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Day 3 Pain and Emotions

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by jokeysmurf, Apr 15, 2019 at 12:52 PM.

  1. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Peer Supporter

    Day 3 I had a great day the day before since realizing my hiatal pain was truly TMS. Actually all my pain is. However some of the pain responds better than others.

    I decide to go camping with my girlfriend. We set off to a remote stretch next to a river. The area is beautiful. I plan to do fishing. When I get down to the river I get back pain on one side and some hiatal pain. I realize it’s TMS and track the pain. I feel fear. I keep tracking and I feel lots of emotions and an urge to cry. Not my idea of fishing but I kept with it. Now in the past I tried to do outcome Independence by riding out the pain. I would lose after 2 hours of intense pain that I could barely breathe. As I write this I feel some squeezing in my lower back.

    I keep tracking and I close my eyes and sit with it. I get this image of my past relationship with fishing. I am a boy and want nothing more than to fish with my father. He usually only takes my older brother. I would beg and pleade but he always said I was too little and didn’t want me to fall out of the boat. I usually came home from school to find fish in the sink, knowing my dad had gone fishing. I would ask when the next time we were going? He usually would say the same thing. I always felt he preferred my brother, he was stronger and taller than I was. He loved being outside and he was the first boy. I was a shy kid who loved nature and art and was sensitive. As we got older our outings usually happened that I would mess up his fishing reel and create a birds nest in it. He would fix it and say I had two more tries before I was done fishing. Inevitably I would reach my third before ever catching a fish. I would be left with playing with sticks in the mud or catching Crawdads, it was fun but I wanted my fathers approval.

    When I turned 12 I somehow vowed to become the best fisherman. I would ride my bike and spend hours fishing at the pond and river and come home with a stringer full. By this time my older brother was in hunters Ed and fishing wasn’t as important to my Dad.

    As an adult through college I truly came to enjoy fishing not just for catching fish and learned to fly fish. I learned to catch salmon and steelhead on a fly and even managed to catch a catfish once.

    However I grew up in an area where I felt like an outsider due to my racial mix. I was bullied by adults when I was out fishing and slurs about my race along with what kind of fishing we were doing always came with. These associations were made to make one feel inferior to them. Lots of snobbery associated with types of fishing in the West.

    As I explored the country I would encounter angry ranchers claiming BLM land as their own and intimidate me by revealing they had a side arm. I knew I was right, having a BLM map but I was in no place to argue. Needless to say my fishing soon became filled with an idea that I was either trespassing or didn’t belong or shouldn’t be seen. This sense of feeling unsafe stayed with me for over 10 years. I started to feel that if people saw me fishing that I was somehow doing something illegal. I opened my eyes and realized I had made myself invisible to be seen from the road. All of these things came flashing back to me.

    I didn’t feel safe, and I felt so much pressure to be good at fishing that my back was rebelling. I did some affirmations “I do belong here, I do belong here” I started to cry. My back pain lessened a bit. Then some anger would come up and my pain would sky rocket and then eventually lessen.

    I mentioned before somewhere that I get the same pain when I sit down to type and write creatively or paint. I suspect something similar with the pressure.

    How will I ever get back to doing what I enjoy and be pain free?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 8:31 PM
  2. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Think about what would take the pressure off when engaging in these activities. Maybe that's temporarily spending less time doing them and simultaneously catching those painful thoughts that come up at the time. Counteract them with loving supportive words, which as mentioned above, you have already started with. Your personal insights are amazing, keep up the great work!
     
  3. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Peer Supporter

    @birdsetfree, thank you for the comment and encouragement. Doing this was the furthest from my mind until I did it and it has been the only thing to even lessen it a bit besides just stopping. I didn’t really think “I need to do this to get out of pain” but rather this feels like something I need to attend to.

    I can see why the pain is more tolerable in many ways. These old wounds still sting and as an adult I tend to overthink what I should do, how do I fix or correct this rather than what does that small child of my past need.
     
  4. Andy B

    Andy B Beloved Grand Eagle

    I really enjoyed reading your post jokeysmurf. I think you have a lot of feeling toward the child aspects of you. You know your history, you feel the activation of parts of this history in the everyday life, and you're there for yourself.

    As birdsetfree suggests, I think you're already doing a lot just right. I feel your love and understanding for yourself. Beyond that, there isn't much to do except to dispassionately connect the symptoms to the feelings and the feelings to the symptoms, and just expect that there is this connection. You don't need to fix anything. Simply seeing the connection and being attuned to yourself is very deep work!
     
  5. jokeysmurf

    jokeysmurf Peer Supporter

    @Andy B thanks, it’s good to get some encouragement from people who have gone this route also. A lot of us are a bit trepidatious about reinforcing pain.
     

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