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Frustrated and feel like I'm right back where I started

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Stormshadow, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Stormshadow

    Stormshadow Peer Supporter

    So one year ago today is when I first started having physical symptoms pretty much throughout my body. I was diagnosed by a TMS doctor and started seeing a TMS therapist back in February. I haven't frequented these boards much because I was trying to stay away from having new symptoms latched onto by my brain so I apologize for that. However, I'm just so so so frustrated. I almost wish this was structural so I could have surgery and be done with it. What I'm frustrated about is that I just feel like I'm up and down and up and down and now I've been down for a few weeks. My pain is elevated to such a big degree and I just can't seem to get rid of it with meditating, crying, journaling or anything. My TMS therapist wants me to stop trying to figure out the cause and just allow myself to feel the intense tears and sadness that come out when I do let myself cry. I just feel like there is this hole in my chest. I also had a horribly stressful year last year before the symptoms and just turned 40 and have questioned my life (my marraige, my career and everything). There have been certain triggers for the back pain and then months with no pain where I played volleyball and everything. Again verifiying the TMS diagnosis. Certain pains won't leave at all though like the arm pain (I'm a gamer and work at a keyboard) and the ringing in the ears. Now my tension headaches are elevated. In all honesty, I've been talking to my therapist about major aspects of my life and if I'm truly happy. Triggers that sent my back into massive pain were two months ago and going on vacation for a week with my wife. It was tough because we drove for 10 hours to get to our vacation spot. And three weeks ago being the 5 year anniversary of my brother passing and Father's Day (doesn't look like i'll be able to have children). So those were tough days, but the pain hasn't let up since then. And since then I've been really looking at my situations and if I'm hapy or not and its just so stressful. Anyways, I just needed to reach out because I'm just so frustrated and feel like I'm never gonig to beat this thing. I'm trying to reread Sarno's books and also just finished STeve O's book. Was about to start Unlearning your Pain next. i really don't know what to say or why I'm writing other than the fact that I'm scared. Going to see my TMS doctor for the first time in a few months tomorrow so hopefully that will reground me a bit.
  2. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member


    I can only imagine how frustrating and scary it is right now. Especially given that you have had some times where you've been pain free, it seems. It can be terribly frustrating to have the pain re-occur or have new symptoms arise. I'd like to normalize the fact that while some people do get rid of their TMS and it really doesn't come back - or doesn't come back that much - others, many others will have reoccurences in their lives of TMS symptoms. You are not alone in that. (Even us TMS therapists have reoccurences - I'm having a bit of TMS these days!)

    One of the truly hard things for TMS-er's to do when the pain or symptoms are very very bad is EASE UP. Often we delve right back into journaling, meditating, re-reading Sarno's books with twice as much effort as the first time. Unfortunately, that kind of PRESSURE can be exactly what contributes to some TMS-er's pain. I often advocate for clients to find coping mechanisms for the symptoms when they (the symptoms) won't respond to old TMS strategies. For instance, I'll recommend meditation - not to get rid of the TMS pain - but so that clients have something to ground them, perhaps provide them with a stronger feeling of acceptance of whatever is occurring, so that they can feel more capable carrying on with their lives as best they can when symptoms won't let up.

    This, in turn, can help you ease up on doing the Sarno work. You don't have stop it, but maybe come to it in a less pressurized way, with less effort.

    If you do want to journal, may I suggest sitting down and journaling with the TMS. Imagine what it looks like, if it were personified, what would it be. Better yet, if it had a voice, what would it say? Can you ask it what it wants? What it needs? What it's protecting you from? Perhaps a clue will arise.

    Wishing you the best and relief,

    Enrique, Ellen, Forest and 2 others like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    When my symptoms return, especially anxiety or worry about something,
    I ask myself (as Andrew suggests) what's bugging me. It quickly leads me to realize
    that it's not as important as it seems to be. Or it's just temporary.

    Then I do some deep breathing and then laugh and feel a lot better.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Stormshadow,

    I can commiserate with how you're feeling. I've been at this for over a year, and while I had great success after a year of TMS work on getting rid of my major TMS pain syndromes, I now have TMS equivalents that keep popping up one after another. I'm feeling tired and frustrated too, but I know that the reason I still have TMS is that I still need a distraction from my feelings and from looking, really looking, at my life. I feel that hole in my chest too.

    Andrew and Walt have given good advice. I will add a few things that are helping me keep at it: I have a Gratitude Journal App on my phone that alerts me twice a day to write 3 things that I'm grateful for. It is helping to retrain my brain to scan for the positive in my life, and not just the negative. I found that when I am over-focused on myself and "my situation", that turning my focus outwards helps--this can be by spending time in nature, with animals, or helping out other people. One easy way to help others is to provide support on this Forum to those who are struggling. This also helps me focus on the improvements I've made as I write about it to give others some hope that they too can get rid of their pain syndromes.

    You are fortunate to have lots of good support--TMS doc, TMS therapist, a spouse. It sounds like you have a great deal of internal conflict about the choices you've made in life. Some of that may come from turning 40. Some of it may just be over-thinking, over-evaluating, which is a habit I'm working on eliminating. I think it is another form of distraction--thinking about one's life instead of living it.

    Wishing you the best....
    Msunn and Ryan like this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I get so angry at computer troubles. Like this morning. But then I learn that it's a lot because I am
    still no guru on the computer and learn I make some mistakes. I do some deep breathing, then laugh,
    and feel better. Distractions also help. I walk away from the computer and when I come back I usually
    can solve the problem.

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