1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by eskimoeskimo, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I’ve been working at this for 7 years, with no success whatsoever. More and more I’m thinking I’m insane, or foolish, for continuing to try. No amount of “accepting”, or journaling, or practicing, or ignoring, or writing out evidence, or therapy (including with TMS oriented therapists known to this site), or meditation, or moving on with my life has made a lick of difference, except to plunge me further into darkness by way of failure. I’ve read all the books and know all the tag lines. I’m not even sure why I’m posting this except, I guess, to ask ... what is a person supposed to do at this stage? I’ve even been here before - I’ve already posted this message many times before. I feel like I keep saying, “I’m afraid of the pain and find it devastatingly upsetting and frustrating,” and the response is: “Don’t be afraid, don’t be frustrated, and the pain will go in time” ........ well ...... sure ...... how? The techniques outlined ad nauseam on here just aren’t getting me there. I’m still afraid of sitting in a chair for god’s sake. What now?
    Ewok2 likes this.
  2. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle


    It seems to me you have mentally tortured yourself long enough. The "trying" has you in a spiral downward.
    Perhaps it might be a huge relief to you to have medication. Others may disagree, saying that it's a placebo effect, but...you need a break from your own thought pattern. If that means letting a psychiatrist prescribe something that gives your nervous system a break for a bit, then that may be what will help.

    Many of us have longtime patterns and conditioned responses. If you're well into adulthood then it's not an overnight change. Most of us are not book cures or even journaling cures. We have to keep our tendency to panic about symptoms and fear of pain checked at the door every single day. You must stop calling yourself a failure and realize that it has taken great courage to continue to struggle through your days. So, my thought it...set the struggle down for a while. You need a reset button so that you aren't counting the passage of time.
    That may come in handing the reins to a trusted psychiatrist or doctor who can help through medication.
    You must give your mind and nervous system a rest. Tell the psychiatrist that.

    I was on an anti depressant in the past. And, I took Ativan for a couple months one time when I felt crazy with anxiety. Placebo or not, both of those things helped me at that time. They gave me a platform of reasonable calm from which to reset my thinking and process my feelings.

    best to you.
  3. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Thanks for your reply. I have tried multiple antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications ... None helped. I am 28, this started when I was 16.
  4. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I see. This is just a thought. The adolescent brain is wired differently than the adult brain.

    Read this that I found in a Science and Psychology Journal. It's aimed at the 15 to 17 year old brain:

    " Your brain will wire and strengthen from the back to the front. One of the first parts of the brain to develop is the amygdala, which is involved in instinctive, impulsive, emotional, aggressive reactions. It’s great for keeping you alive if there’s trouble, but not always great when it comes to making balanced decisions. To make good decisions, the front of the brain needs to be involved. This is the pre-frontal cortex and it is the ‘calm down’, sensible, logical part of the brain that is able to consider consequences and put the brakes on emotion, behaviour or decisions that might cause trouble. Here’s the rub: Because your pre-frontal cortex won’t be fully developed until you’re 24, your decisions, problem-solving and the way you respond to people will be heavily influenced by the amygdala."

    So, since you are only 28, it appears that your amygdala may still be running the show. What if you try addressing that directly. Even write to it. Say, "I've got this now. I"m not 16 anymore. My brain has what it needs to calm down the pain and anxiety."

    JanAtheCPA, eskimoeskimo and Ellen like this.
  5. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Hi Eskimo,

    You took anti depressants. What about pain killers ? You mentioned ‘being afraid of sitting in a chair: so asuming that is because you feel pain?
    You named a lot of stuff you tried : its a lot and i feel the frustration.
    And you named moving on’ could you do that ?
    And how ?

    Only thing i have to add is : when i was at my worst point and nothing gave the slightest improvement. I stopped trying and working ‘ on it for a period.
    So no therapist, no journaling. Not trying to accept or whatever.
    I was in a state of being ironic about my life at that time and accepted that: not The pain i mean : just being numb about my future.
    I decided to do a study from my home.
    Cause i realized i needed a project for my mind , instead of working on improving what i just was not doing . I was not enthousiastic in the begin, could hardly sit and hurt every day.
    I needed the distraction so bad. So i
    still had pain and was missererable but sometimes i went to sleept thinking about my study assigments instead of pain and my sad life. I decided i had nothing to loose. It felt not good but i simply was done with trying to fix it’
    So :
    When i was doing this for a year, i noticed i started to be a little less ironic and a bit less sad. Slowly things changed.
    Pain was milder and i was trying little things besides the study. Life was a bit more liveable.
    I was not cured but functioned a lot more and even better : was less desperate about my life and options.
    Sometimes even had some fun!
    From there on picked up the Tms approach again but with an other attitude and i was in less pain and not so depressed anymore.

    Maybe you can think of something ‘out of the box’ idea for you?
    Make a break thru in another way ? If you did all that maybe try completely different.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    eskimoeskimo, westb, Lainey and 2 others like this.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Methinks you are an exquisite, artistic soul and whatever happened when you were 16 may hold a key. Rest easy for I'm not about to suggest you don your psychoarchaeological diving gear and traipse through the murky depths. Instead I'd like to ask you whether you know what rests at the core of your TMS. I believe we all know this truth and we hold it deeply in our heart. For all of us it is kryptonite.

    Are they dreams? Things we lacked the courage to do?
    Was our heart-broken? Were we betrayed?
    Was our future stolen from us? Were we harmed by we someone we trusted?

    The many woundings go on...

    Here they be dragons. Much of healing is finding the courage and the compassion to approach these things kindly. To take them out of storage and look upon them with more mature and compassionate eyes. No more picking them apart, no more going over the bones but instead respectfully laying them down, and then seeing how we can sing life back into them.

    Please don't name those things here. It is enough to know them, to claim them. From here we start the process of making our peace with them. We learn to relax around this ball of truth. We become ourselves and are no longer this over-sensitised, pain-racked, tension-racked beings.

    You've tried so hard for so long.
    Stop trying now.
    Give yourself some peace.

    Gently muse on the things I've raised above and see if it has any resonance for you. Asking where we lost ourselves and lost our way can help us find the path home.

    Peace sweet Eskimo.
    JanAtheCPA, Lily Rose, Ewok2 and 9 others like this.
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey, you @eskimoeskimo

    Sometimes I feel the wisest words ever written are "let it be".

    Peace to you
    Lily Rose, eskimoeskimo and plum like this.
  8. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Eskimo, I was where you are exactly one week ago, ready to give up. Then, I finally got it. The key here is that your sympathetic nervous system needs soothing. Stop battling the pain; it only reinforces it and perpetuates it; instead, soothe a nervous system that is in fear and is stuck on a loop of stress> fear> pain, repeat. Your brain needs rewiring, so do only one thing: visualize your brain’s pain receptors shutting down and then off. Mentally envision stopping the brain from releasing the danger signals in the first place. Bathe your nervous system in warmth and light, music, muscle relaxants, if necessary, electrical energy, anything to let the brain know it doesn’t need to fight.

    I’ve been dealing with this cycle for decades, and when I accepted where I was and stopped battling my brain, the light switched on. You are TMSing, as we all do, so give yourself a break, hun, and relax. Stop fighting with your nervous system, work with it. Like a child throwing a tantrum, give it what it needs: love and attention. Every time you have pain, soothe your brain. Listen to mindfulness music, (there are great ones on YouTube) and calm your nervous system. Right now, your brain is doing what it has learned to do: express stress through pain. Learn new ways of reacting to the pain and tell yourself you are safe, there is no need to fear. I have been doing this numerous times a day, while visualizing my brain creating new neurons. It takes concentration, but the key is to not rev up your nervous system. Do it gently, little bit at a time, but do it consistently. Treat your brain like a little child that doesn’t know any better and teach it a better way.

    Take care.
  9. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Thanks MWsunin12 ... something to think about.
  10. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Thanks karina. I have actually gone back to college in the midst of all this. But I think there is more that I could do to find other focuses. In fact I know there are activities which I find engaging and engrossing which I often put off because I feel like I need to 'solve' this pain first. I know that's backwards.

    I haven't taken pain killers. My pain is never very severe ... It's severely disturbing, severely upsetting, severely frustrating, but even at my worst I can still recognize - though sometimes have to remind myself - that, on the pain scale, it's not that bad.
  11. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Thank you Plum. Your message reminds me to take a broader perspective. I have extreme myopia regarding the pain and its status on a day to day (read: millisecond to millisecond) basis. Even when I try to practice "outcome independence" (god I'm sick of jargon), I know that I'm still bartering - feigning not caring but hoping for a result in ... an hour? Two? I then I have a nervous breakdown when the outcome isn't what I'd hoped for, ie the very definition of outcome dependence ... not for want of trying to employ these strategies properly - including trying hard to not try so hard to not try so hard, ugh - , the truth is I'm still utterly confused as to how to really do it, and even skeptical that it's possible, or possible for me. I'm even skeptical of my own feeling of hope when someone's able to give me some comfort or perspective, because I have a long history of plummeting into a seemingly untangle-able, disorienting, darkness. So much repeated lost hope.

    But, zooming out a little bit, the bird's eye view and the historical context ... I know that I'm a ball of tension with longstanding, unresolved, anxieties. The current pain is just the last straw, or the latest hangup, or the cherry on top, or ...

    When you say stop trying ... for life of me I don't know how.

    Ewok2 and plum like this.
  12. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Hello @Ellen ,

    Not my strong suit, but I guess that's just it

    Hope you're well,
  13. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Thank you Julia, I am encouraged by your burgeoning success. You've given me a lot to think about, particularly: "Stop battling the pain; it only reinforces it and perpetuates it; instead, soothe a nervous system that is in fear and is stuck on a loop of stress> fear> pain, repeat."

    Wishing you continued success,
    Ewok2 likes this.
  14. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Dear Eskimo, I think all of the posts before gave you some ideas. Maybe especially Julia's post because she was in the same situation. My experience is that one also have to have a life one wants to get back to from constant scrutinizing the soul. Relax and do something nice, you really enjoy. A good friend of mine and psychotherapist says that he has best success with pain patients when they do something in nature together with other people. So, stop battling, start living!
    plum and eskimoeskimo like this.
  15. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    You write beautifully.

    And that is, vexingly enough, the key.

    What do you do for relaxation and for pleasure?

    Do you devote lashings of time and energy to peaceful, sensual joys?

    Plum x
    Time2be and eskimoeskimo like this.
  16. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Have you listened to Claire Weekes before? I've been having a flair up of anxiety alternating with pain. I hadn't listened to her for almost 2 years, when I saw a bump of a post by Eric (Herbie) Watson, I think. He has links to 4 segments of audios that are so soothing, while explaining the sensitisation of our nervous system. My jumpy nerves and pain are improving, and I feel better about future improvement. The segments are about 15 minutes each and they about anxiety and depression, but I've benefited from them for strictly pain before.

    I am so thankful for all the people here who help each other, and this thread is a perfect example of why.
    eskimoeskimo and plum like this.
  17. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Hi Lizzy, thanks for your message. I have read and listened to all things Claire Weekes. I find what she says makes sense, but I haven't had much success putting it into practice. She doesn't explicitly mention pain much, but I think her protocol is actually the most succinct and clear explanation of tms symptoms and treatment yet.

    There must be something that I'm still not getting. I didn't have much luck with Claire Weekes when I was just attempting to use her strategy to address anxiety (that is, before I started lumping pain in as just another anxiety symptom / fixation). Sometimes I do worry if what she says just sounds right ... or maybe my brain's just not capable of learning to accept, float, let time pass. Or I worry that my anxiety and pain are too thoroughly wired in there to be reversed now. But then, I would.

    Lunarlass66 and Lizzy like this.
  18. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    It's been a long time since I've been able to forget the pain and enjoy something, anything.

    ... as I say that, I realize it's not true. There are actually activities which reliably bring me relief and distraction, but again I often avoid or delay them because I want to solve this thing first. I want to know that it's finally over. And it's also scary, and frustrating to remember this hell as distraction lulls. The erratic ups and downs are exhausting.

    Eskimo x
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
    plum likes this.
  19. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    So maybe the problem here for you is that most of TMS recovery is about "not doing". Sink into the present moment and let it unfold. Just witness. Accept. Stop analyzing and judging. Breathe. Let it be.

    I never knew what relaxation was until I finally learned "not doing". You no longer have to mold things to fit your expectations. It's exhausting and creates tension. Let it be.

    Your life can begin now. Just like you are. You are perfectly imperfect just like the rest of us. Let it be.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
  20. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    triple like

    I think I tend to use "acceptance" and "not trying" as just another thing to get just right, to make work, to torture myself with. For example, I get so upset with myself for being afraid of the pain or even noticing at all.
    Lunarlass66 and MWsunin12 like this.

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