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Thought I was going to be a success story

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JDev1, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. JDev1

    JDev1 New Member

    Hey Team,

    I lasted posted in the forum a little over a month ago. You can read my story here if you'd like:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/and-they-said-i-had-fibromyalgia-pff.17555/ (Day 1 - And they said I had fibromyalgia....pff)

    I had just finished reading Fred Amir's book and was determined that TMS was my diagnosis(Also read MindBody Prescription). I spoke with a couple experts and they diagnosed me after I cleared all my blood tests and MRIs. I was so confident that I went back to my daily activities. I was back at the gym lifting heavy weights, running, typing, reading, and doing my day to day with little to no pain. I was so confident and happy that I wanted to actually study more about TMS so I could maybe be a therapist that could help others(I never cared for my current career and this stuff excited me!). Things kept up for about 1 month and then I returned to work this past Monday.

    Things got to there worst when I left work in July 2017 and decided to focus on fixing my pain. During this time I had symptoms of RSI in my hands, fibromyalgia, feet pain, knee pain, hip pain, blurred vision, constant eye strain, tension headaches, etc. I've also had anxiety and have felt depressed from the pain over the past year(Started early 2017).

    I understood I would get some sensations going back to work, but I didn't expect the sensations I'm getting now. It feels like something crawling under my skin and tender points throughout my body. I especially get it in my shoulder, forearms, chest, shin, and the top of my feet. I also get tension headaches and eye strain all day again. The pain is almost all day, but I power through it. It started at work, but came home with me. I face the sensations, but I cant help feel scared and sink into depressive thoughts of this never going away even though i felt so close to being better less than 2 weeks ago. I was so happy to have my life back and was going to be moving out with my gf soon, but I almost feel like I need to put that on hold.

    I'm extremely observant of my body and mind. I know consciously I should face the fear, feel the sensations, but continue with my day. I also know that work adds to my sensations, but I want to face it first instead of running to another job cause I don't believe that'll help. I feel like I'm constantly battling in my head with how everything I do, is for the hopes of getting rid of my pain and I obsess over getting better. I'm seeing a therapist who specializes in TMS, but it's a couple days before our next session and I feel anxious lately.

    Does anyone have any thoughts or words of encouragement? I've even started to doubt what I have is TMS even though logically, it makes sense. I've always been one to think the worst, even though I saw improvement and was diagnosed by specialists. The sensations feel different than before and it scares me. More than anything I wish I had that same "Aha!" moment when I finished reading Fred Amir's book and first came to this TMS.wiki page. That positivity and certainty left and I want it back with the authentic feel. Now i feel like I'm faking it or forcing it.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who has advice.
  2. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi JDev1,

    TMS recovery usually, imho, isn't a straight line. I also had this Aha-moment and then several setbacks. The thing is, with time you will slowly build an evidence sheet for TMS that becomes more and more difficult to ignore. It also isn't weird that your present symptoms are different than the initial symptoms, because the initial ones probably are less scary to you, so you start focusing on the stuff that feels different than before.

    To a certain extent I recognize all the symptoms that you described. I am convinced they were/are all TMS for me, so maybe that helps you. I even recognize the desire to become a therapist or something, but for now I stick to trying to help people on this forum :)

    Success stories... hmmm... I have difficulty with that term. Once and a while I still experience TMS symptoms, but the difference between the present and the past is that I am able to connect it to emotions although often enough I don't know which ones or why they are there. But this insight does help with not letting symptoms spiral out of control; I lost most of my former anxiety about symptoms, so I don't create a vicious cycle of fear that takes control of me like it did in the past. Success for me is really what I just described. Don't expect that you will be 100% symptom free all the time, that is nonsense and unattainable imho.

    If you have doubts, just ask a doctor to rule out anything serious. That's not giving in to your fear, that is simply needed sometimes to take away any worries.

    hope some of the above helps you, take care!
  3. JDev1

    JDev1 New Member

    Thanks for the reply! I'm convinced it's TMS, but the anxious part of me always assumes the worst. I'm okay with symptoms coming back from time to time, but not to this extent. The pain is so irritating and hurts all over. It scares me to think it's not a curable thing, but something I'll just have to learn to deal with.

    I've already done all kinds of blood tests and MRIs, plus the doctors were the ones who said I had fibromyalgia to begin with.
  4. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    I think the reasons for the anxiety may need to be discovered and experienced emotionally before you can recover. That was you can get rid of the fear. That’s where I’m at now.
    JDev1 likes this.
  5. Sadie

    Sadie New Member

    For what it's worth, I think it's amazing that you basically cured yourself for an entire month. While you must feel really anxious and discouraged at the moment, I hope that gives you a lot of confidence and hope. Even though there are some stories out there about people who were cured immediately and their symptoms never came back, it seems more common that recovery has some ups and downs, at least at first.

    It makes so much sense to me that your symptoms would come back right after you went back to work. You mentioned that you don't love your current career, plus probably just being back in the same workplace might have triggered a conditioned response in your body. Or maybe it brought up an unresolved emotional issue.

    I understand your desire to face the situation and stick it out, but it might be worth starting fresh in a new place without those same associations (and hopefully in a new position that you enjoy more). I say this as someone who has been sticking it out in a job I don't love for awhile, so I get it.

    I feel really sure based on what you shared that you will start feeling better very soon :)
    JDev1 likes this.
  6. JDev1

    JDev1 New Member

    I really believe my anxiety is a huge factor, but it's hard to figure how it started. My mom recalls me being anxious since I was 4-5 years old. What are you doing to discover and recover from your anxiety?

    Thanks for the kind words Sadie! I know I made so much progress, but my perfectionist side is only angry about how I slipped back into pain after being so close to 100%.

    When it comes to my work, I sometimes wonder if it's me and not the job. Though I don't love the job, I have lots of friends there and the work is easy. I'm just not fulfilled. I only fear going somewhere else would cause similar sensations(especially as it doesn't stop when I get home).

    I appreciate that last line. I was excited about what I learned and wanted to start spreading the word, but I need to continue to work on myself first.
  7. Tms_joe

    Tms_joe Well known member

    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program (TMS Recovery Program)
    It was probably the 5th time I had read this. I listened to all of the audio that time. I finally came to realize that I was treating myself badly. Treating myself in a way I would never treat someone I cared about. Recognizing that cause and truly wanting to correct it has helped. I can't just flip a switch though. I've used pressure as a way to get things done for so many years. I work a technical job, and when I can't figure something out I seem to just pile the pressure on myself to figure it out. It's not even helpful to fixing the problem. Today was the first time I went into a job with that awareness. I'm not going to call it a success, but was able to keep the panic lower. I think it's just not easy to reverse.
    JDev1 likes this.
  8. Sadie

    Sadie New Member

    Maybe it's both? In other words, maybe there are umbrella issues, like anxiety, and also work-related factors. I think not feeling fulfilled can be a huge stressor, at least for me. I work in a field I love and feel very passionate about, but since moving into a management position a few years ago, my role has changed a lot and it's not longer as creative/fulfilling. I think this might have had a lot to do with elevating my base stress level to the point where I started getting more and more TMS symptoms.
    I hear you! SO many of my family/friends very clearly have TMS-related symptoms and I want to share everything I've learned with them. But I'm waiting until I'm recovered, so it's harder for them to dismiss as some crazy idea.
    JDev1 likes this.
  9. JDev1

    JDev1 New Member

    It's funny cause I've read through his program once before. Now when I look at the lessons I can't remember most of them. I'll be sure to check them out again and listen to the audio clips as well. I'm definitely the same way when it comes to treating myself badly. It's why I couldn't believe when things got better and I started to feel good. I almost wanted to say I didn't deserve it.

    I started reading "The Great Pain Deception" by SteveO and also "7weeks to reduce anxiety" by Arlin Cuncic. I enjoy this workbook because it can be applied to a variety of anxiety types(I sort of follow under 2-3 categories). I just started week 1...I can follow up on what i think of it once I have time to apply things
  10. JDev1

    JDev1 New Member

    I believe you're right. I'm starting to research other careers as I really don't enjoy my current work. I remember before I left work last year, I was really frustrated about not having any opportunities and having positions offered to outside hires even though they told some of my coworkers, we would be given a chance.

    I sort of thought about working in a mental health related field. It feels right with everything going on in my life and how its affected my family/friends. I just worry that I shouldn't do that kind of work if I'm not even steady myself. I attended a new church this Sunday and the pastor really spoke to me. I think I need to not value myself on my income or job as it'll never measure up to my expectations.
    Sadie likes this.
  11. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    The survey stats are extremely high on the percentage of people who don't like their jobs or work and stick with it for any number of reasons.
    It was something like 80%.
    The nerve stuff and creepy skin is so convincingly real. I know. But, it is part of anxiety and panic. You may not even think you're anxious.
    I've had it come over me, again, and will wonder why and then realize that I am breathing shallow and my throat is tight.

    I do a self-soothing thing that works well....even at work or in public....because it doesn't look weird.
    I put my both my hands over my heart or and think to myself: "You are safe. I hear you. I will take care of the things that bother you. You are safe."

    THEN, the tricky part is actually taking care of the things that bother you. I think it's why TMS has manifested in different ways in my own life.
    Most of us can soothe ourselves temporarily. But, the heart won't be fooled. And the body won't be fooled.
    I'm on a project right now that I'm slogging through. I will try to be disciplined about it and find myself falling asleep at my desk, no matter how much sleep I've had. Talk about escapism. So, now my thing is to retrain my mind so it knows I am capable of finding work projects that will interest me.

    I know all of this is easier said than done. I have found, for myself, that I KNOW I can't keep fibbing to myself about unhappiness.
    Even if it's scary to change...and it IS...a temporary solution is just that. Temporary.
    JDev1 likes this.
  12. c90danwaiel

    c90danwaiel Peer Supporter

    The fact that the pain has changed and it's gotten worse are very in tune with TMS trying to derail your initial progress. It'll often do that (my pelvic pain turned into foot pain, for instance), and the increase in intensity almost sounds like an extinction burst. Many of us have been at this stage. I had my pelvic pain return full blast for a week after four months of recovery. But I ended up on the other side with more confidence and haven't had another pelvic pain relapse in 8 months. Dealing with TMS is a bumpy road, but there is a road out of this.

    For me - and for other folks, they have more success with a different approach - a key part of recovery was to learn that I had to relax my way out of the pain and quit struggling. TMS for me was like a Chinese finger trap. I had to become outcome independent and relax out of it. I think relaxing and being easy on yourself can only help :)
    JDev1 and MWsunin12 like this.
  13. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

  14. JDev1

    JDev1 New Member

    Sorry for the late reply! Thank you for the reassurance and for the link! The anxiety and panic part is definitely a hard thing for me to get control of as it's been a part of my life for about 20 years, but it's funny how my flare ups only really occur now when I'm at work. The one place I would rather not be at :rolleyes: Goes to show I probably get anxious just being there.

    Even though I improved a lot, my perfectionist side isn't happy with it unless it's 100%, but I'm slowly changing how I view the pain and how I view being at my job(At least while I'm still there). I'm even going to a meditation class today to work on being more in touch with my body.

    The last 2 weeks have been much better both mentally and physically. I've also had a few chats with Fred Amir that have helped quite a bit(it was his book that made me believe TMS was the cause of my pain). I'm in a much better place than before, but I'll be sure to look back at my writing and some of the posts here if I ever have a relapse.

    Being outcome dependent describes me unfortunately, but luckily, the more my anxiety control improves, the less I seem to care about the tingling sensations or irritations in my body.

    Thank you for your reply. I really feel better seeing all these comments about people having relapses, because it helps me not feel alone(of course I dont want it to happen to anyone). It also encourages me to stay positive like so many of you, even though your pain is probably worse than mine currently is. I'll be sure to look back at this thread whenever I get doubtful of my TMS diagnosis.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
    MWsunin12 likes this.

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