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Day 31 External Irritations

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by mncjl123, May 7, 2016.

  1. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    Today I was suppose to write about things that frustrate me and cause pain. Because I have TMS (self diagnosed) external irritations cause my pain to flare up.

    Frustrations over being irritated by sounds, smells, and obnoxious, rude, ill thinking people in my gated community with rules. The clatter of wind chimes, the talking in the porch next door, the bright lights next door that shine in my bedroom window, the motorcycle at 11:30 p.m. and again after the bars close at 2 a.m. All the squealing from the neighbor lady's loud power washer. All these irritants create more stress in my life. Lacking sleep because of the irritation etc..

    How can I fix this? Well, I can address my feelings. Then, I can come up with a solution that will not make me so annoyed to let the stress and pain take over. What can that be?

    I don't have a choice to complain every day to the association. I will become a target for passive aggressive behavior.

    When I am awoken in the middle of the night by my neighbors in their patio 5 feet from my bedroom window , I ache! I know that I won't be able to get back to sleep. And, just like the pain of tms, I fear the worst. how long will this be. How long will they keep yacking it up, or reving the motorcycle or when will the bright lights go off.

    Any suggestions? External irritations cause me more pain.

    Also, I know we are suppose to try and get out and do things. but, I live in Florida and I hate airconditioned buildings, they make me ill and in more pain. bright lights in stores cause migraines. I want to try a book club, or a sewing club or a singing club. but they are all indoors and they might be too loud or people wearing perfume etc... external irritations cause just as much pain to my body as the aches and pains already existing. my sciatica gets worse, my foot pain gets worse, my tmj, migraines, elbow, neck etc... all flare more from external things.


    I know i have some work to do in this area.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    At some point in our TMS recovery we realize that it's not the things that happen outside of us that cause our TMS, but what happens inside us, i.e. our reactions to external stimuli, events, people, etc. The good news about this realization is that we can change how we react, and that is the road to healing. We can't change the world or avoid everything we find irritating or stressful. That is avoiding life. So my suggestion is to look inside, i.e. think psychologically, and examine why all these things stress you out so much. What is the real issue? Why are you bothered and not others? A therapist may be able to help you with this if you're finding it difficult yourself.

    This is all a process and you are well on your way. You're asking the right questions. Just keep at it and don't get discouraged. The result will be less pain and more joy.
  3. oceana15

    oceana15 New Member

    I've had the same problems in the past -- being overwhelmed/irritated/disturbed by noises, people yelling or chewing, loud TVs/music, etc. I guess it's just part of being a highly sensitive person. Reading that book (The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron) clarified a lot of things for me and made me realize I'm not insane! I remember when my upstairs neighbors would stay up late just chatting, not even that loudly, and it would disturb my sleep and I would get SOOO angry and annoyed, I wanted to kill them. Basically, I figured out that the anger came not from their noises, but from me feeling that by staying up late and chatting they were invading my personal space and disturbing my sleep and having no consideration for other people (i.e. ME). I took this extremely personally. So I was feeling like they were being disrespectful and having no boundaries. The thing is they weren't being THAT loud, but due to my natural sensitivity I was taking it much worse than the average person would. To overcome the anger and find peace (and be able to sleep again), I used some cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to challenge my reactive thoughts. For example, I wrote down the thought, "My neighbors are totally disrespectful and they are invading my personal space and I will never be able to sleep again," and then I challenged it with some more rational thoughts (like, "My neighbors are just spending time in their own apartment and they are living their lives and I am safe/ok"). It might sound silly now, but it really did work back then. I haven't had trouble sleeping since then, and I still live in the same apartment. It bothered me and angered me so much when I associated the neighbors' noise with danger/personal threat/disrespect, but in time I learned to dismantle those associations and realize it's harmless and it can't hurt me unless I let it. (But I truly do get how freaking disturbing it is when it's happening!!) Also, one last thing: all of this got WORSE when I started fearing the noise even when things were quiet... I would just wait in anticipation and anxiety until the neighbors turned on their music or started doing whatever and then it would just confirm my fear and make me feel so helpless.
    Ellen likes this.

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