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The pain wants to get you out of the situation?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by dabatross, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    I've heard this numerous times now most recently in the SIRPA recovery CD. She was talking about how she gets questions all the time about "Why do I get pain in this one part of the body and not another?" which is an interesting question I've thought about many times in the past. It always seems you get the pain in the specific body part you care most about, or you need for your job, or which you have the most enjoyment with. The pain most likely does this because it's the best way to get your attention but I also think it could be doing it to get you out of the situation you're currently in that, subconsciously, you probably don't want to be in.

    For instance, both of my pain conditions began in jobs that involved stressful circumstances. The first pain condition (plantar fasciitis) began when I started working at Fedex and I hated the job. It was lonely and I was in a warehouse (you couldn't talk to anybody without getting bitched at). Subconsciously I believe my feet began hurting to get me out of that situation so I wouldn't have to deal with it emotionally anymore (being in that warehouse reminded me of a 6 month long panic/anxiety attack phase I went through when I was 13).

    The second chronic pain syndrome I developed was eyestrain in last 2008. This began under very stressful circumstances of starting a new job as a web designer. Its kind of hard to explain but here were the 3 main factors of the stress:

    1. It's a new job and you dont know what to expect
    2. I was concerned that working full-time in the summer I wouldn't be able to see my girlfriend (now wife) because she worked nights and I worked days.
    3. I had pretty severe chronic pain in my feet for 3 1/2 years at this point and there was a lot of pressure riding on getting this job to get out of standing on my feet for 8 hours each day.

    So I got eyestrain the first day I began working there and it hasn't stopped since. I hadn't had any eyestrain issues up to this point and I had been working on computers for years and years before this. The news, social media and articles on the web definitely don't help. The new term "computer vision syndrome" is like the new carpal tunnel syndrome and when you see this in the mainstream it makes the pain more "real" in your mind that there is something wrong with you. Then when you go get your eyes examined and they say you have convergence insufficiency and thats the reason for the pain, you have astigmatism in your left eye and thats the reason for the pain, you have depth perception and spatial perception issues... each time that something doesn't work for your with physical treatment they come up with something else as to why "this is what's wrong with you".

    In reality I don't think they have a clue. When their methods don't work the doctors try to come up with a structural explanation for why you still have pain and then they start blaming you as well.

    So if the pain is occurring because subconsciously you're not happy, is the only way to get rid of the pain then is to change circumstances whether that be your job, where you live, whatever it is that's bothering you? Or are there other methods to treat this so you don't have to quit your job or change your life around to make the pain go away. This is something I've been struggling with for a while now.

    It's not just coincidence.. with one job it was my feet that hurt because I needed my feet to stand on to work. The next job when I didn't need my feet anymore my eyes started to hurt because I needed my eyes to work. I've accepted the diagnosis and I'm working on my fear/anxiety of the pain. I'm not 100% unafraid of it yet but I work on it each day with affirmations.

    I always appreciate your thoughts on this I think we all have something like this in common.
  2. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    i guess this goes with another thought.. if you did end up switching jobs or careers and you had to use another part of your body, would you end up just getting pain in that part of your body then too?
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey D - it's good seeing you back here, but I'm sorry you're still struggling. But then, we all are, I think. I've come to believe that my next hurdle is all about my inner negative dialogue, and it goes a lot deeper and farther back than I originally thought.

    The thing that's been really helping me lately is listening to the series of interviews from The Self-Acceptance Project - it's from SoundsTrue, who publish a lot of well-known authors in therapy, neuroscience, and spirituality. This is a free series of interviews intended to introduce 24 of their authors and speakers, so you get a chance to be exposed to their different theories and therapies, and follow up on whoever resonates with you. Here's our thread where Veronica introduced us to the project, and comments people are making as they listen: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/self-acceptance.1685/

    One of their authors not being interviewed is Peter A. Levine, who you might check out as well - I'm finally reading my first book by him (MatthewNJ recommended him to me over a year ago) and he is truly awesome on self-therapy for healing old trauma. I strongly recommend that you look him up on Amazon and get whichever of his books appeals to you the most. His classic is Waking The Tiger. He's probably got books available through your library (the one I'm reading now I downloaded onto my Nook, but the ones I want to read aren't available as e-books from my library).

    Good luck, keep posting,


  4. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    good to see you too jan. I'll have to check out the Self Acceptance Project what are you talking about with inner negative dialogue? Are you talking about putting yourself down or something else? I've actually been going back and rereading some of the books I already have like Great pain deception, I just got rapid recovery by Fred Amir, and Im trying to keep up with the daily relaxation. Its amazing how something so easy is so hard to do.. I mean its just laying there and breathing but it feels like a chore right now probably because how I've been wired for so long. Don't know if you have that same issue or not. I dont usually have problems with procrastination when doing stuff but when it comes to relaxation its just like my mind and body dont want to do it. It's something ingrained me that makes it seem like it's a waste of time (intellectually I know this isn't true) I think its my mindbody rebelling against doing relaxation.

    I'll note down Peter Levine and check out that book as well. Got so many books I'm looking through right now its overwhelming heh.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm also a little overwhelmed by all the great information that's available - I get something out of each one, though. The Self-Acceptance interviews are particularly wonderful, because they introduce you to many different people, but the underlying theme is the same, and there are overlapping theories and practices. Also, a lot of explanation for WHY our brain thinks it's protecting us when we engage in these behaviors that seem so self-destructive.

    Personally, I'm a terrible procrastinator, which contributes to my stress, but meditation and breathing work really well for me - which just goes to show how different we can be while sharing so much in common.

    My inner negative dialogue often takes the form of imaginary conversations with people in my life who are involved in my current stresses. I don't want to say "who are causing my current stresses" because many times I'm the one imagining that they are going to react negatively or critically towards me and I have these conversations in my head where I'm justifying myself to them. Very wasteful of psychic energy. Practicing any one of a number of mindfulness meditations, even for 30 seconds, really helps break these dialogues.

    Can you do meditation or breathing for a short period of time, like 30 seconds? It's kind of like any form of exercise - you have to work up to it.

  6. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    yeah i can do the relaxation for 15-20 minutes its just really difficult to stay with. as im doing relaxation i can feel the pain lessening but sometimes it comes back worse afterwards.. not right away but a while after. again this could just coincidence or conditioning and the first time i did relaxation i had a stressful day and the next day when i had symptoms i blamed it on the relaxation i did. its ridiculous when i think about it because i know deep breathing and relaxing will reduce my pain not increase it but thats what it feels like.

    each time i've tried to start doing relaxation regularly i've had the same results which makes me think its the mindbody rebelling against it and increasing symptoms. steve ozanich talked about this in his book too that when he started doing relaxation by dr. miller the same type of thing happened to him where he started getting other symptoms and stuff was increasing. alan gordon said this too when he was doing deep breathing that the subconscious mind slows down and so do the thoughts.

    so not sure why this is but it seems at least initially when you start doing deep relaxation it can cause an increase in symptoms because you're slowing your body down when its always used to being geared up. wouldn't doing deep breathing and focusing on the breath be another form of meditation, i believe it is. i've tried a few other methods of deep relaxation and just found deep breathing to be very effective and easy to do physically, just hard to keep up with mentally for some reason.

    i also noticed that i have to focus on my breath and the counts, i have to be by myself and not be in a room where the tv is on or anything, otherwise the relaxation does not take hold. this is probably because of the distraction of the tv but if i lay if bed and do deep relaxation for just 15 minutes it feels like my whole body is relaxed except my mind is still alert. its like being asleep physically but your mind is awake. so i'm continuing doing deep relaxation because i hear it can take months for it to start working fully probably because thats how long it takes to change your nervous system and its reaction to stress and having the feeling of being "rushed" all the time.

    Perhaps thats why its so hard to relax and calm down because I was always the type of person to be go-go-go and have to always be doing something and the relaxation feels like the opposite of that.. even though relaxing is very productive the thought of it doesn't seem that way.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Alex, I've been listening to an audio program which I found on the Sounds True website. It's by psychologist Rick Hanson & neuroscientist Richard Mendius, MD, called "Meditations to Change Your Brain". In addition to the meditations, they explain the neuroscience behind the ability for our brain patterns to change - our "wiring" in fact. I'm only one-third of the way through, (I'm listening to each part twice) but I'm finding it very helpful for learning how to meditate effectively, as well as being very informative, and very calming. They give really good advice about how to find your own best method of meditating, they give you permission to not be perfect, and to try different things. I think you might really like the scientific discussion, but the meditation exercise themselves are simple and calming, which might be good for you :rolleyes:

    I discovered that my library has this as an audiobook, so I could have checked it as a download, out for free. The download version (instant gratification) was only $11.98 from SoundsTrue.

    Here's an article Rick Hanson posted on the Huffingon Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-hanson-phd/taking-in-the-good_b_732117.html

  8. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    I have a question after reading your recent posts. I am fairly new to the MBS/TMS theory, and am currently working with Dr. Schubiner's book. I wanted to know how you learned that these meditation practices are good for pain in relation to the TMS context? I want to understand the connection to our inner struggles and what is causing the pain. Did you learn this from reading some TMS books? I'm worried my mind wanders too much for meditation. Can you tell me what types of relaxation/meditation practices you use? Thank you so much!
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Natalie:

    I avoided getting serious about meditation for a long time. Even listening to Dr. Schu's CD has been an occasional practice with me (and I haven't even done his workbook yet). I started getting serious very recently, when I started listening to the interviews with various authors and healers at The Self Acceptance Project (see the link in my first post above) and I'm only now feeling like I can meditate effectively (note, NOT "properly"). The audio program I mentioned above is the one that I decided to try first, and I'm extremely pleased with it, for the reasons I described above, one post ago.

    As for how I found out - that would be by participating in this forum for over a year, and reading success stories by people who meditate regularly!

    The key is to have patience. The authors of Meditations To Change Your Brain say that it takes weeks to experience small changes - and months to experience significant changes in the way your brain wants to work automatically.

    The Self-Acceptance Project interviewees have also taught me a lot about how our primitive brains work, and it's really helpful in learning to forgive my brain for the things it's doing "to" me. Understanding the primitive reasons behind our messy, annoying, and often harmful emotions is actually quite an uplifting and hopeful journey.

    And this is a journey - it's not a weekend retreat. This will take time. I advise relaxing. Above all, don't measure how you're doing, and let go of the need to achieve. Those things are distractions, and they will keep you from discovering your true self.

    Peace & hugs to all,


    (only two more days to April 15th YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!!
    Layne likes this.
  10. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    Jan, this one is so good! About 15 minutes in she talks about experiencing chronic pain and how she accept herself during moments of self-criticism. Soooo good!
  11. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much for posting that Layne! I'm going to listen to it today, definitely need some help with being more kind to myself.
    Layne likes this.
  12. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Thanks for putting this one right in front of me today Layne, you have no idea how badly I needed these reminders!! More evidence that there's no such thing as coincidence!

    Happy April 15th Jan!!!!!
    JanAtheCPA and Layne like this.
  13. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    YES! Leslie!

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