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Hit a Plateau for Months - Tips?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by elizabethswan, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. elizabethswan

    elizabethswan New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm currently in an interesting situation, which helps me prove more and more to myself that my pain is coming from my brain, but the pain won't seem to get past the next hurdle.

    About a month ago my brain became obsessed with my own fear of mortality, its all I could think about for a few weeks, and it was scary. But during that time I barely thought about my back pain, I didn't notice it and some things like sitting/sanding/bending over were almost "healed".

    However, after this constant anxiety about mortality passed, the pain came back and was slightly worse. Of course my frustration hit, its so hard not to, I'm really trying my best to say "trust the process, you are safe" but with constant and persistent pain its difficult to say and truly believe - which I know is key.

    Long story short - apart from this mortality incident - I have hit a plateau and I'm not sure what to do.

    Has this happened to anyone here? If so, I'd really appreciate any advice on what worked for you to overcome this plateau.

    Thanks :)
    Baseball65 likes this.
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    As you pointed out, the existential anxiety and the health anxiety are just 2 flavors of the same thing. When we put symptoms in the construct of thought, rather than the category of the physical, we can see how it's all just our brain's way of distracting (protecting) us. The key is allowing the fear of whatever to just "be"...let it be there....look at it with curiosity and compassion. What message is it trying to send.? Anxiety is just a cover for our emotional compass. Reassure yourself that your emotions are safe and you can allow any and all to just "be", pass through and go on their merry way. Everything is transient. It's only when we "hold on" or repress or avoid that we get stuck in the fight or flight mode. The mindset of indifference is key. Everything you describe is super common and what Sarno termed, "the symptom imperative".
    Baseball65 likes this.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    ...well said. Or even withOUT compassion! I think the curiosity is the key.

    Usually when I get to 'it' I walk around it and kick the tires...."Why am I like this deep down?" WHy did it take me so long to see this?" (anger) "Why am I wired like a lab rat?"..... or "Hey God. Not to sound ungrateful, but this would have been awesome to find out when I was 23 instead of 48"

    Most of us who have gotten all the way over this have different ways of 'dealing with it'. Most of mine has been anger. Most of the stuff was pasted on when I was 5-18 yrs old. It has been a stripping away of layers, and when I get a symptom (which I haven't for awhile, thanks God, Thanks Sarno, Thanks everyone) it always meant i was at the next layer. In that respect I am grateful. The pain showed me the way out of HELL.
    When the symptom gets the message deep down that your not ever going to stop hounding it, it gives up and goes away.
  4. Vedra

    Vedra Peer Supporter

    How can we 'just be' in the face of existential angst at the moment. Feeling helpless, surrounded by societal ills over which we have no control , not to mention a global health crisis are constant sources of fear, anxiety and anger. I know there's no answer to this; I just need to write it down as I continue working on my TMS: going back to Dr Sarno's books and this programme again and again.
  5. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's more about letting the feelings "be"....not fighting them or resisting them or worrying about them or judging them. Just allowing yourself to feel them. It comes down to surrender essentially. We all get old and die, feel isolated and helpless at times, weighed down by too much responsibility etc. That's our shared humanity and the human condition. One of the most profound books ever written that examines these existential dilemmas is "Man's Search For Meaning" by Victor Frankl. I can't recommend it enough!
  6. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    how do you know we are having all of these societal ills? Are you experiencing them first hand? Have you been physically harmed by someone or something?
    OR do you get told about it, 24/7/365 by your tv and 'smart phone' updates?
    When I turn off the whirling POS gizmo's in my life (including this laptop) and walk outside, all of that is just a story. Yeah...sometimes I miss going to social events, but sticking my face in the 'story' aka the media will do nothing but get me bummed. If I was having symptoms, they would certainly be exacerbated .

    I have reduced my online activity to this forum and guitarnick.com ....and I feel a Lot BETTER.
    miffybunny likes this.
  7. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    I second @Baseball65 and actually meant to add that! I never have the news on tv or the radio, and avoid a lot of news in general because it's an industry that profits from screaming headlines of doom, tragedies and negativity. I try to be informed without getting caught up in the hysteria of online media outlets.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
    Baseball65 likes this.

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