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Day 8 Recognising emotion- help needed

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Ben74, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Ben74

    Ben74 Newcomer

    I just finished the journal work for day 8. At the end of the page it asks

    "Are you having success at recognizing the emotions connected to your pain? If not, what do you think is preventing you from doing this?"

    I dont really know if i have our if i haven't. I can identify events in my childhood that were likely starting points for my problem traits (goodist, legalist, stoic, anxiety, low self-esteem). But how can i know for sure that they are the event responsible for my physical pain?
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ben, a good question. We can only assume that our subconscious is receiving our discovery or acceptance of events in our lives, past or present, that have or still are troubling us and causing pain. You've listed several of the main emotional causes of TMS. I suggest you journal about each of them. I don't think one emotion can be responsible for pour pain. It is usually several emotions. Being a stoic can be a big problem. You may need to come out of your inner self more. One of my best friends is a stoic, and it's not only hard on him, but on his wife, kids, parents, and friends like me. He hides inside himself. We all do, to some extent, but the more we can open up to ourselves, the better.
  3. Ben74

    Ben74 Newcomer

    Thanks for your reply Walt.

    To be honest I dont know what going on in my head. I know that my thinking patterns have not helped me and have caused me to miss out on a lot of things in life. There are a few upsetting things in my childhood that may have settled in my subconscious. But they are not serious events like some on the forums have been describing. I suspect that when I start journaling about my personality (as your suggest) rather than events in the past, Ill make some discoveries.

    By opening up to myself, do you mean 'Being myself' ? It is such a huge endeavour. I dont even know where to start. Does that mean never censoring myself? I dont want to hurt anybody's feelings. Actually the more I look into my personality the more blurred the lines are between the traits.

    Ill keep following the program and see what happens.
  4. DontStopBelieving

    DontStopBelieving Peer Supporter

    Hi Ben, it doesn't matter if your childhood events are not as upsetting or traumatic as the ones of other people, it is what kind of impact they had on you as a child, that's the key. If they caused great anger, sadness, or other feelings. Because people react differently to different events or stressors. I had the same issue, I thought my childhood events were not as bad but then I realised, what caused TMS was how I felt while they were happening. (Or even the fact that I became completely numb during some of them. That is also a defence.) And the feelings I still carry from them. A technique that has been recommended to me by a TMS specialist to recognise those feelings is to imagine myself being that child again and write a letter or a dialogue to the future me, as that child. You can start to be yourself when you are by yourself first, if you feel you would be uncomfortable around other people. But the truth is, we all have to adapt to social events, and it causes stress, what is good to learn is to change the way we react to that stress.
  5. hecate105

    hecate105 Well known member

    also you may be camouflaging or hiding your emotions... My husband who has been my rock thru 22 years of illness and 4 years (today!!) of recovery and health - realised when he did the SEP, that he could not 'feel' his emotions.. He knew what other people felt - but he had detached himself from 'feeling' as a small child. He has had to really concentrate on letting emotion in - really feeling - instead of just 'mentalising how he thought he should feel. Maybe this is more widespread in guys...!
    Ellen likes this.
  6. Ben74

    Ben74 Newcomer

    Thanks for your reply DSB, what you wrote is reassuring.

    What would i write in the letter to my future self?
  7. Ben74

    Ben74 Newcomer

    Thanks Hecate,

    I suspect this may be true in my case. I can mentally take myself back to the upsetting events, but i dont feel any emotion. Even though at the time i know they were very upsetting.
  8. DontStopBelieving

    DontStopBelieving Peer Supporter

    Hi Ben, I'm glad it helped. So it is very important that you choose a time of the day, if possible, when you're alone, for me it works the best at the end of the day, when there is nothing I have to rush to or do. You imagine you are that child again, no need to force yourself to feel anything, just imagine yourself as the child and write what is happening around you during that event and what do you think about it (as that child not as a grown up), if you feel anything and what would you want to say to the future self about it: ask for advice, help, ask how the future self overcame it, what happened next. You can also then do the opposite thing afterwards and write a letter as yourself now to that child and explain it wasn't an impossible event to overcome and why. If that doesn't work, try to write it in a form of a dialogue. Remeber, TMS recovery takes time. There is no easy quick fix. Your brain takes time to learn new behaviour or not to shut down the emotions. Maybe you will have to write a lot of unsent letters or dialogues to make one small step, but you will succeed.
    happyMcWow likes this.
  9. Ben74

    Ben74 Newcomer

    Thanks for your suggestions. I will try it.
  10. hecate105

    hecate105 Well known member

    Writing to my parents - separately, about events in childhood was really powerful for me too. It enabled me to see things that i had been unable to see/understand at the time, and led to me being able to understand why i act/react in certain ways. A really good exercise!

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