I think I’m going to do something which is scaring the shit out of me but I think some part of my brain thinks it’s the best thing for me: disengage from TMS healing. I’ve had lots of helpful advice on this forum for which I am very grateful for. I have seen some progress (although lots of ups and downs) but I feel truly worn out and exhausted and think I need to simplify a bit. The best five days I’ve had was when I only did some mindfulness -not checking the forum, reading about it,etc. I’ve healed from these pains before. I don’t remember how I healed last time (maybe never 100%, we'll say 100% 80% of the time, and the other 20% was pretty mild) and I always just treated the flares as stress related and didn’t really do anything other than maybe a meditation or exercise or "wait it out" for a few days. I know in that healing journey I tried a bunch of healing techniques. I know I had shed some after they were not working, so maybe at the end I really had given up, and maybe that’s what I need to do again. I think if there is no progress in doing this than moderate pain forever might still be better than mild pain but super stressed out about healing all the time. My fear is that “doing less” will mean more pain and getting back to square one – but I think it’s a leap of faith I need to take. At least for a month. If it doesn’t work, I can always come back to what I’ve been doing. Anyhoozle, I wanted to give a dump of the lingering questions and thoughts on my mind so I can (at least initially) temporarily walk away not feeling like “if only I had gotten an opinion on this one thing maybe I’d be healing better..” 1) What are your tips to deal with obsessing over both symptoms themselves and over “how to heal” Despite knowing 100% my symptoms are not physical (way too much evidence and symptom imperatives), I still obsess over “wanting the pain / anxiety to go away”. I know it is counter productive. I know the best I do is when I don’t focus on it – but that happens by accident. If I try to not focus on it, I focus on it. If I just regularly focus on it, then I focus on it! But I can’t reliably “accidentally” not focus on it, especially if pain is above a certain threshold. 2) Has journaling / finding hidden emotions / finding stressors made you worse? I’ve been trying to determine what could be my underlying stressors and hidden emotions. Sometimes you get the vibe from other people that it is “just a matter of time until you turn over the right stone”. However, I feel like all I’ve done is kick up a bunch of dirt rather than finding anything to truly making peace with. And in a quest to feel my feelings more sometimes I think I’m forcing negative feelings into situations where I feel neutral in an attempt to “release my emotional energy and not repress”. I feel like I’ve turned things that were actually ok into issues now, e.x: “I love my kids but they can be a challenge at times” --> “I’m enraged I have to take care of my kids, they are so annoying” “I love my wife, she is not perfect but we have a good thing going” –> “I’m enraged she can’t meet my every need. So selfish! I can’t believe I’m only going to have sex with one woman the rest of my life!” “I don’t like time pressure at work, but I have a good gig with fun coworkers and make great money at something I’m good at” --> “I’m enraged I have to waste 40 hours of my life every week doing pointless work that won’t be around in a few years.” 3) I’m thinking my amount of consumption of this forum, TMS books, and TMS podcasts are keeping me stuck. I think it’s getting me to identify myself as a “pain” person or an “anxiety” person. It has almost turned into a hobby. I don’t want that to perpetuate. I’ve read so many books, combed through so many posting and success stories – I really don’t think I’m learning anything new at this point. I think I’m doing it out of desperation. If anything, the more different advice I get the more confused and more frustrated I become with myself. Reading others peoples successes should help inspire me, but it often just makes me feel bad I haven’t healed. Reading about others suffering should help me to feel like I’m not alone, but it just makes me feel like I’m down in the same whole as them. Most concerning – often times when I read of other peoples symptoms I’ll get those symptoms or intensify my own symptoms . I know it’s a problem when my first thought when pain gets worse is “I better go on the TMS forum” and feel tension if I don’t allow myself to give into that compulsion. 4) Do you clearly know it’s not physical but have impulses to treat it physically? I run three miles a day. If often times makes my anxiety / cpps / dizziness BETTER. Yet there are times when I’m sitting in a certain position and I don’t want to move “in case it makes it worse”. I just ran three miles an hour ago! Of course moving won’t make it worse!!! Or I’ll feel I should stretch or massage when I KNOW that has never helped me before. 5) If you were to wave a magic wand over me now and got rid of my pain and anxiety I think I would just feel empty and no know what to do with myself, and this could be in part keeping me in pain. 6) Even when a good moment is happening, or I’m not in pain, I’ll think "well I still would rather this time being spent doing TMS stuff cause you know its just going to come back and I want a permanent cure, not just a small window!" I think I need to embrace the windows or pain free time I get to really just live my life and enjoy it, not still focus on it just as much. How else is it possibly going to go away? I’m not letting it – it is almost as if I’m telling myself “there is no way I’ve healed yet, so I can’t put down my guard for a moment as there is more work to be done” as if I KNOW when “I’m healed” and that my body is wrong when it is in a pain free state. Salted nuts! 7) I’m frustrated I have this issues in the first place. I feel like someone in my life situation shouldn’t have anything to trigger this stuff. Not to brag (cause I don’t enjoy any of it!) but I’m reasonably attractive, reasonably athletic, make big six figure income (don’t care about money but it is nice not having to worry about it), only work 40 hours a week, good at my job, not that much pressure, two adorable and mostly behaved kids, wife who has stood by me through all my mental crap over the years, supportive and alive family, no real issues growing up. What the hell reason is there for me to have anxiety and pain? I feel I am squandering a great gift! I think it could be because I want more (well, I can’t imagine anything that would make me feel whole maybe more appropriately "nothing satisfies"), I judge every situation to be lacking in some way, I feel like I need to be superhuman and the best at everything even when I don’t care – I just want to be special and have everyone recognize it! Like I want to be a God or something, but with none of the responsibility. I have extreme high impatience, am easily frustrated, and try to control things and when I fight the impulse to give into those tendencies it feels excruciating. 8) Similar to #1, I feel like all the things I could change about myself or perception or personality is endless and would take a lifetime. I’m not even sure I’d like that version of me. It feels overwhelming and makes me feel like I can’t not hurt until I fix it all. 9) I feel like there are so many slightly different techniques / ideas / approaches, and @miffybunny helped me a bit to not concern myself so much with the differences, but I can’t help but feeling if I don’t know the reason or mechanism it is happening how can I fix it? (I’m an engineer so this is how I approach everything I think ☹ ). Is it repressed emotions? Is it neuropathways that have been learned (and somehow keep taking turns switching via some mechanism)? Is it learned behavior that I can’t seem to retrain? Is it my mind sensing danger that I’m not aware of and causing all this (how would I fix that)? Is it simply anxiety taking a break and going purely physical? If I’m having a panic attack and take an Ativan, it helps my pain moreso than the anxiety. Do I conclude that TMS (at least in my case) is just anxiety? If it really is just anxiety than maybe my healing can be rapidly simplified: do less, enjoy more. 10) I really don’t know how people can come to be indifferent to the pain. I know that is the goal. But it hurts! Even if I know its not a physical thing, it’s a damn good distraction. How to get to a level of indifference seems to be some level of mastery that I don’t think I possess. I appreciate everyone’s help along the way. Other than responding to this thread, I’m hoping I can stay off this forum for a month to see how it goes. I’m planning to just do mindfulness and try to focus more on my work, hobbies, and relationships and “ignore” the pain as best I can.