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The viciouscycleness of it all & an interesting quote

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Steve J., Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member


    I have been reflecting on many things since first embarking on this TMS journey about a month ago, and one major discovery that I've made (though it is pointed out in The Great Pain Deception) is considering whether or not I would be "happy" or "at ease" if my physical pain were to dissipate. Now, while some aspects of my life might improve (not fearing to swing a golf club or go snowboarding), the real answer is no, I wouldn't. My TMS has had several manifestations since being a little person, and it has all come to a head this past year and a half, revealing itself as physical distractions. My question is this: it seems that many of us suffer from some type of anxiety and/or depression whether it be due to the TMS or as a result of it...so what is it for you? The chicken or the egg? In my case, I had anxiety/depression/OCD long before I had any physical symptoms. Of course, the physical pain and discomfort has only amplified those conditions, therefore perpetuating this nasty cycle. TMS...you son of a b.

    I have constant discomfort and pain now in my arms and lower back, and my focus now is to just be present in my life. To enjoy each moment has it comes, to detach myself from my thoughts. It's an incredibly novel and challenging concept for me to embrace, but when I do experience glimpses of mindfulness, or whatever you'd like to call it, it is amazing. What do you find helps when you feel overwhelmed? How do you infuse patience into the process, especially when the physical pain/anxiety/OCD/depression are all rapping hard on your heart simultaneously? How do you just...not think? This is a big one for me.

    The following is an interesting little passage written by a man named Giacomo Leopardi about 200 years ago regarding patience and pain:

    "For the Manual of Practical Philosophy. Patience, how it mitigates physical pain, makes it easier, more bearable, even lighter--as I myself experienced and observed during chest spasms I suffered in Bologna on May 29, 1826, where impatience and restlessness increased my pain. It's a question of non-resistance, mental resignation, a certain quieting of mind while suffering. You can sneer at this virtue or call it cowardice if you like. But it's still necessary to mankind, which is born, fated--inexorably, inevitably, irrevocably--to suffer, suffer greatly, with few reprieves. A virtue born or acquired (unwillingly sometimes) along with the necessity of enduring arduous or nagging experiences. Patience and quietude are largely what renders tolerable over a long term (to a prisoner for example) the awful tedium of solitude or idleness. A tedium almost unbearably grating because of how hard a man resists his troubles, because of his impatience and vehemence, his anxious craving to escape it. When resistance ceases, troubles and suffering become easier, lighter."

    It's kind of comforting to know that folks were impatient back then, too.

  2. stephb

    stephb New Member

    My son (14) has TMS, not me, but I can tell you he suffered from anxiety and/or depression since he was bullied at 8 years of age. Even before that he was anxious, I think that's probably why he was a target of bullying - he carried himself with such unsureness, if that makes sense.

    I don't think he'll ever fully be "at ease". I think his TMS helps him get out of a lot of situations that make him anxious or that he just finds really boring and tedious, like school, exercise, chores. I don't think he wants to have chronic pain, but I do think there is a payoff for him whether he realizes it or not.

    I try to coach him to ignore his pain, to just live in the moment, and try not to be afraid of the future - but it's difficult when you're the one actually going through it. And I would classify him as impatient, as am I. I'm trying to teach him not to resist, but to accept and give in, but it's hard for a kid to grasp this concept. He can't stop thinking and often used to pace constantly and think out loud.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your son is going through the teen years which can really be hard, especially one who is sensitive to what others think of them.
    You're doing the best things, encouraging him to live in the present and not worry about the future, to accept and give in to his pain.
    He could use a good hobby, something he enjoys that would take his mind off his pain or anxiousness.
  4. camera

    camera Peer Supporter

    I had anxiety as a child and OCPD type tendencies (not OCD).
    I think I remember reading in one of Sarno's books that he'd had patients develop physical pain as symptom substitution for anxiety or depression meaning that once they're anxiety or depression went away, they would start having pain instead.

    Personally, I find that anxiety is like an ingrained habit for me that is always around no matter what. It can be about physical symptoms or it could be about different aspects of my life.

    There was a book about OCD that I read that I found really helped me understand my anxiety (even though it's not OCD): When in doubt, make belief : an OCD-inspired approach to living with uncertainty, by Bell, Jeff

    "What do you find helps when you feel overwhelmed? How do you infuse patience into the process, especially when the physical pain/anxiety/OCD/depression are all rapping hard on your heart simultaneously? How do you just...not think?"
    When I'm overwhelmed, I find that getting away from it all mentally helps. Going out somewhere away from the house and responsibilities helps as does sitting down and watching a movie for 2 hours. Sometimes this clears my mind. Sometimes I find I just need to take a nap and that clears my mind.
    You could also try bilateral stimulation. It's what they use in EMDR therapy. That helped slow down my mind when it was really feeling like a mess. You just move your eyes back and forth from left to right for a few minutes. There's videos on youtube that you can use for that also.
    And as simple as it sounds, watching your breath does help. Also, staring at spot in front of you (a technique used in hypnosis) is another good strategy.
    Another book that might be helpful here is Play It Away: A Workaholic's Cure for Anxiety by Charlie Hoehn.
  5. Dahlia

    Dahlia Well known member

    I remind myself that I am not my pain. I am not my anxiety. There is a part of me that can observe these things without getting swept up in them. A person can not "not think." The thoughts come, I can label them: anxiety, judging, worry, complaining, etc. I can release them, observe them, not become them. They are thoughts. They are not me. They may or not be true. Who cares? Let them go and rest. Sink into peace and calm. Breathe. This is the place of comfort. Memorize it when you get there. This is your refuge, it exists, it is your place of "mindfulness." The more you do it the easier it becomes to find it the next time.

    I wish you comfort and peace.
    Steve J., camera and Ellen like this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dahlia, I posted yesterday in the General Discussion Subforum on DEEP BREATHING....
    how to do it and the benefits. When I feel anxious, worried, etc., deep diaphramatic breathing calms me.
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Such a wonderful post, Dahlia! So well said. Thanks.
    Dahlia likes this.
  8. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member


    Thank you for your words. As much as I "know" these concepts on an intellectual basis, it is becoming more and more clear how that intellectualization subsumes and overshadows my emotions. This retraining of the mindbody is absolutely incredible.

    I've been doing some meditation/mindfulness exercises, and i'm also reading The Power of Now and I love being swept up in the moment, when thought loses its power and unity with myself captures the beauty of not only what is around me, but what is inside of me.

    Feeling good today.

    Dahlia likes this.

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