1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

How to deal with the pain?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by balaenoptera, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. balaenoptera

    balaenoptera New Member


    I have already posted my story on the old forum, but when I posted a reply appearently no one was left to answer. My old post can be found here:


    And this is my reply:

    I am reading the mindbody prescription right now.

    Although I deeply believe that my problems are TMS I am a little overwhelmed with all the information and different views. And how I can deal with TMS, what is helpful for me?
    For the emotions: I know there are many issues for me to deal with. I have already worked on that because of my depression. My problem is that I have difficulties to get in touch with the emotions. I know that certain events in my life have been traumatic and I know which situations stress me. I have also realized that prior to the onset of my physical symptoms I have developed a more and more profound sense of being guilty and inadequate because of my depression. So it all makes sense to me that my mind has given me such unpleasant pain. But I can’t feel the emotions I just feel fear and I am angry about me and my situation.
    Also I don’t know if it’s better to dwell on the past, or look for unpleasant emotions in the here and now and work on that. I know that some people in the TMS community think it might be problematic to focus too much (or at all) on past day traumatic events.

    Another question: How do you deal with the pain or other unpleasant sensations during your activities? I spend much effort on retaining basic activities like walking, doing the household, exercise and driving with my bike. But I always feel pain, it costs me so much energy to retain a half-decent fitness. I have to admit that I almost always keep my focus on the areas with pain. It seems almost impossible for me to focus on something different. How do you do it?
    At least this seems to be another proof that I have a mindbody problem. What else can cause more unpleasant feelings than focusing on particular body parts?

  2. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Good Morning balaenoptera: I answered your first post on the other forum. And I know it's overwhelming to take in all the information at once. So don't. Do certain things jump out at you? Do you see yourself in some of the information your reading but not others? The old adage "Keep what you need, and leave the rest" I think would be a good place to start.

    Are you writing in a journal? This has been so helpful for me. I'm working through things that amaze me because I'm doing "fast free write" - where you write whatever comes into your head. I do this every morning. I may start out with "Well March came in like a lion....." and then just write whatever pops out. There is no wrong thought or event you can possibly touch on. It all has meaning for you. And the more you get used to doing this, your journal becomes like a comforting place to go and just let out steam.

    This would be great to journal about in writing. Explore - quickly - why these situations stress you out. Add the word "because" - see what happens. In writing, I promise you, it is very different than just having it roll around in your head.

    It sounds to me like you're taking on too much at once. You don't mention whether or not you're trying the Structured Program. It is really great at helping you to "sort" through these feelings and emotions. Just go for it and see what happens. It will at the very least, give you tools to help you to learn to parcel issues out, and how you can proceed.

    Listen to yourself. Yes. The people who have succeeded have great suggestions, but these are things that worked for them. If you try not to take this in one big bite of cure - you'll find best what works for you.

    Here all I can simply observe is that you're overachieving. I do the things I want to do, and try and stay fit. But I don't do a lot of things too. And I'm learning not to feel guilty about it. Exercise should be fun and it stimulates endorphins. That is a plus. I've gone to the beach, in pain, and stayed until I am totally at peace with myself and my world (takes awhile a lot of times) but once I'm in my zone - my back pain is gone. Do you set out doing these things knowing they will hurt? Or believing they will? Understandable since that has been your experience. (Mine too)

    It sounds like you're reading and trying to do the things that you think will help. Good on you! But I don't see any writing or any programs where you do a writing task each day. This (I hope) will be key for you. It certainly has been for me. And I'm not in the "plus" column yet. I'm still working with many of the issues you mentioned. But I'm learning to give myself breaks, not be so critical of myself, and most importantly - remember I'm not perfect. Those three things, plus the program and daily journal writing have worked the best for me at seeing a little progress.The hard part is: this is a journey with no time line.

  3. balaenoptera

    balaenoptera New Member

    Hi beach-girl

    Maybe you are right. Maybe I'm pushing it too hard. I'm impatient, but 10 months suffering from pain, anxiety and depression is so hard, even though I know there are many out there who have suffered for longer time.

    I have started some writing. I do the wiki educational program. While writing I get some relief but that doesn't last long.

  4. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Well balenoptera:

    Not that there's a contest, but I have you beat with anxiety and pain - by many years. I have learned coping skills, but now I want a cure too. Don't rush. This isn't a race. It's a matter of letting the old issues really sink in (again) and making them go away. I have discovered some amazing things I hadn't discovered in years of therapy. Glad to hear you're doing the program. Keep posting too! This will get better.

  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi balaenoptera (great name - had to look it up, as I suspected that it had something to do with whales :^)

    Yes, impatience will get in the way of your recovery - because it's a great distraction!

    It's really important to remember at all times that pain and other symptoms are created by your brain to distract you from the really bad, really icky emotions. You've got to get down and dirty with the thoughts and feelings that you are hiding from yourself. No matter how bad, how guilty, how shameful they might be, when you bring them into your consciousness, they lose their power, and your brain will have nothing left to distract you from. Although it will try! For those of us with anxiety, and certainly with depression, it's going to be a constant battle - but it's possible to have more winning days than losing ones as time goes on.

    In my case, I was surprised at some of the really old memories I came across while doing the Structured Ed Program. Many of them seemed really insignificant, but in fact some of them allowed me to see my rage, while others were just embarrassing - and the thing I found is that I was able to use them to explain other parts of my life, or to relate back to childhood stuff, and that was very freeing.

    Beach Girl mentioned that there is no wrong thought or event that you can possibly touch on, and to that I would just add that ANYTHING that comes to mind that causes ANY emotion, needs to be examined, even if your brain tries to make you think it's not very important. If, while making your lists or journaling, you come across a thought that makes you flinch, even the tiniest bit, I don't care how insignificant you try to tell yourself it is, I suggest you grab hold of it and examine it. You might be surprised - it's often the little things that tell us who we are.

    Good luck, we're all in this together.

    marjrc likes this.
  6. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I would add that if you are journaling and something comes up that makes you flinch, squirm, or just feel bad then I would suggest asking yourself why. Things may come up while you journal that you are uncomfortable with because we have preconcieved notions about how we are supposed to act and be. We want to be the perfect person, parent, child, student, employee so when we touch upon certain issues/feelings we can feel uncomfortable and flinch. But there is nothing wrong with these emotions. We simply need to understand them better and accept that they are a normal part of life.

    As for the last part of Jan's quote, understanding our emotions and past can really shed light on why/how we react in current situations. Since we have repressed our emotions, we also have also repressed the importance of certain events and issues. We tell ourselves that certain events are insignficant and could not possibly affect our TMS. But as Jan mentioned, even the smallest of past events can affect who we are today.

Share This Page