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Day 4 fighting the good fight

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by futuredancer, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. futuredancer

    futuredancer Peer Supporter

    I am on day 4 and yesterday night I have started feeling a lot of anxiety in my chest. It took me a good while to fall asleep but I didnt care. I believe it is probably due to the digging up emotions and my first attempts at journaling. Though I think the stuff that is causing TMS is buried much deeper, I ve been able to see a lot of anger coming up. I have always considered myself quite positive and polite, but by journaling I am getting in contact with an internal dialog that is not polite and "nice" at all. It is quite disturbing but I understand I have to embrace the shadow too.

    If you guys experienced that kind of anxiety sensation, I would appreciate hearing about it and how it developed.

    As for the question to ponder of the day, I was disheartened by the comments of my orthopedist that the herniated disc would always be there and if the conventional treatment didn't work or if I had another crisis, I should consider surgery. It also bugged me that she said I would have to be careful with my moves (and I love yoga and all the difficult postures). I guess I can say I got even more pissed at the physiotherapist. He said that my muscles were really weak, that I was on my way to have arthrosis in my hips and he was surprised how my knees didnt hurt. He said my body was older than my age and now I realize how much that infuriated me.
  2. futuredancer

    futuredancer Peer Supporter

    And I should say I am really frustrated for not feeling any improvement at all today.
  3. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I completely understand your anxiety and your frustration, I've experience extreme amounts of both during my journey. The anxiety can be frightening. I would agree that the increase is likely due to the first attempts at journaling. My suggestions for keeping it manageable would be: a) try to do your tms work as far from bedtime as possible. If you find a particular thought that is bugging you at bedtime it may be helpful to journal about it then just to get it out of your head, but in general I find it easier to fall asleep if I do my journaling or tms reading earlier in the day. b) make an effort to learn and use some deep breathing techniques when you feel the anxiety rising. It took me a while to realize the benefits of this, but it is very worthwhile. One I find especially effective for anxiety is to breath in through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, and then exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. repeating this one 5-10 times has been quite beneficial for me when my anxiety is high. c) when you recognize your anxiety level is higher, try focusing on your thoughts if you can. See if you can determine where they are (generally when the anxiety level is higher you will likely discover your thoughts are in the future). After you determine where they are, make a strong effort to move your focus to the present. Focus all of your senses on the very moment you are in, what do you see, hear, smell right this instant? Most likely when you focus on the present moment you will find that you are completely safe, in no immediate danger. If you find that to be true, repeat it to yourself over and over. It seemed very weird for me at first and it took a while to become effective, but it does work. Something simple like "I'm ok" or "I'm safe". Ultimately you're talking to your sub-conscious, it's an incredible experience when you realize that "little you" is actually listening, feeling safer, and calming down.

    I would also say the frustration is fairly standard for tms fighters. We want to be pain-free, and we want it last week! This is another difficult area for me, I can be very guilty of being my own worst enemy. When you find yourself frustrated, make an effort to get the frustration out - whatever works best for you - journal, scream, beat anything that won't break with a dishtowel. If you can do so safely, breaking things can also be very cathartic. Smashing dishes off a basement wall can turn frustration into laughter very quickly! As hard as it will be at first, do the best you can to be kind to yourself, try not to judge your progress. Everyone progresses at a different rate, some are quick, others - like me - not so quick. I began my tms journey on 12/31/12, I am just now getting to the point where the pain-free moments are outnumbering the painful ones. There are going to be great days and there will be not so great days but in time the peaks and valleys will get closer together and before too long the ground will be fairly flat! Just because you have a day that you don't realize an improvement, doesn't mean it's not happening. Our bodies do an remarkable amount of healing and repair that we're not aware of . There is a lot to be said for "no news, is good news" in the pain department. Remember, even baby steps are STEPS in the right direction - they will get you where you want to be!

    The "experts" can be terrific sources for frustration and irritation. See if you can focus less on what they've said and more on what your body is telling you and what you're telling it. You're the one living in there, you know better than anyone what you're feeling and what you are capable of at any given moment! My "tests" showed all sorts of imperfections. We're all imperfect humans, not one of us is going to have the "picture perfect" result from every test - that doesn't mean there is something wrong - it just confirms what we already knew - we're real live humans, not photos in the anatomy books!
    JanAtheCPA and gailnyc like this.
  4. futuredancer

    futuredancer Peer Supporter

    Hi Leslie, I used today your technique to focus on the present moment saying to the little me that I was ok and safe. It was quite interesting. I felt different.
    I am on Day 9 today. Yesterday and today I felt exhausted. I don't feel the opression on my chest anymore (which was a constant in the first week) but my whole body and my mind wants to crash. There must be a lot of emotional stuff going on and I feel a bit overwhelmed.
    With all that going on, it was great reading your post. Thank you very much for your sharing your experience. The support of this community is a breath of fresh air during this healing journey.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Listen to your body. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed or exhausted be kind to yourself (again easier said than done). One of the mistakes I make is not listening when my body or my mind says "rest" (fortunately I am learning and I get helpful reminders). I get so impatient and the perfectionist in me is just now learning to realize that much healing occurs (most of it in fact) during rest. I had a misguided idea that if I'm not "doing" then nothing is getting done. While that may be true on a production line, it is most definitely not the case when it it comes to easing pain.

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