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What to do when stuck?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Time2be, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Since almost two months I have bladder pain again. And I feel stuck. I had this before, I was doing fine for several months, almost a year. And then the pain started again. I try to do all my work then, give myself more time, look at my emotions etc. But sometimes this doesn’t work at all. Then the pain lasts two to three months. This time the pain started in a period with overwork. Every time I thought that I just have to finish this task, something else appeared and at some point I felt trapped and hunted. There was no more light at the end of the tunnel. Then I had surgery, which went fine. I had a few days without pain during sick leave. Is it possible that I am simply exhausted? Am I missing something?
  2. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    I am so sorry to hear you are dealing with this. Pelvic/bladder pain has been my issue for the last 7 months. It is awful, that's all there is to it. I have been through the Structured Educational Program and am now going through Alan's Pain Recovery Program. All very very good and helpful and I guess I feel better when I go back and re-read my notes and keep reminding myself what is going on. Does that ever help you? I guess it takes time for us to become fully convinced??? I am also just beginning to go through Dr. Shubiner's workbook, "Unlearn Your Pain". It is a big thick book so it's going to take some time to go through it, but I have hopes that it will help. I think some of my issue right now is the fact that it's the holidays and I am majorly missing my mother who died exactly 10 years ago yesterday. I really need her here to talk to, but of course that's impossible.
  3. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Yes, I am also sorry that you are going through this. It sucks ... But don't despair, the pain will vanish. I had many months with no pain whatsoever. This is just a flare. So, hang in there. Your longing for your mother is totally understandable. So, maybe grief is in your case a strong trigger! Sometimes things in life are not fair. They are just not. We can be angry and feel that we have been treated unfair. But we also have to accept realities.

    I am doing Schubiners workbook, I am half through. I thought of starting Alan's Pain Recovery Program. My problem is that I did a lot of psychotherapy, but it seems almost useless now. 6 years of psychoanalysis just helped me to cope and actually I had much less pain. But it is like walking with crutches, the psychoanalyst gives you a feeling of security. Psychoanalysis though is a very intellectual enterprise. But she also told me some time after the therapy ended that this was not really a successful therapy. The problem was I couldn't find my anger. I was simply not angry. This has changed a lot. I am in a different place and have a better access to my emotions. But not all the time as you can see from the following :)

    I have a specific problem and I would like to know how you guys see it: In spring I have originally planned to go the the US to work together with someone I have some collaboration with; I will stay for one or two weeks. I said yes to be a member of this network for two reasons: one was that I at that time thought it would be nice to travel and work with this scholar. The other reason was that with my participation the network had better chances to get the funding. Now, I find out, that I simply don't want to go. And I cannot find out if the reason is:
    - that it is not really necessary for my work (it isn't and it will actually result in stress before and after the travel)
    - I really hate long distance flights (I cannot sleep, I start to have the urge to move the legs, my bladder hurts ...)
    - I am afraid of being in pain, being alone there. Alone if I imagine a panic attack and if I need to get the urine checked - that gives makes me immediately anxious.

    Alternatively I could go to a European other university, which will make more sense work wise. And the urologist I know is close by. My parents also live in this region.

    On the one hand I feel like I should go to the US and don't avoid this travel because I am afraid of it. On the other hand it is not really necessary to do this and the other travel would be far better for my work.
    And now my brain begins to spin: is it true that the one is good for work and the other not? I don't know, really. It might be that US travel will give so much good insights and ideas! The same of course goes for the European alternative. Is my evaluation of this travel so much tainted by my anxiety that I cannot decide purely rationally?
    So, should I see the US travel as an opportunity to overcome anxiety? As a kind of exercise? Not to do the US travel, is this avoidance?
    I really would like to have your opinion!
  4. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Perhaps at this point in your recovery, a trip to the U.S. seems like an awfully big bite to take. Is there something else you can try that does not involve such a huge commitment that you can't get out of easily? Maybe something of shorter duration and closer to home?
  5. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Thanks for your reply. This would be the European travel. I am living in Denmark and are coming originally from Germany. The alternative travel would be to Switzerland and the Southern part of Germany.
    I am still concerned with the avoidance issue. I know that avoidance makes anxiety worse. Usually I don't avoid. Actually I was always someone who just jumped into the cold water without much hesitation. Was not always a good decision :) The new thing is that I now start to ask myself what I really want. And this seems much more difficult than expected.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Put your rational mind to one side for a while. What does your heart say?
  7. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    God advice. I try to listen and get back ...
    Click#7 likes this.
  8. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    Good advice maybe God......
    Time2be likes this.
  9. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Ups, good advice I meant.
  10. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Today in the Pain Recovery Program, Day 13's topic was "Overcoming Uncertainty". It might help you a lot with this issue. One thing that Alan said stood out to me as it relates to deciding between two things. He says this: “It’s going to be okay either way” is a type of Cognitive Soothing that can be really effective in the face of uncertainty. It comforts the primitive part of your brain, letting it know that you’re not in danger......99% of the time....it really is going to be okay either way. And when you find yourself worrying about a particular outcome or agonizing over a decision, giving yourself that message can go a long way toward reducing your anxiety and helping you feel safe.
    Click#7 likes this.
  11. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Thanks, Jml19! This is really helpful. I read that also once, but totally forgot about it. Cognitive Soothing, what a great notion! Now I am quite sure that I won't do the US trip (though I like the US, have been there several time, different places). But right now it is not a good time for me to do this. And maybe I simply don't travel for work at all the next months. And, by the way, I did better when I started to notice that this travel business is bothering me (though pain started again this evening and I don't know why). I have a tendency to keep things that bother me or need a decision luring in the back of my head. I try to not address the subject directly. And that almost always leads to pain. Now, I try to follow my feelings. But it is really difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what it is that is bothering me. Even to say what kind of feeling I have is often difficult. I think I need to simply listen to the feeling without wanting to classify it.

    My mother had been at the hospital, they thought she might have a stroke. She didn't, fortunately. The symptoms were not really typical (vision was impaired for 10 minutes and dizziness). So, I was not too concerned. But it is a relief anyway. I started to think about mortality . How we manage to live and have to accept mortality as one of the few certainties in our lives. I read a little book of the theologist Paul Tillich (he taught in the US in the 1950s). The book has the wonderful title "The courage to be". From his perspective courage includes the possibility of death. Only if we include mortality we can really live. I think that some TMS is also caused by fear of death and in a way also the fear to live. Tillich says that the neurotic personality and its anxiety is the result of a rigid position to life. That the avoidance of conflict makes the person also to avoid many aspects life and thus reducing her activities and protect her inner life in a kind of a fortress.

    Wish you all a wonderful weekend!
    Lainey and readytoheal like this.

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