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Day 23 How do I let go?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Ines, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. Ines

    Ines Well known member


    I think the next step in recovery is letting go. But, I can't let go. I KNOW it is TMS but I keep doubting that going through this will eliminate it 100%. I keep obsessing over it and even though I've seen tremendous improvement so far, it's still not good enough.
    Even the things I'm doing for fun I am now obsessing over. How do I become more laid back besides meditating? I try to be mindful of my breathing throughout the day as well.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Ines, meditation is a wonderful start and I'd definitely keep practicing.

    I'm not sure if you already do so, but you may wish to create an evidence sheet of your symptoms. This will help you enforce your belief that they are mind body symptoms.

    Best regards,

  3. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Thanks Mike. I just looked through my journal and yes, I need to focus on how far I've come and not on negative things. I think I'm having a bad day.
    mike2014 likes this.
  4. nelsonaj

    nelsonaj New Member

    Hi Ines,

    It's interesting you posted this. I am on day 10 of the program and I was about to post an individual thread about where I'm at, and how I feel, and I happened to read your post. I feel very similarly as you do actually. I feel like everything I've read has made it that much clearer that this is TMS, and I accept that. The article I read today by Alan Gordon gave an explanation that truly made sense to me... the autonomic nervous system controls the circulation of blood in the body, and he gave an example of an increase in blood flow to the cheeks when a person is embarrassed, which is a physiological reaction to a psychological trigger. So then why wouldn't it make sense that other emotions could create a lack of blood flow (and then pain)? Makes total sense. Yet I am still worried that the pain won't stop. I'm wondering if this can be attributed to worrying being a common personality trait of TMSers. I know that I am a chronic worrier, and I am constantly thinking the worst. e.g....why would the TMS recovery thing work when nothing else has.

    I feel like I'm definitely trying to address any emotional/psychological feelings that I could be experiencing whenever I feel the pain (which the by the way is all the time, but I try to do this when it increases), but I struggle with what to do with those emotions once I identify them, I don't know how else to feel them other than think about it. I have let myself cry just about every day at some point, but the pain is still there.

    I'm also struggling with trying to recondition how I think about the pain, trying to be indifferent to it, and I just keep trying to self-talk, but again, it's still there. Even when I feel a little better, I am immediately asking myself if I feel better, and therefore still focusing on the pain or lack thereof.

    I am meeting with a TMS therapist next week. I think I need an outlet to discuss my emotions and someone who can give me the confidence to overcome this.

    Also, I know a big part of Alan Gordon's recovery treatment is being kind to yourself, so maybe we should try not to put so much pressure on ourselves to get better quick (easier said than done, I know).

    I wish I had better advice for you, but figured it could also help to know that someone else is experiencing similar emotions.

    Jacqui9 likes this.
  5. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Hi Amanda,

    I can completely relate. TMS makes sense. I whole heartedly believe my problem is TMS. I am here for chronic migraines and I feel lucky because it's so obviously connected to mind body.
    But..I keep doubting I will ever be migraine free. I am doing much better. I've made changes. They are getting better. I'm not sure why I am obsessing.
    I signed up for dance class and I've gone once a week for 6 weeks. This week I even went twice. This is unheard of for me.
    I signed up for something fun. Now, instead of having fun I'm obsessing over everything. For two days I e been researching other dance studios because I don't think the one I am at is hard enough. Instead of doing 1 or 2 classes I want to sign up for 4. I'm reading all the teachers bios. Thinking of taking private lessens. Looking at dance clothes... Why can't I just chill out and enjoy it? Why is it a chore now?
    I googled on how to stop obsessing and an article came up with 7 suggestions. Visualization , worrying, exercise, past baggage, I can't remember what else. Oh expressing anger.
    I know it's past baggage because I danced when I was younger and I quit because I beat myself up so much that I lost all my self esteem. All I did was pick myself apart in the mirror. But I wish I never quit. I quit because I couldn't be the best because I thought I didn't look like a ballerina. How stupid is that?
    I've never stopped bullying myself. Pressuring myself. Obsessing over stuff. I wish I could stop but I can't.
    I know they say just being aware of TMS will help and it is. This is going to be a long road.
    Thanks for your reply I think you are doing everything right. Once you identify your emotions you pretty much just feel them. My brain kept trying to trick me with new problems. It was so obvious it was kind of funny.
    You are right about trying to not think of pain. That helps a lot but sometimes it's really hard. The hardest part of the day is when I wake up and immediately obsess over how my body feels. I've been trying to turn on the tv or think of other things.
    Anyway, to try to end on a positive note I think we are both doing everything right. It takes time. If we see any improvement at all it's a blessing and a great sign. Take care and I hope your therapy helps you a lot.

  6. nelsonaj

    nelsonaj New Member

    "My brain kept trying to trick me with new problems"....agree, it is actually comical once you realize what's going on! Just this morning I noticed that my neck pain had subsided a bit, but sure enough, my anxiety was through the roof ...and looking back on it now, the phrase "if it's not one thing it's another", has been a constant in my vocabulary over the last several years. Just another thing that makes the TMS so obvious now. But, like you, I have difficulty believing I'll ever be free of pain.

    Agree....when i wake up, it's the first thing i think about...my focus is always brought back to the pain. hopefully as time goes on, the focus will be less and less for us.

    I think as you get further along in the recovery, you will probably begin to learn more about yourself and as you explore your repressed emotions, you'll start to learn how to be kinder to yourself and begin standing up to the inner bully. The fact that you can recognize it exists is a great start in my opinion!

    Hang in there...like you said, we are doing the best we can right now...I keep telling myself, this too shall pass.
    Ines likes this.
  7. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think letting go is a big part of getting relief form TMS emotional or physical pain.
    Many of us tend to worry that we will not recover, but the truth is, we will and do recover.

    When we recognize we have TMS and journal to discover its emotional causes, we need to practice meditation and relaxation.
    The two together are great and I find them in the Relaxation Response...

    Meditation is a time-honored way of relaxing the mind and relieving anxiety, mental stress, headaches, and even physical pain. There are many ways to practice meditation, but many consider the most successful to be a technique called the Relaxation Response (RR).

    It is a wonderful way to practice TMS Mindbody Healing because it changes harmful thinking in the subconscious mind which Dr. John Sarno says causes pain that is not caused by anything structural.

    The RR, practiced once twice a day for 10, 15, or 20 minutes has a profound positive effect on the subconscious mind, relieving or curing everything from anxiety, hypertension, headaches, fatigue, nervousness, dizziness, high blood pressure, insomnia, stomach problems, all forms of pain including backaches, abdominal pain, muscle pain, neck, arm, and leg pain, and relieves side affects from cancer and AIDS.

    RR is like Transcendental Meditation which is taught by TM specialists who charge hundreds or thousands of dollars. But the RR is free and you can do it yourself.

    It is practiced, before a meal, and works best if not practiced within two hours after a meal. I do it in bed before arising in the morning and again in bed before falling sleep. Often, I only do it 5 or 10 minutes and it works to calm me and put me to sleep.

    Just sit in a chair (or lie in bed in the morning or at bedtime), close your eyes, don’t listen to any music, and try to avoid outside noises. Let your mind think of a word such as "One " which has no real meaning or association. Or say a calming word such as “Calm” or “Peace,” or add the faith or spiritual element by saying a favorite religious word or prayer. Breathe naturally or incorporate Deep Breathing by breathing in through the mouth to inflate the stomach, suck in the stomach while holding the breath for a few seconds, then say the word when you exhale through the mouth.

    Say the word silently over and over. At the end of the 10 to 20 minutes, picture and feel yourself as you were when you felt your best, and in a place where you felt that way.

    When distracting thoughts arise during the RR, as they will, just tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and go back to repeating your chosen word.

    My "word" is a prayer: "God loves me and is protecting me." I say it a few times and go right to sleep. If my mind wanders onto other things, I tell myself"Oh, well," and repeat my mantra silently while deep breathing.

    There are several free videos on Youtube about the Relaxation Response. I especially recommend these two by Dr. Benson:

    Ines likes this.
  8. Janine28

    Janine28 Peer Supporter

    Hi Ines,
    I too relate to the continual worry and obsession over symptoms- although this has been passing as I continue to work directly with all emotions, including worry. I'm a long time meditator, and one of the things I've learned, critical to any meditation practice, is to truly feel all the emotions that pass through our systems (not only go to that quiet breathing space- which is also important). So as you experience worry, you can ask yourself, "what does worry feel like in my body?" And then with a sense of curiosity, watch where in the body you hold your worry, stress, fear, etc. You can also ask: "What does it look like in my mind?" Watch worry as it arises and also as it passes. Finally, a really powerful practice is to ask the question "Who's worrying?" Don't try to answer this question with your mind, just watch what insight arises. All the best to you!
    Ines and Sacha O. like this.
  9. Alfaman147

    Alfaman147 Well known member

    Inescapable, you are exactly the same as me. I Google how to stop obsessing. But from an outsiders point of view you have to realise how stupid that sounds. Googling how to stop obsessing is counter productive. Googling IS a former of obsessing. And it wasn't until I read your post I can see how ludicrous it sounds. But I'm a hypocrite haha. I am a worrier and need to be more laid back. At the end of the day the only important thing is you. And you alone can cure yourself of this. I'm in the process of stopping all research and reading on forums haha apart from today. My tms therapist says these forums are good to share your experience but are counter productive when trying to recover.
    Ines likes this.
  10. Melissa

    Melissa Newcomer

    Personally, I tackled this sort of feeling by just learning to accept these two fundamentals:

    1. Can I Do Something About It?

    If I can,I just do what I'm doing (in your case you're well along this step).
    If I can't, I don't worry about it.

    It's all about a feeling of self-control over powerlessness. What I can control is what I worry about, what I can't I forget. Meditation should indeed be a big help for you, and I'd advise you to look into local yoga classes as well. Sorry if this doesn't make the most sense - it's just how my screwy brain made everything click.
    Ines likes this.
  11. KHSauce

    KHSauce New Member

    Thank you, Walt for posting these videos. I just started retaining my mind and I found Dr. Benson's method to be incredibly helpful.


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