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I'm trying to decipher what is TMS and what is not

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by gitch, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. gitch

    gitch Peer Supporter

    Hi all

    I've had my share of TMS experiences over the years - notably, extreme back pain, which later turned into shoulder pain then jaw pain. I've also witnessed related behaviours on my immediate family, and coached my brother out of it using some of the concepts in Dr. Sarno's book, on one occasion. So it's fair to say I am a convert.

    This year has been a trying year for me, health-wise, and I'm now taking a moment to stop and consider how much of it may be TMS rearing its ugly head.

    I have Ulcerative Colitis. While the medical profession disagrees with me, I'm still adamant that I would not have this disease if I had not undergone a prolonged period of heavy stress after dealing with a separation from my marriage of nearly 9 years. 6 months into the separation, when I was still fighting both my ex and some legal issues was when I started to show symptoms. To me, this is no coincidence.

    Since being diagnosed and treated, my symptoms were largely under control until earlier this year when I experienced my first flare that could not be controlled by my standard dose. Yet again, I was in a particularly stressful situation at the time. I eventually brought the flare under control myself by managing the way I dealt with that stress. Recently, my symptoms started flaring again, but within the last couple of days I've once again started the process of reducing them simply by addressing the emotional side.

    In the midst of all this, I've had a constant battle with 'respiratory infections' this year. I use quotes as I'm really not sure that they are anything more than TMS in disguise.

    In May I got sick and worked through it mostly, because my boss at the time was a bully (the reason for my earlier UC flare-up) and I felt I had to. I never fully recovered, and ended up going back to the doctor then put on prednisone for a short period. The prednisone appeared to destroy my immune system, as I ended up with the worst infestation of athlete's foot I've ever had, several ingrown nails, and a subsequent illness. This illness is still with me today. It starts to fade, but never goes. Last week it was more like a cold, but taking away my voice. Now it's back to where it was. Sore throat, inflamed tonsils, primarily sore on the right side.

    The 'right side' is a red flag to me. Most if not all my TMS symptoms primarily occur on my right side.

    I've been having big issues with self confidence in recent years. I've also battled, for decades, a feeling that I am 'not good enough' and that others around me 'have their lives in order far more than I do'. Whenever I get sick, I feel guilty about not being 'up to it'. I feel like I'm inferior to others around me at work. That just leads to a vicious cycle, of course, as the stress I'm causing within myself over that probably helps to make me more likely to get sick.

    This post is all over the place, I know. I could go on but figured I'd see what insights people here might have before elaborating on specific elements. How much of this sounds like TMS to you?
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    all of it.

    I too had non-pain health issues as I went through a long divorce. I had an epididemectomy that I am certain had a lot to do with rage about the whole process. I have had back to back illnesses during times of intense stress that I am certain filled the same role as TMS... I usually reserve the TMS label for muscular things but they are all Mind body stuff... The only difference being that it is actually easier to do the 'treatments' when it is pain or ache and hard to avoid the doctor when your puking up hairballs.

    Spiritual beings having a physical experience. There is actually nothing in our lives that is Not a reflection of what is inside of us. BTW right side is male side. Most of my stuff has always been left side... meaning, I probably err being angry at women as opposed to men...

    ..and every single endeavour that seeks to raise your awareness of your own truth will necessarily heal and prevent these things as well
    HattieNC, Sita and plum like this.
  3. gitch

    gitch Peer Supporter

    I watched a lot about 'mind/body health' last year. I'm now at the point where that term is meaningless to me. Because we are one integrated being, not a mind separate from a body. People like Dr Sarno, Dr Lissa Rankin, Marisa Peer and Bruce Lipton all discuss slightly different approaches to the same fundamental phenomenon :

    The organs weep the tears the eyes refuse to shed

    My current UC flare has been triggered by a few events in my life of late, which really gave me an excuse to reinforce the notion that I am not good enough and not coping. I have, in recent times, neglected my gardens, which have mostly become overgrown. The worse it gets, the worse I get a feeling of weakness and fatigue any time I attempt to start, which I realise is similar to anxiety. The voice inside my head says "Haha. You can't manage this, and you know it. You're lying to yourself if you think you can. Just look at the size of this yard. You're not a big gardening person, and this is a big place. There's no way you'll manage this on your own. You'll try, get fatigued, and stop, and then the weeds will win... again. And.... the place will all go slightly further into a state where a 'gardening binge' alone won't be enough to bring it back to an attractive state. In fact, you're possibly there already."

    Last weekend, I went outside to have a go at doing some yard work, and felt the same feeling. But within about 3 hours my UC flare had started to come on pretty heavy. Within a day, I was feeling myself "getting sick" with the 'virus' I am still battling now.

    I just wish I could get to the root of why my natural state is one of complete self-loathing, and putting the rest of the world on a pedestal. That seems to lie at the heart of this.

    Interesting you say the right side is male side. I suspect the male I'm loathing is myself.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    The crux here is why you don’t feel good enough. This is not an invitation to engage in self-loathing but more a suggestion that you move towards cultivating a stronger and more authentic sense of self. You need to gently nurture your spirit. As @Baseball65 states, we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. This is why physical cures don’t work.

    Modern people have lost an understanding of what spirit is, they mistakenly wrap it up in religious ideas and on this basis they reject it. We forget the majesty of life, the gift of life, and get lost in domestic, civilised minutiae. And so we hurt.

    I agree with @Baseball65. It’s all mind~body stuff. TMS is a useful shorthand rather than yet another diagnosis to be carved up and treated as yet another problem to solve.

    Plum x
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  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    The whole 'self loathing' thing is just ego sneaking in the back door. If I can't be the best, I have to be the worst. I am so important that I need to be flogged.

    One of the wisest men I ever knew told me that he used to get up every morning and wish he could move UP to some low self esteem. This guy was a champion body builder, model and really popular.
    The secret of freedom from that BS is to STOP esteeming things i.e. Our judgement is all erroneous and built on logic that fails in the extremities.

    ..and once again that truth becomes real when you leave the mundane and terrestrial and find some spiritual freedom. You aren't going to think your way out of your erroneous thoughts.
    Ellen, Balsa11, TrustIt and 1 other person like this.
  6. gitch

    gitch Peer Supporter

    You guys know my shortcomings better than I do. That's why I love communities like this.

    I have done exactly what @plum suggests, and dismissed spirituality all my life because i always associated it with religion, which I don't subscribe to. I've done I don't know how many self-improvement exercises over the years, and they usually identify spirituality as an area I am weak in, but of course I take no notice. But it sounds like I need to.

    I'm such a 'literal' and 'scientifically based' person (which will be a part of why I keep insisting on thinking my way out of this) that I really don't know where to begin when it comes to spirituality. So I will start watching some YouTube videos that explain it 'for dummies'.

    @Baseball65 I love your final sentence so much. It gives me hope, since it proposes an approach different from anything I've tried before.
  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    @gitch start with Nature. Nothing else soothes, nurtures and calms like resting a while in the lap of Mother Earth. Nothing will ever be as primal and soulful as time spent outdoors.

    Cloudwatch. Stargaze. Moonbathe. Sunbask. Hug trees if you want :)

    And then, once you are immersed in Nature, consider that you bloomed from her and that you are enough, always have been and always will be. ❤️

    You may also enjoy exploring spirituality from a more sciencey (think I made that word up) angle by exploring the work of Rick Hanson. He’s a neuropsychologist and Buddhist who teaches mindfulness. A quick search on the wiki will yield some more information but basically mindfulness is an approach well-suited to the methods of Western Science so there’s some very interesting interesting research out there. You may even find some in the Research area of the forum.

    Plum x
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  8. gitch

    gitch Peer Supporter

    Thanks to your help, @plum, I have been exploring spirituality this week. I started watching videos on Monday night, which kind of confused me more and in a way, added to my stress, so on Tuesday night I decided I would step back a bit and follow the path I had taken on Monday, just following my nose.

    One thing I particularly liked which I read on Monday was the notion that we are but a very small part of the universe. It said that, when you consider how small we are in the scheme of the universe, it actually makes it quite funny when you think of us getting annoyed because the cat threw up on the carpet. I liked that analogy, and you have to admit, it really is quite funny!

    I followed your advice and went for several walks in nature (I even hugged a tree, which actually felt damn good I must say). I've found the idea that our life is like living in the matrix to be quite helpful. Who I REALLY am, and who we all REALLY are is the person who grew from nature. All this achievement and materialistic obsession is just the matrix. The part that really matters is that we love this amazing universe we live in, and all grew from. The oneness of nature, and how we are but a small part of it is a very refreshing point of view too. It takes the focus off individual achievement big time. More than that, it almost makes it pointless.

    I've found myself noticing so much this week. The feel of carpet on my feet, the breeze in my face, odd shapes on buildings, collections of wave patterns when you look at my work building from a particular angle, and animals... so many many animals.

    I also felt the energy and more importantly, the DESIRE to exercise this week. For a few years this had been something I have all but given up on. When I do, I force it, then end up crashing several days later, in an overwhelming rut of not feeling up to it.

    I need to do a mindfulness routine so I might check out Rick Hanson.

    My UC flare is still getting under control, but I'm getting some feelings I haven't felt in decades, so I am actually thinking when I get this under control I might see whether I can't work to reduce the effect it had even further. There's very little I've found on mind body approaches to healing UC or Crohns, but that just adds to the challenge.
  9. hecate105

    hecate105 Well known member

    You could also notice that your overgrown yard.... is full of insects buzzing and living and eating and raising young - a whole world of them.....A tidy yard or garden is a human construct to suit our tidy minds and 'god' complex. Nature actually thrives on the overgrown brambles, overgrown hedges and constant flowering weeds....
    And I speak as a professional gardener and garden designer! I now take my job a lot less seriously.....! (and myself too)
    TrustIt, Rainstorm B and plum like this.
  10. gitch

    gitch Peer Supporter

    I'm interested to know how you reconcile those two differences. On one hand, as you say, nature thrives when left alone (and in fact, the planet will do just fine without us) yet on the other hand, someone wants to 'tame' it and make it look 'ordered'. Do you not get a sense, when you're gardening, that you are working against the will of nature?

    I seem to be doing really well with the idea that society, rules, materialism etc are just bs and that the 'real world' is the one that will persist without us giving it any input. But I'm not sure how to balance the two when, let's face it, we have to live in both.
    TrustIt likes this.
  11. Jude

    Jude Peer Supporter

    What a profound question! The garden versus the gardener--aren't we all both sides of the coin?
    Sort of like the part of you who is asking this question vs the part of you that can answer it.... =)
    TrustIt and Rainstorm B like this.
  12. hecate105

    hecate105 Well known member

    A little facet of god in all of us...!
    I think we need to think first - and deeply, before we rush in to 'fix' things... sometimes it is better to let weeds grow .....
    Like lawns - maybe just keep an area mown to sit/lie on - but let the rest grow shaggy with wildflowers - maybe a meandering path mown thru.... it is still a lawn but supports far more creatures than the mown lawn....
    The will of nature results in competition and cooperation.... wisdom lies in recognising and supporting the differences that will result in harmony for a range of lifeforms - not just the humans...!!

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