1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 10 Slowly shifting relationship with physical symptoms

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by JarvisLorry, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. JarvisLorry

    JarvisLorry Newcomer

    I have been at this for 10 days now, and I am slowly shifting my relationship with my physical symptoms. It's taken me a while to fully believe that my symptoms are not due to some structural issue or to some unknown fatal disease. One aspects of my fear loop has been hypochondria, which feeds my anxiety. So it would go (1) physical symptom (tension headache, tight jaw, shoulder pain), (2) fear that this symptom was due to [insert disease here], (3) anxiety kicks in, allowing me even more awareness of physical symptoms, (4) repeat.

    Before this program, I would meditate every now and then to ease the anxiety. But I realize now that sitting down was actually just me exacerbating the anxiety, because I still thought there was something wrong with me. Now that I've, more or less, overcome that, I can now sit again, being with the symptoms, reprogramming my brain to not think that there is inherent danger with the discomfort. It's so common to associate discomfort with distress, but slowly I'm realizing they are not a package deal.

    One challenge I've met is with the idea of repressed emotions. Like some, I quickly intellectualize things. And with that tendency, the idea of "just letting an emotion be" is perplexing to me. I'm a big fan of Alan Gordon's 'Pain Recovery Program' (the idea of 'outcome independence', in particular, has been a huge help), but I've hit a block in trying to just feel an emotion. Funnily, I realize that I'm probably trying too hard (a classic TMS personality trait), but I'm having trouble finding strategies to not try too hard.

    On the whole, I'm very grateful that this community is available and hope to post in the future with my progress. Just hearing other people's stories has also been a great help. In the middle of the day, during a flare up, they really help to cut through the doubt.
    Time2be likes this.

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