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Feeling discouraged and defeated

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Stormshadow, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Stormshadow

    Stormshadow Peer Supporter

    Hey all, I hope everyone is doing well. I was doing a bit better for awhile with my widespread body pain. Alot of the pain in various parts of my body had subsided except for my arms, elbows and hands. However, the past two weeks I have been doing some intense pschotherapy with my TMS therapist and my pain has just completely reexploded in every part of my body. I'm feeling so discouraged and defeated and like I'm going completely backwards. I have had some major crying episodes as I have tried to allow myself to express buried pains from childhood adn the past which I have typically numbed with various things. I just get so scared that I'm doing something wrong and don't understand why the pain is worse. I thought letting out some of that stuff was supposed to lead to healing and further reductions in pain. All of my muscles in my body (low back, neck, arms, elbows, hands, wrists, back of head, glutes and legs are completely tightened up, twitching, burning and some are numb). I know I've written about how I'm mostly obsessed about my arms since I use them for work and playing video games, well last night was the first night since the pain started last year where I couldn't even play because of the pain. I also tried going to the gym yesterday and my groin hurt. I have an inguinal hernia which was in pain several months ago and then stopped being in pain so I felt most of the pain part of it was TMS. Well I got scared on the eliptical after 5 minutes yesterday and just stopped. I'm convinced I have fibromyalgia which I know is TMS. But now I feel more discouraged because according to Steve O. I have "TMS on steroids". I just feel like I'm never going to figure anything out. I worry that allowing myself to cry and feel depressed is just making things worse. I'm afraid to try and push through the pain to play my video games or go tto the gym. I felt like I was doing a bit better and now I feel liek I'm back at teh beginning. Texting on my phone hurts and everything hurts. I'm full of fear and know I'm obsessing about my body again. Two weeks ago I was telling my wife hwo it felt good that when my back was hurting or my legs got numb I didn't worry about it because I knew what it was. Now I'm completely overwhelmed again. I'm afraid I can't play my games, I'm afraid I'm not going to get better. I don't know why playing a game last night would have created as much pain as it did. It was a game that required holding down a trigger to accelerate a car. So now I'm afraid to play that type of game again. Like maybe my body can't handle holding down something. Even turning the door knobs hurts a bit in my house. I even had thoughts of what if i should be back in physical therapy. I know these are all coutner TMS, but I just feel a bit discouraged and defeated.
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Stormshadow. When I find myself getting really worked up, overwhelmed with worry and concern over whether I am making progress or headed in the right direction, I do my best to find a way to take a step back. I have discovered various ways to do this. Sometimes I decide to just put it all on hold for a day or two and work on spoiling myself in some way. When the pain was really intense and it was harder to enjoy things I would listen to a meditation tape, take a hot bath, sit out in the yard. The important thing is to take a break from the pressure of figuring it all out. I wish the TMS healing would conform to some kind of predictable pattern but it doesn't. I am sure most of us here have had set backs and an increase in pain before things started to get better in a lasting way. I know I have and I still have my days or sometimes even weeks. But now the painful setbacks are less frequent and I have more confidence that I am making progress regardless. Do not loose hope. You will get better. What is happening today is not necessarily a prediction for what will be tomorrow. So tonight it hurts too much to play games. That does not mean you are permanently worse and not able to do it tomorrow. It would be a good idea to journal more and become more aware of your thought patterns and when you are feeding the anxiety. I speak from my own experience. I used to take a single thought or concern and then spin it out of control. Now I recognize it for what it is, an anxious thought. A few weeks ago I spent 4 hours pulling weeds in a flower bed. I hadn't done anything like that in a long time. Then I could barely walk for almost three days. All kinds of anxious thoughts arose and I think I did a pretty good job of not running away with them. I am not sure what Steve O means by "TMS on steroids" Whatever he said, try not to be discouraged by it because I am sure that was not his intent. I have felt discouraged and defeated many times. You will figure many things out, you just may not figure it all out all at once. It is a process. Keep an evidence sheet of all the little successes and refer to it when you are feeling low or loosing confidence. I know its not easy but you can do it.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  3. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Hi Stormshadow,

    You poor thing, I'm so sorry you're feeling bad, my heart goes out to you :shy:

    Anne has given you great advice, but I thought I'd come in too. You need a lot of support and encouragement when you feel so fearful.

    The upsurge of symptoms you are experiencing also happened to me on the occasions when I touched on something particularly emotive during my journaling. YOU ARE DOING NOTHING WRONG, up and downs are normal and to be expected on the road to recovery. If you think about it, it adds weight to the TMS diagnosis, if you were in any doubt. Just try to acknowledge this fact and stay as clam as you can, it will settle on it's own in no time at all.

    I've had the dreaded FIBROMYALGIA :nailbiting:, amongst other things, IT'S JUST A FANCY WORD FOR CHRONIC TENSION. I had widespread body pain, joint pain, burning nerve pain and sore skin. You need not be scared, I'm fine and you will be too. Breaking the FEAR-TENSION-FEAR cycle is the key to recovery. I know you are seeing a TMS therapist which gives you a huge advantage, I didn't have access to one so I relied on Claire Weekes books and CDs to help me break the cycle, I would highly recommend them. She explains how all the intense fear and obsessive thoughts are generated, and how to cope with them, as with every aspect of TMS healing, knowledge is the cure.

    Do as Anne says and ease up on yourself, treat yourself with loving compassion and never ever beat yourself up about being in pain.

    It will all resolve in time, I promise.

    God bless you :joyful:
  4. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Hi Stormshadow,

    Thanks for your very honest post.

    I think any of us who haven't healed quickly have had the same feelings that you are feeling, or more accurately I've had those type of feelings.

    In your case the fact that you had much less pain and now have all these symptoms return suddenly would actually be great evidence for TMS. It's not fun when the evidence is about symptoms getting worse in a painful way, and then won't go away quickly, but it's still evidence.

    I know one of the most powerful TMS distractions for me is when I get almost symptom free and pain comes back quickly. It's one of my mind's best tactics.

    Chances are you will also see your symptoms lessen and change soon, it seems to be how TMS healing goes. I think they say non-linear. When I first heard that I thought b***sh*t! I want something logical where I can measure results.

    The consistent aspect is that the sub-conscious is always trying to distract. I find the more I'm not upset by that, the less power it has.

    I like an acronym for fear, (a subject I'm an expert on!), False Evidence Appearing Real. I say that to myself when the "non-linear" pain happens, and I find it helps me.

    All the best
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
    North Star, yb44, Anne Walker and 2 others like this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Our pain can come and go and move around and be worse one day but better the next.
    The Bible says God does not test us beyond our limit/
    I believe God gave us pain so we learned about TMS causing it,
    and so we can become better people to serve each other which,
    ultimately, serves Him.

    Anne, I think the time you spent in the garden was great for your spirit,
    even though it gave you pain later. As I often say,
    nothing lasts forever, except a dog's love.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  6. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hi Stormshadow,

    I'll echo some of the comments here firstly by expressing some sympathy for what you are going through. Feeling like you are starting to get a handle on things only to have the pain come crashing back can be one of the hardest aspects of working through TMS, but let me tell you now that it is very common. I think that every single client I have worked with has struggled with this dynamic in one way or another. Often the return of the pain has the potential to send you into a deep tailspin of hoplessness: you start to thing that this won't work, like you're the exception and your TMS is permanent or that you are doing something wrong. But like the others above have said, the fact that this pain is ramping up as you are investigating this difficult aspects of your life is really an indicator that you are on the right track! When you start to work through the things the pain is distracting you from, the subconscious can go on overdrive in a desperate effort to keep the pain relevant and foremost in your mind. It sounds like that is what is happening and that it is working! We often call this the "extinction burst" which you can read about at the bottom of this article here.

    Remember, your progress is not going to be a straight line! There will be setbacks and dips along the road. It sounds like you aware of your tendencies towards fear based thoughts and anxiety. Continue to work with your therapist on the underlying issues and train to remember that progress will take some practice and time: undoing patterns you have been creating for years and years takes some time. But you will be able to do it...just have compassion and patience with yourself!
    North Star, Msunn and Anne Walker like this.
  7. Stormshadow

    Stormshadow Peer Supporter

    I just wanted to take the time and say thank you for everyone's encouraging words. I really appreciate it. I'm doing a little bit better, but its amazing how my body is just ramped up with muscle tightness everywhere. I know we are supposed to resume physical activity and I was starting to hit the gym a few weeks ago before catching a nasty cold. Now that I'm feeling healthier, my muscles are so tight. I know we are told that physical activity can't hurt us, but don't they say that tight muscles makes you more injury prone? Like if the muscles are tight you have a greater chance of injurying them? The other strange thing is that I can see the symptoms ramping up throughout my body and am accepting more and more that it is completely psychologically based. However, I was telling my wife last night that even knowing that it still scares me because I feel liek I've been having these emotional outbursts of heavy heavy painful cries and i don't see my pain subsiding at all. I worry that I won't get to the bottom of the psychological causes. I'm identifying tons of painful things with my therapist, but the pain is still there and I just worry that I won't be able to beat this thing. I'm trying to stay optimistic though and I'm a bit proud of myself for pushing myself to face uncomfortable feelings. In the past, I would always come home from work and try to keep busy or do things (addictive behaviors) to numb uneasy feelings inside me. The past two weeks, I've forced myself to just lie on my bed and let tears and wailing cries come out. So I know that's facing something I've avoided historically. But it frustrates me that I don't see the pain subsiding with that. I guess I remember the example that Sarno gave of someone letting out their pain through experiencing the feelings and thought there would be something similar at least to some degree with this experience with me.
  8. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Hi Stormshadow,

    I really understand how scary this whole process is, especially when you are following all suggestions and it doesn't seem to get better.

    I think for some of us it takes as long as it takes. The fact that your symptoms were better recently is evidence the process works.

    This Sarno quote was another piece of the puzzle for me.

    "In the long run, fear and preoccupation with physical restrictions are more effective as a psychological defense than pain"

    So for me being kind and compassionate to myself has been very important.

    If it was me I wouldn't focus on resuming strenuous activity, I'd work more on calming myself down, doing nice things for myself.

    When you calm down the pain will probably change, lessen, or move.

    It sounds like you are also working through some pretty deep emotional issues so there's a lot on your plate.

    Have a little patience and faith, you're on the right track. It will get better.

    All the best
    Mermaid, yb44 and Ellen like this.
  9. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think you may be recalling the story of "Helen". That story stuck with me for a while too and like you I thought a breakthrough like this was necessary for me to move on but also like you found that not to be the case at all. I was listening to the webinar SteveO did recently and he mentioned the Helen story, saying how the majority of us would not accomplish this form of immediate catharsis and relief from our symptoms. If one method doesn't work for you, try something else. I'll second Msunn's suggestion of being kind to yourself. Find activities that make you happy and sooth your soul. If you haven't read this thread, take a gander:

  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Stormshadow, Others have given you good advice.
    I think it's better to instead of lying in bed and crying, get up and
    watch something you enjoy on tv or a movie on a DVD player.
    Usually distracting our mind of the pain and fear and worry
    really works. We think about something else, something positive.

    I like keeping busy. My mind is always on some activity.

    If there's nothing good to watch on tv, go to your computer and
    surf the web for subjects that interest you... preferably fun stuff.
  11. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    StormShadow, I would have written your post. Last night I even woke up from TMS symptoms. Thank you for sharing so honestly…and thank you wonderful community for being such a great source of encouragement and strength.

    Mermaid, I especially liked your comment about fibro = chronic tension! Bravo! A perfect description.
    Mermaid likes this.
  12. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    I could have written your post, too, Stormshadow.

    It's hard not to despair, when the reason we have TMS is precisely because we despair so easily. But don't give up. I keep reminding myself that the only way out of the pain is through it and that my ultimate goal of healing my life is not going to be a linear process.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Have you all seen the new post by Forest about four TMS therapists who have agreed to answer TMS quesitons
    FREE? Here's info on it:

    I am very excited to announce the launch of "Ask a TMS Therapist," a new resource where you can directly ask specific questions to a TMS therapist from the Pain Psychology Center. This is a fantastic way to get support directly from therapists who are trained in the TMS approach.

    Your question will be assigned to one of four therapists. Their response, along with your original question, will then be posted publicly on the Ask a TMS Therapist subforum.

    The more questions we have the better this resource will be, so please submit your questions! In fact, if you see anyone else who needs help, please encourage them to submit their questions as well.

    Anyone can submit a question by filling out the Ask a TMS Therapist form:

    For more information about this resource and the participating therapists, visit the Ask a TMS Therapists Subforum:
  14. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    WOW!!! This is fabulous, Walt! Thanks for posting it. I wouldn't have seen it otherwise since my time here is so limited. (One week until the wedding….yay!)
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Isn't it great that there is now a free TMS therapist to answer our questions?

    One week to the wedding! Keep thinking how much fun it's going to be.

    Hold these two tools in your purse to destress: Deep breathing and laughing.
    North Star likes this.
  16. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Walt….I have to remind myself of those tactics many times throughout the day.

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