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The next level of healing....

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Dexy, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    What we are all searching for!


    I fully and completely believe the TMS diagnosis and have evidence to remind myself that I am not structurally injured and that my pain is psychologically-induced, and I have many wonderful days/moments where I feel empowered and that I have control over my inner self--whether symptoms are present or not, I am able to deal and feel great because I know I am making progress.

    Since I have been using the TMS approach (June 2013), life has improved greatly; nonetheless, I haven't been able to eliminate my physical symptoms and my fear of the symptoms, although I do continue to make progress.

    I realize that what I am utterly, completely fearful and terrified of is my RESPONSE to the symptoms, not the actual symptoms themselves. It's how I beat myself up and throw myself under the buss and ruin my own day with negative, circular thinking when the symptoms are present that I am now scared of. I used to be scared of the symptoms, and now I realize what I am fearful of is my own reaction, and I think I have realized this on a deeper, gut level very recently.

    I wonder if part (or all) of the cause of TMS symptoms are from being anxious/hyper-vigilant, and the way to cure yourself is to relax and let going of being hypervigilant, then how do you take hostage all of the pain-themed thoughts that fire at your 60,000 times a day, when you are supposed to be relaxed, yet you have to somehow keep your guard up for these thoughts and be prepared when they come to remind yourself not to be frightened of them, it can be contradicatory at times. I suppose it's a back-and-forth process, as anything.

    I just want to achieve the final level of healing, NOT ridding myself of symptoms, but ridding myself of the FEAR of my symptoms!

    Tips...? I've read so many wonderful ones already, but it is always helpful to have even more reinforcement.

    Happy New Year to all of my fellow TMSers :)
    Forest, mike2014, Lavender and 2 others like this.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Dexy,
    I love your post because you point to exactly where you see your most acute suffering, which is in your anxious thoughts and fears (about all of it!), not so much the pain. But with great sincerity, you are asking how to address both parts, and relieve the pain also.

    I think that this points you in the right direction:
    You express the desire to not get hooked by your anxious thoughts.

    You express an understanding that the "TMS work" you do seems to sometimes pressure you, at least in the sense that there is "lots to do and keep track of, yet stay relaxed."

    You wonder how to stop the fearful thought loops.

    I think that there are contradictory imperatives here, you see them, and the place to start is probably with learning to witness the thoughts, and feel and tolerate the anxiety that arises with the thoughts. This is the work of warriors! You are seeing that the way the mind grasps your TMS work is actually stressful to you. I suggest you observe the stress, the anxious thoughts, the urge to "do better" and hold all of this activity as some of the root inner causes of pain. Just observe yourself as you are doing, and disengage with the activity gently, when your awareness penetrates. Understand that non of the Dr. Sarno work has to be done so perfectly. But that is what is getting activated in you. This takes a self-directed compassion, that you get caught in these desires to fix sometimes, and this is natural.

    One question to ask, and you are asking it, is: "How does my Inner Child feel in this environment?' Another is "How is the Inner Bully treating me, in order to try to keep me safe, or out of pain?"

    Along with this inquiry, I wonder how much you are able to stop in the middle of anxiety, and re-direct and work toward relaxation. Basic movement, breathing, light self-touch, orienting to the environment, etc, techniques exist, and I hope you have some of these at hand. It is helpful to soothe yourself when needed.

    Fixing, pushing, monitoring activity probably causes tension, and this is part of your, and my personalities. How can you observe this, not beat yourself up about it, and not believe in their content so much? I hope you allow your love for you, in this flawed human condition we're all in, to grow. This love, I believe, will show you the way.

    I hope this might help you, and that I've addressed some of the deeper concern you have. Good luck in this.

    Andy B.
    mike2014, Boston Redsox and Sienna like this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

  4. Sienna

    Sienna Well known member

    Hello Dexy,

    First of all, you are not the only one.. monitoring and reacting on a low mood, anger, sadness, frustration comes together with the physical symtoms.
    What I have learnt that works very well for me is to stop and do a lovekindness meditation, which helps you freeze your amygdala from the flight or flight state.
    Another exccellent technique that helps your nervous system to calm down and really helps you feel better (even on the physical side), is to have a TMS (Tapping) session.
    If you still have not heard about this technique, I recomend you to go look at thetappingsolution.com website, look for one of their introductory videos. Once you are familiarized with it, and the physical points in which you need to tap, I highly recommend to follow Brad Yates on youtube. He has excellent EFT sessions on healing, back pain, physical or emotional pain, repressed emotions, traumas...

    Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

    mike2014 likes this.
  5. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    Thx so much for the tapping info....I have tried this in the past and find it useless! Maybe I am doing wrong but I guess it can help like self talk?
  6. introverted

    introverted Peer Supporter

    Dexy, your post hits the nail right on the head for me. I too would like to know how to lose my fear and frustration. To just allow the symptoms to be there, whenever and however strongly they please, without being emotionally overcome by them and by my thinking about them!
    Sienna likes this.
  7. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

  8. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    Andy B--thank you so very much for the links, I am just putting my little ones to bed and going to check them out immediately afterwards!

    Sienna--I checked out the Tapping and have done so before, I like it! I will reacquaint myself with this technique and put it in my "TMS arsenal".

    Thanks for all of your responses and I am grateful to have found this community, it seems like such a caring and supportive (not to mention incredibly helpful) place. There is such abundant, wonderful information here. GRATEFUL!
    Sienna likes this.
  9. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    Andy--I just read Dr. Schubiner's blog on Understanding and overcoming fear, and in it, he touches on something that I have been experiencing the past few days, an intense feeling of fear as I am allowing my symptoms to subside. I have been experiencing anxiety from the minute I wake up, most of the day, with only a few reprieves. For now I am truly thinking psychological, whenever I feel symptoms, and what I feel---> intense fear and anxiety. I am trying to face these feelings head on, to be the space for them, to self-soothe, and to re-direct myself to feeling empowered whenever possible, although I have to re-direct many, many, multiple times per day.

    I am really starting to "get" on a gut level that it isn't my symptoms but my fear of the symptoms. While I had thought I understood this and applied it before, I realize I was still too focused on symptom reduction as proof. The fear I now feel when I take the focus off of the physical symptoms is more of a general anxiety created from past experiences/genetics/upbringing/culture/etc. I've always had fear of something, fear of the dark, fear of staying home alone, fear of gaining weight, fear of losing control...so it makes sense that as I healed from some issues that plagued me in my twentieth decade (eating and exercise disorder, infertility) and finally fell pregnant, my symptoms began. I had overcome my ED and then infertility (which was a HUGE focus/source of worry/sadness/preoccupation of every single minute), and bam, as soon as I had finally reached EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED (happily married, no ED, pregnant, great career), TMS struck and offered me a whole new reason to obsess/worry/fear. It all makes so much sense, yet since self-diagnosing in 2013, I haven't been able to overcome my fear of the symptoms and my fear in general.

    As much as I have started to lose hope that I will ever experience full recovery from TMS, I am feeling a renewed sense of hope because I have only very recently (last few days) begun to focus on how intense my anxiety is rather than focusing on how much pain I am in.

    I am ready to take it to the next level and I WILL! Get ready to hear my success story, because it's coming!
  10. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    Andy--I just read your story! Awesome! I am a ski-tourer as well. I live in beautiful British Columbia and we have some of the best powder in the world. I also love hiking, biking, outdoors, adventures, etc. Life is awesome when you can enjoy it to the fullest, and I intend to! (I still ski-tour with TMS and do all sorts of physical activities, I just want to get to a point where I am symptom-free when I am enjoying these...)
    Sienna likes this.
  11. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Dexy,

    I follow your story better now. I think I made an assumption or two earlier that did not apply. You are seeing the "symptom imparative" operate in your life that there was either anxiety and fear, or then TMS, and currently you're able to actually see them in close time proximity, alternating. Watching the anxiety build as the pain fades. Fascinating and so "Sarno."

    I think your realizations are powerful, and will help you tremendously. Working with fear and anxiety is subtle and confusing. That's why it is such a good distraction!! It really grabs us. You could say it is the most powerful, and also the most subtly pervasive feeling set we have, and these feelings tends to "run us" unless we look them in the eye. As you have described, we tend to take them for granted, run from them (or with them), and not develop the steadfastness to experience them point blank. And you're making an effort to sit with them now.

    I think your insights and awareness will support you beautifully! What a life-learning you are having now...

    Andy B.
  12. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes Dexy,

    I love to ski!! I was out a week ago near my home and skied the places I had not skied for about 6 years! All the little glades and runs came back to me. I had that terrible TMS for 3-4 years, and then we had drought. Abundant snow is magical!! So is the feeling of skiing it.

    Another thought on fear: When I have symptoms now, I just figure I am prone to this, and I say to myself "Of course you're in pain; you're prone to TMS. So what?" This helps the TMS go right away. This is a way I work with fear that works for me. This also means I am not at fault, and I don't need to do anything about the pain. These last two pieces help me work with the anxiety with the pain, because the "my fault" and "do something!" are basic anxiety causing thoughts for me personally.

    Andy B.
  13. Sienna

    Sienna Well known member

    Hi Boston,
    Sorry it didn't wirk for you.
    You need to talk the statents with passion and trully believeng what you are saying.
    It is very powerful yo put the emotion to the tapping
  14. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    Thank you so very much, Andy! Your words really resonate with me and help encourage me on this journey--muchas muchas gracias!!!

    Learning to sit with uncomfortable emotions, while also not allowing them to take control of your thoughts and energizing them with more fear, is definitely the "work of the warrior". It is indeed very subtle and cunning and takes a good deal of self-awareness to catch ourselves before we get caught up in the loop.

    This morning, while laying in bed awake (when my anxiety is typically at one of its highest), I focused on feeling the emotions/fear/anxiety in my body without letting it rise into my thoughts, because when it arises in my thoughts is when I start thinking, "I feel this way because my body isn't perfectly healed. If it were perfectly healed, I wouldn't have this anxiety". In truth, the opposite is true--if I didn't have this anxiety, my body wouldn't feel this way.

    This IS a beautiful realization and now more of the work, as I come to process, face, and stand up to chronic, habitual, repetitive negative thinking and self-talk. It's the dance of surrendering to the feelings while not energizing them with the thoughts.

    So very grateful for this community!
    Sienna likes this.
  15. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    Awesome tip! So very true. If I have a tension headache or stomach upset, I don't fear it, it's not big deal. Why should I fear other symptoms of tension in my body. Yes, I'm prone to TMS, so what? I am getting better at not letting it control my thoughts and not monitoring the pain level as a barometer of success. Practicing outcome independence is also the "work of the warrior"!
    Sienna likes this.
  16. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    Gaining confidence in my ability to handle negative emotions that arise is my Work, I believe. I am glad to have figured this out! For the longest time, I truly believed I wasn't afraid of negative emotions, that I didn't "fear fear", that it was all tied up in whatever the unsavory life circumstances were at the time, be it infertility, depression, eating disorder, or TMS. I am really getting clear about the fact that I have had a very low-tolerance for any negative emotions, for fear that they will sink my ship. In the past, I allowed this to happen by caving to the fear, and cycling further and further downwards in negative thinking. I also witnessed this repeatedly in my family growing up, so it makes sense that I have been terrified of negative emotions.

    I am slowly gaining confidence that I CAN tolerate negative emotions, that I do have new coping skills to deal with them, that "this too shall pass", and that life will always be changing. I have clung to trying to feel good with fear...I haven't even been able to enjoy feeling good because it's burdened by the fear of when I will feel terrified again. I know that by owning/facing/becoming less and less fearful of whatever emotion arises, whether it be from a negative encounter in my day, my son having a temper tantrum, conflict at home, TMS symptoms, just to name a few examples, I am building this confidence, brick by brick.
    Sienna likes this.
  17. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Dexy,

    I am observing this in myself lately:

    You could say that we're anxious beings, in search of a reason "why am I anxious?" The arising anxiety causes us to search around and seize on a "reason," which is itself a thought. So the anxiety feeling arises, then this feeling is connected to a "very good reason." With this connection between an anxious feeling and a "reason to feel it," the "logic" of the anxiety is made real, hence very believable: "Of course I am anxious about ____________, wouldn't anyone be? I better worry and attend to this!" It seems you and I are seeing this with clarity, and therefore less susceptible. Can we hang in the feeling, and not let the thoughts that cement the whole thing in, take over?

    One place I have been learning and working with anxiety, with a practitioner, is with Somatic Experiencing or SE. It works to "regulate the nervous system." There is also, added to this work, the Polyvegal Theory. Here is Twig Wheeler's website with lots of short videos and recordings to explain this Polyvegal theory and practice. Scroll down to find the vids and recordings. I find just listening to these helps me watch and understand my nervous system better, and is actually relaxing.

  18. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    YES! Thank you for putting this into words in a way that I perfectly understand. Now, I am wondering if I should try to make myself a less anxious being or just acknowledge that I am an anxious being and "hang in the feeling, and not let the thoughts that cement the whole thing in take over". I suppose by hanging in the feeling, I am in fact becoming a less anxious person. If you suppress the feeling, it only becomes stronger since what we resist, persists. This is definitely a daily, moment-by-moment practice and one that I have faith will become second-nature in time. Or not. And that's okay too. I can deal with any feeling that arises, whether I become less anxious or not. I liked Schubiner's blog about how to manage fear. Once fear takes over, we are all too quick to forget! It rises to the mind in nanoseconds and takes over the thought process. I am making a goal for myself to catch myself more and more as these anxious feelings try to rise into my thoughts and just sit with the feelings.
  19. Dexy

    Dexy Peer Supporter

    I should add, sitting with feelings is one way to manage, but also redirecting thoughts and finding a way to feel empowered against the inner bully, laughing at it, not cowering, these are also important, not just marinating in anxiety. Right....?
  20. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    I don't mean to be rude but I believe at best it's a Placebo

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