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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Day 8 My Progress So Far

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Deepster, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Deepster

    Deepster Peer Supporter

    It's been a fantastic healing journey so far...

    One of the most important things I've learned is to not 'ruminate' on my symptoms! I feel like my various symptoms are 'testing' me one by one. For instance, just recently my left shoulder tightened up after an introductory martial arts class. This is a years-old symptom that has seen plenty of massage/chiropractic/stretching/you-name-it. My shoulder had been feeling pretty loose generally, but the next day after the class---BAM, the tightness was there. What was amazing for me was watching my thinking after the tightness showed up. How many times did I check in on my shoulder, or wonder if there wasn't something structural, or have fear about how the tightness would affect other activities? It was almost funny! But the difference was that I just watched those thoughts, didn't entertain them, and let them go. Is my shoulder tight now? I don't care!

    I actually think if you notice yourself constantly ruminating on, preoccupied with, or worrying about a symptom, then that actually proves that the symptom is TMS/PPD!

    Another win for me has been discovering my destructive thinking. Every so often I can feel some 'unhappiness' building in my unconscious, so I use Alan Gordon's technique of writing down any critical, pressure, or fear thoughts that I'm having. Just getting these down on paper seems to shift something for me. I've also learned about my issues with self-esteem, and I'm learning to recognize when I'm thinking some version of "I'm not good enough". Much of my destructive thinking boils down to "what will others think of me?".

    I've uncovered some emotions through journaling---some anger, shame, and grief. I feel like with the grief there is a lot more that I'm not feeling and that I'm kind of on the 'edge' of it. I'm often aware of a softness around my eyes that's like before you start crying, but there's no actual crying. It's been like this for a while, and I'm not sure how to dig deeper.

    I have a question about pushing through pain. Sometimes as I'm typing, the pain in my wrist and hand will worse and worse. As far as I can tell, there is often nothing 'going on' when this happens---it's just one of my TMS learned behaviors. My question is should I just 'push through' as some suggest and completely ignore the pain even when it's severe, or should I back off for a few minutes to let the pain subside and then come back to typing?

    That's all for now!
  2. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Deepster! Awesome post! I love how your awareness has grown - I've done the same thing - ruminating on the pain, when is it going to go away, if I do this - will it change, blah, blah blah!! ha-ha
    I get pain every time I get into the car. Now I yell out loud as I get in "I love getting in the car. It feels terrific." It makes me feel silly and I laugh. The pain is still there but it lasts less and less every time I do the little cheer.
    I have also had success with writing out the destructive thinking. I never realized that I was a perfectionist but as my awareness increases, I start sensing that tension and sure enough it gets labelled under one of those personality traits.
    Keep up the good work! In terms of pain, I think its a personal decision. Some things I push through because I know it won't last - other times, I'm not patient enough to push through and back off of the activity and plus I hate feeling the pain. I'm sure that more experienced TMS'ers have some good sound advice to share.
  3. Deepster

    Deepster Peer Supporter

    Thanks for your feedback nowtimecoach. I love your approach to getting in the car. It feels good to get support from a fellow TMSer!

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