1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Still caught in the fear loop - please help

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by embodydami, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. embodydami

    embodydami New Member

    I have had multiple symptoms of TMS. I confidently rid myself of excruciating back pain very quickly after reading Sarnos books and have not had it return. I have no fear of the back pain, I know its bullshit and so it stays away.

    Well for the past year I have had this intense headache that would last for months on end, go away, come back for weeks straight, etc. I have now managed to keep this TMS head pain away except for when I have plans of something I really want to do.. When I am really looking forward to something, I have instant fear that the pain will come and ruin it. Because its happened so many times in the past. And of course the fear triggers the pain.. I am in this awful loop.

    If I have plans for something I am not hell-bent on enjoying, I don't have the pain! Because the pressure is not there. I used to get this headache on any random day and it would last for who knows how long.. I have come really far in that I now ONLY get it when I have fun plans. But it is so heartbreaking... to feel great all week when Im working and doing whatever, and then something rolls around that I desperately want to enjoy with friends and the fear sets in, so the pain comes, and I suffer. Or cancel.

    HOW do I break out of this loop for good? How do I feel really excited for my plans without the pressure that I MUST feel good, or without the fear that the pain will come and ruin it? I would appreciate any help :(( I try to tell myself I am safe and that the plans are safe...but it feels like the more I try to soothe my mind, the more I am focusing and monitoring the pain, and the worse it gets. I know the "doing" is the problem. But how do I just not give a shit when I have plans I really want to enjoy?
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a tough one and I get it but it really comes down to making a choice. Am I going to choose to expect the worst or assume the best? You are sort of instructing your brain by the choices you are making in your thoughts. This is an area where you do actually have control. By focusing on impending doom or possible ruined plans and giving a shit....it certainly gets you no where. So you may as well choose to expect that things will go well and to choose not giving a shit. You know from experience that you DO have ultimate control so it's a choice whether or not to let your anxiety run the show. This is a super common problem but what happens is when we fear things going wrong, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. In a nutshell it comes down to choosing your thoughts. Maybe others can add their perspectives?? This is what I have learned personally but it would be great to hear other people's experiences and thoughts .....
  3. jimmylaw9

    jimmylaw9 Peer Supporter

    Hi Embodydami.
    I had two times recently where I felt like you m, one charity golf day and one charity valentines ball.

    I have low back and muscle pains with other minor soreness all TMS.

    I have only been doing the bare minimum socially with my partner (safety).

    However couldn’t say no to these two and was very apprehensive before going bloated nervous etc.

    What helped me was to be really honest with the organiser of the golf day and also my party attending the ball. Telling them how I feel and that if I felt worse I would have to go.

    As it happens I did feel pain shaky etc but as I powered through became busy the pain defo diminished.

    Complete anxiety and conditioning but I felt happy after sticking with it. It felt I was reconditioning myself.

    Relax completely before going to these events. That’s what really helped me. Really relax prepare in advance what you need then chillll.

    Good luck
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi embodydami,

    Part of what is happening is that fear itself is a TMS symptom, as Dr. Sarno told us. And with TMS, we get better when we understand the source of symptoms, and we reduce our fear about them.

    Try to not fear the fear is my best recommendation. Helpful here is to use

    this kind of confidence with the fear itself. This may help break the pattern. Very matter of fact, crisp. "Of course I have fear. So f**k it." This and not fearing the headache: "Of course I have a TMS headache. So what?"

    You might also use self-reassuring statements like "you're going to be OK." to yourself. Experiment with what feels soothing to you, both first and second person statements. Some of this kind of talk goes right past the fear activation and somehow reassures, or soothes us down deep, even when we might not feel convinced consciously of the statement.

    Ren, nowa and Rainstorm B like this.
  5. Ren

    Ren New Member

    I don't have much to add, since I think Andy pretty much covered it. I just wanted to offer some solidarity and empathy, since I have headache issues. It used to be completely intractable, but I've gotten it down now to the stage where it's intermittent. I still have constant head pressure (the feeling of my head being squeezed), but I'm sure that'll fade in time.

    Anyway - I think we're pretty much in the same boat! Though it seems you're further along to being symptom-free than I am, since you only get this headache now when you're really looking forward to something. Despite that, I want to offer you support by saying:

    1) You've nearly beat this! The fact you've managed to progress from having a constant headache to having one that only shows up on specific occasions is fantastic, and you should be seriously proud of yourself. Have the self-confidence and belief that you'll beat it entirely. Which you will - you've come most of the way. You've only got this small hurdle left.

    2) As Andy said, try not to fear the fear. I think our reactions to emotions (in particular, fear) can be more problematic than those 'negative' emotions themselves. Be okay with being fearful. We can't control our emotions, just accept them. What you can control is how you react to your emotions. So you can say: 'I'm in fear, sure. So what?'

    We can do absolutely nothing about fear - and trying to do something about it only makes it worse. If you accept the fear (which you absolutely have the power to do), then the fear is less likely to come back in and of itself.

    In a nutshell: you can do nothing about the fear directly, but you can adjust your reaction to that fear. Which will indirectly influence the fear, and stop it coming back so forcefully.
    Ashley A likes this.

Share This Page