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TMS minus the perfectionism and goodism

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by chad_DVM, Dec 26, 2018.


Are you a perfectionist?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. chad_DVM

    chad_DVM Newcomer

    I see a lot of people lump all of us with TMS into the category of perfectionism and often goodism. I struggled for a couple of years to accept TMS, because in large, I am not either of these. Sure, I have made it far in life, one can say, but in general, I like to half-ass things. I read others talking about journaling, and "as perfectionists" we all try to write the perfect journals. Or as perfectionists, we try to work a perfect TMS program or we try to be overachievers in our recovery. This is not me. Are there moments in my life where I can see a tinge of perfectionism? Yes. But I would guess most people could say that. Generally, I am not a goodist. I do not adhere to social norms. Up until getting married at age 38 (i am now 40), I would seldom change my plans to help others out. I always addressed my own needs and almost never put other’s needs ahead of my own. In other words, I was and can still be a bit (or a lot) of a selfish prick.

    It wasn't until I started to work through the SEP (Structured Educational Program) during which I saw other personality traits that can lead to TMS. I am of the Stoic personality type. To a T. I find it awkward/difficult to express my emotions. I rarely (if ever) have extreme emotions. Not showing emotion makes me fee like I am in control of my emotions, which is a defense mechanism to allowing me to feel like I am in control of my life. I am extremely embarrassed to cry in front of friends and family. Embarrassed is an understatement. I am flat out afraid of it. Hmm. To never express emotion. Yes, I think that just might lead to TMS. Why did it take me so long to realize this. People have always thought that nothing affects me. I have taken pride in the fact that nothing affects me. Except, the thing is, everything affects me. I just don't express it. It is re-routed to myriad body parts. And I feel horrible pain.

    I also am a Legalist. I am a couple other personality traits that I found in the SEP.

    Perhaps there are others out there (on this forum and elsewhere) who have a similar personality. Just thought I should share this. In case someone else is thinking, hmm, "I am not such a perfectionist and/or goodist." If this is the case, you are not alone.
    Free of Fear likes this.
  2. Rosebud

    Rosebud Peer Supporter

    Yup, that's me, pretty much. Although I don't really think of myself as selfish. I might put someone's (my children's) needs ahead of mine sometimes. I will pretty much never put someone else's wants before my needs, though! That way lies martyrdom, no thanks.
    chad_DVM likes this.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    "Except, the thing is, everything affects me. I just don't express it"......

    That's it. Simple Sarno 101 is it is the emotion generated and instantly repressed (we never even get a glimpse of it) that is the cause. It was when I became MORE stoic (on the outside) that my symptoms became unbearable. In fact, it wasn't even true stoicism which is actually a beautiful liberating kind of thing. It was just repression and I had no choice.

    However, I didn't have to experience or release every single feeling and emotion to get rid of the symptoms. Just had to slowly acknowledge that they were there. Remember the story in Healing Back Pain about the guy who had to stack the hay bales perfectly? More than a couple of those vignettes point out that our traits manifest themselves in subtle ways. In fact, it was that inner admission that 'Hey.. there's stuff going on in me that I don't know or have any control over' that really knocked my ego down and began the recovery.

    ...and it still works every time.
    chad_DVM likes this.

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