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Understanding fleeting success

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jamejamesjames1, May 8, 2020.

  1. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter

    Yesterday my pain went away for no e hours!! I was dizzy for six of them (symptom imperative), but still!

    I'm not sure what was different other than I let some minor annoyances be felt and was in a good mood.

    As I was relaxing in the evening it all came back and even worse than before. I didn't change anything!! In fact, I was extra confident in TMS and showed that the pain can fade in an instant. No reason for it to come back!!

    Today is just like any other day with pain but it added some new symptoms. I feel like I can't get back to that good mood I had yesterday. Trying to be annoyed to replicate yesterday feels flat and exhausting.

    It just feels so close when you have some success and justifies the whole pain origin concept... Even makes you feel like you've been doing the right things to feel good again... And then slams you back down.. really feel like you don't have control over this at all.. I'm wondering if I ever will. Knowing about it, calling it out, physical exercise, mindfulness, feel emotions, journaling. The hell does it want from me???
    Baseball65 likes this.
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a completely normal part of the process. The key is to not let it get you down but to keep remembering "hey I had a few hours (or 10 minutes or whatever) of being unaware of pain or my body, so that is proof I'm capable!". When the symptoms arise (and they will!! because it's not linear), it does NOT mean you are back to square 1. Not at all! The trick is to remain indifferent and realize that over time you will find yourself having more periods of no symptoms and fewer periods of symptoms. There is a trajectory of progress that happens at a higher level. The symptoms are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is your mood and indifference to the sensations. Over time they cease to have a purpose and thus they fade out on their own. The brain tends to fall back into old habits so this requires a great deal of patience and persistence. It's not that you are doing anything "wrong" or need to do "more". It's about letting go, having faith and not caring about things that don't matter.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  3. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter


    Thanks for the feedback.

    I thought the pain would just slowly get better over time. What I’ve been experiencing the last week is that the pain is either intense or completely gone/very mild. There does not seem to be much grey area – and the transition is fast in both directions (within seconds). I’ve been trying to pay attention to what is/isn’t happening in these moments to see what is shifting it from good to bad or bad to good, but I can’t see any rhyme or reason to it. After the pain goes away I generally do feel like I have a bit more pep in my step after a bit, and when the pain comes back I do tend to have a worse mood… but that’s AFTER the pain changes. It is frustrating when you can’t see any pattern and are flowing between pretty much fine and feeling awful.

    When I do start to feel good, I feel as if I’m walking a tightrope. Like at any moment I’ll fall back into the abyss. It seems that when I am doing good, as long as I keep super super busy and distracted I can maintain no pain, but as soon as I stop to rest, relax, watch TV, sit down – pain comes roaring back. I feel like I’m in the move “speed” but I can’t keep the intensity up forever.

    In a way, this is also driving fears of relapse (and I’m not even healed yet!) I’m afraid that I’ll start to feel good for awhile and then WHAM, I’ll be back at the bottom. I know you say it doesn’t work like that it’s just so hard to believe that I’m doing things that are moving in the right direction.
  4. phillyjoe

    phillyjoe Peer Supporter

    I have been contemplating this questions for way to long. Miffy you are spot on. I have struggled with "When will I be Normal again?" I have a date in the past scorched in my brain I was normal on this (date) I have TMS since this (date). Why can't I just be "happy" when not in pain or anxious? Your post is a wonderful reminder that TMS is just a part of me but doesn't have to control me. It's so helpful to hear someone else SAY it. Thanks.
  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    everything she said...
    miffybunny likes this.
  6. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi again!

    Jamesjames1, The process is zig zaggy in nature. The swings in intensity of symptoms and vacillations of mood are a direct reflection of your thoughts and directly correlated to emotional repression mode. What seems random with no rhyme or reason, actually is not. It's not necessary to know cause and effect but rather what IS necessary is remaining calm and unfazed. When you are "in it" it's really hard to see the forest from the trees but from an "aerial view" there is a trajectory of progress occurring. You used a tightrope analogy and there is no tightrope. get off the tightrope lol. You do't have to feel like you are walking on eggshells and any misstep and boom! ...you're back to square 1. This is simply a fear and a false belief. You can't make any mistakes and nothing you do is "right" or "wrong". That is just you placing judgment on things that don't need to be judged. Just as your pain is temporary, so are your THOUGHTS. I can't stress this enough. Your thoughts are not reality and just because you think something doesn't make it true. When you relax and let go, and trust in the process and get back to your life without pressure and with joy....the pain strategy loses it's purpose without you having to "do" anything. One day someone will ask you a bit nervously about your pain and it will take you aback because you had stopped thinking about it. You will realize "you know what? I'm doing really well actually!'... and it's all because you stopped thinking about it.

    Phillyjoe, What you describe is incredibly common! I don't think there's one person who hasn't had those thoughts. The key is to not calendar watch and compare...."I was doing so great in 2017 and working out every day at the gym. Now I can't do anything. My life is over. I'm doomed and sad. Thinking about 2017 makes me sad". Flip that script to..." I was doing great in 2017 which PROVES there is nothing wrong with me and I will be back in the gym working out! This is just a temporary experience I'm having. I'm already well. " One thing that probably helped me is I've never been big on numbers and dates so I didn't get caught up in calendar watching or timelines or deadlines. My best advice is to throw the calendar out the window and stop comparing. Instead, reassure yourself that you are already well and your thoughts are temporary and you are working to change them. I didn't know how long it was going to take me but just the knowledge that I wasn't not broken or doomed, that I was going to get better gave me such peace of mind that the timeline ceased to matter. In the meantime I was going to live happy in the knowledge that it wasn't forever. No rush. Hope this helps!

    Last edited: May 11, 2020
    Drew likes this.
  7. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    1000% true.. the Bitch is, You will know LATER but while it's going on we're pretty blind...

    agreed... but DO pay attention to which things your doing... some are winners and some are losers. It's OK to lose...just don't lose the lesson -But definitely DO something...anything...everything.
    ..and you'll actually be a little miffed at them for reminding you about it (LOL)

    I have learned that at the core, all of us are like Rock Maple solid....down there at the core where we pray from.... and all of that mushiness is our thoughts about the matter... so most of the recovery is losing my thoughts on the matter. All matters. Any matter. Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius both wrote extensively on this

    When we are recovering OR have a real life situation that doesn't have a budget for our mushy thoughts, we get a window into that rock solid maple... our symptoms go away! All of us had clues like this, but we didn't track them down or understand them until we started seeing our mind as the problem. When it cracks like jamesjamesjames1 had happen, it's a sign that we're getting down to the rock solid core.... now whatever your doing? Keep going. Somethings shaking lose...get a wedge in there and pound it and that bad boy will split open!

    ...and when I stopped worrying about what makes 'sense' and started worrying about what works, I got way better results. It will always make sense Later.

    proceed without caution
    miffybunny likes this.
  8. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Fleeting pain-free periods were part of the reason I couldn’t wrap my head around TMS/the mind-body connection. Sometimes I had worse symptoms when I was relaxed! It just means that your nervous system is still in sympathetic mode (fight-or-flight mode) from being stressed out in general, not necessarily in that moment or even on that particular day. Take comfort in knowing that this is normal and not at all permanent, and that you are not alone.
    miffybunny likes this.

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