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

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by UnknownStuntman, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. UnknownStuntman

    UnknownStuntman Peer Supporter

    Hi everybody,

    I'd love to hear your opinion about this. I'm trying to accept the pain, despression, anxiety and just let it go, like Claire Weekes recommends. It makes life easier because I don't add too much additional anxiety and tension.

    I also fight the inner bully ("You don't make me feel small anymore, you *#+*!"). Many recommend not to journal or talk about the pain. I'm unsure how to deal with other people, because they may think I'm rude or distant, when I don't tell them I don't feel well. Should I tell them I feel like *'##*§ and don't feel like talking or hanging out? Maybe casually tell without being attached to the words?

    Mainly I don't know how to balance the "fight the symtoms and the bully" (like Alan Gordon says) and the "accepting and let it go" (like Claire Weekes says). Why would I fight something I try to accept?! What are your experiences with this?

    This forum is great :)
    Layne likes this.
  2. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Hi, I don't know if this will help you, but I can describe what I do that usually gets rid of bouts of pain. I use 3 things. Generally, if I can accomplish these 3 things, my bout of pain will gradually disappear. 1. I realize that I must be 100% sure that the pain is TMS related. I find this to be fairly easy with back pain because so much of it is TMS. I always keep in mind that it is my brain that decides to have pain or not. I have had enough experience with TMS symptoms that I can usually distinguish physical pain from brain induced emotional pain. 2. I believe the pain is harmless. In other words, pain does not mean damage to the body, it is only a signal from the brain. 3. I must reach a point where I don't care if I have pain or not. This is the most difficult step. Alan Gordon calls this "outcome independence". I guess you could also call it "letting go". This step is so important because the pain is not the real distraction used by the TMS strategy. It is the upset and distraction that the constant worrying, checking, evaluating the pain causes me mentally. Once I succeed in getting the pain into the background, my goal becomes living my life normally with the pain. I don't fight the pain. I just let it be. Then I often discover, just as an afterthought, that the pain is receding. I usually don't talk to others about my pain because my focus on the pain and their responses can make the pain more important than it is, thereby increasing the pain. With me, getting rid of pain is often about how successfully I can withdraw my attention from the pain and live my life normally even with pain.

    There are times when I have gotten mad about a particular symptom, like an allergy attack. This is so clearly TMS, that I just let it know I am wise to it. However, I only do this if I am pretty confident that I have the jump on it. I always keep in mind that getting mad about a symptom is giving attention to it, so I pick my spots carefully and this sometimes works.
    gailnyc, tarala and Karen like this.
  3. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    chickenbone, I'm going to study this!! That is a fantastic, short version of the 'program'! Like a little mini-course! Fabulous! Thank you so much!

  4. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Karen, I am so happy that you may be able to use this to help you. Pain is not my only symptom that is part of the TMS strategy. Sometimes, when I succeed in getting rid of pain, I will sometimes get sleeplessness, anxiey and allergy problems. I am learning to work through these the same way, only sometimes I find these symptoms more scary than the pain. Usually, when the symptoms begin moving around, that is a good sign.
    Hang in there.
    tarala likes this.
  5. UnknownStuntman

    UnknownStuntman Peer Supporter

    chickenbone, thank you for describing what you do! It's very practical and encouraging. Even after reading two zillion books about the subject: small, usable strategies do the trick! A sensitized nervous system can create all kinds of temporary symptoms: I'm also working on letting go of anxiety and sleeplessness as well as fatigue and depression.
  6. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    The difference is that when your inner bully is active, you are not accepting yourself. Standing up to the inner bully is equivalent to accepting your true self. Gordon and Weekes are touching on the same points.
  7. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    You've already got plenty of incredible insight into the rest of your post so I just wanted to touch on this one piece because it really hit home for me. You're concerns here are all about the other person's perception of you - the people-pleaser in you definitely wrote this part! My suggestion here would be, before you tell them anything, get a completely honest answer from yourself as to the real reason you don't "feel" like hanging out. If the truth really is related to your TMS symptoms - they've still got your focus so do exactly what they don't want you to do (especially if you don't want to) and talk and hang out with others. If the truth is that you'd rather not interact with a particular person at a given time, the reason doesn't have to go beyond that. A simple," this really isn't a good time for me" is totally sufficient.
    gailnyc likes this.
  8. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Chickenbone, I like the way you made a "3 step program." It just puts it in an easy to remember and apply nutshell. Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees, so this helps me remember exactly what to do.
  9. UnknownStuntman

    UnknownStuntman Peer Supporter

    Hi Leslie, thank you for your observation! I think you're right, I didn't notice that.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Chickenbone, your three steps to healing are great.
    I include deep breathing in mine, and also when all else fails, I laugh. That really works.
    Getting distracted by something helps forget the pain.

    I still only have a little lower back pain, but am working on it.

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