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Feeling so down

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Moose, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Moose

    Moose Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone,

    I've been on the forums for a few weeks, and I've posted a little about myself so far and my TMS journey. I feel like I've made progress, but the past week or so, I've been feeling really down. Yesterday, no matter what I did I felt miserable. I haven't been particularly happy for a long time, but it's much worse now. I feel like my self-esteem has dropped as a result of all the journalling I've been doing, which has uncovered old wounds and made me think a lot about family neglect and being bullied. I know it's important work, but it's making it very hard for me to be self-loving and kind to myself when all the cruel things people have said and done are swimming round in my head.

    I'm not really sure how to move past this. I'm finding it very hard to be motivated, I'm dreading work everyday - not because of my hands anymore but because I'm finding it emotionally draining. Last night I had a dream that I was terminally ill, and no one would help me. It was horrible and left me feeling very drained today. Has anyone else been through anything similar? If so, what helped you get through the times when you just want to curl up under the covers and not come out?
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Moose. Yes! Curling under the covers and not wanting to come out is my specialty! This whole pain distraction theory is making a lot of sense because it is not easy to be here, in my body, examining how I really feel about what I've experienced in my life. But as painful as it is, I don't want to go back to thinking about my pain all the time and what is wrong with my body. Today I got to the office and felt some strange sensation with my vision. Its weird because it was creating a lot of anxiety but I couldn't even put into words exactly what it was. I could see okay except I was strangely aware of my peripheral vision. I started to imagine what I would say to an eye doctor if I went to see one. "Doctor, I can see fine but my eyes feel weird in a way I can't exactly put into words." Yesterday it was a pain in my left arm and hand. Last night it was my lips and throat. Is my subconscious on its last gasp to come up with a distraction or what? Whatever it comes up with I just breathe, focus on the sensation and tell it that it is okay to be there. I can manage with it there. I don't always believe it, but I say it anyway. What other choice do I have? For me, self love is an exercise. I am attempting to be aware of the negative things I say to myself. And then when I notice them, I do my best to stand up for myself. My husband thinks I am mad all the time and I guess I am because I am very quick to take offense right now. This morning he made me really mad and at some point I realized I wasn't going to get the resolution I wanted so I picked up my journal and started writing. I don't know. I just have to believe that I am in the thick of this and that at some point there will be a tipping point when it will feel more natural to not beat myself up, I will actually believe it when I say positive things to myself, and it won't take so much constant effort and vigilance to be able to relax in the moment and not translate stress into internal tension. If we have experienced family neglect and being bullied how do we truly internalize that this is not our fault and we deserve not only to be loved but to love ourselves? For myself, I am basically telling myself that it is okay to do whatever I want right now. This being hard on ourselves, feeling bad and not feeling like we deserve better really isn't working. Sometimes I feel like I am in one of those amusement park rides where you are all strapped in and the car has started to move forward and you realize there is no going back. Fighting it only makes it worse. I am really glad to be here in spite of it all but sometimes the ride is a little too intense. Moose, I hope the clouds break and you have a few soothing moments that make it easier.
  3. AngK

    AngK Peer Supporter

    Moose, I'm so new to this I hesitate to give advice... I wanted to reply to you, though!

    Just in reading your post I can see why you would have TMS... your subconscious seems to have been distracting you from a lot? Painful memories, stressful job, etc? Your comment about work really struck me: that instead of your hands hurting you were feeling emotionally drained. So maybe feeling all of this is a really good sign.. necessary for you to segue into recovery? Dealing with the emotions will hopefully get better with time.

    One piece of advice I've noticed on here a lot is self compassion. We TMSers are very hard on ourselves. I don't know if you saw my post last week about my pain coming back & I didn't want to "break down" and go to the massage therapist... but I was advised: why think of this as some kind of failure on my part? I'm working on the TMS, doing what I can, if I want a massage then get the massage. I decided to get the massage, made the plans for the next afternoon, but when I woke up the next morning the pain was gone. It's like I was fighting it to prove something to myself and once I just let it go -- the pain let go.

    Also, have you tried the approach discussed by several members where you remember a painful childhood memory with you addressing/consoling your child self? I found this much more powerful than I expected (& also did this around the time I wanted that massage). I had so much sympathy for the child (myself) and it pained my adult self to know that she would think anything was her fault. It was really quite emotional... but very healing at the same time.

    Also remember that some TMSers may need psychoanalysis to help them, and I've certainly kept that on the list of possibilities for myself. Journaling continues to be very difficult for me. Good luck. It will get better!
  4. Moose

    Moose Peer Supporter

    Hi guys, thanks for the replies. I've wondered if feeling emotionally worse about going to work is equivalent to a 'pain shift' that often happens with TMS recovery - my brain is realising that giving me hand pain doesn't really stop me from using a computer now, so it's thinking up other ways.

    I'm definitely going to try the technique you mention AngK, about consoling my child self. I think I need to tell my inner child that it's ok to have the feelings I have, and that my suffering is valid and I deserve sympathy, which is the exact opposite of the message I got during childhood.
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Moose, it is time to undo those childhood hurts! Journaling about them helps immensely BUT always end on something positive. e.g. I am ready to heal this now. You will know when you have sufficiently addressed these feelings because you will realize they are part of your history, but they no longer bring up feelings. Persevering in writing gets us to that point and it's wonderful! You can have a total shift in perspective--freedom!

    I agree with writing to the child self as a loving observer or parent--the kind of parent or loving presence every child wants (and needs!). You may also want to write a feelings letter to those by whom you feel hurt. Let the feelings rip then burn the letter, rip it up, or mail it! Up to you. It is amazing how free we can feel when we get out what we really want to say uncensored!

    How did you FEEL when you were being bullied? Let the feelings out uncensored. On the converse, and perhaps for note in future journaling, the bullier had their own issues and was likely acting out their own feelings of inferiority, anger, etc. (not that it is excusable behavior--it isn't--just another angle to help with our perspective which changes as we keep writing).

    Best wishes!
  6. Moose

    Moose Peer Supporter

    Thanks. One problem I have with journalling is that I try to explore my feelings and let them go, but I find myself dwelling on them afterwards. Also, some of the things in my past are quite interconnected (for example, if I start journalling about one of my personality traits, I'll explore what made me that way and end up treading old ground over e.g. the bullying I experienced as a kid, which I've already journalled about). I don't know how much of this is too much. I'd love to be able to say 'I accept that part of my past' and mean it, but instead I either find myself rehashing everything or trying not to think about it again at all because I'm already supposed to have 'dealt with it' through journalling!
  7. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Moose, maybe this is a sign that you're really not done with this issue and that you need to continue journaling about it whenever it comes up? If you don't "accept that part of your past," you can't pretend you do.

    Dealing with old hurts can be painful. Can you allow yourself to continue feeling that pain? Trying to deny it, or run away from it, or busy yourself so you don't have to deal with it might only make it worse, or bring back the physical pain you had before.
  8. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Absolutely agree with Gail. When you are finished and have processed everything about a certain event, you will not have any feelings, good or bad, about the topic. It becomes something that happened in your history with no emotion attached. If you continue to ruminate about a topic, there is more to be processed and possibly uncovered -- through journaling or therapy. There were topics that took me multiple journaling sessions to get past. Some took quite a long time. The end result was worth it -- freedom!

    Don't give up. this is a journey. It takes as long as it takes.

    Though my back pain was gone years ago, there are times when something (person, event, etc.) triggers me enough that I sit down to journal. To me this just feels like a release; it feels good because it makes me face it and then I can be rid of it. I love when my perspective changes and I can feel a shift.

    Perhaps you may want to also explore more why you are dreading work every day.
  9. Moose

    Moose Peer Supporter

    Yeah, I guess I have to do a bit more journalling. But how can I have no feelings about the topic? How can I possibly just feel neutral towards something like my Mum having Alzheimer's?

    And I know why I'm dreading work - I'm in the wrong career, which is something I am in the process of correcting, but it takes time!
  10. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I'm sorry to hear your mom has alzheimers. That must be difficult for everyone involved. I work with someone whose mom has its onset, and she gets very frustrated and sad about it too.

    Most of us have some situation in our lives that we do not like (I have myself written I HATE [this]! in journaling) and/or have no control over. This requires acceptance. I would be journaling to this point. I have experienced situations beyond my personal control, and needed to find that point of acceptance--whether I liked it or not--as it was for my own health. Earlier on there were also times where I chose to be "in the sadness" for a couple days, but then I decided it was time to make progress and release things--again, for my own health and well-being.

    Also please be gentle with yourself. It takes time to assimilate this new way of thinking. Trust the process. It truly does work.
  11. AngK

    AngK Peer Supporter

    I recently posted about coming to an important revelation... but the mere revelation itself wasn't enough to make it all better. It will just take time & I have to just relax and be patient - or so I tell myself over & over again :)
    I kind of understand what the members above are saying about no real emotion attached.
    It's like when you make topics taboo, they stick out like a sore thumb when you do bring them up. Discussing, examining, reflecting on issues, I think, kind of takes the sting out. Some issues take longer I guess.
    If your mom is currently battling Alzheimers then that's really difficult since it's an ongoing issue. But keep at it. And don't shy away from expressing any anger or resentment or fear. Yes, it's your mom who is sick but you're affected too.

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