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Lessons From Claire Weekes

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Eric "Herbie" Watson, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here is a checklist of the most important lessons I learned from Claire's book -- Hope and Help for your Nerves. She has 4 terms that she uses together. Face, Accept, Float and time. Which ones are you not doing?
    This works as equally well for Pain as it does for Anxiety.

    Dos and Don’ts
    1. Do not run away from fear. Analyze it and see it as no more then physical feelings. Feelings are not facts, do not be bluffed.
    2. Accept all strange sensations connected with your illness. Do not
    fight them. Float past them. Recognize that they are temporary.
    3. Let there be no self-pity.
    4. Settle your problems as quickly as you can, if not with action, then by glimpsing and accepting a new point of view.
    5. Waste no time on “What might have been” and “If only…”
    6. Face sorrow and know that time will bring relief.
    7. Be occupied. Do not lie in bed brooding. Be occupied calmly , not feverishly trying to forget yourself.
    8. Remember that the strength in a muscle may depend on the confidence with which it is used.
    9. Accept your obsessions and be prepared to live with them
    temporarily. Do not fight them by trying to push them away. Let time do
    10. Remember your recovery does not necessarily depend “entirely on
    you” as so many people are so ready to tell you. You may need help.
    Accept it willingly, without shame.
    11. Do not measure your progress day by day. Don’t count the months,
    years you have been ill and despair at the thought of them. Once you
    are on the right road to recovery, recovery is inevitable, however
    protracted your illness may have been.
    12. Remember withdrawal is your jailer. Recovery lies on the other side of panic. Recovery lies in places you fear.
    13. Do not be discouraged if you cannot make decisions while you are ill. When you are well, decisions will be more easily made.
    14. Never accept total defeat. It is never too late to give yourself another chance.
    15. Practice don’t test.
    16. Face. Accept. Float. Let time pass.
    If you do this, you WILL recover.

    I want to say what facing is where you know your about to have anxiety or a pain episode right. So you don't fear it, or judge it or criticize it. Wait for it to come if it must, most everyone has been taught to hate anxiety and Pain. Well the more you hate it the more it will become and the bigger it will get so you have to learn how to Float. I'd highly recommend getting her book ok.

    Claire Weekes:
    Float Through Anxiety
    What did Claire Weekes mean by that? Here's how I understand it.
    How Do You Swim?
    It's complicated. You have to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and head to propel yourself through the water. You also have to breathe without taking in large quantities of water. And you have to keep going in the right direction, even when water gets in your eyes.
    If you're like most people, it took a lot of practice to learn to swim, because there are so many things you have to make happen, and so many techniques to master.
    How Do You Float?
    You don't really have to learn to float. A block of wood can float, and so can a person. What you might have to learn is how to not get in your own way, how to simply let floating happen.
    The block of wood doesn't have to make it happen, it just floats, as long as it's in water. People will float too, if they just lay down on the water.
    But people, unlike blocks of wood, often find it hard to let go and trust in their body's natural ability to float. Their mistrust and apprehension will lead them to "do things" to try and stay afloat.
    That's not floating, that's sinking! To teach someone to float, you might have to give them a few instructions - lay back, lay your head on the water, lay your arms and legs out, lie still - but the most important part of the "technique" of floating is...do nothing, let go, and let time pass.
    Float versus Swim
    When anxious clients come to me for help in dealing with anxiety, they usually expect that I will offer them the swimming kind of help: lots of specific ways for coping with anxiety, and many techniques to keep them "afloat".
    But what they really need is more the floating kind of help. They need to learn to let go, rather than to make something happen, or prevent something from happening. That's the surest path to anxiety relief.
    What did Claire Weekes Mean by "Floating"?
    First and foremost, she meant to convey the opposite of fighting. The way to regain a sense of calm is to go along with the sensations of anxiety and panic, rather than oppose them.
    She described floating as "masterly inactivity", and said this meant:
    to stop holding tensely onto yourself, trying to control your fear, trying 'to do something about it' while subjecting yourself to constant self-analysis.
    That's a tough sell! Claire Weekes knew that, of course, and wrote:
    The average person, tense with battling, has an innate aversion to ...letting go. He vaguely thinks that were he to do this, he would lose control over the last vestige of his will power and his house of cards would tumble.
    Claire Weekes Knew it was a Trick
    The aversion Claire Weekes referred to is the result of the Panic Trick. It's the idea that a person is just barely holding himself together, and that if he relaxes his grip even a little, he will fall apart. In fact, it's his struggling to keep a grip that maintains the anxiety!
    What I like best about the notion of floating is that it avoids two common misunderstandings about overcoming anxiety. The first one is the idea that you have to struggle against anxiety, fight it, and overcome it. And the second, related to the first, is that you have to arm yourself with all kinds of techniques and objects in order to enter the fray and confront anxiety.

    In reality, you'll make much better progress when you let yourself float through the anxiety, not striving to overcome anything, not struggling to employ techniques, but simply allowing the sensations to pass over time.
    The best kind of help, in my opinion, is the floating kind. It's help that assists you to rediscover your own natural abilities to cope with whatever comes, rather than arming you against potential adversity.

    (Masterly Inactivity)
    to give up the struggle to stop holding so tensely unto yourself by trying to control your fear, trying to do something about it while subjecting yourself to constant self analysis. it means to cease trying to navigate your way out of illness by meeting each obstacle as if it were a challenge that must be met if recovery is possible. it means to bypass the struggle, to float and let time pass. the average person tenses with the battle,they never will do this floating.

    They feel they must stand on guard, "keep control" and (hold thereselves together) all the while this is giving more power to the problem.

    (Loosen your attitude)

    Practice masterly inactivity and let go -- if your body trembles - let it tremble - dont feel obliged to try to stop it. Don't try to appear normal.DONT EVEN STRIVE FOR RELAXATION. Simply let the thought of releaxation be in your mind, in your attitude toward your body. Loosen your attitude don't be concerned because you are tensed and cannot relax.
    The very act of being of being prepared to accept your tenseness re-laxes your mind. And relaxation of body gradually follows.
    You dont have to strive for relaxation you have to wait for it. When someone says i have tried so hard all day to be relaxed-surly he has had a day of striving, not of re-laxation.

    Claire Weekes- Hope and help for your nerves

    Dr. Weekes Biography
    Through her books and audio CDs Dr. Claire Weekes has helped millions of people recover from anxiety, panic, and phobic disorders. She is widely acclaimed for her revolutioary approach which speaks directly to those tangled in the web of stress, fear, and depression. Dr. Weekes achieved distinction as the first woman Doctor of Science at the University of Sydney, and was recognized by Queen Elizabeth H. for her contributions to medicine. Her books and CDs are recommended by doctors, psychiatrists and therapists throughout the world.

    I got all of this off the Net, Although I learned my lessons from her book. At first we learn then we learn more ok.

    Bless You

    Forum admin's note:
    If you found this thread helpful, please log in and then click the like button that appears so others can find it. Also, if you would like to read more free information about Claire Weekes, the following page is full of it!
    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Overcome_Anxiety_with_Dr._Claire_Weekes (Overcome Anxiety with Dr. Claire Weekes)
    --- Forest
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2016
  2. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Great post Eric, thank you. I like the short version #16 Face it, Accept it , float, let time pass. When I first saw that I realized I can do that. I can't necessarily control the first fear or anxiety thoughts, but I can face them, I can accept that it's ok when they happen, I can float with them rather than resist or fight them, and I can let time pass which says to me these feelings, or this pain, could happen for a while but it's all part of a process and in time will go away.

    I first learned about Claire Weekes through your posts. It's been a great help.

    take care
  3. braden101

    braden101 Peer Supporter

    Thankyou for the post Eric,

    There has been alot on anxiety posted on the forums in the last week and I can't begin to explain how much it is helping me,

    I'm having trouble wrapping my head around a few things though,

    Is anxiety just another symptom of TMS? Or is it a separate entity, that often co-exists with TMS?

    I have had anxiety issues for aslong as I can remember, when I started to teach myself to "swim" through those feelings, they improved or at least became manageable in day to day life, not long after, the physical symptoms increased.

    So which came first? Have I had TMS all my life and anxiety was just the first symptom or did fighting through anxious feelings and not dealing with them in the correct way, cause TMS?

    Maybe I am completely overthinking the whole process but I just feel that to start addressing my core issues, I need to know whether I should be focusing on treating the anxiety or completely disregarding it and treat it as any other symptom.

    I'm sorry if that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, I'm at a messy part of the process. I'm having massive ups and downs, symptoms are appearing and disappearing at lightning speed and anxiety levels are all over the place.
    TrustIt and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.
  4. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Hi Braden,

    I think in Dr Sarno's video he called anxiety a TMS equivalent. I had what I would call free floating anxiety for many years before I ever had any physical TMS symptoms.

    I've been involved in a 12 step program for several years and through doing the steps the anxiety for the most part went away. As I developed physical symptoms anxiety came back full force, even having panic attacks.

    I think anxiety and physical symptoms are equally part of TMS. I've been meeting with a TMS therapist and her take is that anxiety is there because I'm not willing to feel deeper trapped feelings: rage, deep sadness, anger etc. it makes total sense to me and the more I've been journaling and been willing to actually feel the feelings the anxiety and physical symptoms have both been less intense and easier to manage.

    It's a very upsetting process in some ways, because symptoms get better, return, move, change to fear. All these are great ways for my subconscious to distract me from deeper repressed feelings.

    Be gentle with yourself. The SEP on this site is a great tool.

    All the best
  5. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Branden. I know when I first started making progress on the TMS induced pain, my anxiety kicked in big time. It definitely serves the same purpose as the pain, as a distraction. Stick with it. It does get better!
  6. LindaRK

    LindaRK Well known member

    I was diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) over 36 years ago. I manage it without medication. The more I learn about TMS, the more I believe that anxiety IS a TMS equivalent. For me, knowing what was going on in my life at the time of diagnosis, TMS makes complete sense to me.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Herbie, the Claire Weekes post is terrific. I think anxiety is one of the main TMS symptoms most of us have
    and that it comes from fear. The best way to fight fear is to do what we're afraid of doing. And stop
    catastrophizing. Don't worry the anxiety always will be there. Let tomorrow take care of tomorrow.

    We're all living in an age of super anxiety, but we can calm ourselves down with faith and belief.

    Weekes is really right... keep busy. Don't sit or lie down and think about anxiety. Get up and do something
    to distract your anxiety. And floating can be the answer. I like the concept.
    mike2014, Fabi, laradara and 3 others like this.
  8. joseph32

    joseph32 Peer Supporter

    Brandon, it is ok to have the anxiety and part of the process. I have never experienced the anxiety that recently came after accepting TMS and my pain shifted hard to the anxiety. It goes back in forth. Try to keep busy with other enjoyable things. It may be a good sign, as the TMS is on the run. You must try to be positive and use affirmations to retrain your subconscious mind. Have faith, just breath.
    TrustIt, Saoirse, tarala and 2 others like this.
  9. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank You so much Msunn. You have been a huge inspiration to me the way you keep learning and doing what it takes to be happy. Your knowledge is next to none.
    God bless you my friend
    Msunn likes this.
  10. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your so right Walt. THe more we think about our anxieties the more we give it power and the fear of having an attack is even worse than the attack itself. I had to come to realize not to fear the anxiety. I got to where I was saying bring it on, literally. When I learned that it was a trick to scare me I got rid of the first fear and then the second fear, the actual anxiety was a lot easier to deal with -- or float through and eventually rid myself of it once and for all. Bless You my friend.
    TrustIt and laradara like this.
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Brandon101 Tms is anxiety as much as it is pain. If you had one then the other you have had an imperative shift which means the tms knows your onto it and you are getting to the right area for release. Keep with your learning and be patient, don't count the days or time. Let the healing come as you practice meditations and journaling about your lifes pressures ok. Learn as much as you can 1 page and 1 lesson at a time. You will recover if you stay with the program. Bless You
    braden101 likes this.
  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Anxiety is such a big thing for TMS sufferers.

    I'm going to look into Claire Weekes' book Hope and Help for Your Nerves to find some more suggestions on dealing with it.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Weekes says that anxiety, worry, and dread are variants of fear in different disguises.
    Most of us don't admit we're afraid of something or anything, but we can lose anxiety
    if we recognize fear in our lives. Most often, it is an unwarranted fear, but it can be real to us.

    She told of a middle-aged woman whose stomach was upset for years, and would not accept
    that it came from fear, so Weekes substituted the word "tension." She was told that her stomach problems
    were due to the excretion of adrenalin through tension. It led her to relax and was healed within a month.

    Says Weekes about the woman's nervous illness, "It was cause4d by no more than fear of the very
    feelings that fear itself had aroused, and as such is the commonest and most straightforward form
    of nervous illness we know. If yours is this type of illness, it is a step toward cure to see your various
    symptoms as part of a single pattern coming from a single cause, fear. These symptoms are not
    peculiar to you, but are well known to many like you.

    "However distressing your symptoms may be, I assure you that every unwelcome sensation can be
    banished and you can regain peace of mind and body."

    So with anxiety, fear is the culprit. Most of the time, our fear is irrational. If we think about
    or write down what makes us afraid, we will lose the feelings of anxiety and in its place feel calm
    and at peace.

    Deep breathing, affirmations, and visualization of being in a calm time and place are helpful in
    losing fear and anxiety.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Msunn and LindaRK like this.
  15. jlm

    jlm Peer Supporter

    This is the post I was looking for. Thank you, Herbie.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  16. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    The concept of floating is really helpful. I've started to do this to let go of anxiety and also as a way to release tension in my body. Her book feels like a life-raft to me.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  17. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    I can't stress enough how important this book is to me. I've been living with fatigue and anxiety for many years, it is at the root of my health issues. This is a huge revelation - the importance of it. This enables me to heal so much guilt and sadness from the past, because now I understand myself in a much better way. It makes me hopeful that I can and will get better; I'm so thankful for that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2015
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  18. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    I would like to learn more about "floating" and how to practice it. I want to know what if feels like in my body.
    Any suggestions?
  19. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    I once heard a story of a college girl, who was a member of her school's swim team, went out to a picnic at the river with her boyfriend. She asked him if he want to swim from shore to a small island in the middle of the river. He was not a strong swimmer but as a man he find it hard to say no so swam they go. The current was strong, he is out of breath midway to the island. Swallow some water he told her: "I can't go on anymore, I think I'm in trouble". She said to him: float Johnny, just float.
    They had a nice picnic that day.
    To teach someone to float, you might have to give them a few instructions - lay back, lay your head on the water, lay your arms and legs out, lie still - but the most important part of the "technique" of floating is...do nothing, let go, and let time pass.
    What did Dr. Claire Weekes means by Floating? First and foremost, she meant to convey the opposite of fighting. The way to regain a sense of calm is to go along with the sensations of anxiety and panic, rather than oppose them. She described floating as "masterly inactivity", and said this meant: "to stop holding tensely onto yourself, trying to control your fear, trying 'to do something about it' while subjecting yourself to constant self-analysis. The average person, tense with battling, has an innate aversion to ...letting go. He vaguely thinks that were he to do this, he would lose control over the last vestige of his will power and his house of cards would tumble."
    Think of yourself like a beach ball passing from one kid to the other in a Macdonald's playhouse. Who care which direction they're going to throw you to. Just relax, just bounce, just observe and have no reaction mentally or physically. Don't try to get away, don't try to run, don't try to hide, don't try to fight, don't try to do anything. just being there and observe.
    Today I'm just sit here and let this pain, this panic attack happen and I will do nothing. I will not react to it in anyway. No fear, no worry. Just let it be.

  20. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    Man I feel old. My daughter just asked me who is the Beatle? Are they as famous as Beyonce' ? and why are you listen to such depressing music?

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