1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Feeling overwhelmed... some advice please

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by colls100, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    Hi all, I'll keep my background story brief. 7 years ago after two traumatic experiences in quick succession, I had a sudden dizzy spell that turned into years of lightheadedness and tension headaches. These were only helped by antidepressants which eventually stopped working as well. I had got to the point where I could just about manage to have a normal life (work, socialising etc.) when I developed another issue - I woke up with pain and numbness in both hands which persisted for months.

    Over the years I have been tested for EVERYTHING. I have had MRIS, Ct scans, blood work, even lumbar punctures, nerve testing etc.

    I discovered this website 3 weeks ago and have just about managed to eliminate the hand pain and numbness (yay!) but am still struggling with the lightheadedness and headaches daily. If anything they're worse now, as is my anxiety that comes along with them. I'm feeling overwhelmed because the lightheaded feeling is SO persistent and has gone on so long that I can't see a way out of it. I can't quite believe it is TMS even though my personality is pretty much bang on the classic TMS type and I know that it only started after a very emotional time.

    I feel like perhaps the hand pain was a gift, because it's shown me that I can get to the bottom of the lightheadedness but I feel like it's too big a problem. I'm also confused because the relaxation response, deep breathing exercises etc. that are recommended here seem to address a physical balance, but I'm not supposed to think physically, only emotionally.

    I feel so overwhelmed and confused about so many things. I don't know where to start. If the Tms work helped with the handpain why did it make the dizziness worse?

    To give some context, i have the feeling of lightheadedness, head pressure, tiredness, cant see properly ALL DAY LONG and it's consuming my whole life right now, so I really need to sort it out once and for all.

    Any help, advice etc. appreciated.
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    If it is TMS (and it is) you had a triumvirate of symptoms going on. Could it be that since the hand pain is gone you just focus on the other two more?

    TMS is there to DISTRACT you and occupy your attention. If you have 'ignored' a symptom without doing some homework on the underlying RAGE (and it is always rage) the symptom will merely chANGE, ADAPT, mutate,whatever.
    That doesn't mean you ought to do anything in the real world (like punch the person you are angry at...though sometimes that works).... but you do have to make attempts at getting to that....it's the attempt at digging that makes the symptoms vanish.

    Many people who have no idea what TMS is go through a litany of symptoms in their life that evolve. First back pain, headaches, shoulder, laryngitis...you name it. They get a placebo response to one and the next one moves in to occupy your attention.

    I do NOT deep breathe, or 'relax' or do any of these newfangled 'stress reductions' that I keep reading about on this forum. I spend some time most days (not all) with a pad and a pen and a book and I look at what is flat out pissing me OFF! Sometimes I stare into space for a long time before I even get a clue.

    Just this weekend I went though the most stressful event I have been through in years... pain free. I did throw a good ol fashion 'F you and the horse you rode in on' speech on my GF's son. I was instantly embarassed at having lost control... but I have no symptoms. It is always hidden in ANGER. If you can't see it, it's because the TMS is doing it's job. Grab a shovel and start digging. It works. Do the work...it is work.
  3. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    Thanks for responding. I actually just read your latest post and replied to it!

    That makes sense to me, I'm just overwhelmed and confused really. I think I needed someone to be as direct with me as you've just been! You're right it's so obviously TMS and actually the lightheadedness now is probably no worse than before the hand pain, it's just that my focus was on something else for a while.

    In my reply on the other thread, I asked about the rage and whether it's directed AT your symptoms or yourself. I find I'm mostly angry with myself for feeling ill. Do I ignore this and focus only on external factors that are causing rage?

    Thanks again for replying x
  4. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    @colls100 , welcome. I can relate to the frustration of all symptoms not going away. My symptoms have always been pain-related, and I've peeled off many layers, but there's still a lower level of pain that I can't seem to lick yet. And when I feel like I've tried everything, sometimes I start looking at things like breathing and relaxation techniques again. But I appreciate @Baseball65 's response, too.

    Even though it's been years that I haven't been able to get rid of the last bit of my pain, I, too, think I need to sit with pen and paper instead of breathing. :)

    As to your question, my hunch is to address anger as anger, no matter the source.

    Good luck!
  5. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    @healingfromchronicpain Seems like I nailed the hand pain in a relatively short time (3 weeks or so) although from time-to-time I notice it, usually when I wash my face or my hair, but not when doing many other strenuous things (TMS is pretty ridiculous when you really think about it!)

    Even the headaches seem to have been reduced. So the pain is proving easier to address than the lightheadedness! It's this constant feeling that I'm a bit off balance and can't see properly, then when I get up everything shifts a little and I get a sensation of being really unsteady. I think it's because it's unrelenting, and has been for so many years. I've had better days but never 100% normal.

    That's why I end up thinking about breathing exercises and I think it would be something more practical I could do to help reduce it. Then I end up thinking physical :(

    Glad to hear you have managed to reduce most of your pain, maybe the key now is being truly grateful for how far you've come, and keeping up with the 'work'. From what I have read here, it's fine to do breathing exercises as long as you know they are more likely to help the SYMPTOMS than the CAUSE...

    Thanks for your reply xxx
  6. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    I concur! (about the being grateful part and all that)

    What struck me when I was reading your post was the language you used about the dizziness. I have found that my language sometimes is very meaningful. For example you said , "I'm a bit off-balance and can't see properly" and about being "Unsteady." Is there something in your life that parallels this?

    And I know about the feeling of it being unrelenting and lasting for so many years. I've been on this roller coaster ride now for 12 years. :) and yes sometimes I do things just to feel a little better knowing it's not the "cure."
  7. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    @healingfromchronicpain That's an interesting observation. Louise Hay (assuming you know who that is?) says that dizziness is related to 'flighty, scattered thinking. Refusal to look' and headaches to ' Invalidating the self. Self-criticism. Fear.'

    All of that makes sense to me - I do find my thoughts all over the place, I obsess over things regularly for example I think non-stop about a hobby or occasion coming up until I am distracted by the next. And there is no denying I have always been extremely self-critical. Always unsure of my own ability, how I compare to others, whether I am achieving enough, whether I am as beautiful or clever or fashionable as my peers. (That's hard to admit actually!)

    So I guess I am 'unsteady' in life and lacking the vision I need (literally). This is actually exacerbated funnily enough by my new and extremely lovely boyfriend who seems to know exactly who he is, where his life is headed, what he stands for etc. Makes me feel even worse about myself (see the constant comparison to those around me!!)

    This has turned into a bit of a ramble. But you are definitely onto something... I used to describe it as 'dizziness' until I realised I wasn't dizzy or spinning but just a bit detatched and lightheaded.

    Food for thought. I've been reading this forum for weeks and haven't posted anything. Have done twice today and it's been so helpful already.

    Really appreciate you taking the time to reply to me!

    p.s. the unrelenting feeling is sometimes the worst, realising how long it's been going on for surely feeds into the fear that it will continue and that's how TMS holds it's control over you!

    I hope you keep getting better and manage to eliminate the last of your pain!
  8. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    PS, I love this line!! :)

    PPS,Yes, I'm familiar with Louise Hay :)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  9. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Both. anger at others is obvious...anger at ourselves is called remorse or regret and it causes as much anxiety and anger as any outside person. For some of us maybe even more?

    Louise Hay has been a great resource in my life BUT I got into it AFTER I found out and did a lot of digging into my own rage. Forgiveness is truly the only way to heal BUT you have to know what you're forgiving them for. Butterflies and moonbeams aren't much use when you are in early TMS recovery...save that for putting yourself back together once the pain is gone!
  10. Lou

    Lou New Member

    Hi colls100,

    I can sympathize with you to some extent. I have a problem with lightheadedness as well...not to the extent that you do but enough that it does affect me. Mine only started a short time ago. Out of the blue one morning I suddenly felt so lightheaded I thought I was going to pass out. This was followed by the worst panic attack I have ever had. It took me awhile to calm down enough that I could process what was going on with me and it wasn't until the next day that I realized what had brought it on. Since then I have had it occur somewhat regularly...luckily not to the point that it first did because when it happens now I know it's TMS and I call my brain out on it. I talk to my brain (out loud when I'm alone or in my head if others are around) and tell it that I KNOW THIS IS TMS SO STOP LYING TO ME. Believe it or not I have found it very helpful to actually say those words.

    I have to agree that TMS is definitely ridiculous! It's amazing how many symptoms the brain can find to throw at you! Like many others have stated, my symptoms have at times changed form - as one symptom has decreased another has taken it's place. I try to look at this as a good sign that I am actually getting somewhere in overcoming TMS . My brain is trying so hard not to let the emotions out of my subconscious. Just over this last week I have actually started feeling like I am actually getting somewhere. It's taken me almost two months to get this far. ..but I still have a long way to go.

    One thing I learned about TMS is to not compare my healing/recovery with any one else's. The best advice I think anyone has given me is to let the healing occur at whatever rate it wants to. Don't push it. Don't compare yourself with others. Just do the work - journaling, meditation, mindfulness, or whatever works for you.

    One last thought - don't let what others think of TMS affect your desire to try or your determination to overcome. My dear husband, although I love him very much, doesn't get this idea of TMS. He keeps trying to get me to go to more doctors. Even though I've tried to explain TMS to him a number of times, I get the feeling he thinks I'm a nutcase! That's ok. I know I'm not. I'm dealing with TMS and if I ever decide to get medical help it will be with someone who understands TMS because to me that's the only thing that makes sense.

    I hope you can work through your recovery as quickly as possible. In the meantime, have a great day!!
  11. MicheleRenee

    MicheleRenee Peer Supporter

    one of the best pieces of advice I got was "you dont need to stop worrying.. you just need to stop caring that you do". Read "at last a life" and "at last a life and beyond" by paul david.
  12. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    Thanks both @Lou and @MicheleRenee

    The tough thing for me is how constant the lightheaded feeling is! I always read things like 'as soon as the pain comes along, think this or that' but when it's so unrelenting 24/7 it's like the new normal for me. So I can't tell it to go away when it comes on, it's always on!

    Having said that, I can distinguish between when I really notice it, and when I forget about it briefly (because I'm distracted) so have been practising saying to myself 'I know what you're doing, you're making me dizzy to stop me feeling my emotions, but you don't have to do that, I can accept all my emotions' and I have had moments where I feel slightly better. So I'm beginning to understand that it's my focus on it, and the fact that I care about whether it's there or not that is perpetuating it.

    It all started after two very traumatic experiences in quick succession at the age of 21, which I didn't particularly 'deal with' in fact to this day I am still surprised at the lack of emotion I've experienced over one of them in particular.

    So perhaps I need to dig deep and find the emotion and really feel it? Or do I just acknowledge that the emotion is repressed and that's why I'm being 'distracted' by TMS.

    I get so overwhelmed as I said, by all the things I could be doing.. meditating, deep breathing, journalling, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, affirmations, talking to myself etc.

    I think I'm going to try to exclusively repeat to myself that I know what my brain is doing and it's not necessary.
    Lou and healingfromchronicpain like this.
  13. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    Not that this will help, but I am in the exact same situation!! ( except instead of lightheadedness it's pain for me)

    A little solidarity if nothing else :)
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  14. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

    It does help! I've been reading the forum for weeks without posting. But I've had so many questions to ask!

    And it feels good to write here and receive replies.

    Out of interest I looked at your website and saw you have tried many things for your chronic pain. Has addressing it as TMS been the most successful so far? Do you still use other therapies?
  15. Lou

    Lou New Member

    I know what you mean. I have constant back pain so I found it frustrating at first when people would talk about when the pain (or whatever) "comes on" you should do ..... I just decided that I needed to be mindful all the time and do journaling (usually first thing in the morning or just before bed), meditation, etc. when I can during the day. There seem to be times when the pain is letting up a bit so hopefully this is starting to pay off. Although they say that positive thinking won't get you out of the TMS, I find it helpful to keep reminding myself that I WILL OVERCOME THIS. It gives me the incentive to keep trying.

    Alan Gordon says the most important thing in this is to not care about the pain (or other symptom) so your brain no longer sees the need to send it. This is not an easy thing to do but I can see why this would work so I am trying to put this into practice.

    Remember to be kind and patient with yourself. This is something that I am still learning how to do. I also have to stop myself from "calendar counting" and comparing my healing to others because reading about all the miraculous cures some people have had actually made it frustrating for me at first. Some day I will be out of pain. I don't know when but I just keep trying. That's really all you can do. I hope this helps. Have the best day you possibly can!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  16. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    I don't know if you read the page called My healing journey on my website, but the part under "Until…" describes this in more detail: I actually had the greatest pain reduction by way of jfb-mfr (John F Barnes myofascial release), which helped me do the deep digging into my emotional issues more than I intitially could do from reading Sarno.

    When I first read Sarno's Mindbody Prescription (in 2006), about 9 months into my pain, I only slightly reduced my pain for a couple days. So I thought it wasn't going to work for me. So I continued searching elsewhere. Then JFB MFR (in late 2007) helped me break through the emotional armor I had built around myself, and my pain came down significantly. Then when I couldn't seem to break through the last layers of pain, even after lots of jfb-mfr, I went back to try to employ more of Sarno and TMS thinking/techniques. So I can't really say that for me Sarno has been the most effective. It was a critical step, though, in my understanding and excepting of the mind-body connection and TMS. And maybe it'll be the last critical step to getting past all the pain (idk, still tbd). :)

    But for what it's worth, in 2009, when I came back to Sarno and read the Divided Mind, I had what I called Six Golden Weeks of feeling almost all better. I really thought I was going to get there. But somehow my body slipped back into the old patterns that I can't seem to undo or let go of.

    So to answer your question, I've tried many other things. Since I know much of my pain is rooted in past trauma, I have also tried EMDR and somatic experiencing with some success (brought down pain that had spiked and that I couldn't otherwise bring down). I also have done psychotherapy but not with a specific TMS trained therapist. It was with someone who understood the mind-body connection, and while I think it helped in combination with the myofascial release, I don't know how effective it would've been by itself. I also tried tapping (emotional freedom technique).

    All of these things helped me dig into my emotions and I released a lot of emotions and energy associated with the negativity in my body. But still for some reason I am where I am. So I don't know that I can tell you anything specifically helpful. But this has been what I've done and I feel like each of these things have helped in some way. Maybe I'm chipping off little pieces of my glacier at a time.

    As for what I'm also doing now, I even just tried acupuncture last week, wondering if it's a waste if my time or not. I felt like it tensed me up more, so not sure I'll go back. I tend to go back to jfbmfr sometimes as it has brought down spikes in my pain and helps me release emotions.

    I have also tried to just stop trying. This was in another thread from earlier today. Again that was during my six Golden weeks. But then the pain crept back. So this is why I am still looking to this forum and like to hear about how people have healed.

    I fear I'm babbling and I'm not even sure what I'm saying anymore. I am happy to talk anytime if you'd like to contact me directly.

    Good luck to all of us!! :)
    Memawjan likes this.
  17. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    @Lou here here!!
    Exactly what you said!!
    Lou likes this.
  18. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    Idk, but I found really feeling it, as horrible as it was, helped me more than just recognizing it was repressed. Although they sort of went hand in hand for me. When I realized, I was so overcome with emotions that I couldn't not feel them :) but I definitely released stuff by feeling it.

    But there was also a point of diminishing returns for me. Since I still had daily pain, I kept digging and feeling, and still had pain. So don't know if I need to dig and feel more or not! Baaah! One could go crazy over this. Amazing I'm still sane after all these years lol! ;)
  19. colls100

    colls100 Well known member

  20. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    Sorry for the delay. Been busy I guess. I'm ok, thanks for asking. I guess I'm still a bit frustrated with where I am (that is, still stuck on this plateau). As a result, I actually decided to go ahead and try acupuncture recently. I figured I might as well check something else off the list even though I know many here will say it's a waste of time. I'm still reserving judgement until I have a better sense of what it is or isn't doing for me. And my insurance covers it, so that helps.

    But overall, I'm still thankful that my body and mind have let go of several layers of pain since I first injured my neck.

    How are you doing, @colls100 ??

Share This Page