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
Dismiss Notice
Our TMS drop-in chat is tomorrow (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern (now US Daylight Time) . It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support, with BruceMC as your host. Look for the red Chat flag on top of the menu bar!

It's been a long while

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by jokeysmurf, Dec 15, 2021.

  1. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Well known member

    I haven't posted on this forum in quite sometime. Essentially I have been working at my TMS and living my life. There have been some hiccups and lots of good level moments.

    I have noticed less and less coupling or piggybacking of symptoms with fear. This is the new part. Although in general I have less symptoms I also feel those symptoms with very mild intensity. At times they might feel like a new symptom but when I pay attention I realize that what used to be a say level 7 dissociation is around a 2-3. At times this can feel unnerving since it feels new. If I allow time to accept this it tends to go away.

    I still have some OCD and irrational thinking to address. I had my yearly check up with bloodwork done and my cholesterol and triglycerides need to go down about 30 points. I have been lazy since the pandemic to be honest. So my brain latched on to the numbers and of course I experienced chest pain for a few days until my second labs came in with my GFR kidney panel showing a number of 88. Then I started experiencing back pain. The doc never said they had concern with this number but I also haven't done a urinalysis just a blood test so far. To be fair all the information on the web is contradictory some test say anything over 60 is normal where others give you other numbers to go off of.

    I feel like I'm really trying to iron out some of the last things or I should say the first things. I mean these two OCD and irrational thoughts have been here under all this for years and have help build this TMS ship. Once I started to remove the symptoms I feel like I have arrived at something that dates back to worrying and anxiety once again.

    Lastly when I don't feed the OCD and anxiety I often feel flat. I assume that will eventually normalize since I'm not constantly taking myself into a state of adrenaline spike and normal ordinary life seems flat. I welcome this new flat ness and will try and reframe it as calm.
    Ellen likes this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can relate to what you've written. I seem to fluctuate mostly between anxiety and flatness, but it is better than pain and other TMS symptoms. I need to work on finding more pleasure and joy in life. I was doing pretty well in this regard before the pandemic, but it has set me back. I think we all need to acknowledge how difficult the last couple of years have been, even if we've been lucky enough to stay free of the virus.
  3. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Well known member

    Absolutely, I think it's partly a conditioned response since being in a state of high alert has become my new normal, being calm is actually being perceived as being flat. I used to do Neurofeedback brain training, and if you're familiar with it this will make sense. After several sessions the goal is to get your brain to say calm down. The data may indicate that you have dropped half a point which seems like nothing but what you feel is really tired and sometimes flat. This is the brain responding and adjusting to changes, you're not flat you're just coming down from being at an 11 of stimulation to a 7 and that change can feel drastic. You can retrain your brain without neurofeeback , we do it all the time. We trained ourselves to be frightened we can train our brain to not be frightened. As these adjustments happen you may feel flat at times. If we decided being flat is scary you may develop new symptoms or associations with this transitory feeling.
  4. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I admit I am not coping well with a similar set back. I have sunk deep into depression and anxiety. Having weaned myself off anti-depressants earlier this year, I find myself back on them again. My resilience is shot to pieces. The series of lockdowns, living in a fairly new to me area, having no support network nearby, working in isolation at home which entails staring at screens for 26 hours a week for nearly two years and other happenings have taken their toll on my mental health. I welcome the flatness.
  5. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Well known member

    We humans need social interaction, it's part of our survival mechanism so if you're spending a lot of time alone it makes sense if you're feeling like you're not coping well. Making friends isn't the easiest especially during a pandemic and some cities have a reputation for being particularly difficult for making friends. I think Seattle has a reputation where they call it the Seattle freeze - I hear making friends there is hard. However the thing to remember is that we are also resilient and these are temporary states. If you have friends and relatives you can chat or FaceTime with that can be particularly helpful. Seeing peooles actual faces helps since our nervous system can mirror others and can help remind us what it feels like to feel neutral or smile or laugh.
  6. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    As someone who still has bodily pain, it's interesting (and actually quite encouraging) to read that as a TMS-er it's possible to be free from pain and other TMS symptoms without feeling a lot of pleasure and joy. I try not to think about it and endeavour to just get on with my life as best I can despite the pain, but in the moments when I lapse and do think about it, I blame it on my not feeling enough joy. That said, of course, I do hope that things improve for you and the anxiety and flatness reduce with your working to find more pleasure and joy in your life. I'm doing the same. It's winter here in England and the other day I was listening to my 94 year old father talking about how much he enjoys getting up in the mornings and eating his warming breakfast of porridge oats and coffee (the latter he refers to as 'nectar') and it made me remember it's probably really all about appreciating the little things in life and most importantly noticing when we are actually appreciating those small things, despite all that's going on with this wretched pandemic etc....Now 'all' I've got to do is practice what I preach!
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2021
    westb likes this.
  7. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Setting aside the TMS for a second, reading this string it occurred to me that I am NOT at all depressed. I thought I would list some of the stuff I do, so in the future if I ever AM depressed I can read this back.

    1. I have a dog..... She doesn't allow me to be depressed too long. How can I be depressed when I have this little 'person' in my life who is so happy just to see me and to get to go out and do stuff? Having suffered from OCD I know that sitting around and thinking is DEATH, so I have this little gal who refuses to let me sit around too long.

    2. I hang out with a lot of people younger than me and the friends my age are all upbeat do-ers..... The guys on my ball team....my right hand guy at work. All in their 20's. They are so excited about stuff. They don't talk about politics or depressing crap too often. They don't really have time.. 30 minutes with someone who is spiritually ill (and committed to staying that way) can drag YOU down. Hang out with people like the 94 year old drinking nectar.

    3. Play sports.... there are adult leagues for virtually every sport in the world now. Join one..... People who are older but still play sports tend to be the more upbeat positive ones. I went to the batting cages last night with my 56 year old doppleganger and we had a blast (I am one month older than him). I won the award for being the "Over 55 MVP" of my baseball team...I am The ONLY person over 55 on my baseball team (LOL)

    4. write gratitude lists. Whenever i am in a funk I write a list of ten things I am grateful for..... usually I can't think of ten if I am depressed....then after doing it for a week, I have too many to get down on paper....funny how that is.

    Once you start making a habit of recognizing and dismissing the OCD, it can't get any traction to keep spinning the record. It hasn't got my attention for more than a half hour in years.....after it dominating me for months at a time when I was younger. It is functionally as deadly as TMS for destroying your life.

    You know that story Jesus tells about the man who has the demon cast out? It goes through the desert wandering, but eventually returns and finds the house swept and clean but EMPTY, so it gets six other buddies and they move in and he is worse off then before. That applies to us... PUT something in that empty. Anything. There is so much cool stuff in this world I couldn't live enough lives to do it all

    and to quote Satchel... don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.

    hawaii_five0 and BloodMoon like this.
  8. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Well known member

    I remember reading or hearing something that Deepak Chopra said about how if we feel joy and love we actually produces chemicals in our body that not only make us feel good but actually help slow the aging process and protect us from things like DNA disruptions. I am also reminded that like with many things these are not always constant, we don't feel anxiety or pain 24/7, it may seem like we do but there are moments in our life that we don't. I think the same with our depression. The problem is that our pain, or anxiety or depression are lenses in which we see the world through as we engage in activities or things which are "supposed" to bring us joy and we sort of passively check and say to our internal selves "See, that didn't work" but in the moments when we forget to put on our lenses and be so hyper aware we do feel sensations that are pleasurable and we do feel joy but maybe we take it for granted or don't recognize it immediately as joy. I heard a podcast of a woman and a therapist. The therapist was asking the woman if she really felt depressed all the time or if she just wanted to feel elation and didn't? He asked her about her day and she said something about getting in to her car in the morning. He asked what kind of car that was, she was annoyed but responded. He kept asking about the car, what kind of interior it had, whether it had been a luxory model or not. Toward the end she answers with some annoyance that yeah those seats felt nice, and heated leather is nice and comfortable but so what? He replied then you felt something other than despair? She pauses for a long while and realized that she does feel lots of comfort, and maybe even joy but that it's short lived.

    I am not here to answer questions nor can I really give people advice on their depression but I think it's manifested in our bodies much like anything else we feel. And we do have some degree of responsibility to what seeds we water. I am not saying it's easy but if we make a good effort to water the seed or joy, maybe reframe what joy is supposed to do for us and that happiness is also transitory but the entire experience is a beautiful thing. When we can feel joy and love we can spread it, and make it. When we can create those things it's a positive feedback the more you make it and share it the more we can feel it also. The same goes with pain the more we focus on it the more we create of it and the more it spreads.

    I like your list of reminders - having a dog is an amazing thing. Being around younger people can be incredible to remind us how beautiful our lives are. Surround yourself with people who love life. I am 40, and I noticed this is a pattern when people my are just start talking about how old they feel or how tired they are. You reap what you sow I guess. I never felt that until I started to hear this over and over. When I am not around those people I don't really even think about it. We have been conditioned to also have certain reactions, usually of fear as we look in the mirror and see our aging bodies we often shriek or have some despair instead of looking at our aging bodies with wonder.

    Thinking can be both productive and it can makes us spin our wheels. I practice meditation and it has taught me that my thoughts can cause a lot of my perceived dread or anxiety. As I meditate using Shinay, I learned over a year of my first time practicing that a lot of my "issues" I was experiencing in my body were the result of listening to thoughts that I didn't need to. A fearful thought is no more useful than thinking about cornbread or a blimp both are just thoughts. But we can be overrun by them if we let them.

    I want to say one last thing. It's about our roles. When we are younger we are on a journey that feel like we have a spotlight on us. Some of us are performers, sometimes literally the world is your oyster. As we age there seems to be a transition state where a lot of us have a hard time dealing with. We aren't as attractive or mobile as we use to be. But perhaps what is the problem is that we haven't accepted our new role which can be just as rewarding if not more. I'll give you an analogy from my background (Native American) our lives mirror those we see in popular culture. When we assume a new role from childhood to manhood we accept them with honor and pride. As we age some of us will become wise and assume the role of teacher - this is the form or being an Elder. In Baseball, you have young athletes with lots of promise and some have amazing careers with tremendous stats to show. Others have a modest career but later become coaches and if you pay attention that team might win the World Series under that person who was only a modest player. We see this over and over again. Bob Rock the music producer had a very modest career as a band member but as a producer, he assumed and embraced the role of teacher and had more success as a producer than he ever would have as a musician. This is knowing how to find joy in our new roles. Not everyone is meant to be a teacher in the same capacity - we just have to find out what our new roles are.
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks to @Baseball65 for his list. They are all good suggestions. I've started my gratitude list, as I know what a powerful tool this is, and somehow I just forgot about it. But that is why I keep coming back to the Forum. There is always something I need that I can find here.

    Wishing everyone a very merry and bright holiday.
    westb, BloodMoon and hawaii_five0 like this.

Share This Page