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from pain to peace

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by blake, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi everyone,
    I haven't been on the forum much lately - keeping busy with my self work and getting on with my life. But today I had an experience I thought was worth mentioning.

    I woke up in excruciating pain this morning. My head was aching and I had bad nausea and vomiting. I knew it was tms right away, but even so, the pain had me completely floored. This is not my typical pattern.

    Two amazing things happened during this episode: 1) I was able to really see the part of me that fears the pain. I had not realized until that moment that my pain still triggers fears and worries in me. It was great to be reminded that I need to continue being aware of my reaction to the pain. 2) I connected with the part of me that dreadfully fears change. Yesterday I applied for a job. I have been working as a freelancer for 10 years, but have decided recently that I want to reintegrate the regular job market. This scares the living daylights out me and pushes all my "not good enough" buttons (which is why I started working from home in the first place.)
    So as I sat there in really bad pain, I tapped into a calm part of me and watched this show going on in my head. Sure enough, some 20 minutes later, the pain was down to a completely manageable level.

    The takeaway from this experience is that there is a very wise part of me that is able to handle life's ups and downs without panicking. Learning to tap into that energy might just be where the healing is at.

    Barb M., North Star, Peggy and 3 others like this.
  2. Dahlia

    Dahlia Well known member

    Hi Blake.
    I congratulate you on this breakthrough. It is a huge achievement.

    I know from my own experience how difficult it can be to not get swept away by such an immediate and intense attack. And to be able to step back from it - while you are in the middle of it- and observe what is happening....well, you have demonstrated to yourself that you have developed a new ability to keep pain out of the drivers seat.

    I wish you continued peace!
    lorrie, blake and North Star like this.
  3. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Blake, thank you for such an important reminder. I have found myself getting overwhelmed at some circumstances I am facing so I can relate to what you were feeling. I just tell myself, "BREATHE". A few deep breaths always settles me down.

    Good luck on this exciting new transition!
    blake likes this.
  4. blake

    blake Well known member

    Your likes, encouragement and support really warm my heart. Thank you!

    Dahlia, I really like your driver's seat analogy. The image is brilliant. I will keep it in mind for future reference.

    You're right, North Star, it is exciting, especially now that I have so many more inner resources for dealing with my difficulties. Relating and working with others has always been stressful for me, but the difference is that I now know how to handle the vulnerable parts of me that get activated in these situations. Now I have to get out there and practise. I'm still scared, but very determined to get back on that horse I fell off of so many years ago:)
    Dahlia likes this.
  5. Back-To-Golf

    Back-To-Golf Peer Supporter

    Thanks for this sharing. Its not easy to put pain into the correct perspective while it is literally whacking you.
    I am now having this pain down my left leg, aftermath from my lower back pain.

    I find trying to focus or mentally shift my sensory to the painless right leg helps a lot e.g. try to focus on a part of your body that is not in pain. Not sure if that a good thing to do though.

    Just to share.
    Ellen and Dahlia like this.
  6. Dahlia

    Dahlia Well known member

    I do this as well and find it to be very helpful. I don't think it can be harmful to shift attention to nerves that don't hurt. In fact, maybe it disarms the TMS because it doesn't get to be as much of a distraction.
    Back-To-Golf, blake and Ellen like this.
  7. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi Back-to-Golf,

    I use that technique as well - picturing the rest of my body, which is pain free. It helps me, because, as Dahlia mentioned, it does distract from the TMS. Plus it helps me relax, which is always a bonus.

    What I'm also finding really helpful these days is visualizing the part of me that is afraid of the pain, that thinks about the pain, worries and freaks out about it. I picture it as a small scared child and then I visualize taking care of that child. I think it helps because, as we know, TMS is kept alive by our attention to it and this approach makes me focus on self care instead.

    My philosophy is that every approach is worth a try. Eventually something ends up working:)

    All the best
    Ellen, Back-To-Golf and Dahlia like this.
  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love to read this Blake. It confirms my approach to fear, which is to be with the one inside who is afraid. On top of this you have some reasoning about why this works. Wonderful. Your self-awareness and compassion are giving you the keys, and I appreciate the support for my own path, and how I suggest others are with fear.

    Just seeing your fear with such (new) clarity, the way you wrote about it in your opening post was somehow imbued with compassion. Hopefully, over time our awareness more naturally triggers self-compassion, which is different than the overlay of the super ego, which is rejection.

    I try to attend to the part of me in fear or anger or any distressing emotion with empathy, regardless of any pain issues, and this is a powerful practice for me. It is a gentle antidote the the inner critic. Wishing us both good luck to build these muscles more and more!

    Here Pema Chodron talks about fear, and at the end about vulnerability. I think that vulnerability she speaks of is one of the strands that lead to compassion, for self and other..

    Barb M., Ellen and Dahlia like this.
  9. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hello Andy,

    Thank you for sharing that video. I especially enjoyed the part where she talks about "sticking with yourself". Isn't that the challenge right there. Let's say I'm experiencing shame, the last thing I want to do is stick with myself. I want to bolt either by tuning out, blaming someone, going off in my head about some new plan - anything to get away from that feeling. The opposite of that is inhabiting that quiet space and observing the emotions with compassion. And yes, it does take a lot of practice, doesn't it!

    I also like what you said about mindfullness being a "gentle antidote to the inner critic." Very lovely way of putting it.

    Thanks again for your encouraging feedback

    Ellen likes this.
  10. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are welcome Blake. I like that Pema is bringing us some of the highest Tibetan teachings, and they are understandable, and what we long for: contact with ourselves, intimacy, being seen, being felt---all inside ourselves. And that the ancients have always recognized this takes practice and courage. To really feel my self-intimacy is pure gold.
    blake likes this.

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