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Exercise Reactions: Go harder or ease up?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by mm718, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. mm718

    mm718 Peer Supporter

    Really losing it here and could use your help...

    For many years I've experienced intense depression, confusion, and sometimes agitation after exercise. There is more and more evidence that these are conditioned responses but I still have a little doubt that I am trying to work through.

    Since embracing the TMS diagnosis, self-soothing, meditation, leaning into the fear, etc I've had a lot of improvement but for the last couple of weeks my reactions have steadily gotten worse in response to slowly increasing the intensity of the exercise. I've reached my breaking point and don't know quite how to proceed.

    In the past when I've gotten to this point I've always given up because of the severity of the symptoms. On one hand I can't keep doing this to myself with exercise on the other de-conditioning depends on continuing to expose myself to exercise. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the options below.

    1. Go harder to show my brain who is in charge and keep the momentum going in terms of extinguishing this conditioned response, making new neuro pathways, etc. I should also add that when I don't have reactions exercise has made me feel stronger psychologically, happier, and my insomnia is improving.


    2. Take a day off, regroup, practice self-care, and resume walking instead of running in a day or two.

    My concern with the first option is that I'll just make things much worse and these reactions sometimes last several days. (Last night's symptoms were approaching the unbearable). However, I've always given up at this point so maybe I should push through.

    With the second option my concern is that I'd be strengthening doubt and build up the belief that intensity is the issue, making it harder to return to more intense exercise several days or weeks from now. And as I said maybe I am close to making some more headway since recovery is non-linear and this may just be a downswing.

    I know there is no easy answer but I'd I value your experience and thoughts as it relates to resuming exercise with pain and other conditions. And yes, I've been checked out thoroughly medically. Lots of non-specific EEG things, some neuro symptoms, but nothing of major concern as far as exercise.

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi mm, and welcome. My question is: what are you doing about the emotional component of this work? If you're stuck, it's because knowledge and belief are not enough. They accomplish a lot, but most of us need to go deeper.
  3. mm718

    mm718 Peer Supporter

    Hi, Jan-

    Thank you for the welcome. Regarding the emotional component, I am about to start the expressive writing component on the Curable app.

    When I had the TMS revelation and had early success with exercise using the techniques mentioned above I felt like I was seeing the way out of all of my health issues and with that came a flood of grief about all that I've missed out on over a period of years. I've been trying to feel that sadness but sometimes it doesn't fully come. I can't fully cry and let it all go but I am trying.

    Since posting this morning I also realized that I have a TON of anxiety about healing, darting from book to book, trying to decipher all of the conflicting and confusing advice, exercising twice a day, etc. After reading @plum 's "My Story." I think I need to slow down, read one book at time and focus on calming practices, as I have a massively sensitized nervous system. I am also going to ease into the journaling.

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks,

  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just don't fear the deeper emotional work, Mike. If you allow your primitive fearful brain to continue distracting you with shallow issues, it will achieve its goal of continuing to repress the stuff that's actually holding you back!
    mm718 likes this.
  5. mm718

    mm718 Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Jan. I don't really see the exercise as a shallow issue since there is so much attached to it psychologically but yes, maybe I have put the cart before the horse... I am going to slow down, take some of the pressure off of myself, and shift my focus to the emotional work. I know I need to do this. I've had more and more spontaneous emotion lately and I am trying to really tune into it. Hopefully journaling will be helpful too.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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