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Feeling really low

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Scouser, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Scouser

    Scouser New Member

    I have had some release from the TMS over the last couple of months, which has been good. It can be difficult to not feel apprehension about reoccurrence, this may be a key factor in it continuing in my life. I have followed the advice given here to, largely, good effect. But then when things get bad and the pain takes hold, it becomes difficult to convince myself it is not a genuine injury of some kind.

    I got to the stage were I was playing an hour a day on my guitar, but sometimes when I succumb I only need play for 5 minutes and it becomes very painful. Lost faith in GP doesn't seem to have a clue. All I do know is that this is depressing me very badly. I know if I continue with my activities, the pain becomes paralysis, which again suggests there is something serious underlying this problem. How can one rule out a underlying physical cause ? TMS, seems to be a difficult diagnosis to make.

    I have always played my guitar for hours per day and it is my living, if I can't do it, I would rather not be here. I know that's strong, but that is how much it means to me, it is my only way to lose myself and give me a break from the stresses of life. I feel I have explored all the avenues and feel very despondent, which isn't really a big part of my nature. Don't really know where to go from here now ?
    KevinB and IrishSceptic like this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Scouser,

    Sorry to hear that you are feeling so low and discouraged right now. All of us on this Forum have been there and can relate to how you're feeling. But there are many positives in your post as well. You have had some relief from TMS by following the advice on this site--and it's only been a few months.

    It is the nature of TMS to strike where it matters most to us--that is how it distracts us. The key is to override the unconscious through your conscious brain. It can take time, patience, and persistence for most of us, but it can be done. The following is what helps me most when I am at a similar place as you:

    • Use reason and logic to talk to your unconscious brain. There is no logical reason why your RSI symptoms would be structural. There is nothing wrong with your hands. Keep telling your brain this. I find saying it aloud is most effective.
    • Keep studying TMS and using the techniques you've learned, but limit it to less than an hour a day per Sarno's recommendation. Are you still doing the SEP? Keep at it and keep reading (or listening to) TMS books and success stories. Re-read Alan Gordon's writing on Outcome Independence, and try to incorporate it into your life.
    • Shift your attention outside yourself. Focusing on your misery, your TMS, your pain only perpetuates it. Focus on other people, animals, nature, or an absorbing activity besides playing music. Maybe see this as an opportunity to explore other interests. Doing so will only enrich you as a person, and therefore enrich your music when you are able to get back into it.
    • And be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Treat yourself like your best friend.
    Please keep us posted on how you're doing. We are all here to support one another. You will get through this and move forward in your recovery.
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Modern medicine is very good at DX'ing structural disease with lab tests and imaging etc. If you've been tested and nothing structural was found then you can pursue the TMS route. If you still think your doc missed something serious, getting a second opinion and a third or as many allopathic opinions as you need, to convince yourself that nothing serious has been missed.

    You can also see a TMS doc for a DX, there's a list of them in the sidebar of the homepage here. Most sufferers who have come here have done the gamut of testing and treatments from A to Z, no one comes here first.

  4. Barb M.

    Barb M. Peer Supporter

    Hello! I am new here so I won't offer any specific TMS advice. Just wanted to say I'm so sorry you're going through such a tough time. I am a writer and my pain is RSI in nature, it hurts to type, etc. I have read on here somewhere that TMS seems to go after parts of your body that matter to you (like my foot doesn't hurt because I don't really care about my foot). I also know that creativity (music, writing) is hard to just give up. I feel like my soul is broken when I can't be creative. When I can't write, I have done things that seem easier on my hands, like water color painting. That helps a little. The people on this forum are really nice! As Ellen said, keep us posted.
    SSG likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Barb. I'm a writer, too. Freelancing for 40 years.
    A list of my books is at www.walteroleksybooks.com

    A few months ago I had a TMS book published with another TMSWiki member, Eric Watson (Herbie on the posts).
    GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU TO BE IN PAIN. It's at amazon.com books as a paperback and Kindle.

    If it's painful to type, maybe try talking a story into a tape cassette.

    Keep working on TMS healing techniques, from the Structured Educational Program and/or reading the subforums
    and your fingers will be dancing across the keyboard again, pain-free.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Scouser,
    It sounds like you have TMS to me, but you might be able to embrace the Sarno approach with more confidence if you consulted with a TMS physician. That is what I did, and it helped me a lot.

    Like Barb, I hope you can find other ways to soothe yourself and enjoy music. Perhaps singing will also be nice. Research by Porges, his Polyvegal Theory suggests that using the mouth, breath, and ear (listening as we sing) all work to soothe us at a very deep level. In your present angst (which believe me, everyone here is familiar with), you could use some ways to soothe and feel really good. You can then focus on the sensations that feel good in your mouth and throat, rather than what hurts.

    We've all been through some variation of your suffering. I love how people have responded so far to your request for support==good guidance.

    Don't give up hope. Engage the work the way Hellen describes. Start tracking exceptions to the pain patterns.

  7. Scouser

    Scouser New Member

    Thanks Ellen,

    For your kind words of support & encouragement.

    Yes I have fallen off the TMS wagon a little of late, however one thing concerns me and that is that 2 different GP's have given a diagnosis of tendonitis.

    This makes life difficult from the point of view that their advice is to rest and take naproxen when afflicted, which is the opposite of what I understand the TMS says, which is carry on with activities despite any symptoms ?

    Obviously I think there is a TMS link, which is why I have been, in the main, trying to follow the advice, but knowing that carrying on with activities could worsen a tendonitis problem doesn't help.

    How can one be sure of TMS ?
  8. Scouser

    Scouser New Member

    Hi Folks,

    Thanks for all your kind words of support.

    Just thought I would give an update to current situation.

    Ok, so as I explained, playing my guitar is a huge part of my life, it makes up half my living and the rest I make up with handyman work. I also work hard to give something back and try and help others learn guitar here https://www.youtube.com/user/Joejoe001000/featured

    I can have moments of clarity when trying to understand the causes of my pain, also I can see how TMS may be playing a huge role in my incapacity. For example, when I play my guitar it is never painful when playing but rather some time afterwards, this makes it difficult to manage my pain. I can see how I have built up an expectation of pain after I have played ( TMS ) It's like i'm waiting for the pain, but at the same time I am having strong words with myself, such as " don't even think of giving me pain, my wrists are fine, pain you are not welcome there is no place for you here" etc.
    I did this yesterday after having a short practice, and felt a few twinges afterwards again I had strong words with myself and the pain didn't come to anything ;) Instead I woke in the night with what felt like a sprained knee, which again corresponds to the TMS moving around the body. I didn't give in to this and struggled to go out for a walk, even though doing so was very painful.

    Now I have made an observation, there are 3 things that matter to me most :

    Being able to play my guitar
    Being fit enough to do my handyman work
    Being able to go to bed without feeling apprehensive

    The first two are crucial to me earning a living, without which I would be on the street.
    The last one is important for the reason that, if I am in pain physically or emotionally or both, to be able to count on some sleep, ie escape all symptoms for at least a while, and to some extent recharge for whatever the following day might bring.

    As most of the pain I experience seems to start when I am in bed, understandably I have built up a kind of phobia around going to bed, I understand that this mentality is very likely to fuel the TMS, however it is proving very difficult to overcome this. Often I will go to bed thinking tonight is going to be a nice pain free night, only to wake a couple of hours later in acute pain. I think if the pain was not so acute I could better deal with it. I so far have resisted taking anti inflammatory as I think sarno suggests, this is a challenge in itself as taking them does indeed seem to relieve symptoms, I think he instead suggests taking a pain killer instead, I have resisted both so far, in the hope that it will pass.

    I guess my main goal would be to go to bed without apprehension and sleep, as trying to deal with all this without sleep makes this nigh on impossible to deal with..

    If anyone has any advice please feel free to make some suggestions..

  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

  10. Scouser

    Scouser New Member

    Thanks for that Ellen, started the 4-7-8 technique yesterday and despite my pains slept quite well.

    My wrist started up a little before I went to bed, I could actually see swelling, I presume TMS can cause swelling ? I just did my best to ignore it and it helped.

    It occurred to me today, I would like to know more about how people who have been taught to repress their emotions and how they have unlearnt this trait. I myself was given a hard time as a child if I cried or showed any anger. Not that I want to become somebody, who is wailing all the time. It seems second nature for me to bury these things. Since starting with the TMS I have spoken to myself about the things that emotionally trouble me from day to day, more so when experiencing the pain, as a way to switch to the psychological, which is a challenge as I seem naturally to indulge the symptoms of pain.

    Anyway I have looked after myself today, both body and mind and that can only be a good thing.

    Tomorrow I have to return to work, this is when I'm typically afflicted, but I will expect to feel marvellous in the morning and deal with whatever arises..
    Ellen likes this.
  11. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    Be careful with trying to find what you repress, searching for the magic bullet. What you repress you may never find, but you can still heal. Searching for a answer comes from a place of fear, it keeps you preoccupied from your emotions. Try to stop monitoring the symptoms, this feeds the tms beasts. Your body is fine its your mind that needs healing.

    Let go and live life. As soon as you stop trying so hard to heal you will make progress. Give yourself compassion and have some patience. It will take time to heal and that's ok, good things come to those who wait. It's ok to cry, it's a very soothing thing to your deeper self, but the superego may keep you from doing this especially since it was not acceptable for you to do when younger.

    Wishing you best of luck, keep at it and believe DEEPLY that your body is ok. We are what we believe.

    Ellen likes this.
  12. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I really think this is true. I made a list of all the possible causes, and that took me about 4 hours one day. From then on, I could always look at that list, and have plenty of "reasons for TMS." Beyond that, occasional journaling, and simply being with my feelings in the moment, and contemplating the possible connections to TMS have been good.

    You put so well Ryan, the way the mind anxiously searches for the right source of the "problem" inside, and how this can be an inner re-enactment of the "medical answer search" that we all know: anxiety and pressure on ourselves.
    Barb M. and Ellen like this.
  13. Scouser

    Scouser New Member

    "Let go and live life. As soon as you stop trying so hard to heal you will make progress. Give yourself compassion and have some patience. It will take time to heal and that's ok, good things come to those who wait. It's ok to cry, it's a very soothing thing to your deeper self, but the superego may keep you from doing this especially since it was not acceptable for you to do when younger"

    Funny you should say that, as its when I "Let go and live life" that all these symptoms seem come over me, hence making me feel that there is something that needs addressing ?
  14. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are doing this important work, which is new to you. You are in a learning process, I believe, about yourself and how you tick. This learning is giving you lots of evidence about what can possibly be causing the TMS. I know it is hard to be patient when you are in pain, but hang in there, applying Dr. Sarno's method.

    You are dealing with pain and fear. Observe this, and connect it to the real causes you are learning about: like that as a child you were trained not to feel difficult feelings, and on top of that you learned to treat yourself with the same rejection that you were treated with. Now, you no doubt still act this rejection out on yourself, consciously or semi-consciously or subconsciously. We all do.

    This is the exact realization you need to see the root of your pain. Part of you, a vulnerable part is rejected, and this part of you is hurt or enraged, or ------? And that response, that emotion of rage or hurt is intolerable, so you have symptoms.

    In one sense, we can learn to do less of this, by working with the inner critic and not believing it, and learning more empathy for ourselves, and being more open to feelings. But at another sense, you already have the cause of your pain, which is pervasive rejection of feelings (which again is human nature), and perhaps a little more so for you, because of your upbringing.

    Every time you observe this tendency to numb out or dismiss or reject feelings, you have evidence of the real cause of your symptoms. Seeing this connection is all you need to see, to have the symptoms change, in my experience. Be patient, and do the repetitive mind work making this connection between symptoms and inner life over and over in the moment. And try to forgive yourself for having been caught up in this hell right now in your life. It is life, and you're unraveling a mystery here.

    You are applying your sincerity, and that will work.
    Sending encouragement.

    Ellen likes this.
  15. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sarno has written that at the turn of the century (previous millennium), secretaries typed in pools for long hours, on manual typewriters, and there were no epidemics of RSI back then.
    Barb M. likes this.
  16. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Watch "AMERICAN IDOL", most of the contestants and Jennifer Lopez are crying half the time.
  17. Buckeye

    Buckeye Peer Supporter

    I started out on manual typewriters and while this statement may be true (about the lack of RSI), it has more to do with the culture and typewriters than any TMS issue. When there were manual typewriters a much lower percentage of the population ever even touched a typewriter at any point in their life. Today, everyone over the age of 3yo seems to have a keyboard.

    Typewriters require you to remove/replace the paper at the end of each page/form, so they had a built in 'exercise' that released the strain on the hands and wrists. People who had trouble with typewriters, and especially in building up speed on them, would go elsewhere for work. No different than the fact that people who didn't get very good at piano seldom earn a living at it. Today, engineers may not be proficient on a keyboard, but they don't have options to go elsewhere because everyone has to use the keyboard to type.

    And, finally a typewriter is a much more physical exercise that builds up both muscles and tendons. They require you to move your entire arm on a routine basis. Keyboards are mostly micro-movements of the fingers, almost entirely dependent on tendon control, and have you working with your arm flat with a hyper-extended wrist on the desk most of the time.

    Finally, we've gone from a few people that do it for a living, to an entire population that does it even in their off hours and for hobbies.
    Barb M. likes this.
  18. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    EXACTLY, How can you hurt yourself doing virtually nothing? The Good Doctor would say "If it's too heavy to lift, you couldn't lift it."
  19. Buckeye

    Buckeye Peer Supporter

    Actually, when I draw detailed drawings, that is the most stress on my wrists because I'm trying to control the fingers in a very finite way. It is far easier for me to pound nails into wood all day than to do detailed drawings.

    I don't understand the "if it's too heavy to lift, you couldn't lift it." statement?
  20. LindaLeyner

    LindaLeyner New Member

    ^ That statement reflects the conviction that our body is much more resilient than we make it out to be.
    If there are limitations, your body will let you know. If there was a possibility for you to liftg something, in that example, it's okay for your body. You may feel tired, but it's doubtful that you could damage yourself that way. Your body would've let you know before.
    Thus, that soreness/tiredness is natural. And it goes away.

    There should be no reason for it not to.
    Tennis Tom likes this.

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