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Feeling like time is running out...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by BloodMoon, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've suffered with 'fibromyalgia' with intermittent severe and painful muscle spasms plus chronic fatigue for over 20 years. I've also been suffering with pudendal neuralgia-like pelvic pain for the last three years or so. I truly believe that my symptoms are TMS.

    With immersing myself in TMS understanding and methods I've discovered that I really pretty much experience life as being quite a 'hair shirt'...so many things irritate me on a daily basis, from moment to moment. I think a big part of my 'dis-ease' with life is that I've never really found a passion for anything to lose myself in (hobbies or such like) even though I have experimented and tried many different things. I also never found a job or had a career that I liked, let alone loved. I believe this is because my childhood sucked the 'me' out of me...I was an only child and my parents treated me as a nuisance; they required me to behave like an adult so that they were troubled by me as little as possible. The showing of emotion wasn't tolerated and my emotional wants and needs weren't catered for. I turned to food for solace from a young age (probably from the age of 6 or 7) and have had a battle with comfort eating for all of my adult life because it was the only thing that ever soothed me and helped me cope with the stresses in life. In recent years though I have controlled my eating and shed 70lb in the process and self-soothe in other ways, but it hasn't been enough to reduce my pain and other symptoms.

    Although I'm finding some of the mind/body techniques that I'm doing good, e.g. yoga nidra, journaling and 'Taking in the good' as recommended by Rick Hanson, it all nevertheless feels like such a giant up hill struggle to change my brain to become 'happy' enough with life in order to become well and pain free. My sense of humour is intact, so I do find some things funny and laugh and have some enjoyment in life - I therefore don't believe that I'm clinically depressed. However, I'm now almost 61 years old and I feel that time is running out for me.

    Any helpful thoughts or suggestions regarding my situation would be gratefully received. Many thanks in advance.
    westb likes this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    I had a similar mindset and also had fibromyalgia/CFS for 20 years. You can read my Success Story on my profile page or in the Success Stories sub-forum. Recovery is possible, and in the process I changed the way I view and experience life. I seldom have that sense of irritation at day to day things that crop up, I feel passionate about some of the things I do, and recently I have experienced bouts of pure joy and gratitude--something I never felt before. You don't have to become happy before you become well and pain free. The two are intertwined and emerge and grow together in my experience. It's truly a mindbody treatment that worked for me.

    You have shown that you are quite capable of change with your change of eating habits, which is no small feat. Also, the yoga, journaling, and Rick Hanson techniques take focus and discipline. You are on the right path. You don't mention if you've tried some of the programs on the site, such as Alan Gordon's which is listed at the top of the page. You may find some useful techniques in there to add to what you're doing. Also, you don't say how long you've been working on your TMS. It took me over a year to get to a place where I could truly say I was recovered.Patience and persistence is necessary. Recovery is seldom a linear path. But I continue to work on deeper issues that were blocks to my capacity to feel joy and true enjoyment of life. And I'm a couple of years older than you. It's never too late!

    So hang in there. Don't despair. Your future is bright. Really......:cool:
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  3. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Ellen,

    Thank you so much for replying and for all of your encouraging words.

    I've just read your success story, which is very inspiring to me with lots of good tips and information.

    In the details of your success story you say, "TMS pain can't hurt you, and you can push through it". Here lies one of my biggest problems - I can indeed, for the most part, push through my pain and carry on and do things, but pushing through has on several occasions caused me to be bedridden. I was bedridden for 7 months when my muscles suddenly spasmed in and around my right sacro-iliac area; they badly wrenched and torqued my pelvis and the muscles then 'splinted' and set like concrete, keeping my pelvis in a twisted position. The pain was absolutely excruciating; I couldn't turn in bed and I couldn't weight-bear to walk. I had to just lie there waiting for the muscle splinting to eventually subside. (This has happened to me on three other occasions too, making me bedridden for a further 1 month, 3 months and 4 months.) These instances eventually made me give up and stop doing TMS mind/body techniques for a number of years, but I did meditate.

    I returned to TMS mind/body work again about 7 months ago when someone recommended Dr James Alexander's book 'The Hidden Psychology of Pain: The Use of Understanding to Heal Chronic Pain' to me in which he talks of the brain causing hypoxia to the muscles and tendons and that this can lead to muscle problems, e.g. tears, and he gives research references to back up his claims...This made more sense to me in explaining my symptoms and why pushing through my pain had made me suffer so badly. (I had read before about mild hypoxia causing symptoms, but I believe Sarno didn't say all that much about it.)

    During the last 7 months of returning to mind/body work I've been doing some very gentle qigong every day...I found it relaxing and I was fine doing it (despite a partially frozen left shoulder) but then all of a sudden my mind/brain decided to give me knife-like pain and muscle spasms in my thoracic spine, in the area where most of the qigong movement takes place. From past experience it'll only get worse if I try to push through and carry on. It's so utterly frustrating.

    I'm currently working my way through reading Alan Gordon's program and only very recently started doing yoga nidra (as it involves doing no movement and just lying flat on my back).
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, I had a few incidents of what you describe, though usually after doing something unusually physical like painting a room and going up and down a ladder and bending over a lot for a day. For me pushing through the pain worked more for getting simple chores done or going shopping or an a walk with friends. In other words, not letting the pain keep me from participating in normal life. But I didn't push myself too much for awhile. Now I can do pretty much anything I want with only the usual aches and pains afterward for someone my age.

    I used yoga as a way to gradually get my strength and muscle tone back after decades of not doing much. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape now.

    It sounds like you know your body well, so continue to listen it, but without catastrophizing about what it might be telling you.

    Best wishes on your healing journey.......
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  5. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's hard to imagine my ever being able to do yoga, but I live in hope. Many thanks for your advice and good wishes, Ellen.
  6. westb

    westb Well known member

    Hi @BloodMoon. Thanks for putting your feelings into words because they resonate with me. I understand about that feeling of time running out. I've been a comfort eater since adolescence and my home situation sounds very similar to yours emotionally. The disordered eating patterns started very young. My principal symptoms are IBS and anxiety. I am 69 and I've been "around" this forum for a couple of years, but it's taken me a long time to fully take on board and digest (!) what this simple but not necessarily easy way of recovery is all about.

    Several things I'm having to let go of: my expectations of the length of time my recovery "should" take and the idealised image I have in my mind of what my "perfect" recovery "should" look like. The human body has its own ebbs and flows of energy and wellbeing for people who are in good health and not suffering from TMS, days when they feel better physically than others. The same applies to me, more so because my mind/body connection is so sensitive, and perhaps because I'm getting older. So to accept these ebbs and flows and live reasonably peacefully with both of them, particularly when the symptoms are flaring, is something I'm having to learn. I'm not yet where I want to be in my recovery but I do have to let go of what it will look like and when I will get there.

    What TMS and my IBS symptoms, which started in 2011, have done for me is to change my eating drastically for the better. That feels like an utter miracle. I haven't had to try very hard either. No more binges, no more sugar highs. I'm happy with how I eat now, in spite of IBS flares. My anxiety is another story I've had this ever since I can remember and was the trigger for my comfort eating. I'm still having to work on self-soothing and I'm finding it challenging as a stupid thing like an internet connection snafu, or a missed phone call, can set off panic and an anxiety attack.

    And @Ellen 's story is a gem, I re-read it every so often for inspiration.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  7. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi westb,

    Thanks very much for responding to my postings. I too have suffered with IBS. I have a gallstone and the docs have always put my gastric troubles down to that. They offered, on two occasions, to remove my gallbladder - in 1997 and more recently after a severe gastric disturbance (15 hours of diarrhoea, severe stomach pain and dry vomiting) in 2015. I almost went for it (and maybe one day I will have to have my gallbladder removed) but decided - when my symptoms subsided both times when I was on the waiting list for the op - that I might be better off keeping my gallbladder, even if it might not always be working that well...However, I now think that the severe gastric episodes (which weren't after overeating or a binge) were probably TMS (as I understand that gallstones can be present without ever causing problems).

    I'm pleased to hear that your eating has, like mine, drastically changed for the better. I consider myself to be a 'binge eater in recovery' as I still have to resist the urge to turn to food when I'm upset or stressed etc., and sometimes do eat more than a should, but the latter is limited these days. What helped me to significantly control my comfort eating - and I believe has also quelled my IBS quite a lot - is going gluten free. My digestive system calmed when I cut out the gluten (even though I'm not a coeliac) and not eating gluten also meant that there were/are not many tempting things in my fridge/kitchen to comfort myself with (as I also made a promise to myself that I wouldn't buy any gluten-free substitute 'goodies' and somehow I've managed to keep that promise). Two things though that also significantly helped with my IBS was cutting out undercooked food, e.g. stir fries (the bell peppers I used in them were a particular problem) and adding acacia fibre to my diet.

    Were you like me with your comfort eating? - For years I didn't really realise that my childhood wasn't normal and then when I did realise that it lacked emotional support, I didn't comprehend that I was ill because of it, even though I knew that my comfort and binge eating wasn't what most other people were doing (and I felt ashamed of doing it). I didn't see it as a mental health issue (but then in those days comfort eating wasn't really seen as such). When I look back, I really don't know how I kept going and managed to hold down a job for many years, which was the kind of job that was very stressful in itself. I guess the comfort eating stopped me from having a nervous breakdown, which would have stopped me from being able to go to work.

    I like how you have summed up TMS work as being a "simple but not necessarily easy way of recovery" as this is exactly what I'm finding. And I think I would be more accepting of the 'long haul' of it all (and any ebbing and flowing of energy and wellbeing) if I were actually seeing any glimmers of lasting improvement in my physical pain, even though I know that it often doesn't happen that way with mind/body work and the last thing to improve or go may be the bodily pain. I would be so grateful to have at least a few years of being pain free eventually before I shuffle off this mortal coil, but the sooner the better...

    I think self-soothing for people like us who were neglected emotionally in our childhood is probably the biggest key to our recovery, but I have to say that I'm struggling to find enough ways to do this effectively.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  8. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is never too late to heal. Many of us have healed after suffering since childhood. The body is designed to heal. :)
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  9. westb

    westb Well known member

    Re self-soothing for people like us, I agree.

    I had the same kind of job as you and yes, I'm sure the comfort eating stopped me from falling apart completely and not being able to earn my living. There was so much shame attached to it as well. I went gluten free back in 2012 when I consulted a naturopath about the IBS. Initially there was a great improvement but after about 9 months the bloating etc returned even though I was not deviating from the way I was eating. That taught me that it wasn't just the food, that there were other forces at play here and it was not long after that I discovered the TMS forum. Incidentally I have no desire at all to go back to the way I used to eat, and, because of my history, foods that other people find tempting have no appeal for me, mainly because I associate them with such painful times of compulsive eating in my past. In a way I have to thank the IBS flares for enabling me to leave the disordered eating behind.

    What I read here is that faith and belief in the possibility of recovery is the absolute key, and a determination to start as far as possible to get back to normal life even though the symptoms persist for a while. And I have noticed that when I am out there interacting with people the symptoms are far less noticeable. Yes, they are still there but I'm not focussing in on them nearly as much. And I do have the belief that there are things that I now yearn to do that I will do.
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  10. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    You've made me realise that I'm actually the same - I used to 'use' ice cream in particular, but wouldn't touch the stuff now.

    Indeed, that's definitely the same for me too...I might be okay if I went back to eating gluten, but I do like the way it makes me eat a more varied diet, so I'm going to stick to it.

    I'm learning Italian because I want to visit Italy and am reading up about the history of the places I'd like to visit there, so I guess I'm actually quite determined - and ever hopeful...Here's to us both being able to do those things we yearn to do! :)
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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