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Fear Surrounding My Symptoms...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by parker.299, Jul 24, 2023.

  1. parker.299

    parker.299 New Member

    Hello! Does anyone have any tips on overcoming the fear of being willing to let symptoms go? Are there any steps I can take to work toward overcoming this fear you may know of? I have had them everyday for over 3 years and the thought of letting my symptoms go is completely terrifying to me. I couldn't even imagine what a day without them would be like.

    Some Background: So, I am starting treatment with a therapist who specializes in TMS. I have recognized that the first step I have to take is being willing to let my symptoms go. When my symptoms first started I just wanted them gone and they were a pain. But a few years later, I have learned that for me, when I am having bad symptoms and I am noticing them more is when I need to be taking care of myself more, maybe sleeping more, something I am avoiding, etc. Now I view my symptoms almost as a protector, and have for a few months now, so when I am not taking care of myself it is reflected in my symptoms, so my main fear is if I don't have symptoms to remind me to take care of myself will I? I know it is a bit unrealistic for them to magically go away like this, especially considering there is a lot of emotional baggage behind them, but I have a lot of fear for my symptoms going away. Sometimes they are gone for a few minutes, or even hours and then I am left feeling confused as to why they left and really overall not sure how to feel about it afterward. For the longest time and even including now the symptoms almost filled this void inside of me and they majorly served and still serve as a protector, which I am luckily recognizing now and attempting to fill with things like getting back into music, taking more time for myself and care of myself, trying to invest more in myself overall, etc.
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey @parker.299
    It’s great you view symptoms as protectors: that’s their mechanism.

    My suggestion is to do the work with your therapist. This process needs to be done slowly, no rushing, forcing, doing more is better kinda thing. Those are typical tms anxietal traits and part of what fuels the tms.
    A great thing you can do is understand that fear and anxiety are both amygdala chemical processes: more protectors. So when you are in that mode, just be with it. Try not to push these feelings away. Just hang out there. They are chemical in nature, and the sensations they evoke in the body can pass, sometimes quickly.
    Dr. Claire Weekes was a little old lady who wrote a few books, Help And Hope For Your Nerves about 40 years ago. She calls this method floating. Being with these emotions or states of mind but with a lightness, not with all your concentration. Audible has her audio books, and she reads them herself. My local library also has a free audio book app and her books are available there (your public library make have the same setup). Or you can still buy her books. She talks about dealing with fear quite a bit. All you have to do is substitute her saying “nerves” for whatever symptom you’ve got. All the same thing.
    The fact your symptoms go for minutes or hours is a sign you “get” this work. It’s very normal to experience that.
    parker.299 likes this.
  3. parker.299

    parker.299 New Member

    This makes so much sense, thank you so much for your reply!!! I will definitely check this book out :)))) I really appreciate this thank you!!! Have a good rest of your day.

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