1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

Day 15 In constant terror

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Katy Elise, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. Katy Elise

    Katy Elise New Member

    Please note I talk about some tense stuff below.

    Since starting this program my physical symptoms have been transforming which has been very exciting. Within the last week or so, though, my physical symptoms have diminished significantly (yay!) and my anxiety in turn has become pretty unbearable. At first, it was somewhat manageable with some of the techniques in the program. But the last couple days I'm in crisis. I believe this work has triggered complex PTSD (developmental trauma) as I've been remembering and feeling things in my body that I haven't since I was a small child.

    Unfortunately, my triggered state has very negatively affected some of my most important personal relationships, primarily the one with my best friend which culminated in a highly out of character and very toxic argument and "break-up" on Monday. I felt I'd recently pushed her away because I'm hypersensitive right now and was essentially asking for her to let me know she still cared for me, and she somehow felt I was being insensitive to her/attacking her because she's going through a difficult time herself right now, and she hung up on me and doesn't want to speak to me anymore. On the grand scale, good riddance if it really was that toxic a relationship. But in the short-term, my nervous system was highly activated throughout the whole conversation, I was shaking in deadly fear, almost unable to get out words with the quiver in my voice, and since then - the way she reacted - has put me into a tailspin. I have been feeling almost constant terror that is so horrifying it feels like I can't breathe and my heart is stopping - I can't explain it but it's the scariest thing I've ever felt (and not the first time, but the first in a long time). In our conversation my friend accused me of terrible things, triggering the exact same wounds of my young childhood when I was accused by my parents of so many wrongs I didn't understand (like why did I get punished and put in the closet for crying or getting angry), and then at age 11 long-term bullying began at school and couldn't figure out what I had done wrong in that situation either but felt wholly responsible (plus the onset of many of my TMS symptoms and panic attacks at that time). I have a feeling that it's not a coincidence that this dynamic has been repeated yet again with my current (now ex) best friend, I've perhaps been unconsciously putting my needs aside due to my constant fear of losing someone and "I should just feel lucky they even care about me." And then when the real, emotionally messy me comes out, they reject me violently which was the whole fear I had in the first place. This happeneing this week really shines a spotlight on the formative parallel experiences of my past. Even less close friends I am terrified to turn to now because I am deathly scared I'm going to somehow push them away too. I am the definition of terrified, rejected, and alone, just like my three-year-old self was in the closet.

    The only thing that's given me some very small, very intermittent reprieve from the constant terror is the somatic tracking exercise Alan Gordon teaches, but only for a few moments when I'm able to focus. Unfortunately, I cannot spend all day doing the exercise, and even if I could, often the terror I feel is so intense it overwhelms me and I can't separate into the observer mindset.

    I am going to try out a new therapist next week who supposedly does somatic therapy (because I couldn't find any TMS therapists in my state), but in the meantime, I've tried everything I know of. If anyone has any advice or even kind words I would love to know I'm not alone. I know ultimately I'm the only one who can fix this for myself, and I'm the one who has to tell myself I'm not a terrible, horrible person and deserve to live and deserve to have people who care about me, but how do I bridge the time in between when I still believe these fears and they are overwhelming my existence. No wonder I have autoimmune disease and so many other conditions. This fear is not manageable.

    Sidenote: For those of you who also have a lot of tools in your toolbelt I'll tell you yesterday I did: slow-out breathing exercises (parasympathetic activation), two different types of journaling, angry dancing, multiple meditations, eating a bunch of ice cream (attempt at comfort), distracting errands, petting the cat (oxytocin), cold shower (parasympathetic activation), crying (release), TRE/tremors, yin yoga, Tarot readings (connecting to spirit), EFT/tapping, and I COULD NOT get my nervous system re-regulated. Normally one or two of those things help calm my anxiety, and I did all of them and still terrified.
     
  2. Lonewolfbunny

    Lonewolfbunny Peer Supporter

    I would stop trying so hard to stop the anxiety and surrender to it. It is part of the healing. Last year after some physical symptoms resolved I had the worst anxiety in years. Then it went into OCD intrusive thoughts...it was very difficult. What helped was resting into the fear...floating along. Not to resist..to teach yourself the world, your emotions, your present self is okay the way you are. Just focus on this one method...soothe and accept but don't really actively do things...which is a type of avoidance or distraction which reinforces the fear. You will get past it...it is the way through towards a new understanding of yourself and your resilience.
     
    jennyc19 and Katy Elise like this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Katy,

    I am sorry things are so very rough for you right now. I appreciate you asking for words of encouragement. This is a clear and compassionate request for your suffering right now, asking for one of us to simply send you good wishes, knowing this is hard. So, I send you support.

    I know some of the human experience, but not yours directly. I know that we live in many hell-realms, often unconsciously, and when they come front and center, it is hard to bear.

    Let me express my observation that you understand a great deal about your situation, particularly that these events lately are related to your inner studies with TMS. This is hugely helpful. You also know some of the origin of your fears in your childhood --also helpful. But just to know, to have knowledge does not take away the wild dynamics, I get that.

    I like Lonewolfbunny's suggestion, based on her experience to as-much-as-possible (and I think you're largely already doing this) stay with the raw experience, knowing that there is not much you can do about this, or perhaps need to do about this. That this time is a calling to "abide" and learn, even though it feels like hell. Your breathing practice seems to be good for this.

    Ultimately, it seems there is fear of survival, and all the issues around it. Very edgy stuff! Stuff we never want to feel! What are you learning right now which does serve you? What capacities are growing? I hope you see your strength...

    Andy
     
    Katy Elise likes this.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Also will say that anyway you can generate self-compassion, self-companioning, self-soothing ---as I know you're onto, is good. Note though again, this is really just being with you as you go through suffering. These tools are some companions on the journey, not blocks to the experience. I like Neff's meditations:
    Here's one, and you can break out part of the url and find more at her website.
    https://self-compassion.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/self-compassion.break_.mp3
     
  5. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    Just a quick reply on my pokey little phone ..... I’ve had a tough ol’ week and my TriGem has gone through the roof dragging anxiety in its wake - but I’m not frightened. Angry yes but not frightened. I went for a walk talking out loud “go on, hit me with your best shot, you don’t scare me, I’m safe. I am NOT frightened”. I felt it. Knew it. I floated.
    Tonight I will drift off to sleep listening to Claire Weekes Peace from Nervous Suffering on YouTube, an interview lasting 1.01 hr. And I KNOW her caring voice will calm me and lift me. Maybe give it a go. Keep reaching out Katy, the answer will come. Cheers marls
     
    Katy Elise likes this.
  6. Katy Elise

    Katy Elise New Member

    Thank you all SO MUCH for your thoughtful responses. Your kindness and support have helped remind me of how to turn that towards myself. It's also a reminder that I'm not alone or losing my mind. @Lonewolfbunny the way you put into words the experience of floating along has really helped me to find that place. Of course I'm still experiencing intense fear, but I'm able to "float with it" and take the sting out of it at times. @Andy Bayliss thank you for showing me such compassion, and I look forward to trying out those meditations. And Maris, I'm so glad you shared that interview with me and how you use it to drift off. I've not been sure how to engage with Claire's work so that's a great start.

    So appreciative of you all.
     
  7. Lonewolfbunny

    Lonewolfbunny Peer Supporter

    I think it was Clare weekes that says to float with the anxiety. Vacate fear on utube helps anxiety sufferers using Weekes teaching and makes her approach very accessible.
    I was waking up with full blown anxiety attacks before work at 6 am...then running until the anxiety was lower. I hate 6 am and running is not my favourite thing anymore.
    Then I stopped running and lay in bed just riding the waves. At work I served customers all day while at a level 6 or so...acting "normal". Hard to believe its possible but it is. I had some crying spells and dark thoughts because anxiety wears you down. Then I started having little bouts of pure O intrusive thinking...which I am beginning to think underpines everything.
    But I can assure you it eases over time when you surrender and accept it. It is just your tired nervous system stuck in flight. By behaving 'normally' you trick your nervous system.
    It sucks. Its hard. But we can do hard things.
    Things Ive tried for anxiety that was NOT acceptance and still do occasionally which is HUMAN but doesn't help that much:
    Complaining to my partner
    Hiding in my room
    Endless google
    Feeling like I am the only person in the world who has anxiety, watching others and being jealous of their happy anxiety free imaginary lives
    Sleeping
    Pacing, running, rushing around
    Projecting my anxiety state into the future...

    Stay in the present,know you are not alone.
     
    jennyc19 and Katy Elise like this.

Share This Page