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progress in small steps

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Pietro Carloni, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. Pietro Carloni

    Pietro Carloni Peer Supporter

    Good morning everyone,

    in this period I'm reading the Divided Mind for the first time and I wanted to report my experience, hoping to have some suggestions and that my considerations on the subject can be of support to those who have recently started TMS approach.

    I started following this type of approach from February, without having consulted a TMS doctor (here in Italy there is none), the first step was to stop all the treatments started up to that moment, I followed the SEP and I started to practice physical activity progressively.

    What I can say about me is that the symptoms do not follow a pattern related to physical activity, nor to the efforts sustained during this period. Pain increases during the phases of greater stress (at home or at work), after moments of intense anger, during moments of greater uncertainty and, naturally, in situations that generate greater intolerance and anxiety.

    In this period, I am experiencing Symptom Imperative described by the book, the pains move in my back for no apparent reason; I’ve episodes of gastric reflux and irritable bowel syndrome, dizziness, occasional panic attacks and acne.

    I noticed that best moments are those in which I can relax completely (which is very rare because I consider myself a very anxious person) and the worst are those in which I am afraid of everything and in which I am overwhelmed by panic attacks (while I experience panic attacks, I have no back pain and this, sometimes, makes me smile).

    However, I have to note that I have a long way ahead of me, maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I think the major problem arose when I discovered that my wife was waiting for our second child. This event has led me to have strongly negative thoughts about the possibility of being able to bear the education and care of this new life, especially because lately I have problems with my wife.

    Now the point is just that, in my case, it was not enough to identify the problem to find a resolution of the symptom, everyday life is particularly strenuous as I divide between home and work and the opportunities to take care of me same are very limited. I feel constantly pressured and I know this does not help the situation. I started to dedicate only a few moments to myself, but my wife and I are alone from each parents, we are very busy and the situation gets worse especially when children or ourself gets sick.

    In this period we are following a couple therapy to improve our relationship, I started swimming, running and cycling, but despite this I can not reassure myself, I am often focused on the symptoms and the fear that the pain it can increase and explode at any moment and when I try to reassure myself that physically I have nothing, I feel profound resistance, especially in times of greater uncertainty and indecision.

    I drag myself into my days, in daily commitments trying not to listen to these pains that are part of me and from which I cannot completely free myself. I do not deny that I have made progress compared to a few months ago, when I was terrified of pain and immobilized by the fear of hurting me, yet I can not quite reassure myself when the pain comes back and scares me.

    So I arrived at the weekend full of fears, with new symptoms of pain when I try to rotate the trunk of my body, I cried, I got scared and I was desperate. What is happening to me?

    Only after a few days I can see all the tensions that have announced this new crisis.

    Some considerations seem to me to be mandatory at this point. Friday was the day when the children could enter workplace in the company where I work and in which we organized, with colleagues, a small refreshment and in which I have worked to make sculptures with balloons. The day went well, but I think I have been anxious and I tried too much to be nice to my colleagues because as soon as the happening was over, I started to feel pain in the usual sciatica and later, while trying to relax with a beer, I was overwhelmed by a full-blown panic attack.

    All of this tension manifested itself the next day with a sudden and unjustifiable twinge to the central part of the back that literally took my breath away and made me sad, worried and unhappy all day. I really felt inside the tunnel of pain. Once again.

    The next day, with my family, we took a day off, and it was the best gift I could have given me. Although I have made the commitment not to be stopped by TMS in work and play, I think that having dedicated a day to myself has been rejuvenating.

    The pain, which was really important in the morning, was waning during the day and so did the anxiety, so that at some point in the evening I noticed, even if only for three minutes, not to have pain; I told myself that three minutes without pain are a hope, three minutes without pain are the demonstration that following one's emotions the cycle of pain can be interrupted, even if only for a short time; once discovered this thing it is up to us to try to learn as much as possible on what were the circumstances that allowed a small but extremely important respite.

    With the result that on Monday (yesterday) I felt really good for at least two or three hours. I was happy, happy to prepare food for my family, happy to be able to iron while watching a movie, happy to be able to take care of the children and to be able to accompany them to bed. I felt, after so long, as full of possibilities and initiative with respect to what the future would have been.

    I'm committing myself to considering TMS and panic as a part of my life, unavoidable, but acceptable and that it's not scary.

    An incentive to continue this path of research without which I would never have come to know what I really am and what I'm deeply afraid of.

    Sorry if I was verbose and also sorry if my English is not perfect, but I felt it important to share with you, that you became my second family, this experience.
  2. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member


    While you are practicing outcome independence it is good to not let tms stop you in work or play, it is part of healing to live a good life. Spending time relaxing with your loved ones is fantastic!

    "The next day, with my family, we took a day off, and it was the best gift I could have given me. "

    Steve Ozanich has an amazing TMS book, The Great Pain Deception. Maybe you are familiar with Claire Weekes? She has books about anxiety and panic that might help you further.

    It is pretty amazing how much better you are from February, good for you!

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