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How do i convince myself its TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by painkiller, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. painkiller

    painkiller Newcomer

    I'm going to start with a little backstory.

    I found out about TMS and this community a little over two years ago when I had suffered from wrist pain in both of my hands. The pain was a lot worse in my right wrist, so bad that I couldn't use my right hand at all. However, after reading the book "Healing the body, healing the pain" and lurking these forums for roughly at month, all my symptoms gradually disappeared. What helped me the most was thinking that the human body is strong, and no such thing as using a computer mouse (this was what I believed was the cause to my pain) could cause serious damage to the wrists. This made it possible for me to gradually start using the computer and unlearning my fear towards it.

    I have been lifting weights consistently for 6 months now, and during this whole time I have suffered from various pains all over my body. My shoulders are the worst. Nowadays they hurt almost constantly and crack very loudly and painfully when I move my arms around. My knees also hurt pretty bad after training legs and crack very loudly. Despite being aware of TMS, I haven't been able to overcome the constant fear that I'm seriously injuring myself at the gym. I can't tell myself that lifting weights can't cause injuries like I did when I was recovering from my wrist pain, because it can. I also know that the my form on the exercises is not perfect, which also constantly worries me and makes me really anxious. I'm almost obsessed about my form. If I noticed I didn't perform an exercise perfectly or feel any pain during the exercises, It'll keep me worried for the rest of the day and wondering if I seriously damaged my body.

    I should also say that my relationship to lifting has never been healthy. Around 10 years ago, when I was in junior high, I was bullied very heavily and I've also struggled with women my whole life. This has slowly but surely destroyed my self esteem, and made me think that the only way that someone would ever like me was if I was big and muscular and handsome. I still think this way today, it's extremely deeply rooted inside me. In my world, this is the absolute truth: that I'm really ugly and worthless. The very recent and sudden breakup has also made all of these thoughts stronger than they have ever been before. All of this has made lifting weights a necessity and an obsession for me, as it's the only way I can change my appearance and be the person I want to be. I've tried this several times, but every time before I make any real progress in the gym the pain got so bad that I had to stop going to the gym completely.

    I don't know what to do. I think there is a fairly high change that my symptoms are caused by TMS as I have a history with it. I just don't know how to overcome the constant fear of working out, as there are real risks of injury. All this TMS stuff does is confuses me. How should I know if im injured or not, when TMS can supposedly cause pretty much every pain symptom known to man. How should I know whether my pain is due to an injury or just psychosomatic? The constant loud clicking and cracking of my joints worries me the most, if my pain would be psychosomatic, then how could my joints make loud and painful cracks? I feel hopeless. All of this feels like an impossible obstacle to overcome that is making all my dreams impossible.

    Thank you for reading. Any suggestions on what to do are more than welcome!
  2. Northwood

    Northwood Well known member

    Hi, PK, Welcome to the forum. Glad you're here. Figuring out TMS can take a minute. I've found these forums a helpful place to get some guidance and perspective. Based on your post, sounds to me like you've assigned a tremendous amount of significance to weightlifting. It represents compensation for the esteem you're not yet seeing/finding on the inside. Going outside of yourself for the inside stuff, whether it's weightlifting or finding a partner or buying all the way into some group or movement, usually ends in frustration and turmoil. Figuring out what you're angry about inside, what inner conflict is the source of the low esteem is a place to begin. What comes to mind? If you need some prompts to go on that, this site's Structured Education Program is an option. Howard Schubiner's book Unlearn Your Pain also has a structured approach to this sort of self-analysis that can be useful. Seeing who we are inside, where the rage is, where the critical voice lies, is the first step toward making peace and beginning to really love ourselves. That sort of love takes some of the pressure off of the dumb bells. Regarding weight-lifting and pain, have you tried backing way off with weight and reps and see how that affects you? That's what I've been doing. I've got TMS all over the place, and it can make exercising uncomfortable. When the pain is bad, I back off a bit, but I do what I can. I keep at it and ramp back up, nudging and pushing myself. And I try to keep a good attitude, which sometimes means going out into the yard and weeding and not thinking about it (which works).

    I was bullied, too, in junior high. It was horrible. And as far as women go, I've flunked relationship school many times. And since I'm such a nice guy and not a good candidate for drug addiction or other sorts of overt craziness, TMS seems to be my brain's outlet for dealing with a lifetime of repressed emotions. It's all been an invitation to get to know myself better, layer by layer. "Knowing thyself," befriending yourself, is a start. Have you gone through Gordon Allan's Pain Recovery Program (this site). It's a fast way to get some practical encouragement when you are hurting and feeling fear and confusion. Best wishes to you!
  3. painkiller

    painkiller Newcomer

    Hello Northwood, I appreciate that you're trying to help me and replied to my post. It has become pretty clear to me that I focus way too much on external factors. I have to start exercising my mind, not just the body and like you said, really dig deep down on all the "inside stuff".

    Feels good to know that I'm not the only one struggling to exercise with TMS. I have been taking it pretty easy and taking days off the gym when the pain has been severe. This has allowed me to keep training, but it's really starting to hinder my progress. I need to start lifting heavy and consistently to start making some real gains.

    I went to a physical therapist and she told me that I have shoulder impingement and that my shoulders are very internally rotated. I decided to try the PT out for one month but if I don't see results from it I will abandon it fully and go with the TMS approach. If I really have shoulder impingement it should be fairly easy to fix with PT and if I don't see results in that time it's evidence to me that it indeed is TMS.

    Thanks for your help and I wish you all the best too.

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