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Hoping for some feedback

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by jokeysmurf, Aug 23, 2023.

  1. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Well known member

    I feel like I'm in some weird place in this TMS healing. I know I have and have had TMS no doubt just look at previous posts. When I was way worse the techniques seemed to work tremendously, faster or more intensly at relieving the symptoms and raising my constant awareness of hoe prevalent TMS is. As I got better and better the pain has been smaller and less intense but now more weird for the lack of a better description. They feel less like catastrophic pain one would first assume an injury and more like something kind of off or wrong.

    Example: in the past the intensity of migraine would be felt in my entire body and my eyes would feel as though they were going to pop out of my head. Now a symptom is more like a burning twinge I or pinch I had below my right shoulder blade. It would be in position where one could suspect a gallbladder issue or kidney stone as the pain intensified. The pain was constant for several days and then just as I was about to book a docs appointment it vanished.

    Similar thing a month prior. I woke up with knee pain which the symptoms fit perfectly for a gout attack. I spent the day limping due to the pain. I thought oh maybe it's false gout due to dehydration. It last a day and half and then vanishes completely.

    I guess the point here is a few things. One, is my level of concern is generally low and a bit suspicious but it is kind of hard to tell until it goes away then I think "damn tricked me again." I feel like these symptoms are popping up with the kind of timing that real things might happen they're making me feel low level neurotic or maybe I have always had a low level neurosis causing this in the first place.

    Anyway not sure if this has been anyone else's case. Like a none severe TMS that's fooling me. Maybe I need to address somethings differently?

  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Jokey!
    I think you are doing great!
    You are totally stopping the symptom imperative in its tracks.
    Things I noticed in what you wrote: you wrote about the symptoms but not your current life stressors (or self talk) that might be driving the need for your body to get your attention. Maybe you do this already, but if not, it just might take time and practice for you to go there early on with a symptom and then just check on yourself a few times a day even when you have no symptoms.
    Remember we are human. We get sensations in our bodies. You are totally learning to stop pushing them away, but it’s gonna happen.
    I’ve heard interviews with Dr. Schubiner who still gets symptoms at times: strong physical sensations. He asks himself what is really going on with himself and like you, in a few hours (even minutes) things fade.
    I have found identifying things as TMS eg. I get a sensation and immediately say to myself “wow! there’s a need for attention (sometimes I laugh at the sensation when it is rediculous), that’s TMS” “what am I feeling” and I can pretty often trace it back s few minutes to anger/frustration or a day of constantly negative self talk.
    I gotta say, when I can laugh, symptoms leave in minutes!
  3. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Well known member

    Hi Cactusflower, thanks for the reply. Yes I have things going on in my life, I can't say they feel "stressful" outright but they do require a lot of time and commitment. I am generally excited about my situation (new job, new location). I do practice good self talk and mindfulness as much as I can. I don't feel stressed as far as I can tell. I have been stressed before and this isn't it. What I feel is some weird game of cat and mouse with TMS symptoms. I try and check in and see if it coincides with anxiety or stress and when it does, yes I can certainly identify it quickly but other times not so much.

    I had bronchitis back in July and its been a very slow process to get better. It now August 24 so I have had a cough for over a month. I am not asking for medical advice. My cough has gotten better, its not there all the time but it's not gone away. I will say I have had a few coughing fits that left me dizzy and gasping for air even yesterday. That worries me a bit more than weather my job is putting obligations on me. I suppose I feel preoccupied why I still have this cough. It's new to me to have something linger on for this long. I have taken some mucinex which has many times provided relief since I think I am still having some post nasal drip. The tricky part is how I feel when I am coughing - anxious and a bit scared that I will have a coughing fit. I do feel some sharp pins and needles in my torso which I am trying to suss out as TMS. I've had these aches and pains without a cough as well. I have a lot of urges to cough, a lot - then I get distracted and it seems to go away. So as you can see I know something psychological is going on but I can't tell which is what.

    The other aches and pains I mentioned were there while having this urge to cough. It makes me feel frazzled when I have all this TMS happening which can just add gasoline to this fire. I will say one last thing. The bronchitis was real I know that. Is it possible to have TMS take over after something like that. Oh I forgot I did feel stressed about money because of the move, moving is expensive. I haven't gotten paid yet. Is it bugging me? No, I know it will work out but I think there is something under the surface for sure.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yeah, it's probably this! I say this because I feel like I know exactly what you're describing.

    I think, compared to where you were at "before Sarno", that you have actually experienced quite a bit of success! I think what you (and I, and many many many of us) are suffering from has to do with the state of the world. It's a fact that you started doing this work before the stress of world dysfunction started spiraling out of control, right? I think a lot of people (if not most of us) are suffering from this, but a lot (or most) of us repress the fear that world dysfunction brings up because it is so existential and so completely out of our control.

    I know that my overall equanimity is seriously reduced compared to before about 2015, and that it rapidly became worse in 2020. Combine that with my lifelong tendency for anxiety and hyper-sensitivity (which one might call neuroticism, or one might choose to use milder terms these days ;)) and you've got the makings for a state of constant background unease, represented by low-grade TMS symptoms that kind of constantly come and go.

    That's my sense anyway!
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2023
  5. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Well known member

    Thanks Jan, I do try and work on myself and my reactions a lot. I'm doing so much better but there is a default in me it seems that responds with a lot of sensitivity to things that seems to come out in some background noise.

    I decided to do some Journaling. It never really helped before when I was in the grips of more serious TMS, however now all of the sudden I think it's really beneficial. I wrote and wrote and wrote some more. I wrote about 3 pages just writing about my fears and angers and anything emotional. I wrote about how I might even feel scared that I'm not well liked at my new job.

    Well that produced some tears and I felt the emotions come up. The next day...zero urge to cough. How cool and weird! No post nasal drip!

    Then two days later cough is back and post nasal drip. So it comes and goes but now I know I need to journal more and calm my brain and nervous system.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Well known member

    Ok so update. I had something called a habit cough. I've been working on learning how to suppress the cough so not to react to innocuous stimuli that is normal an always been there. I do notice there is a bit of a psychological thing attached to it where I feel the urge to cough when I have to speak more.

    As far as the rest of the progress. Hmm...Journaling is helping more and more helping me get unstuck in the smaller blips of pain that seems to be generated by body tension.

    I've written: why do I have body tension. It seems to be the result of an emotion (usually unconscious) that isn't being completed. If I feel a bit of worry I can feel the worry build and reach a peak and I don't really notice I am worrying until I feel a sharp twinge in my shoulder or neck. Then I think oh I have to do some relaxing not just physically by mentally.

    I do get caught in these small loops from time to time. The discomfort itself generates more worry which generates more tension. So I have to actively keep practicing how to respond to the stimulus around me with less and less preoccupation.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, JS, you're doing really well!

    Lately I've been reminding people to simply Breathe. I wanted to stop beating myself up about my failure to meditate, and realized I could take the advice of the breath experts and concentrate instead on my breath combined with muscle tension. I've been really making that a priority for a few months, and it's astonishing to look back and notice how it has made significant improvements in my physical well being in many small ways. GI symptoms, in particular, as well as vestibular ones (balance/dizziness).

    I'm talking about therapeutic, diaphragmatic, vagus-nerve breathing, as taught by teachers and trainers in all of the physical and meditative arts. But this is done outside of exercise and meditation, very briefly and easily throughout the day, as many times as you can remember to do it, as well as first thing in the morning when you wake up, and last thing at night when you're about to go to sleep. If you can take just three full, mindful breaths in any given moment, before your distracted brain takes over again, that's a small success. If you can make it four breaths, even better. And so on.

    I'm getting better at this as time goes on, and, unlike meditation, it's so easy to implement! I find myself breathing deeply more often while barely thinking about it, which of course is one of the goals of TMS work, which is to automatically reach for a different mindset so that we can quickly soothe our TMS brains as needed, before they can take over our lives again.

    Breathing. Try it - it works!
  8. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Well known member

    Breathing is key. It helps a lot to get out of constriction in my body. When I'm aware I can catch myself breathing shallow or holding my breathe, when I'm not aware then I will feel the symptoms of fight or flight.

    Breathe is life, it's the Qi of our existence and yet we forget to do it, myself included. My mind can wind up and I end up holding my breathe because I'm worried or concerned or I don't know that my body is tensing.

    Thank you for the reminder of its importance.
    Yellowfin89 and JanAtheCPA like this.

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