point...I have to figure out how NOT to focus on "how much" or "what CAN or SHOULD I do"...that is definitely the instigator for guilt...and PAIN.

    Please keep sending ideas. I'm still trying to figure this out and so far I'm still stuck on how to resolve the emotions of "guilt" in my "push" to fight the pain.

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