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Guilt if I do / Guilt if I don't

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by mnjeaner29, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    I believe a lot of my emotions of guilt are surrounding the fact that I have used exercise as a way to help me feel good about myself. I had been blessed to feel "rewarded" for my passions by both external and internal motivations to push myself and work hard.

    As TMS set in and I have had to stop, then struggle on the journey before I discovered TMS....
    And now, I have been trying to move forward and was doing okay--still having pain but able to be active.
    I do get competitive with myself and I find myself feeling heavy guilt for adding a little more activity. Guilt because I don't deserve it? Guilt because I still--I confess--do activities to make me feel good about me?

    I have had a recent on-site of pain that I'm struggling very much with because:
    1. If it is the guilt surround the voice telling me I should do more to "feel good", then I really don't deserve to do it and continue...
    2. If it the pain trying to break me down, then I should continue so that I can dispell the false "voice" of pain trying to make me feel un-safe.

    Does this make sense to anyone? I would appreciate some affirmation on this maybe just being the TMS voice trying to scare me and make me feel bad...it sure is doing a good job.

    Thank you.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, it makes sense.

    Yes, it is just the hokey TMS voice.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself, enjoying your body and exploring your passions and pleasures.

    Take the pressure off yourself by doing only that which brings joy into your life. Totally ignore, shut up or shut down the bleating critical voice and do your best to replace it with soothing, positive statements. I appreciate how challenging this can be but it is only a habit and with enough dedication you can overcome it.

    Mostly though I would encourage you to find more balance and perhaps do some journaling or contemplation around the guilt you experience, simply to see if you can gain some awareness that will help you loosen the grip it has on you.

    Plum x
  3. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    Thank you Plum.
    It is hard to see clearly and not beat myself for not healing after working at this for so long.

    For a long time the only way I would "slow down" was when pain came so now it is kicking just because this is the loop...

    And fear...I think I fear having to stop even more than the pain so the pain is screaming at fear and fear is getting angry at pain---result is negative.

    I do journal everyday...
    I need to learn to "let go" which is so simple yet sooo impossible.

    Thank you for your comforting words.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    The beautiful thing is that you do have insight into the loop. This is a definite advancement even though it may not feel like it. It may help to draw the cycle on paper to look at it more objectively, to see the different places where you can break it.

    It's not always easy to hack the circle with your mind. I found this nigh on impossible at the beginning. What worked best for me were more body-oriented methods which soothed everything and enabled me to face the more emotional/psychological elements with less pressure.

    Most of us need to learn to relax and let go. The key is to embrace ways that bring pleasure so that you effortlessly bask in how your body feels. This is incredibly empowering and puts the ball back in your court.

    You'll get there poppet. We all do.
  5. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    Thank you for answering again.

    Can you tell me what you mean by "body-oriented methods"?

    My trouble is that the pain is so directly tied to my self-worth in my head that when I have to admit that I am in too much pain or need to back down a little, I feel so utterly horrible about myself. So I agonize over this. And the TMS diagnosis tells me that there is no reason that I should not continue on and be active so it even furthers my feelings of being a failure with everything.

    I get a great high and peace when I can run and swim--meditative...and I am crushed by the impact of pain...I understand the emotions it is tied with but it doesn't help me to move forward...

    Thank you again for your help.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Essentially body-oriented methods focus on soothing and tuning into the body rather than the mind as a way of healing. The trouble with a lot of TMS healing is that it is focused on mental and psychological methods which are wonderful but some people are more kinaesthetic. That just means we receive and interpret sensations and sense data through the body, more sensually than say a very visually based person. As a runner and swimmer you are probably more physical than a lot of people.

    Have a look at this post I wrote recently. The answers in there are body-oriented. I'm also a swimmer *smiles*

    Http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/very-informative-central-sensitization-article.16741/#post-88480 (very informative central sensitization article)

    And then, if you have the inclination, read 'my story'. You'll find it on my profile. Muse on it and let me know what you think.
  7. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    Oh Yes! I do "treat" myself to the hot tub or sauna after a swim and even if it is only for 2 minutes, I do a few yoga poses that help me feel good. So I'm on it!

    What would you say when faced with "I have horrible pain but I don't want to have to stop what I love"...? I mean in the moment...is it better to "force" myself to take a step back and let things calm or to continue forward and just realize I'm likely to have a lot of pain (yes--already a negative though but I don't want to just expect it to be great). This is puzzling to me since I have had negative results with either. I know it is all about the thinking but when I feel so low, all the meditation and self-talk only seems to be tiring and unsuccessful--I clearly have a LOT of work to do.

    The running seems to be my biggest problem. Maybe because it is (was?) my greatest passion.
  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perfect. That's exactly the feeling and emotion you want to capture as a resource state. Imagine you are trying to light a campfire and the kindling in your hands is just starting to smoke after many futile attempts. You cup your hands to protect the ember and blow ever so gently to bring it to life. This is what you ought do to heal, gently nurture this emotional state until it becomes a flame.

    I'd say the former, pull back and take a moment. I've found it is always best to proceed mindfully. I'm making a very slow return to dance and my body is telling me to be respectful after a 15 year absence. Interestingly I don't find this frustrating because I have completely changed my mindset. I'm engaging intimately with muscle memory and I'm playfully skirting the edges of uncomfortable sensations. Co-incidentally I find the style of yoga I do very helpful in this regard. I've tried all styles over the years and not much liked most of them.

    As you say, it is all about your thinking. It's taken my a long time to reach the point where I can snap my mind out of negativity and abort a TMS attack. That is a great feeling.

    I really achieved this through lazy pleasures like the Jacuzzi. There are times I let it massage my body senseless. I remember the first time I did this (I was in there for almost an hour, moving around to get the jets on different body parts), and I got out and there was no pain, no tension, absolutely no unpleasant feeling at all. Only relaxation and bliss.

    That was a breakthrough moment because I realised that nothing too bad could be wrong if the water could massage it away. I basked in that body-bliss. Sure it started to diminish as real life made it's demands but it was there. I began to court that feeling each time I went to the pool. I got better at it. I was very curious about finding it.

    Then I got curious about how to extend it beyond leaving the pool and getting in my car. Then helping it last for an hour, then two, then more and so on. I cannot emphasise enough how playful and gentle I was with this process. Any hint of negativity and it all fell away. Sometimes for weeks. That was demoralizing.

    Maybe it would help to view your recovery as a form of emotional training whereby you are creating a mindset that will guide you all the way back to running with no fear and no pain. Focus less on getting out of pain, more on feeling good. Be very open to tinkering and seeing what works and not being afraid to ditch something that doesn't suit you.

    I'll be interested to hear how you get on. I hope some of this helps you hit that sweet spot of confidence.
  9. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    This is very helpful. Thank you for your thoughtful responses and time. You seem to have a great mindset. Thank you for sharing this. I know this is a rough spot and for me I have to work harder on the mental part than the "pushing to face pain" part of this.

    I enjoy reading your posts. Thank you. Happy jacuzzi-ing!
  10. srton

    srton Well known member

    @mnjeaner29 may I suggest checking out Allen's section on outcome independence and the forum's comments on this topic?
    It's not super intuitive and was difficult for me to embrace - but after a few weeks it's kinda seeped into my thick skull and It's helpful. The other day I took a run with my wonderful teenage neices on the beach and told myself "I'm not going to let fear of TMS keep me from doing something special with my family - it doesn't matter how I feel afterwards - the joy is in the moment."
    You are on the right track with understanding that you need to "work harder on the mental part." During bad spasms when I'm almost breathless, I'll say outloud (thru clenched teeth) I am feeling so many feelings. I am sad. I am anxious. I am allowed to feel these feelings.
    It's so hard when youre in the middle of an episode. This is why it helps me to say it all outloud -- my voice is my only weapon against my mind trying to get me to focus on the horrible pain. @SME61 Hoping this might resonate with you too.
    Sending vibes to all of us!
  11. mnjeaner29

    mnjeaner29 New Member

    Thank you . I am very discouraged and I feel guilt and shame for not being able to confront this pain.

    I know it is TMS and the muscle is just in spasm and I am not hurting myself but I don't understand how to just accept the pain. I haven't been able to run in a few days because I am just in so much pain.
    I acknowledge my emotions but have trouble managing them.

    So I don't understand this...I accept I am not hurting or damaging myself but it still is in spasm and that is real pain. So I need to just accept this pain and assume that somehow it will dissipate? My emotions have not changed much during good and bad periods. I struggle with this...
    I just feel anger and sadness with my inability to work through this.

    Any advice? Thank you.

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