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House-bound w/ CFS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by GoneSplit, May 4, 2020.

  1. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    Hi all,

    Male in his late twenties here.

    Over-worked myself over a year or so into a state where I thought I was dying, and eventually crashed with dizziness, nausea, sound sensitivity and a headache in mid January. Took a break from work, but continued other activities. I was working part-time and running my own business during this time (both software development).

    Since mid January, I've had enough strange experiences to know that I don't have to surrender to this whole thing, but I'm also not sure how to get better. The symptoms have been wandering around. Right now I'm basically house-bound staying with a relative. Feels like I'm stuck on permanent ON, but I get insomnia even from just hanging around the house and spending "too much" time with the people here. They help me a lot though, from meals to errands, and I'm very thankful for them.

    This is what I'm experiencing now; symptoms have been wandering around a bit in the past:

    - Palpitations
    - Anxiety, panicky feelings
    - Nausea
    - Burning sensations in head, hands and feet
    - Occasionally depressed
    - Muscle spasms when trying to rest
    - Out-of-body feelings when resting
    - Tinnitus
    - Insomnia exacerbated by activity

    Tried moving back home to my place but crashed really hard and felt so bad my mind was wandering to thoughts about ending it.

    Found the TMS book and this forum by accident. I'm waiting for the book to arrive by mail. I feel like rest is not making this thing any better, but I'm not sure how to make progress. Tried anti-depressants but they give me lucid nightmares with really bad out-of-body experiences. The sleeping pills I've tried have no effect. I basically have to just wander around the house aimlessly doing pretty much nothing, with a short walk outside, to get some good sleep.

    One thing I have realized over the months is how bad I have treated myself basically ever since I had the power to make my own decisions. Always put my psychological needs aside for something that I "should" do, or even thought I wanted to do through some silly justification. I've also learned to do relaxing activities, take walks and enjoy the scenery, eat and drink slowly. That's something at least. But I feel like my brain is still in this perpetual state of fear where any physical activity (even talking too much) revves up the body and gets me another night of insomnia. The record is four nights in a row.

    I have contact with a doctor who is mostly focused on medication. I'm also talking with a psychologist.

    That's about it.

    Edit: I also exposed myself to information that was very disturbing to me, and I realize now that I did not stop to think about how this affected me before continuing with it. I think this plays a big part.
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome! You are in the right place. I will give you my standard recommendation for a 3- step recovery program:

    1. Start with subforum Success Stories, and read as many as you can every day - you will find all of your symptoms in those stories
    2. Complete at least one of Alan's recovery programs, whichever looks better to you
    3. Ask questions, read posts on this site. Listen, absorb.

    Best of luck!
    GoneSplit likes this.
  3. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    Thanks. I have started journaling and meditating.

    I want to share an experience that really convinces me that it's TMS. I think about it whenever I need reassurance:

    For a few days I had to move my body in a very coordinated fashion on a very fine level, or some part of the body would "lock up" – that's the best way I can describe it. Eventually, I could move freely, but I had to stretch the right side of my jaw for every such-and-such-many other body movements, or my heart would start pounding really bad. Eventually I did some stretching to try and remove the tension in the jaw, thinking it would "fix it". It sure removed the tightness in the jaw, but my heart would now just pound constantly instead.​

    This was when I was entirely focused on the symptoms and I examined them in every possible way to figure out how they worked. I laugh at it now, thinking to myself how utterly crazy it seems: "Yeah, I have to open my jaw every five seconds or my heart starts pounding." It's one for the books.
    TG957 likes this.
  4. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    Another event that reinforces my belief in TMS: I was feeling very unwell one day a couple of months ago, and during dinner I felt I was becoming more and more nauseous as I was eating. Eventually I had to stop and take a break, and then I decided that I was going to continue to eat and put another piece of food in my mouth. In that moment, the nausea just vanished. But – I then felt some tingling sensation on the head instead. It really does wander around.
  5. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    @GoneSplit , your healthy dose of humor about your pain is a very good sign that you are on a healing path! You are not emotionally attached to your pain as many people are in the beginning. It takes some a long time to get where you are already!
    GoneSplit likes this.
  6. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    I will add another TMS anecdote: It was only in the last few days that I started using the computer again. I was avoiding it because as I read, I had the feeling that I was running from my heartbeat with every eye-movement, which caused more anxiety, which caused me to "run" even more. I stayed away. I eventually decided that I was going to use it, and just focused on my breath. It only took an hour or so, and since the next day, I have had no problem being on the computer for as long as I need and/or want to.
  7. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    In an interview with Dr. Sarno he tells us we have to get out of the physical ballpark and get into the psychological ballpark. We have to do our homework and accept TMS. Having doubts in the diagnosis is part of TMS – the brain still wants you to focus on the pain in order to take focus away from your emotions.
  8. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    I am becoming more aware of my feelings. The anxiety comes just as I am thinking about something particular, or my mind is just drifting. I often do not pay much attention to that thought, but then I notice the anxiety in the throat, head, or chest, and I start wondering what I was thinking right then. It is always some thought that I have earlier deemed unwanted because it has caused me distress. The details are vague, but I can remember what the themes are. TMS is mindbogglingly real. The pain is there to distract me.

    The typical anxiety "pain" or sensation – in the chest, or in the throat, or in the head. Just as Dr. Sarno says, it's mild oxygen deprivation caused by the brain to serve as a distraction.

    Edit: This is part of TMS! Doubt over trivial matters and second-guessing yourself. All to keep you distracted. Keep your focus, remember what you need to do and do it. Can we call this second order TMS or secondary? The brain creating thoughts as a distraction, which you then get anxiety from. There is a risk that we interpret the thought as a "normal" thought, and then attempt to change how we respond to it. But the thought itself is a distraction and goes away when you realize where your focus should be.
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  9. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    Thank you for your support. It really means a lot.

    I was living without acknowledging my emotions for most of my life, and now my body is overwhelming me with it. I felt a lot of anger during the later part of today. It's a rumbling stomach and a hot head. I didn't know what it was at first, but connected it to something I did earlier. Connecting the sensation with what I was feeling makes it much easier to reflect on and decide how I want to act on it. The sensation is so intense that I must make an effort to control myself. It takes some getting used to.

    Edit: This is just another TMS symptom. The anger is a great distraction.
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
    TG957 likes this.
  10. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    The brain is really clever at creating distractions at every turn. This morning it has been anxiety over truly minor mundane tasks. All to distract from the things I need to deal with and resolve. Don't let TMS get to you, folks. Keep your focus.

    And don't let your TMS work become part of your TMS. I think what I experienced yesterday was a bout of just that. Anxiety over minor issues, and I got worried over my belief in TMS – a great way to distract me from the important issues in my life.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  11. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    The last couple of days I have noticed how anchoring the sensations to a particular event, even, makes them much easier to handle. For example, I have watched a video today that would make me go into a panic if I don't watch myself. The subject of it is that which I believe was a major cause of my initial breakdown.

    I took a break after noticing I was tensing up, then came back and sat through it while telling myself I'm okay. After it was over, I celebrated with some ice cream. But, my symptoms were of course still there. That's when I have the opportunity to just tell myself "what a video that was, glad I got through it", and go do other stuff while thinking just that. It is telling myself that the video was the cause of the symptoms, and that my everyday life is not the source of them.

    I have been on a routine this week where I take daily morning walks. I've also been for a visit at IKEA. Today I'm helping putting together a couch.

    Experienced angina today and now stomach ache. I much prefer those over the palpitations, so I hope they stick around.

    I'm also waiting for one of Claire Weekes books to arrive by next week.

    I thought about getting a ring as a physical reminder of what the source of my anxiety is, just in case I forget when I'm out and about. Someone else doing something similar?
  12. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    I tell myself "there is nothing here that is the cause of my anxiety" over and over when my awareness of symptoms is high, so that I don't escalate into panic. Very effective. (Did not mention it in the first post, but I had a lot of panic attacks initially.)
  13. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    This is going quite well. Symptoms stick around, but I forget about them sometimes. I am out running a few times a week, helping around the house (still living in with relatives), out cycling doing errands, and working six hours a day. I take a morning walk, another before lunch and then a last one before dinner. Sleep is ok. I still have to watch myself sometimes so as to not act in fear to the sensations.

    I tell myself that everything is going to be alright, and that I'm getting better day by day.
    TG957 likes this.
  14. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    Moved back home in June. Both good and bad.

    I'm trying to remake my life. That was essentially the cause of all of this. It's difficult to change. The symptoms scares me sometimes. It feels like I'm going mad. It's tough.
  15. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Remaking your life is the hardest. But make sure that you give yourself full credit for every little step you are making towards it, whether symptoms are getting better or not. It takes a long time for the change to show up in the reduction of pain.
  16. GoneSplit

    GoneSplit New Member

    I'm 100% aware of the fact that I am causing the pain myself. Whenever I rest for a few days, and see a reduction, I will do something that makes it come back again. It's like a compulsion. In the moment, I have some conviction that I should be doing what I am doing. Only afterwards is it apparent to me that I was causing myself the pain. Why would I be doing this to myself? I am the one making myself miserable.

    I read something in a different post... "What advice would you give a loved one?" Supposedly it will make it easier to be brutally honest with yourself.

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