Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by James59, Apr 10, 2015.
Sunny days for me usually work….but I still get a flare when weather changes to rain. ugh
James -- I had Feldenkrais lessons. It's fascinating stuff, but it doesn't have anything to do with TMS.
The way off the TMS treadmill is to look for your repressed feelings. What inner conflict is the pain distracting you from? If you can bring that to consciousness, you'll feel much better.
It's a hard task. I would never have been able to approach my hidden resentment toward my family without the help of a very good therapist. Others find it easier, depending on how scary those repressed feelings are. But it's the only way off the TMS treadmill.
James, as I replied to another post today, about catastrophizing on pain (I probably will never learn how to spell that awful word correctly), I am 84 and worry about falling. My mother died as a result of it and my sister is in a wheelchair because of falling two years ago, and a favorite aunt just died after a fall. I am careful not to fall, but on the news I keep hearing statistics on how falls of the elderly are one of the main causes of death. I walk often with a cane even though I may not need to. Like you, I am trying to retrain my brain for the best balance.
I am lucky because my ranch house is on one level, the ground level. I can't fall down basement stairs like my sister and aunt did because I have none. I chose a house on one level because my dog couldn't go up and down stairs anymore. Dogs are wonderful. They teach us so many things.
In your case, you have progressed so far in losing your pain, I would tell my inner bully to take a vacation. Think positive and enjoy feeling good.
You're making more progress than you realise. You're awareness is growing about how your mind plays tricks, and that in itself is progress. You really do need to fully embrace TMS 100%, as any doubt will hamper your healing. Try to be mindful of moment to moment thoughts and when you catch yourself being "manipulative" switch your focus to WHY. What is the pain trying to distract you from?
Steve O once wrote that when he went about his day he would "take his body with him for the ride". Try to disassociate yourself from your body. I tried Alexander technique and found it completely useless. Forget Feldenkrais. Forget your body, and focus on the mind.
Well said Colly…
Yes, Colly, you have it right. Pain is there from our subconscious to get us to discover why we have it.
My healing from back ache has in journaling and discovering I was repressing feelings of
anger and insecurity going to back to my boyhood when my parents divorced.
James, maybe do more journaling about your boyhood.
I tried journaling about a year ago. I did it for about six weeks, every day, and wrote a LOT about my youth. I felt marginally better during that time, but the writing was difficult. And after six weeks I felt like I was running out of things to write about and it started feeling perfunctory, so I stopped.
During that time two themes developed. One was about difficulties communicating with others - often having my words "interpreted" to mean something very different from what I actually said (and this has occurred in this very thread, I might add). I expected this theme, so it wasn't a surprise.
I was surprised by another theme that emerged, that of being blamed and punished many times for things that weren't my fault. I wrote about that a lot. I also wrote about it on this forum here: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/cant-tell-if-journaling-is-helping-or-not.4656/ But bringing this stuff to the surface had only a marginal, temporary effect on my pain. There were no lasting benefits. I can't say it was a complete waste of time, but what I got out of it was insignificant considering how much of myself I poured into it.
How do you think your inner child feels about:
This evokes in me a sense that you are not being seen for who you really are. Your inner child may feel rage and hurt and other difficult feelings down deep ---feelings that "shouldn't be felt." Dr. Sarno said you "use your imagination" to ascertain what is going on down below, based on information from your journaling and self-observation. And you "understand" these feelings and that they are driving the TMS. Beyond that there is counseling to help you get in touch with more feelings, which Dr. Sarno found was needed in 20% or so of the cases. You may know all this, but I wanted to point out how journaling is specifically used in the TMS theory.
So in a way you are ahead of some folks who only notice goodist behaviors for instance. You are already in touch with possible hurt and anger...in the now?
That may be in the right ballpark. When I first l earned about TMS I thought maybe the pain was not so much a distraction from repressed emotions, but rather was intended to distract me from what I really am. I thought this by connecting what I was learning about TMS with what Anita Moorjani wrote about in her book Dying To Be Me. I don't think I'm the only one here who has felt lifelong pressure to conform to other people's expectations, and they really, really don't like it when I express myself in my own way and not the "right" way. I think maybe I'm repressing my true identity to maintain peace with those around me.
Then comes the question, how can I express my true self to relieve the internal pain without creating equally undesirable external conflict? I think maybe this problem explains why I feel waves of resistance when I attempt to tell my brain what to do. Mind you, I'm just taking an educated guess here. I'm not sure if I'm on the right track or not.
I sometimes tell people TMS is caused by the difference between what we feel and what we think we should feel. This can go very deep! Including who we take ourselves to be, moment to moment. We all give up our authenticity to be with our care-givers when we are young, to be in the field of their love. In time, we are habituated to the norms. A.H. Almaas says you see a two year old start to do things to manipulate the caregivers. We take on pretenses he says, until we end up believing our own pretense! We start by fooling others, and end up believing our "image" of ourselves.
In my experience, TMS is challenged by "individuation:" allowing ourselves to be who we are, not what someone thinks we should be. The first barrier is the Superego, which cements in our "pretense" by scaring us if we even think about living a less bounded, less familiar identity ---both our inner life, and expressed in the outer world. So I think you have to disengage with the Superego, because it is this inner restriction that is much more powerful than the outer world. We project it on others in the outer world, and then we believe "all those people won't be my friend, employer, etc." if I am myself. Alternatively, the Superego is so painful that we may seek relief in ways that we "act out," and get negative feedback from others. When you can discern yourself from the the Superego, things get clearer. So does the communication with others, and so does the willingness to accept negative feedback.
When we are closer to being our real selves, we have support and resources, more of our own love, so that what others think of us is less important. Being ourselves becomes more important than diminishing ourselves in order to be in an idealized relationship with others, which never measures up anyway!
I am seeing with clients that there is a direct correlation between an inner sense of freedom (less identified with restrictive self-images) and pain relief. The more we "are ourselves" the less has to "not be felt" perhaps. So I want to confirm your thoughts above. The fact that you can see and feel this conflict about whether it is OK to be yourself is probably good news, because you are 1)aware of the conflicts, 2)are being guided by something deep in you to be more yourself (to be out of pain). It is an exciting path!!
Andy, what you've said makes a lot of sense to me. Your second paragraph went a bit over my head, but maybe it'll be clearer after I digest it for a day or two.
I think I felt that intuitively all along, well before I ever heard about TMS. You've put it into words quite neatly. I might add the phrase "or what others tell us we should feel."
From the start of my painful ordeal I thought to myself that the sense of feeling physically trapped by pain mimicked feelings of being emotionally bottled up for many years before that. My pain actually started in mild form almost exactly ten years ago this month when I had the strangest emotional experience of my life. I can't explain it all here, but it was a "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" sort of thing involving waves of regret accompanied by a real struggle to express myself without freaking out the people involved.
That correlates with what I wrote at the start of this thread, about telling my subconscious that we (conscious and subconscious mind) both wanted freedom, but I felt a huge wave of resistance to that idea, as if to say "No way, buster!" I got really discouraged by that.
Exciting is not the word I would use. I feel like I've just realized how deep I dug myself into a hole and I still don't know how to climb out, or if that's even possible.
I think James that this deserves inquiry then. Ellen spoke of observing this as old nerve pathways. I speak of the fear of "expanding beyond who you take yourself to be." You have huge clues as to what is most up for you around TMS and your own desire to be yourself. This is the way to "climb out" and you are doing it. It feels like a hole, but it is not so much a hole, as it is a whole, looking for expression. The expression will come if you keep attending to it, and it may take someone with skills to help you. For Superego work, I always recommend Soul Without Shame. Glad some of my writing is helping.
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