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Need to prove myself - breaking a bad habit

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Painfreefuture, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Painfreefuture

    Painfreefuture Peer Supporter

    I have not been actively posting on the site lately, but I have been a silent observer and listener. I am so grateful to this community and all their advice. I am healing! Not yet healed, but healing and slowly returning to my life again. Although, in returning to myself, I also find that I quickly return to old patterns of thinking and behavior.

    I have been having a tough day. It seems tougher than it really is, because I felt I made quite a few break throughs over the past week. So to wake up with symptoms that seemed to be getting the best of me was tough. I felt like I had worked through a lot of my emotional stressors and could not figure out what was going on. Then I noticed it didn't seem like just one thing going on, but the fact that I was putting to much effort into everything. I noticed I was doing things not with myself in mind, but with how others would perceive me. It was a return to my bad habit of constantly feeling I need to prove myself to others. I have recognized that I have thought this way most of my life, which makes it a difficult pattern to break. It certainly stems from low self esteem and fear of rejection. I know old habits die hard and I need to be persistent and patient, so I'm not exactly sure what I am looking for.

    I think I would just like to hear if anyone believes this need to prove myself could cause symptoms. I know I put a ton of pressure on myself and have a hard time accepting my limitations. And also, what are the best strategies to overcome this way of thinking. I'm trying to be mindful of my motivations behind what I do, but after 30 or so years of thinking this way, it is so automatic. Anyone else dealt with this? And most importantly, will working to change this pattern of behavior be effective in healing from TMS?
     
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Absolutely. What you are describing is textbook goodism and low-self esteem that is one of the most common causes of TMS. Pressure, like what you describe, is enraging, and fills up your internal reservoir of rage, just like Dr. Sarno described.

    The great thing is that you are becoming aware of it. This awareness can lead to self-compassion and soothe that anger. This will break the cycle of self-obsession and rumination. Just make sure to be compassionate with yourself as you make the changes. You are just a really nice person who is trying to do the best you can. You are absolutely right that it will take time, but it will change your life very much for the better.
     
    Ellen and Painfreefuture like this.
  3. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    I have been right where you are at, with time you will heal. Just be grateful that you are recognizing these thinking patterns. I to used to worry a lot about what others think and work really hard at trying to fix my tms. I began to heal once I really let go and went at a slower pace. I learn to enjoy life and live for each day. It will take time to break that habit of worrying what others think. Once I began to live and care for myself I began to get better. I still struggle with this but am getting better. Simetimes when i worry about what others think, i stop and tell myself is it really going to help anything if i fear or worry what they think. Affirmations and meditation helped me a lot. I dont know if your a spiritual person, but asking god to help you through these tough times and to give you acceptance for where you are. Just keep preserving and trust that things will get better. Your mind is a powerful tool and with the help of god, you can overcome things you thought we're impossible. Best of luck with your recovery.

    Ryan
     
    Painfreefuture, mousemom and Forest like this.
  4. Painfreefuture

    Painfreefuture Peer Supporter

    Thank you forest and Ryan for your comments! I can't express to you how wonderful it is to connect with others who understand. One of my greatest barriers and pressures is my husband. He sees that the TMS strategies have been helping, but he does not believe this is 100% the cause of my pain. One of my fears is that if I don't return to full health, he will go back to pressuring me about more invasive medical procedures. When I have a bad day, I begin to worry I'll lose his support. Thus, I go back to needing to prove myself, prove that I am healing, which I know is counterproductive. I have a great psychologist specializing in TMS and she offered to have an introductory session with him. Additionally, since at the essence, these are really relationship issues, we are seeing a therapist together. I love the advice you both offered. I am healing, and I know acceptance, patience, and persistence are key. Thank you!
     
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle


    p.s. From what I've observed, un-supportive spouses, regarding TMS is the norm--could that possibly be one of the major TMS creators on a daily basis?

    p.p.s. Painfreefuture, I would take "pain" out of your "freefuture" you're giving yourself a label that may be hard to remove, FREETHEFUTURENOW.
     
    Painfreefuture likes this.
  6. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like Tennis Tom's suggestion to take the "Pain" out of "Painfreefuture." Take the word pain out of
    your vocabulary. Maybe replace it with something like "Healingfuture." Be very positive.

    I never married so I don't have a spouse who is responsive or unresponsive, but my sister's
    late husband was not supportive of her at all when his mother made life miserable for my sister.
    My sister is 85 now, a year and older than I am, and not well at all.
    I think she has a lot of TMS because we grew up together in what Steve O calls
    "a perfect storm" for TMS because of parents divorcing over debt, etc, during the 1930s.

    If a spouse is unresponsive, maybe give them extra love and understanding and
    they will get the message of returning it. Maybe not, but it could be worth a try.
     
    Painfreefuture likes this.
  7. Painfreefuture

    Painfreefuture Peer Supporter

    Thank you Walt and Tennis Tom for the suggestion to take the "pain" out of my name. I completely agree, but I didn't get it when I first joined this community. But after reading all the books and listening to the great audios on this website, I realized that wanting the pain to go away was exactly why I was still in so much pain. I get it now, I see that in some ways my pain is a different physical manifestation of anxiety and self-denial, in a way, that has haunted me my whole life. And thanks to Claire Weekes, I now know to accept accept accept and float.

    This community is so awesome!! Did I say I was grateful already, let me say it again, I am so grateful for this community and their compassion. God bless!
     

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