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Points to ponder on a Friday night

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by JBG1963, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. JBG1963

    JBG1963 Peer Supporter

    Hi TMS friends,

    I think so often about the frustration we all share and the focus we have on pain and symptoms and "am I getting better"? Then today I came across this reminder in the structured pain program. It's so hard to pull this off, but it does seem like momentum shifts when we can focus on something besides the pain. Today my pain is excessive-likely because I said "screw you" to my pain and went running a little bit.

    Here's the quote:

    "The many times when we find ourselves trying to get rid of our pain – pushing, struggling, pressuring – this is simply a natural drive for an organism that’s in a state of suffering. And it’s going to happen.

    But it’s those other times – the ones where we gravitate toward joy, the ones where we enthusiastically embrace empowerment, the ones where we authentically aim to calm our primitive brains – these are the times where we’re truly take steps to alleviate our symptoms."

    I'm going to do my best to focus on joy this weekend. Hope you are able to find some too.

    Lily Rose likes this.
  2. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I needed to hear this today Jo. I'm seeing my pain in a different way. Its like my 5yo trying to help me in my chores, with great intentions, but ending up making a much bigger mess for me to clean up. She then feels very proud that she helped mummy so much and will be hurt if I say that she made it worse. So, I smile, do my work and clean up her mess and thank her for her initiative :)

    In many ways, our brain is like that 5yo child, trying its best, in the only way it knows to keep us from hurting. But that technique is only causing inconvenience to the adult me. And the poor body part that hurts, its like a 3yo sibling which enthusiastically helps the 5yo in the scheme. So, I tell my brain and back ... "there there my children. Don't worry. I'm an adult. I'm safe. I can handle it. You don't have to work so hard to protect me anymore. Go play and be happy. I'll be the adult and do adult things now."

    I don't know if this technique will work but I feel that being compassionate is the only way forward for me.
  3. JBG1963

    JBG1963 Peer Supporter

    I'm glad this helped when you needed it. Thanks for sharing this technique, Rainbow. I really like the idea of treating myself with more compassion. I feel like I'm constantly raging because the controlled perfectionist in me wants to be able to solve it all immediately and is angry because there's no instant gratification. Compassion is definitely needed. If nothing else, it's one more tool to use for this journey. I have copied your exact words and will try to use them on myself. ;)
    Rainbowdash likes this.
  4. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I can totally relate to this. I'm the mother of all perfectionists (if such a thing is possible) but I've done therapy for 3 years to understand that I'm a perfectionist, and I have learnt to ease up a little. However, that only solved the superficial problem, the driver that drives the perfectionism wasn't addressed and my TMS relapsed. I'm determined to fix it for good, this time around (may be that's another perfectionistic thought right there).

    What's helping me is that this problem has been in the making for decades. I can't expect it to resolve itself in an instant. However, I'm glad that I have seen more progress in 9 days than I've ever seen before.
  5. JBG1963

    JBG1963 Peer Supporter

    Hi @Rainbowdash I'm so glad you feel like the program is helping. I feel like it's doing me some good too. You've posed the million dollar question: What drives the perfectionism??? My earliest childhood memories involve rage at my mother because something wasn't done exactly perfectly. I too, think I've made progress, but as you say-something that's been life long doesn't change over night. Baby steps for us, right? I took your advice and am trying to treat my pain compassionately, knowing it stems from the emotional, fearful little girl inside. I'm liking the approach and appreciate the new perspective on it.

    I think my pain increases on Sunday in anticipation of self-inflicted work stressors for the week. Will I say something dumb in that meeting? Will I be pain free enough to be helpful to my co-workers? I know the meeting will go fine and I'll muttle through the rest. It's all so ridiculous. Confidence, patience with myself, and, my new tool, compassion, are required. I hope you're having a good weekend. :)
  6. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    Thanks Jo. My weekend was uneventful. I believe all the striving and proving comes from our childhood. I grew up with overt narcissistic mother and possible covert narcissistic father. I realised this very recently and that was one of the triggers for my TMS relapse. I was burning myself out as a candle trying to help them feel good about themselves, but I kept hitting a black hole. Unraveling that understanding and figuring out that my perfectionism stems from them has been eye opening. I did read "Will I ever be good enough?" By Karyl Mc.Bride too.

    Sometimes it feels like I have opened a can of worms and now all that poison is spewing all over the place. But it's better that the poison is dealt with rather than being in pain and feeling inadequate and worthless for the rest of the life.

    One thing that I consciously chose was a low pressure public sector job in a university, so that I can eliminate the need to prove myself at work. It is incredible how much pressure I create for myself. I was told when I took the job that I'm almost at the top of my band, so salary hikes wouldn't be much. Also, due to austerity, cost of living rises will be minimal. In terms of career progression, chances are extremely. Effectively, I'll probably be doing the same job for a very long time. So, really there is nothing for me to prove or achieve anymore. Even then, it is incredible how much pressure and stress I can put on myself.

    No wonder my poor brain and body keeled over and gave up.
  7. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Had a very mopey weekend and my husband reminded me that as I've been dealing with all the emotional stuff, it's bound to affect my mood. He is so right. So, it was a bit of a stressful weekend and today I'm having pain and have allowed myself to get a bit out of sorts with it. I am on Day 15 of the program and my journal assignment was to have a dialogue with someone or something, so I chose my aching, burning feet. Will do some good deep breathing exercises today and find things to do so I won't be so preoccupied with the discomfort.
  8. JBG1963

    JBG1963 Peer Supporter

    @Rainbowdash I know what you mean about opening a can of worms. Some days I'm exhausted from all the mental work. We are warriors-we can do this!! :) @jml19 good luck with your feet. I've had bouts of foot pain too. Journaling and deep breathing are great tools. I dislike the journaling because I'm so impatient with it, but I recognize the good it does all of us. :)
    jml19 likes this.
  9. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I'm also in the foot pain club, but I noticed that when my back pain flared up, the foot pain disappeared. How sneaky ;)

    Journalling is good. I usually have a good cry after writing and that seems to be helping the most.
  10. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Yes, I find journaling a very good exercise, even though I worry about anyone else ever reading my entries (although I don't mind if hubby does...I sometimes read them to him). I feel like such a whiner while I am writing. My gosh, everything in the world must have revolved around me! One of the best things I am finding about journaling is that at some point I start seeing the event I am writing about from a new perspective and it stops bothering me.

    For example, the other day I was writing about something that happened years ago when my husband and I were visiting a historical restored area. I went into one of the old houses and there were people sitting around a long table practicing calligraphy. That looked fun, so I found a space and as I reached over to get a pen and paper, the elderly docent there looked at me and with a stern voice said, "Are you 12 years old or under?!!" I looked around at the other adults at the table with their children and realized this must have been a children's activity, although several adults there were also drawing. I felt so embarrassed and got up and left. Then the anger came. I was incensed for being singled out like that and humiliated in front of all those people. After I journaled about this, the Lord spoke to my heart and told me that the situation was not what I imagined. He helped me see that He, not people, has been singling me out all my life. "He", not the man, had singled me out that day for a divine purpose, but I misread the situation and got hurt instead of realizing that that docent had probably been dealing with something of his own. All of a sudden, instead of feeling hurt and rejected, I felt empowered and accepted. I heard somebody say that "when you believe a lie, you give it the power to operate". There is so much about us...physically, mentally, and spiritually...that is much much better than we have believed. I am ready for my mind to be transformed into believing what is true of me.
  11. JBG1963

    JBG1963 Peer Supporter

    Jml, I often feel like I misread situations as well. That's a hard one to get over since we usually trust our own assessments of situations. I'm learning to question my responses before sending them out to the world and overreacting. ;)

    I don't love the journaling. It seems laborious to me but I also know it's a means to and end. I also feel like I"m whining as I write.

    I really appreciate your last statement about being ready to be transformed into believing what is true of me/us.
    jml19 likes this.
  12. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Oh boy....that overreacting stuff. Too many times I have made mountains out of molehills and sometimes it's years later before I realize it. I would like to get better at stepping back away from a stressful situation for just a few seconds before reacting!

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