1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day 8 It's not the chair that's hurting me, it's the pressure I put on myself

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by If 6 was 9, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    How's this for self-analysis?

    When I sit down to work through this program I'm sitting at a desk in my room that I normally dislike sitting at because I get such pain in my back.

    In the past I've blamed the cheap office chair that we have, it's not like the expensive office chairs that I use at work (although I get pain there too). The pain in my back usually starts in a really short time on this chair, so I've always just associated it with an inferior chair.

    But having read Sarno's Healing Back Pain, I've been challenging the thought that bad chairs and bad postures cause bad backs, and keep telling myself, the pain has got nothing to do with the chair and nothing to do with my posture and there's nothing structurally wrong with my back. And I refuse to sit bolt upright when I find myself slouching.

    And now I think I've discovered the reason why I've always had particularly bad back pain with the crappy office chair in my bedroom. It's because of what I normally do at this desk and the emotional pain it causes.

    For the past few years I've been recording music, using my bedroom as a pretend recording studio. I've got lots of guitars and some ok recording equipment that does the job - it's not like recording in a professional studio, but music technology has become so good and so cheap that the difference between the two is so narrow compared to 20 or 30 years ago when I first started doing this stuff.

    Anyway, I have lots of ideas in my head for songs and lots of riffs I've made up over the years and so I try and put the two together by using the music software on my computer. The thing is, it's a REALLY slow process. It will take me on average a year to properly write and record just one song. The reason is because, you guessed it, I'm a perfectionist and unless it sounds perfect, not just in the quality of the take I finally think is good enough to go with, but also in the perceived quality of the song (eg. is this what people would like? is this a good song?), the result is it it's never really good enough, and I end up feeling like a failure. What am I doing wasting my time doing this? I'm no rockstar, I'm forty-bloody-seven with a job, a family and a mortgage. Who am I kidding?

    And then there are those 'sessions' where I have an idea in my head of what would work now, I put down a track and/or an effect, and it comes out sounding crap or just doesn't work. It takes the wind out of my sails and I start feeling despondent about the whole thing and I leave my desk with a feeling really defeated, not to mention that bad back pain.

    But I hate feeling defeated! And like a typical TMSer, I come back for more punishment, because giving up is the worst thing you can do, and you shouldn't let something get the better of you, and you should be good at things, in fact, you need to be the best at something etc etc

    This is really embarrassing me to have to write, but I think these unpleasant feelings are all mixed up with my screwed up sense of identity. For my whole working life (about 25 years - hmmm, the same time I've had bad back pain!), I've hated all the jobs I've had. I joke when I tell people this that I only mildly dislike my current job, so it's a real career high for me.

    In the past, being aware of the fact that I spend most of my waking life being at a place that gives me so little satisfaction and purpose, I've felt this HUGE pressure to find something outside of work that I can then turn into some sort of employment. And it may as well be something I love, like music, because it is possible that you can love a job, isn't it? And shouldn't everyone aim for this?

    This has been and is a constant nagging criticism of myself: you need to be good at something, you need to show people that you're good at something, you need to be proud of what you are and do and people need to see that you are indeed good for you to be worthwhile. So it's basically a self-esteem issue. It must go back to feelings of inadequacy as a kid and having a father who was a really successful sportsman, and me never measuring up, and feeling like I wasn't the son he wanted.

    No wonder my brain is giving me pain when I sit down to produce work that is meant to save me, but only gives me anguish. "See how painful this is", my subconscious must be reasoning, "you should really stop doing it because it's really hurting you emotionally."

    So maybe I just need to stop seeing my work as a reflection of my self worth.

    And maybe I can keep doing the music without a condition attached to it: not to rescue me from my seemingly purposeless life, but because I just love music and love the act of creating.

    Interestingly, since pursuing this new TMS theory on my back pain, sitting at this desk has not been so bad. I'm not saying there's no pain, or that new pains haven't sprung up (they have, in the front of my thighs, which is totally unexplainable) or that the pain has not come back at me with a vengeance (it has!). But I don't seem to be getting the crippling back pain within minutes of sitting down at this chair.

    What do you reckon?
     
    SebastianM likes this.
  2. Watermelon

    Watermelon New Member

    Good work. It sounds like you have alot of insight.
     

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