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

Alan G. Overwhelmed with stressors from a move

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by North Star, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    We are in the midst of a move. And that's on top of many life changes…kids moving out, a daughter getting married, financial stressors, etc, ad nauseum. And this has been the way things have been going not just few a few months but for several years.

    Even with all my TMS work, I am just a mess right now. Pain off the charts. I still went for a short walk last night and it was more of a hobble. I had asked Dr. Schubiner what to do - the "Damn the torpedoes, ahead full speed" or not. He said it was entirely up to me.

    I'm pretty good at the the Churchill approach usually but man…I am whooped right now.

    I'm trying not to future trip right now but I get so discouraged thinking, Gah! Will I ever be able to navigate through stressors without serious pain? I know not to get into the calendar watching trap but I'm pretty discouraged right now because I passed my "one year Sarno birthday" this month.

    I would appreciate any encouragement. Thank you so very much!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2014
    nowtimecoach and Forest like this.
  2. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Sometimes North Star, it's okay to be a mess. Buddha said that most suffering is caused by the gap between what is and what we think should be.

    Right now, you're overwhelmed with stressors, and you're current coping mechanisms aren't sufficient, so your body is generating pain. I'm not going to give you any techniques to get rid of the pain, that's not what you need. What you need is permission to be in a ton of pain right now without feeling like a failure.

    It's okay. Sometimes life is too much. Sometimes the pressures are too great. Sometimes the fears are too scary.

    Sometimes it's just best to say, "I'm in a lot of pain right now. I know that once these stressors pass, the pain will subside some. This isn't permanent, it's okay to hurt as bad as I do. Meanwhile, I'm continuing to work on myself, I'm continuing to learn to feel my feelings, I'm continuing to alter the way I treat myself, and I'm optimistic that in the future my coping mechanisms will be better, so that even in the face of stressors my pain will be significantly reduced."


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

    David85, LeviZ, BruceMC and 6 others like this.
  3. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I don't know about North Star but I am going to print this and stick it on MY fridge! :)
    nowtimecoach, JanAtheCPA and Forest like this.
  4. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    *tears* Thank you so very much, Alan. And yes, what yb44 said - a small quote worth repeating as my mantra during this time. One thing I've learned from Dr. Schubiner's course is to remind myself, "I fully and completely accept myself.." and ditto for the parade of emotions that invite me along for a ride.

    Last night hubby and I were talking and I felt like I had a small break in the clouds…just the realization that we need to have FUN during this transition. I know from experience that things all fall into place in due time. So why stress and push in the interim? It's hard enough leaving behind my (now married) baby girl without wigging out over a new housing situation.

    Anyway, we watched a funny movie last night and that too helped.

    I so appreciate your kind reply, Alan. I know I will be clinging to in this next week - we close on our house next Tuesday.
  5. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Northstar, I had a little bit of a setback pain wise recently and when I saw my therapist yesterday, she pointed out that this has been my conditioned coping mechanism for stress and conflict for a very long time. It may not be the choice I want to consciously make, but it is familiar and what my body knows how to do. Although it may feel in the moment like we are starting over and haven't progressed or learned anything, we know this is not the truth. You cannot take away knowledge. We know that it is possible to be pain free, we know what is causing the pain... you're going to get through this. You've been anticipating this move for so long, and now you're doing it! This will pass, and the pain will go away, perhaps much sooner than you think. Leave the door open for that by being very kind and patient with yourself. This is not your future.
    Colly, SSG, nowtimecoach and 5 others like this.
  6. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    JanAtheCPA and North Star like this.
  7. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can feel all the good juju, Forest - THANK YOU! Coffee with a few friends this morning (complete with a few tears) was helpful. My dear friend, who also has TMS and has been my traveling companion for all things TMS, is also moving out of state. So it's bittersweet. Also, she is leaving behind an adult child too.

    Anne, your reply made me teary too. Especially the "This is not your future" comment. I'm really hoping that with our improved financial situation, I can start therapy. I'm totally believing that this next season of my life, *almost* empty nest, will be a time of healing and new health. These transition times though are never great fun.

    You guys are the best. I am so grateful for this forum.
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dang, Forest - we need a way to "Like" an entire thread ;)

    Hugs, North Star!
    nowtimecoach likes this.
  9. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hugs received, Jan! :)
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, North Star. There's a lot of change going on in your busy life.
    I found a real helpful video that I'd like to share with you.
    It has some great suggestions on how to change our thinking from stressful to calm
    by taking a short vacation in our imagination.

    How Your Brain Can Turn Anxiety Into Calmness:

    nowtimecoach likes this.
  11. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt, we are SO on the same wavelength. I discovered that over a year ago…even before I learned about TMS…and have watched it 3 or 4 times. I have bits of it memorize. I also have Dr. Rossman's guided imagery that I do every afternoon. It's just like the one that he does with the audience in the final 20 minutes or so.

    Anyhoo. I think I will watch this again today because of your post…it's probably just what I need. You are such a dear, thank you! Mu-ah!
  12. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    North Star! My heart goes out to you in the midst of a flare up. Everything that has been said is so perfect and I've taken it in myself. I had a similar experience last weekend. Lots of TMS traveling to a niece's wedding in Arkansas. The plane was full, I was cramped into a seat way in the back.My TMS loves spaces that are small and immovable. Flights were delayed, cancelled...lots of airport drama...tension. And I just kept saying to myself - Its just anxiety. Its not going to last forever. I realize, because I am also coming up to a year anniversary of TMS recovery, that this is just where I'm at right now. I'm still learning the ways to calm myself down and when stress is high - TMS still comes in and has a party. My job at this point, is to not beat myself up for the TMS. I do love the recovery admonitions to Not Pay Attention to the TMSo_O - I'm like WHO CAN"T PAY ATTENTION TO THE PAIN? Its so demanding!! But again, I have to give myself a break, treat myself kindly and with compassion and just do the best I can.
    When I got back from the trip, I was angry and resentful for a myriad of reasons. And my low back seized up! That hasn't happened in years! I was delighted with my immediate response. I recognized that I was very angry, very tired and still pushing my Good Girl personality to perform. I knew the pain wouldn't last. That it was a loud scream from my body -to stop and take care of myself. And sure enough, the pain was completely gone the next day.
    So hang in there. You're getting better even though you don't feel like it. Its an amazing journey, this TMS Recovery stuff. Sending you a big hugwavea
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Nowtimecoach, your smile always makes me feel warm and fuzzy. And your advice to North Star shines through.

    North Star, I'm glad you said you like Dr. Rossman's guided imagery and discovered it long before I did.
    It really helps to change what's bubbling in the mind and calming it, with tranquil images.
    North Star likes this.
  14. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    GUESS WHAT???? MEE TOO!!! I love you North Star for making me feel I am not the only one. But I can relate to your suffering.

    Right now, I have many, many stressors going on in my life right now and am not handling it well. I was feeling so well, thinking about actually writing my recovery story and now I have the worst back pain I have had in almost 2 years. It all started when I was doing so great that I was fully invested in life again - doing somewhat risky things that I thought I would have to give up forever. With my spiritual work, I was really feeling my feelings and getting to know the "real" me, which was downright scary at times. The last straw was when I went completely off the last of my small dose anti-depressant because of the unpleasant side effect of a dry and scratchy throat. Then WHAM - back to square one. I have been really down on myself lately. That tendency is one of my major issues.

    I even felt the moment it happened. A little voice in the back of my mind had been warning me to be careful with the stress. But I just ignored it. One day about 2 weeks ago, I suddenly felt my lower back tighten up. It was like all my muscles suddenly went into a painful bunch.

    Thank you so much for the great wisdom, Alan, you are always a life-saver. I think that, right now, I need to just tell myself that is ok to have this happen and I will get better.
    North Star, Ellen and JanAtheCPA like this.
  15. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Chickenbone, NTC and Walt…..Gosh, there is so much I want to say but I must get back to packing. We pick up the moving van tomorrow and I"m sitting amid a pile of boxes with a few more things that need to be packed.

    We close on our house on Tuesday and hit the road for our 1,000 mile journey to our new home in Arizona. We found the "perfect" rental house and managed to snag it…there were 35 phone calls on it. Anyway, I'll have to share more some of the seemingly providential doors that have opened.

    I want you all to know how much you mean to me. NTC, you post triggered tears of gratitude. Your kindness and tenderness shines through. And Walt….well, I just love you. And ditto to you, Chickenbone. It's so comforting to know others are going through the same trials on this road to whole-hearted living.

    I am so grateful. Love to you all…xo, NS
  16. SSG

    SSG Peer Supporter

    Hi Northstar! I'm so sorry to hear about this setback! I hope and pray you are doing better and that your pain has subsided! Hugs from VA! :)
  17. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, North Star. A big day for you with the big move. Keep positive about it and look forward to a new life.
    If anything goes wrong, just laugh it off. And sing that song. "Happy days are here again!"
  18. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Heya, @North Star, I got so excited when I saw that this thread was active again. How are things? :)
  19. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Forest! We survived the move. It was pretty rough. I really lost it one night but recovered. We've been in our new home for just over a week and we're all getting adjusted…right on down to Daisy. I LOVE that we're here. The beautiful blue skies and warm temps are a balm to my soul! (We left in a snowstorm, btw.)

    We joined the Y and I've already hit the pool a few times and even attended a Zumba class this morning. It was fantastic! dancea

    I am SO glad that hubby doesn't start work until November. It's giving us time to settle in and rest too.

    I have missed my little family here and am looking forward to being back in the swing of things in another week or two. beerbuds
    Ellen and Forest like this.
  20. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Woohoo!! I'm so glad you made it through to the other end! (Not that I ever doubted it, but just glad it's over!)

    Rock on with the Zumba class! tiphata Enjoy the time with the hubby and we'll be here whenever you feel like dropping by. ;) (and always happy to see you.)

Share This Page