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Waking up exhausted/fatigued - How to fight the trigger?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by epitomeofhealth, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. epitomeofhealth

    epitomeofhealth New Member

    Hi everyone! So my TMS has been Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-like symptoms -- unrelenting fatigue all day, insomnia, GI problems, dizziness upon standing up, exercise intolerance, poor circulation to my extremities, etc. I've had all the medical tests and all is completely normal, which leads me to TMS.

    Since discovering the TMS diagnosis, a lot of my symptoms have disappeared -- no more GI problems, insomnia has improved, and fatigue for most of the day has improved. What hasn't improved is the horrible fatigue upon waking up. When I wake up, I feel as if I didn't sleep at all, and haven't slept in three days. It's unrefreshing and horrible.

    I'm assuming that "waking up" is somehow a trigger, as at this point I kind of expect it, and maybe even dread it. I've been trying to do affirmations about waking up refreshed, but is that just focusing on the symptom even more? Also, when I wake up, should I just jump out of bed and pretend I'm not tired at all? Or should I try to sleep a bit more? I think a tiny part of me really is worried that because of the insomnia, I'm actually not getting enough quality sleep, and so the fatigue is actually real sleep deprivation. I can't be sure. Should I focus on the tired feeling with curiosity and try to embody it and understand it better mindfully? That also seems to lead to focusing on it, which I'm not sure is best. I feel like so much advice is contradictory, and I'm not sure what approach to take.

    I guess I'm just wondering what the best approach is for beating this branch of the TMS. I've been working on the SEP and journaling and trying to feel my emotions ... but in terms of the trigger aspect and handling the very real symptom, what do you suggest?

    Thanks everyone!
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    I had all the symptoms you mention and have overcome all although I still have problems with insomnia. Yes, I often woke up feeling more tired than when I went to bed. This has resolved. I believe it is a combination of TMS and the effects of non-restful sleep. Our unconscious is still working during our sleep and so can still create TMS. Our dreams can cause us to tense our bodies, and wake up exhausted from it.

    Just keep working the TMS strategies and know that it takes awhile to unwind all the tension for some of us. Get up and go about your routine as best you can. Living your life as best you can in spite of your TMS symptoms is the way to practice outcome independence. Find joy and purpose in life in spite of your pain or fatigue. It is possible. Don't overthink it. Place your attention on all the wonderful things this life has to offer.

    Live a healthy lifestyle and take very good care of yourself. Then stop thinking about yourself and your physical symptoms and live. Shift your focus outside yourself. Let it be. Breathe. Relax.

    You'll get there. You've already had a great deal of success. Congratulations! You are on the right path.
  3. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think Ellen gave you an exceptionally good advice.

    I posted before on my struggles with insomnia. It was very bad. Among other things, my fear of not getting a good night of sleep would go into high gear before going to bed - as a result I would get my self-fulfilling prophecy fulfill next morning. Remember, obsessive tendencies is part of who TMS-ers are.

    Meditation of some kind in the evening (yoga, qi gong or sitting meditation) seem to have done the trick for me. Although I occasionally have a rush of anxiety over not sleeping well, I have built up my confidence, night-by-night, until I no longer loath the time when I have to go to bed. The more I am outcome-independent, the better I sleep. I am not there 100%, but I even had couple nights of a child-like sleep, with dreams and no waking up at all, which was my dream (no pun intended) for years.
    epitomeofhealth likes this.
  4. epitomeofhealth

    epitomeofhealth New Member

    Thanks so much, Ellen and TG, for your insight and encouragement! This forum is awesome, and I'm so grateful to you for sharing wisdom and experience.

    TG - something I've definitely been trying with some success is to not be "afraid to go to sleep, dreading the morning" as I used to be. You're right -- it's definitely a self-fulfilling prophecy! I've stopped taking all sleep aids, and while I still wake up really tired, it's certainly no worse than it was on the sleep aids, and now I'm not putting chemicals into my body! It's definitely slowly getting better, so I think I just need to continue to tell my brain it's TMS and to stop thinking about it. I can't believe how much that really does work.

    I guess part of it is just me being an incredibly impatient person, and I feel like hey, I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be for TMS healing, so why hasn't it all gone away yet? But it's only been three weeks since I discovered Sarno/TMS, so I've got to give it time. After all, it certainly did take a long time for me to get to this point.

    Thanks so much again.

    Love and peace,
  5. jayMck

    jayMck New Member

    I haven't been on the forum for a while, but I thought I had to chime in when I read "waking up exhausted." After 20 years of back pain, I discovered Dr Sarno about 2 or 3 years ago. Simply reading Healing Back Pain did the trick.

    However, over the last 6 months I've had several episodes of what Sarno calls the symptom imperative. Stiff sore neck, IBS, knee pain, shoulder pain, a new bout of back pain (which just appeared out of nowhere this Saturday morning) and through most of it, restless sleep. I always wake up stiff, sore and tired. My jaw muscles are sore from clenching my teeth, my legs are stiff and sore, my back is sore, my neck is sore.

    I know I'm on the right path, and working through this stuff as I sleep, but it's easy to get discouraged. Right now I'm reading through Unlearn Your Pain by Schubinger. And I'm finding that the symptoms are intensifying. So I'm thinking it means something is working. Two nights in a row I've had crazy dreams where I'm naked in public. Hmmm. How's that for symbolism? Maybe my subconscious is afraid that I'm going to unmask something, discover something it wants to hide?

    I'm taking comfort in the fact that my subconscious is sensing defeat for this round and is throwing everything it has at me, even when I'm sleeping.

    Don't get discouraged!

    epitomeofhealth and Ellen like this.
  6. epitomeofhealth

    epitomeofhealth New Member

    Ooh I love this idea! I've also been having some interesting dreams lately, and when I analyze the emotional content of them, I've been finding a lot of feelings of unworthiness, of being around people that I feel lesser than ... which I'm realizing is kind of the way I live my life, in some ways. Like you, I'm feeling like I'm definitely on the right path ... I just want this to be over already!!! I just want my energy back. I feel like I'm doing all the right things -- focusing on the psychological, rooting through my emotions, acting like the pain isn't there ... but the fatigue hasn't relented quite yet. I'm hoping it happens soon!

    Thanks for the encouragement! :)
    AMarie likes this.

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