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

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jazzhands, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    Hey guys, I'm lucky I found this book and forum, it appears the chronic hand pain which I have been dealing with for weeks and was worried would ruin my life has "miraculously" cleared up after reading the book.

    However, in the interest of keeping it going and making sure the symptoms do not return or something else isn't substituted, I would still like to start putting the therapy portions of the treatment into practice. I am definitely a goodist, perfectionist and all that other fun stuff, as well as leading a stressful life. A former sufferer of depression, I have been actively suppressing my negative feelings under the assumption that it was healthy (compared to my previous behavior of getting stuck in negative thought loops for days on end, I suppose it was an improvement anyway). I realize it's okay to confront them now, as long as there is a method to the madness. I already meditate on a daily basis, so I will continue doing that.

    But there is a lot of other advice to implement. It seems like journaling is probably the other most important thing to do, but I'm not sure where to start. How often should I do it? How should I divide my attention between traumatic past events and things that are bothering me right now? I suppose I am over-thinking this a little, but any advice on journaling or other things to do would be very welcome.

    G.R. likes this.
  2. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi jazzhands its great you had success already and your wanting to seal the deal on this tms right. Ok with the journaling just write down the current stressors on 1 page and the past stressors on another page. Then use a page for any childhood trauma. Make sure when your done with the 15 to 30 minute journal that you take another sheet of paper and write down all your good memories and future goals.

    This is only 1 style though and you could get a lot of benefit from the SEP- http://tmswiki.org/forum/forums/structured-educational-program.16/

    here you'll learn how to journal and all the concepts of tms healing.

    Keep us posted

  3. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    Eric, thanks for your response, it sounds like a great approach. I think I will do the SEP and then try daily journaling with that when I am done. Any other advice is welcome of course.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    I really like and have benefited from the journaling methods in Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain. I really like the structure of it. The only downside is that you have to purchase the book. The SEP is free on this site. I haven't done the SEP so I don't know how they compare.

    I have found that a good antidote to writing all the negative stuff, is to keep a second journal where I write down a few good things that I've observed each day. This really helps to ensure that I'm also looking for the positive stuff.

    Enjoy the journey....and welcome to the forum.
  5. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member

    Journaling is a wonderful way to explore the dynamics in your life (and in the life of your TMS!).

    There's wonderful advice on this thread. The only thing that I might add is that I encourage your to experiment with journaling longhand vs on the computer - some people find the difference profound.

    Also, for some people that can get to caught up in the doing the "structure" of a program of journaling just right (so many minutes, writing this or that a day), I recommend keeping a journal that you can keep on you most times and experiment with just writing in it when you FEEL like it as opposed to some rote way of doing it. It's a keen way to push back against the perfectionist that many of us struggle with on here.
  6. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    Ah, that's what I needed to hear. Thank you sir ;)
  7. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    I just finished my first journal page. It was, of course, pretty difficult and, not surprisingly, my hands hurt a little while I was doing it, which was a good reminder that it's just my mind trying to distract me from thinking about these things -- I got up this morning and lifted heavy weights and then typed all day and now that I am working on emotionally difficult stuff my hands are acting up? Please. Now that I know about TMS I can see I have been having "bouts" of it for years but it was this hand pain that started up in November that made me think my livelihood would be totally ruined (I am a programmer), and I think I uncovered the issue that triggered it.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  8. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    I've been journaling daily for awhile, and I'm doing pretty well. I've had maybe one or two minor bouts with the pain each week, but it's basically gone and I can make it go away by focusing on it. I'm actually taking longer and longer each morning to brainstorm about things that I haven't journaled yet, which I suppose is a good thing. I've settled on a routine of writing about one past traumatic event, one thing that's bothering me right now, a personality trait that I think may be contributing to my problems and something that is going well in my life. I intend to keep journaling every day for the rest of December, but I'm wondering, for those of you whose pain is mostly gone, is it still a daily thing for you?
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I guess I fit into the category "those of you whose pain is mostly gone":). I don't journal daily anymore, but do when I have more than just a transient TMS symptom. I had a flare up recently, and the journaling really helped resolve it. Although, perhaps if I journaled every day, I wouldn't have flare ups :confused: Maybe I'll try this and see. I try to keep up the journal where I write down positive things from the day, though, as I can get negative when I stop doing it.

    Good luck with your journaling plan--it sounds like a good one.
  10. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    Thanks Ellen, that sounds about right. I don't mind journaling, the first few weeks have been very cathartic, but I'm running out of "big" stuff to write about. I suppose I can back off a little bit and worse case, if it comes back, I can always go back to daily.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love focusing jazz hands, sounds like its working for you -- Could you tell me your style. I just focus on the pain without judgment and it usually always lets up.
    Thanks for the up- dates , Wow
    jazzhands likes this.
  12. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    Just kind of clear my head (as though I were going to start meditating), then I concentrate on the area that is bothering me, I imagine it dissipating out of my body with every breath. Generally goes away in well under a minute, I find.
  13. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's awesome, you got it -- That's how I do it. Thanks pal
    Bless You

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