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Holidays flare up..

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Gigalos, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Christmas 2012 my TMS was at its worst. Since then I discovered the existence of TMS and slowly climbed up and got much, much better. Christmas 2013 is approaching and what do ya know, symptoms start to (re)appear. I am writing this to gain some insight in the process that is at hand.

    I am having two weeks off from work, starting today. Yesterday I got pretty wasted from just two beers (I rarely drink more than one beer) to celebrate the closing of the table tennis season. This morning I briefly woke up with a severe cramp in my left thigh. This is a pretty new symptom to me. Today I felt pretty worn out and when I stretched out after a little nap on the couch, a different muscle in my thigh started to cramp like hell. I also feel a bit on edge and almost anxious. Also I need to mention that since last night I ate a whole bag of marshmallows. I normally don't do that, but it was given to me, and once a bag is opened.... :) To complete the story, the last couple of weeks I had many short lived, shifting symptoms.

    The process is probably to do with the start of two weeks not having to work. Reflection might kick-in, so symptoms start to rise. The massive sugar intake probably didn't help things move in the right direction. It also may have to do with being conditioned about the holidays or vacation in general, more so because it was at its worst during last Christmas.

    Any replies are welcome. I you want to share your own experience about the approaching holidays, please do.
  2. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi Gigalos,

    This is a rough time of year for many - even though it's a beautiful time of year, too. There are memories of the past when parents were living, or other loved ones were close. Friendships no longer active is another trigger…just hear a song or eat a favorite dish or go to a special place or holiday party and the subconscious mind can trigger the past memories and the emotional tone that memory conjures, thus creating TMS symptoms. Anger at not having what one used to enjoy is another trigger. Also, it might be that you experienced something negative during this time of year when you were a child or teen. Nostalgia for the way things used to be is sometimes the cause.

    You emphasize above that you are at the start of "two weeks off from work." Were you off for one or two weeks last Christmas when the TMS was bad? When I used to work in an office, I had two weeks off for Christmas and loved it! So, there is something about being off for a few weeks that leaves you wanting somehow. Perhaps you have no one to enjoy the two weeks with? Or, contrarily, you have a full house of screaming, excited children and you just need some peace :)

    Maybe you love your work and you miss the social outlet? Work can serve as a nice distraction, too. It keeps your mind occupied and you feel purposeful, even if your job is repetitive. I think you honed in on the issue by saying that "reflection can kick in" during vacation. Also, do you get paid for vacation time? If not, of course the holidays can be expensive and this can be a stressor, too. My guess, however, is that the solace of time off is causing the distraction of TMS to kick-in…no work to distract your mind from the emotional stuff below the surface. If you work long hours, you may find not enough structure in your day.

    I think you've answered your own question here, but thought I would jump in and confirm your thoughts :) I hope that you feel better. Tell your mind that you know what the mind is doing, i.e., creating a distraction (when you feel the pain). I find that the pain usually stops immediately.

    Hope this helps. Peace to you.
    Solange likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Him Gigalos. Lianne has given you get insight and advice. It's probably a combination of two weeks off and
    the holidays approaching. A distraction may be all you need. Lots of shows and movies on tv these days,
    so you could look for some that interest you. Or if you have the patience, read a book you've been putting off reading.

    Maybe call friends or relatives you haven't seen in a while and maybe visit them. Cheering someone up
    can cheer us up and take our minds off pain.

    And as my mother often said, "This too, shall pass."
    Forest likes this.
  4. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi Again,

    By the way, Gigalos, you seem to be beating yourself up for eating a whole bag of marshmallows. I can think of worse things one can do :)

    As my mom often says to me lightheartedly and with love when I feel guilty or berate myself for something rather small,

    "Stop bothering yourself!"

    In other words, forgive yourself and move forward. You are being your own worst critic :)
  5. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Holidays manifest into many confusing emotions. Media demanding and brainwashing us into commercialism, complex family dynamics, memories of better times, or worse times. Simply on a chemical level, our bodies respond to this confusion by trying to mask it. Since diversion always works, it goes that route. Physical pain must be much better than emotional pain, it reasons.

    Where arises your angst? Truly? When you sit with yourself, ask why you are responding this way. What are you actually experiencing? Besides suffering the consequences of the marshmallows, that is ;)

    I no longer dread the holidays, but my tension is always high. The best, greatest gift I can receive on any given holiday is ..... silence. To be undisturbed. To simply be alone with my husband and my dog, quietly. This will not happen, but I still can dream ......

    As Walt says, it will pass. But don't be in too much of a hurry. This is a good time to learn from yourself. It very well may be your most vulnerable time, thus you are more raw, more real. To be within ourselves, to allow the emotional openness .. this is a perfect opportunity to develop self-compassion. Yes, it will pass, but what will you learn in the process?

    I noticed how ill I felt this morning, on this wonderful transition of Season. The longest night and shortest day. Ill with my gut twisting and nausea hot in my throat, and exhausted. As though emotional toxins are arising. I am lighting some candles, and breathing and deliberately giving those toxin permission to emerge from my body.

    You can do this. Gently, gently, examine the pain, flow your attention around it. Love it. Yes. Love it. With the love, the warmth, the compassion, it softens, as though with a sigh.

    You are this powerful.

    with grace and gratitude,
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    You're right, Lily Rose.
    Holiday time can be a real good time to reflect on good and bad times past
    and what we may learn from them.
    Forest likes this.
  7. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks all of you. There is much wisdom in your answers.
    I think the thing with holidays or vacation in general for me is the struggle between wanting company and wanting peace and quiet at the same moment. I kinda love my work for the social distraction and have issues filling my days when I have a couple of weeks off.
    I just finished meditation with a big smile on my face. I was visualizing my Self and Superego visiting each other for the holidays and making music together... During it my throat started to get irritated and I needed to cough, but I realized that it was distracting me and I managed to breath through it and keep focussed on meditation.
    Oh, by the way, the thing with the marshmallows is that last year I would experience a complete depletion of energy when I ate too much sugar. I believe my system was so out of balance back then that this wasn't a conditioned response, but a real response of a body that couldn't cope with this sugar. I believe some call it hypoglycaemia or something like that. Well, that passed in a matter of a couple months. My reaction to marshmallows however may be a conditioned response to what I experienced a year ago.
    This TMS is fascinating to say the least. Well, I will use any upcoming symptoms to reflect what it is that triggers them.
    thanks again
  8. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    A day later and doing much better.. the storm has subsided. :happy:
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Gigalos. Triggers are pretty amazing. Something new that happens can take us back in a time travel
    to an earlier part of our life that gave us stress, anger, feelings of separation or rejection.
    You marshmallowed back into your past. It helped you to recognize that and deal with it.

    I agree that TMS is a fascinating journey. I learned about it about a year ago and have become a changed
    person. For the better. I'm 83 and a good example that we're never to late to learn.

    Holidays and vacations, with days off from work, can be stressful, remembering the past and
    also wondering what to do with the extra time. Maybe use it to make peace with yourself and others.

    And enjoy the time off.
    Lily Rose likes this.
  10. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Gigalos,I can so relate to your post as well as the progress timeline. I too have had a big upsurge in symptoms after some pretty heartening progress and I'm sure it's linked to the holidays. I'm trying to remain positive and refusing to let those worry thoughts take over but I'm feeling down about it too. Although I like the idea of holidays, I often find that my usual weekly routine makes controlling symptoms easier. Conditioning, I suppose, combined with many seasonal and family stresses.
    Lianne, what you replied was so true for me, especially the first paragraph. Very helpful.
  11. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    It will pass Solange. Use the opportunity to learn more about what is truly setting things off.
    Indeed weekly routines sooth and suppress any lingering emotions, once you take that away they tend to rise to the surface, thus giving symptoms.
  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    The holidays can put a lot of strain our time and energy.
    Like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, we go and go and go.

    But one big one down and another to go. We will soon be in the
    January doldrums and the pressure will be off and we can get back to
    our TMS healing.

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