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TMS perspectives

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Stevielawrence, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Stevielawrence

    Stevielawrence Peer Supporter

    Hello everyone. Hope you are all doing well. I see 2021 on the horizon ...

    I have a question. Throughout my TMS recovery I have utilized two rather distinct approaches, and I’m a bit confused on which one is more effective. Would love to hear people’s thoughts and experiences.

    approach 1: feel the feelings and repressed emotions. Be honest about how I’m angry, scared, sad, etc. Cry, journal extensively, seek therapy, share emotions, let go of trying to make bad feelings go away, etc.

    approach 2: positive affirmations to curb negative thoughts and feelings. Let go of the intense journaling, as it can get dark and become an endless spiral. Calm nervous system through good self talk and affirmations. Forgive and let go.(Aces keys to healing encourage this approach.)

    I have experienced benefits from both of theseapproaches. I’ve gotten bogged down in too much despairing journaling and emotion, but I’ve also felt that the affirmations type approach can be fake and repressive in its own way. I had an experience recently of having way less back painbut intense anxiety and trouble breathing coming up through this approach. I also notice this approach is similar, for me, to trying to walk a spiritual/religious path - I just feel like I’m faking it a lot and repressing ...

    but I feel there’s a fine line between feeling the emotions and giving in intensely to hatred and despair. Anyway, would love to hear people’s thoughts.

    much love and wellness to all
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Awesome question.

    I have experimented with a lot of different methods over the years.
    I agree with everything there except the "share emotions". I kind of use the AA "...except when to do so would injure them or others"
    When I first read Sarno I thought I had to let EVERYTHING out and repress NOTHING. Well, that worked about as well as you might guess... I got out of pain really fast , but I pissed off my then wife, my boss and a lot of other people. I almost got into a lot of fights.
    I can honestly say that the AWARENESS or the "AHA!" moment is the operative symptom ender.... occasionally I still go and have a Tourette's style meltdown in my car, but the older I get , the simple arising awareness is sufficient to end the deal. I don't necessarily need to 'share' my feelings with anybody, least of all the person who I probably want to beat the snot out of.

    Ya know, I only use the paper to get to the awareness and I use the AA 4th step as a pry bar to get to the awareness....I don't journal. My life isn't that interesting or important. In fact, getting the perspective on how insignificant I am in general usually is enough to change me from an attitude of anger and feelings of servitude to one of gratitude.... But I do have to weed the Garden

    and ultimately at the end of the day, forgiveness is the most powerful force we have access to as human beings. Bar None.

    However, we can't forgive until we know what it is we are forgiving. It might mean something a little difference to each one of us. Eckhart Tolle says it is "Looking through the ego to the authentic person on the other side". I suppose the carpenter taught us about our own sin to realize we are all full of it. I do know that when I can't forgive someone I am trapped in my EGO and when I can do the paperwork, see where my fault lies and THEN forgive I get a lot better results.

    The me that "pre-forgave" everybody was actually just my new fake 'spiritual guy' ego coming in the back door and I was as trapped by my symptoms as ever. As soon as I got a little better insight into my own pettiness, the perspective was usually enough to clean that muddy swamp inside my head
    Stevielawrence, backhand and plum like this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    These are good questions. My personal answer is also the way I live in general - moderation in everything. And - do what works.

    It's always a mix, depending on what is triggering me. The triggers and my TMS response are hardly consistent, so there's no reason to think that one approach will work for everything.

    Mindful breathing is probably the only consistent thing I do no matter what.

    If I'm a bundle of jangled nerves, compassionate and nurturing self-talk helps to center and calm. This was not something I was able to do in the earlier days of doing this work, and in fact I only started making it a habit very recently, upon finally recognizing just how hard I am on myself.

    To do this work and recover, you must love yourself enough to know that you deserve to recover. Easier said than done.

    I try to meditate.

    But sometimes I just can't. So I journal when meditation seems impossible. I have one rule - I have to find at least one thing for which I am grateful before I put down the pen and paper, no matter how small. And I say "journal" but it's really just a brain dump onto crappy old notebook paper that I throw out when it's full. I have no need to go back and revisit any of it, and the experts (Nicole Sachs, for example) don't recommend it. The key is to not think about it at all - just write whatever comes out. No editing allowed. No listening to your brain when it tells you that you shouldn't write something down.

    But I also write at least once a day. After many years doing this work and recommending writing, at the beginning of this year I finally developed a habit of writing every night before going to sleep. Helps with sleep, for one thing. The "one grateful thing" is mandatory. Sometimes I don't have much to write about, except to go over the day, listing the things I accomplished or enjoyed. I also pay attention to self-blame and forgive myself, both for the thing I am blaming myself for, and for blaming myself. LOL.

    Positive affirmations? Definitely, although I have to say, for the benefit of people new to this work, that "positive" does NOT refer to fake smiley-face happy talk. Far from it. Rather, the affirmations we talk about here are meant to be reminders of the truth, which we need to say out loud in order to counter the irrational lies that our fearful brains keep flinging at us. Saying them out loud, or writing them down, are the most effective countermeasures. One of my originals, and still a favorite, is "Hey, this is NOT necessary, because there is nothing wrong with me and I am perfectly healthy and safe".

    And sometimes, at least in 2020, I just need to have a good cry to get the frustration out. Nothin' wrong with that.
    Stevielawrence likes this.
  4. Stevielawrence

    Stevielawrence Peer Supporter

    This is all excellent honest helpful advice Jan. I relate to a lot of these methods and approaches. I really hear the compassion and healthy sense of humor in your relationship with yourself. Thank you for your responses. I too benefit from a good cry, from journal dumping, but also gratitude, and meditation (which I do off and on for years.) it’s helpful to hear that the affirmations should be beliefs I actually believe and feel to be True. And to do what Works for me individually. So tempting at times to want to follow someone else’s way, and do it perfectly, even if it doesn’t feel completely right. I notice that a lot with me. It’s a control thing, too. “If I do it just like this forever I’ll fix myself!” Haha. Balance and moderation indeed. Thx again
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020

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