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Holiday trigger? Help! Shoulder pain.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by butterfly_queen, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. butterfly_queen

    butterfly_queen New Member

    Hello again,
    You have been so helpful in the past and I hope you can help me kick this shoulder pain cuz all the TMS techniques I did to get rid of 18 years of chronic low back/hip pain earlier this SAME year aren't working. Gahhh! I don't remember how I did it, exactly?!

    My left shoulder started hurting last year in November when we went xmas shopping and I reached behind the seat in the car to lift a bag. I was more focused on my horrible hip pain at the time, so didn't give it much attention... So here I am over a year later, scraping the snow off the walkway, feeling peaceful and amazed about letting go of the family and friends who aren't supportive (a two year process), enjoying a quiet Christmas day with my wonderful man (who has been very sick for the last six months)...now having insomnia because the pain is radiating down my arm.

    I know this is TMS, and promised myself I would focus on getting rid of it in November by reading Sarno's books again, telling the pain to "get the f*** out, I've got this," recognizing the psychological feelings every time I got the stabbing pain and then getting back to having a
    blast creating in my new art studio... and IT'S NOT WORKING!!!

    Is it the holidays that started it and now are making it hang on? I'm confused. I would like to think one year of pain would be easier to get rid of than 18 years of pain. It only took a month to let the pain go last February. Suggestions? What am I missing?

  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    letting go of the family and friends who aren't supportive.....'wonderful man'...who has been very sick for the last six months.....Holiday trigger?

    Uh...something was bound to trigger that. The Holidays just happen to have been convenient.

    When it doesn't just go away with the tools you used (which are sometimes all that is needed) sometimes it takes a little more introspection about details.

    No one likes being responsible for sick people...at least in the childish unconscious (which is ugly, ignoble and embarrassingly selfish...and we all have one). I have been taking care of my sick Mom but I had to really dig out some old resentment that I thought I was 'over' years ago. The woman who spent her life trying to 'get away from everybody' is now 'lonely'...ouch.

    Letting Go of family and friends? How do I do that? By just not contacting them? ....or did I really get OK with it, do everything I can to really make sure there wasn't any part I played in the mess ? Were they just inconvenient? Not approving of my life choices?

    When the regular tools don't work, it's time to do some excavating.
    karinabrown and Ellen like this.
  3. butterfly_queen

    butterfly_queen New Member

    Lol!! Thanks, Baseball65. And I thought I was doing so great ;-)... you're right, there are a few feelings involved.

    Honestly, I know I'm on the right track with telling those toxic people I don't need their shaming and old, destructive patterns in my life anymore. However, my partner being sick is stressful and I think I need some tips for how to deal with my unconscious's temper tantrum?
    Baseball65 likes this.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello sweetheart,

    I've cared for my partner for over a decade now and I'm sure I've experienced every emotion under the sun due to it. It is stressful and frightening, but it can also become something quite beautiful when you tap into the deep vein of compassion that resides within you.

    I'm not in anyway referring to any kind of goodism or perfectionism here. Compassion sees the whole shebang for the sh*t show it is, takes a deep breath and chooses to tune into love, with all its imperfections. People often call us carers/caregivers Angels. Maybe we are given we are doing the work that no one else wants to, but we are part Angel and totally Human.

    You have to honour the human. This means you need to counter balance all you do for him with lashings of care for yourself. Remember Sarno spoke of the Rage to Soothe Ratio, and how when this slips out of whack, rage increases, and so does pain. I know that when I fail to give myself sufficient space and time to replenish that pain is just around the corner.

    Resentment is a huge issue too. For me this comes into play when I have to shoulder* any of the care for my mum-in-law which usually happens when her daughter's go on holiday or are ill themselves. She has other carers who go in three times every day but this last year she's pulled a few attention-getting stunts which have enraged me. I struggled with it all for a while but over the last few weeks it has been way too much and I have been noticeably AWOL.

    Be aware that once you become any kind of carer, other people will begin to impose on you. I often say 'if you want someone to care, ask a carer'. Most people want nothing to do with the caring situation so be mindful around buck-passing and the like. Look out too for people will seek to take advantage of your situation. Toxic people will do that.

    All in all,

    *Review your boundaries. Ensure they are rock solid. Check them regularly.

    *Make time for yourself. Remember you are an individual with your own needs and desires. Fulfil them.

    *Don't feel obliged. Watch out for resentment because it becomes a runaway train.

    *The holidays are a nest of triggers and therefore a great opportunity to challenge and break some conditioning.

    This is just the symptom imperative. Keep on keeping on. You'll overcome TMS again, you know you will.

    Plum x

    * symbolically shoulder pain = shouldering too much responsibility.
  5. butterfly_queen

    butterfly_queen New Member

    Ahh beautiful Plum,

    You made me cry with this kind message. Your caring is always refreshing. I'm sorry to hear your partner is sick too. I am so grateful you took the time to share.

    I was quite flippant in my earlier response to the other message because it is so complicated to explain old family dynamics...yet you nailed it on the head! You definitely know what I'm talking about. A big part of healing my hip/low back pain was letting go of all the rocks I was carrying around from years of family conditioning of what I "should do." "Shoulding" on each other is such a bad habit in my family that when I stepped out of it, there isn't much left to talk about. Sad that we have pain and "should" sh**/ resentments in common and nothing else.

    Caring for my partner is a mixed blessing. He is going through intense adrenal fatigue like I did a few years ago. I don't believe I would have developed the compassion it takes if I hadn't learned it for myself first. In fact, before I got sick, the only way I understood compassion was in the form of "feeling sorry for others" and doing what I could to "fix it." Now I know that feeling sorry for others and doing things for them out of that mode is judgmental and often leads to great resentment because I expect something back. The way I feel compassion now comes from love and a WANT to be there for him, not a SHOULD.

    Your suggestion is great: I will up my "soothing" ratio to help with those resentments. I don't loosen the weight of this "responsibility" and I will look for ways to do that more so I can heal this shoulder pain. I write in a "rage" journal sometimes, too. Maybe that is something I need to do more often. I want to heal this pain and have more energy, but too often watching him in so much pain and caring for my own life drains me. I need to keep forgiving myself for not having more energy to do more.

    Any tips on lightening the load? Gaining more energy?

    Wishing you both big hugs and continued healing,


    suky, plum and Baseball65 like this.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank You for your kind reply my dear.

    I love how you describe your experience of learning the nature of true compassion. It has been the same for me. It seems most people possess a general, social level of compassion but it has no real depth and tenacity until we are tested. As wretched as suffering is, it simply is the fire of our proving.

    The other really important point you mention is that your care for your partner is infused with love. How much harder it is (in terms of resentment and guilt) to care for someone you don't much care for. To this end I think it is vital to keep the 'lover' part of your relationship alive. I don't necessarily mean the erotic but the partnership element because it can very easily slide into carer and cared for at the expense of the romantic. The dynamics of the relationship really matter and while inevitably there are times when embracing a mothering archetype are good, it's best to be able to ease back into the core dynamic.

    The single biggest thing I've found that eases the burden and fully revitalised me is some time at the pool/Jacuzzi. I write about this in 'My Story' (You'll need to skip through some preamble. For some reason I can't edit it so apologies for the screeds of text).

    Essentially time at the pool gives me some "me-time". I can go there as tight as a nut and after a couple of hours I feel reborn. It's that powerful for me. I swim a slow mile and find the exercise works wonders for my shoulders and back (I'm a typical Sarno tension-holder. The 3 places he identifies as tension hotspots are exactly where I suffer), and then I sit in the Jacuzzi and indulge in long jet massages. Sometimes that's combined with conversation. It depends on my mood. If I'm feeling exhausted and worn down I just want to be alone and enjoy the water.

    If you have something that gifts you with similar feelings become devoted to it. If you haven't use the New Year as an opening to find something. My partner is insisting I dance more because he sees how much joy it brings me.

    So the short answer is find activities that bring you pleasure and joy. Aside from bumping the Rage:Soothe, it reminds you that you are so much more than the role you currently have in life.

    The other recommendation is quite possibly more personal but I also need an element of the sacred in my life. Nothing religious or structured, just small things that make a big difference in terms of perspective. I like uplifting reading, I have a couple of inspirational card sets that carry beautiful images and affirmations. I like choral music and sacred world music. I appreciate these kind of things are not for everyone but they can be substituted for anything that makes you feel good about your place in the universe.

    Feeling good about your self and your life is profoundly healing. You mention adrenal fatigue and this I know well. In old money we used to call this burnout and while the experience is awful, the healing potential is huge. Years ago I read a book called 'The Joy of Burnout' by Dina Glouberman in which she explains how burnout is an invitation to create an authentic life of joy and meaning.

    For now, tend the soil, let him rest while you dream and plant sweet little seeds. Your man will recover and you'll both grow and flourish in the future.

    Much love,

    Plum xxx
    suky likes this.
  7. butterfly_queen

    butterfly_queen New Member

    Those are fantastic tips, Plum! Thank you so much for taking the time to help. I am feeling optimistic with the beginning of a new year and will put these suggestions into play. I'm grateful for the lessons and growth of 2017, but it was a bumpy ride.

    Yep, burnout is it! My partner and I got a kick out of the title by Dina Glouberman. I will look that one up!

    Wishing you (and all of us!) a joyful 2018,

    Time2be likes this.

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