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Facing the Fear of TMS - Need suggestions

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Pingman, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Ok, after reading a post by Steve O. and another post on the IFS subforum I am determined to try and face the fear that I think is stopping me from healing. With my past two TMS issues I had some fear but since it impacted my leg and stomach I was able to mentally get to a point where I no longer focused on the pain once I realized it was TMS and it went away. Since the TMS has moved to my head and eyes it has been 1000 times harder as I am always being remined of it.

    Pain in my temples starts, eye muscles start hurting and my vision starts to get off and the fear sets in. It is an anxious feeling in my stomach and head.

    Today I took a 1/2 a xanax and to my surprise, I have had no issues until now. It has been almost 8 hours. I suspect my pill is wearing off and I can start to feel my eyes get sore and my head start to hurt.

    Why am I so fearful? I know it is only tension due to loads of Dr. appts and the fact that Xanax can take it away. I am fearful of it coming back when I feel good...how do I face that fear when I feel as though I am unable to rational think when I am in the middle of it. I want to invite the pain but that just sounds completely wrong. If it were in any other part of my body but my head I feel I could handle it like the leg, stomach or even my back pain which I have had before for weeks at a time. None of that bothered me as much since I could distract my mind.

    Why am I not strong enough to look past this. I know that Xanax stops it and its just tension I am creating by reacting to the fear.
     
  2. Redditor

    Redditor Peer Supporter

    I am not a doctor, but the pain you describe sounds very much like a Cluster headache. These occur on one side of your head and sometimes near your eye. I don't blame you for fearing this pain; cluster headaches can be very intense. I'm glad to hear that Xanax temporarily makes the pain go away. Did you get a script for it specifically for the pain? If it is indeed cluster headaches, you should avoid drinking alcohol and smoking. Also avoid other foods that might trigger the headaches.
     
  3. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Red - I don't think I have cluster headaches. While annoying and they do make me anxious they are not intense like that page was describing. I wouldn't call mine headaches, more like tension in my temples and forehead and it tends to impacy both sides of my head and both eyes. I can still operate normally aside from the anxiousness. I was actually having a really good day free of pain, I wish I would not have read that now. That makes me more fearful.

    I don't really drink or smoke so I don't think those are triggers.

    I personally never really had any headaches before my anxiety over having Multiple Sclerosis started in November. When I read an article about how for some people MS starts with headaches and vision issues. I began symptom checking my vision and that is when it all started.

    I ahve to believe that since I went looking for it TMS found my fear place. It was also right after I had sucessfully gotten over some leg pain and tingling with TMS principles by running and challening the pain.

    Man.....this scared the crap out of me
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  4. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pingman have you tried to focus on the emotion that comes with the fear -- not the pain -- but the emotion that comes up when you fear this symptom. If you will lie down and relax when you first start to get this fear and feel the emotion in your body , sense it -- notice it and don't judge it or fear it just notice it ok -- and be calm while setting with that emotion. I bet if you do this then the fear and symptom will begin to leave rather quickly. See when we shine light on fear, well it has to go.

    In a sense its like were facing this bully and showing it were in control -- when we do the bully tucks its tail in and runs, simple

    Have you heard of focusing? Let me know Pingman . Everything I've said here will help you. Any questions -- let me know
    Bless You
     
    TG957 and Ellen like this.
  5. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Eric - No I have not tried to focus on the emotion. I guess I am so consumed with the pain and fear that it is happening again. I will give it a shot. Any other advice you have on it would be appreciated.
     
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just do exactly as I said above, get relaxed first. The best you can anyway and then face the emotion without any judgment ok. Try it and let me know how it goes. Thanks
    oh yeah Eugene Gendlin invented this style and its worked for many good people here my friend. Here is Eugene's rules for Focusing ok http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/focusing-eugene-t-gendlin.2423/
    My version above is a shortened version that should help you understand faster.
    Bless You
     
    TG957 likes this.
  7. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pingman, I have working on my TMS for about 9 months and I am just beginning to have some amazing results. I had a bit of a set back the last few days and at first I found it alarming and fell back into my old patterns of worrying and projecting possible negative future outcomes. Yesterday I had one of the worst headaches on the right side of my head. I picked up dinner to go after work and went to bed early after a little journaling. This morning when I woke up the headache was gone but I still had tension/pain in my right shoulder and back of my head. I also felt a little anxious. I went on a 45 minute walk with the dogs and when I got back I noticed I felt a little better. Then I went for a session with my somatic experiencing therapist and during the session I had a huge spike in the pain in the right side of my head. By the end of the session I was not only pain free but I felt a level of relaxation that has stayed with me all afternoon and I feel it still! I smile with relief and happiness to know that it is possible to feel this good in my body. I don't know what it will be like tomorrow but it is enough for me to know that things can shift. In reading your posts it is pretty clear how much anxiety and worry is fueling your pain. My anxiety levels rose dramatically when I started working on the TMS. I had days when absolutely nothing would bring even a moments peace. Those were very long days. Your healing may not take nearly as long as mine but have faith if you develop a program and stick with it, change will come. I know how hard it is initially to see past the pain. I was strongly reminded yesterday. When you are in a heightened pain cycle, look for ways to make it a little less, a little more manageable. Guided meditations are excellent for this. I would lay on my bed because it was too painful to sit up during the meditation but the important thing is to focus on your breath and that you do it regularly. You will notice after you practice that it will take the edge off and help you to be more calm. There is so much excellent advice and programs on this forum, books to read etc. Try not to let it overwhelm you. There is not a right way or one way to do it. Anything that helps you focus on how you feel, whats going on in your life and not the pain will help. You are strong enough. Fear and anxiety can be as uncomfortable as the pain. They all serve as a distraction. It's for a reason and sometimes it takes time and dedication to figure it out. But you will. The first step is in believing that you will. You can do it and it is worth it.
     
    Allund, TG957, Lily Rose and 3 others like this.
  8. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love Anne's advice -- its so important. Pingman I guess something great to add to what Anne said would be listening to these Claire Weekes Audios. You are going through a rough patch at the moment and she can really tell you better than I can about how to Face your anxieties' ok. Now remember she is talking about anxiety and that's the whole point, your anxiety right now is the kindling keeping your pain going and its really the only thing that keeps pain going ya know. Listen to these Audios like medicine and do what she says ok then you will begin to heal from your fear which will help you -- Bless You

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/claire-weekes-audio.2569/
     
    Anne Walker likes this.
  9. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Anne and Eric, thank you so much for the help. I am in a anxiety cycle..... for some reason this tension to my temples and forehead...vision isues really scared me badly.

    When I first came to the site I was having sciatica issues with my left leg. Within 2 weeks of reading the logic and Sarno books...I began to run and the pain was gone. I was so excited. Then it flipped to the head issues and tricked me into thinking it was sinister, not TMS even with all the assurance from Dr. and exams.

    It caused me to change 100% who I was. In the span of a month I became scared to workout, go out in public without my wife, be by myself alone with my thoughts. That rocked me to the core...that was not who I am.

    Now, I have recovered from all of that. I am starting to get back into my groove. I am watching golf again, Seinfeld my favorite. I am staying up alone watching TV, eating candy again (read it increases anxiety). I am not having the huge panic atatcks I had for a few weeks spell.

    With the help of my IFS therapist and the tips you all have given I think I was able to reverse the real panic feelings and truly accept the tension in my head. But.... each day when I wake up I symptom check right away which induces the anxiety which makes my temples sore and eyes hurt.

    I am still searching for what emotion might be keeping me in this fear cycle. I did use Eric's suggestion in trying to recognize the emotion when the fear pops in and I was able to feel calmer and actually fall back asleep when I awoke at 4am.

    I know this is all happening for a reason.....I personally believe to open my eyes to how valuable life really is. Each past health anxiety/TMS I ahve had I have simply stuffed it down and repressed my anxiety and not really accepted I was 100% ok. That worked by this time I can't repress this. It is as if my past HA scares that have been exiled are coming to the surface and I have actually went back and evaluated each of those and come to peace with each of them.

    I think one way the TMS is holding on is that I know it is all tension but my impatience to feel better is hindering me. I feel like I should wake up and it be gone and when it isn't I get negative and allow the anxiety to come back in. The anxiety is trying to distract me but I can't figure out why. Why won't my TMS let me realize I am ok? What is it protecting me from
     
  10. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm sure we can all relate to the impatience to feel better. That impatience also creates tension. I have woken up many mornings and my first thought was "oh, no, this can't still be happening!" And guess what? It was!! This is why we truly cannot focus on the pain as a measuring stick for our wellness or progress. Some people interpret this as just ignoring the pain. Ignoring the pain or purposefully trying NOT to think about it can sometimes be so difficult it just aggravates its intensity. I have begun to think more in terms of focus. I can notice that I am feeling a lot of pain or high anxiety and then accept that is how it is right now and then choose to take my attention elsewhere. Sometimes I can refocus and then get so caught up in whatever I am doing that I become aware that I have forgotten the pain for a long time. The more you develop the ability to do this, the more irrelevant the pain becomes to your quality of life and living. I think of it as putting the pain in the backseat. There may be days it hops in the front seat and grabs the wheel, but if you develop confidence that you'll be able to get it in the back seat again, it won't control your life. When I first heard the advice to do what makes you feel happy, it made me angry because I felt that of course we would choose to do what makes us happy but it is impossible to be happy when you are in this much pain. Pain can be an obstacle to happiness. On the flip side, if you can find your way to joy, the pain is always much less and life is good in spite of the pain. This does not mean we have to live with pain forever, but impatience, anxiety, worry, never help. The pain will go when we've done the work we need to do, and it may be impossible to figure that all out this instant. That is frustrating. If that frustration could heal us, we would all be well. The anxiety is trying to distract you and you can figure out why. Not with impatience and frustration, embrace how counterproductive those are. Writing is great because it helps you to notice how you are thinking and feeling. The next step is to notice how you are thinking without big pronouncements and judgements, all the "can'ts" and "shoulds" and "what ifs" Explore, play detective with your own life. Once you get the hang of it, it is actually fun. If at first none of it makes sense, is confusing, or you hit a bunch of brick walls, keep going. At some point something will ring true and you will know its true, you will recognize it and just know it without question. It may be painful or hard to face and you'll get a sense of what your subconscious is trying to protect you from.
     
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pingman)- Anne and Eric, thank you so much for the help. I am in a anxiety cycle..... for some reason this tension to my temples and forehead...vision isues really scared me badly.

    Eric)- If you have been checked and passed all test I wouldn't let it scare you ( Although it scared me the first hundred times) Yes I have had headaches and migraines that I thought was going to kill me but in the back of my mind I still had that Hope shining that this will pass and I'd be better after fully healing from the tms. Although it really took its time in this area I've went from everyday headaches and migraines with sharp shooting pains and all to having a headache about once every two months so I've came a long way buts its taken me over a year now calming my ANS system but also I was controlling the headaches on and off the whole time. Now I control them almost all the time. A huge change for me -- here's the secret, you have to work on loosing the fear of the pain in your head ok. And loose the focus on them, if I feel a pain now I will instantly think for it to stop and almost always it does. Im working on loosing the sub-conscious programming now and then I should have it all down - Good Results Id say so far huh

    Pingman)- When I first came to the site I was having sciatica issues with my left leg. Within 2 weeks of reading the logic and Sarno books...I began to run and the pain was gone. I was so excited. Then it flipped to the head issues and tricked me into thinking it was sinister, not TMS even with all the assurance from Dr. and exams.

    Eric)- Its tms if you've had all the test right. You have had success with the sciatica -- it will work the same for your head pain but you have to calm your Ans system daily with meditations and so forth ok.

    Pingman)- It caused me to change 100% who I was. In the span of a month I became scared to workout, go out in public without my wife, be by myself alone with my thoughts. That rocked me to the core...that was not who I am.

    Eric)- This is where The TMS recovery program will help you and the Claire Weekes audios ok. Do all the work on a daily Basis ok.

    Pingman)- Now, I have recovered from all of that. I am starting to get back into my groove. I am watching golf again, Seinfeld my favorite. I am staying up alone watching TV, eating candy again (read it increases anxiety). I am not having the huge panic atatcks I had for a few weeks spell.

    Eric)- You've recovered? ok

    Pingman)- With the help of my IFS therapist and the tips you all have given I think I was able to reverse the real panic feelings and truly accept the tension in my head. But.... each day when I wake up I symptom check right away which induces the anxiety which makes my temples sore and eyes hurt.

    Eric)- Anytime you do the symptom check -- you will bring on symptoms so no need for that, reprogram yourself through will traing not to self check ok -- at least until its gone


    Pingman)- I am still searching for what emotion might be keeping me in this fear cycle. I did use Eric's suggestion in trying to recognize the emotion when the fear pops in and I was able to feel calmer and actually fall back asleep when I awoke at 4am.

    Eric)- This is called focusing and its not just a suggestion but science ok so make sure to practice this all the time, anytime you get pain or anxiety.

    Pingman)- I know this is all happening for a reason.....I personally believe to open my eyes to how valuable life really is. Each past health anxiety/TMS I ahve had I have simply stuffed it down and repressed my anxiety and not really accepted I was 100% ok. That worked by this time I can't repress this. It is as if my past HA scares that have been exiled are coming to the surface and I have actually went back and evaluated each of those and come to peace with each of them.

    Eric)- This is good

    Pingman)- I think one way the TMS is holding on is that I know it is all tension but my impatience to feel better is hindering me. I feel like I should wake up and it be gone and when it isn't I get negative and allow the anxiety to come back in. The anxiety is trying to distract me but I can't figure out why. Why won't my TMS let me realize I am ok? What is it protecting me from

    Eric)- the tms doesn't know you're ready to tackle the issues right now, the reason for reprogramming again. How long have you been seriously doing your programs?
    Keep doing the work you have already made the pain leave your legs now you can make the anxiety leave too plus in time the pain in your head but the fear and focus has to be beat by thought control -- thus the reason for the programs
    Thanks
     
    Pingman and Anne Walker like this.
  12. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pingman, maybe try what I do when I get a headache.
    I gently massage my forehead and all over my head and think calming thoughts or
    affirmations that I am feeling okay. You can also close your eyes and meditate,
    thinking calm thoughts. And also close your eyes and gentle massage over your yes.

    Do the massages while deep breathing. Imagine you are on a warm, sunny beach,
    or even just in a yard, stretched out on your back, eyes closed, feeling the warmth of
    the sun all over your body.

    Don't let yourself be impatient to heal. Dr. Sarno says it's different for everyone.
    Some can heal fast by just reading his book, Healing Back Pain, while others (like me)
    took a while. The longer you take to heal, the more you will learn about yourself and others
    in your life, and the repressed emotions that cause your pain.
     
  13. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Anne/Walt/Eric -

    One thing that makes me feel better is that I am starting to 'get' what each of you are saying. The 'skeptic' part of me is starting to relax a little, sometimes I wonder if it isn't acting as an inner critic and yelling at the problem solver part.....tell it to stop being so stupid and find a pill or medical way to stop my pain. Now that skeptic part of me is very strong, my dad is the biggest skeptic of politicians, new people, heck even family members. That has always been a huge part of him growing up alone like he did. He traversed his way from nothing into upper middle class and I think he was always skeptical of others which he handed down to me in the form of his bashing of others.

    I have been talking to both my inner skeptic and my inner perfectionist and asking them to start relaxing a little, to step back and stop putting so much pressure on me and on my inner Problem Solver. Being a problem solver by nature, one of my addictions is googling to find solutions to everything in life, including health issues. I can only conclude that since I can't seem to stop trying to find a way to 'fix' my issue I have concluded that my Problem Solver hasn't been able to accept the solution is to RELAX and stop stressing out. even though I know its tension it still wants to google how to relieve tension issues.

    I have to assume that I have a inner critic telling it to push on and find a solution and two strong protectors I carry are the skeptic and perfectionist. Both of these protectors actually are related as well....the perfectionist protector started young in sports when my dad would yell at me to be the best. That carried itself into my teen years, college, and into my early 20s in my career. That perfectionist wanted me to excel so I could break out of the lower class and hard life I grew up in to have what I do today....but it also put me into the world where I am directly in association with the same class of people my father was a skeptic of.

    The Problem Solver is how I got ahead in life be it in sports or work. I was always able to out think people in sports and to the day have gained the reputation at work as the problem Solver.

    So at lunch after reading your posts I decided to walk on the treadmill and have a talk with my skeptic and perfectionist. Tell them to let up on the problem solver becuase he can't find an answer becuase the answer is already found. I thanked them for helping me out in the past becuase I do know without them I would have been a lost child but that now I am a man and I can handle the issues on my own. I also thaned the problem solver but asked it to relax and take a break until I need it again in the future.

    I hoestly do feel better... I will work on everything each of you said. I feel like I am starting to chip away at what parts I am made of. I have know for awhile that I hated parts of my personality....maybe it was just time for my mind to tell it it is time for the Adult Cody to shine through and step out of the defense mechanisms I have used up to know to shield mine andmy Dad's insecurities.
     
    Anne Walker likes this.
  14. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sounds like your father poisoned your drinking water. He passed his pessimism onto you. Maybe he did that because "misery loves company." Or making you skeptical of others kind of validated his skepticism. He did you no favor, even though I get what he means about being skeptical about politicians. But we're not supposed to get political in the Wiki.

    I stay clear of people who rain on my parade. Or spend as little time with them as is polite. Some people just like to complain and be miserable, and it makes them happy to make others unhappy. I prefer to be upbeat and be around upbeat people.
    My best friends are positive people who like to laugh. A neighbor said he loved hearing a great friend Larry and I laugh. He could hear it in his house, three houses down from mine. That was more than 40 years ago and Larry and I are still like brothers and laugh together, even though it's mainly on the telephone because I live in Illinois and he lives in Colorado.

    You may be right, that your dad's skepticism came from feeling insecure. Heck, today everyone is insecure. We just have to have confidence in ourselves and faith that we will "make it." Sounds like you are.
     
    Anne Walker likes this.
  15. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Walt - I think he poisoned me because for awhile after my mom left I was all he had. I was his best friend, breakfast buddy, golf partner, and sadly I think his 'free' therapist. I recall even as a 10-12 year old pumping him up and telling him my mother was a bad person and we were better off without her. He really dumped all of his problems and views on people on me and up until now I always prided myself on how well I handled all of it.

    My life now is so different then it use to be. My adult life and youth life are in battle. Since I got married 7 years ago and had my son I have caught myself bad mouthing others...feeling jealous...competing and it makes me sick when I realize it. That was youth Cody and how I interacted with my dad, mom,brother......spewing poison.

    TMS sucks. I hate the feeling. I hate the pain and anxiety. But....I do love that I know I am going to make some changes in my life. I need to love myself more and love others. I need to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and be kind to others. I need to be happy for other people.

    As I write this....my head has started to hurt again. Something inside did not like that.
     
  16. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Eric - Did you ever experience Anxiety with your pain, particulary the headaches?
     
  17. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    I had an interesting therapy session last night. We focused on the usual which was my bad childhood, I sat there at times wondering what the hell am I doing in therapy. I can't believe I am here.

    I think we finally made some progress lastnight. In therapy I get emotional and it was at that point we finally put a finger on what part of me might be aiding in my issue. It is the symptom checking...my therapist called him MR. Checker. He thinks that Mr. Checker is a part of me that for some reason is afraid of the unknown possible and continues to check for my pain. So I talked to Mr. Checker last night when I awoke at 3am and told him to relax and let me have some time to figure things out. He didn't talk back but I didn't have as much anxiety either.

    I have also been applying some more positive thinking and today I dropped my son off at school. Out of no where his teacher said she was having terrible sinus pressure this winter, almost to migraine pain levels. She said she started back in October and even antibiotics didn't help. It was almost as if someting in my mind clicked.... I have always had sinus issues so maybe my part is interpreting my sinus pressure as an issue. Maybe he truly hasn't come to grips with the fact that my issue isn't a bad issue.

    So far today I am feeling pretty good.... baby steps but a positive for my day.
     
  18. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pingman, your therapist seems to have found the big repressed emotion in saying you have a problem
    with your Mr. Checker inside you. I remembered you think you may have MS. Think you have and you may get it.

    Tell your Mr. Checker you aren't going to let him influence you anymore. Forget about him.
    Think instead, "Mr. TMS is going to heal me."
     
  19. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Hey Walt - I do think it was a good find we made about Mr. Checker. I did at one time think I had MS...that is what started all of my TMS. Small health issues that are fuled by Dr. Google which create the tension. Once I got checked out....had the MRI, Nuero visit and Opthamolgist visit I accepted I did not have MS. TMS didn't care becuase the head pressure and vision issues were enough for Mr. Checker to keep me anxious.

    So now I think I have some bad sinus pressure like most here in the Midwest from this winter. I talked to two people at my sons school who were in misery from it and my wife is as well. Couple that with the tension in my neck which when I push on it I can make my head hurt in the spots I feel it.....TMS baby all the way!!

    I told Mr. Checker today I loved him and I realize I made him do what he did with my google obsessions and seeking answers. It isn't his fault and I appreciate what he has done but I hvae God back in my life again and he will help me now.
     
  20. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love you, Pingman. Thanks for clarifying that it was a while back when you thought you might have MS. I love you calling it Dr. Google when we look online for information about a symptom and it can lead us in a wrong direction.

    Glad you made peace with Mr. Checker. That truly was a great find at the therapy session.

    I get sinus problems off and on in parts of the year, especially spring, but it can come on anytime and this crazy winter is probably the reason so many
    people have sinus trouble. I'm in the Chicago area and this is one of the worst winters I can remember in some years. We've had worse, but the area I'm in, in the north suburbs, we've had enough snow and below zero to make it a worse than normal winter. Most friends and neighbors say they're also depressed because of the winter. That on top of their own personal depressions can give anyone a headache, and maybe we blame it all on a sinus problem.

    I like to use my Netti pot (that nasal pot that looks like Aladdin's lamp), cleaning my sinuses with warm water and a little salt. It opens up the gunk
    in my sinuses and I can blow that out and it feels better. If you don't have one, the drug store does. Mine is called SinuCleanse.
     

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