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Day 31 Free write- troubling symptom surfaces

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Rajput21, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Rajput21

    Rajput21 Peer Supporter

    So a bit of an introduction is necessary (please excuse the prolixity of this post): I first started experiencing back pain when I moved from Florida to NYC for law school in 2008. It's become clear why this has happened and doesn't need to be rehashed here. What is relevant however, is that one year ago when I returned to law school, there was an incident where I had just returned to class and was called on (socratic method). At the time, I was still struggling with my return to school and the material was challenging for me. It wasn't until about 3/4 of the way through the semester that I returned to form. In this interim period of struggle, every study session and every class was a mind f*ck. But still I pushed on, determined to find my way.

    During one of these classes, even though I felt 'prepared', I was called on by a professor and immediately felt myself tense up. I was aware that I was sweating and my mind went 'blank'. The professor wasn't aggressive or mean, actually he was fairly understanding. But I was very upset with myself for my inability to critically think on my feet and that I had let the pressure get to me. When class ended, I noticed that I had broke out into hives. Interestingly, at the time I had assumed I had bed bugs. I was so clueless!

    *It's worth noting that while I haven't journaled yet about this particular incident (it is on my TMS list however), I have thought about it quite a bit since that day.

    Anyway fast track to today, almost a year later and I ended up in the same classroom. It's a fairly small classroom, packed full of bodies (around 90 students). As soon as I entered the room and sat down, I noticed that my entire body had tensed up. My breathing became labored and shallow, and I felt a little bit like I was suffocating. I knew what was happening and tried to relax. The symptoms didn't get worse, but I also couldn't relax. I was prepared for class though and I didn't feel completely frozen. Fortunately I wasn't called on, but I am definitely concerned about my body's conditioning to this environment.

    My hope is that as time goes by, my body will unlearn or disassociate itself from these feelings and I'll eventually become comfortable in this classroom. I don't have any symptoms in any of the other classrooms, which I am grateful for. I'm also grateful that while my body tensed up, back pain didn't surface. That's a huge win for me, I think.

    I also noticed that immediately after class ended, some of the friends I've made over this summer (who are in the class), came over and we talked a bit and even left together. My symptoms immediately disappeared. They had no idea what was going on with me or that I secretly felt like hugging each and every one of them (as bears are known to do).
  2. NolaGal

    NolaGal Peer Supporter

    I'm certainly not an expert on TMS, being so new to it and all, but this seems like a textbook incident to me (no pun intended)! I think you will certainly unlearn that reaction after awhile. The fact that you were so aware of what was happening is fantastic!
    Endless luke likes this.
  3. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    I agree that you handled it well by noticing what happened. You identified a location that triggered you and you can either avoid that location or use the knowledge to deal with it better.

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