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When that voice says, you are not going to get better????

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by G.R., Mar 3, 2014.

  1. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    As I am reading everyone's posts, I think many people struggle with that voice that says you are
    not going to get better. Or maybe, it is the symptoms and the pain saying you are not going to get better.

    I like to ask what strategies and what do you do when you hear that voice saying you are not going
    to get better and tries to bring you in despair??? Please, be specific. I know many of you are doing
    so much better and can be a great help in this area.
    Msunn likes this.
  2. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Hi G.R. Claire Weeks would say to expect those thoughts to come and when they do, just let them float by. She says not to pay attention to them or become identified with them. This is very hard to do and takes a lot of "attention" training. Most of us are unable to keep our attention on what is positive and productive for us. To do this "attention" training, I am relying on Guy Finley. He explains so much about "attention", how to be in control of it instead of letting any passing negative thought or errant reality overtake you. I have been doing various exercises he recommends. It is very difficult because I think that my undisciplined mind and mind chatter has always been behind most of my problems.

    I think the worst thing we can do is to get into arguments with these negative thoughts. They will always win, at least in the sense that we give them reality when we condescend to argue with them.
  3. LindaRK

    LindaRK Well known member

    Like chickenbone, I, too, follow Claire Weeke's suggestions on letting the pain "float by". Not always an easy thing to do, either! Two weeks ago, I was very ill with bacterial bronchitis and spent most of my time in the recliner watching the Olympics. Of course, having all that "down time" really gave my thoughts a run for their money ..... the leg and lower back pain set in immediately. The pain only occurred when I was laying in that recliner, no when standing, walking or even lying in bed at night. And, because I was so weak and feeling so ill, I didn't feel like getting up and moving around, although I did as much as I could (not alot!). Initially, I tried floating through it, but the pain was pretty darn bad - both legs and back. Even the Olympics didn't distract me. It was pretty frustrating at first, but then I told myself that this was crazy. Why would my legs and lower back start hurting when I was in that chair? Oh yeah, I tell myself - it's probably because I'm spending too much time on my rear end. Wait a minute! Don't go there! I felt like I had this devil and angel on each shoulder trying to tell me what was going on! LOL! Well, oddly enough, after about 2-3 the leg/back pain really subsided and came and went and eventually disappeared and I was still laying the reliner and not walking any more than before. TMS strikes again! I'm learning it's very important to address the pain at the onset - think about what's going on with you right then ...... for me, this hasn't been easy, as I keep coming up with the same issues, although my "lists" are pages long. I agree about not arguing with your thoughts, but for me, addressing them at the instant they occur seems to be helpful. Telling myself that it's so ridiculous - the pain wasn't even making sense. It was TMS. As to the voices telling me I'm not going to get better - yeah ..... I don't even have crippling pain. Well, sometimes it can be bad, but not much. It's just that almost constant niggling pain and flare ups. I sometimes get frustrated that "this is as good as it's going to get". Hard not to get caught up in that mindset, too, and do the calendar thing ...... but, I keep reading success stories and doing the journaling and SEP program and hanging in there. I'm not going to settle for where I am now. I think it's important for us to tell our subconscious that we are strong and will move beyond our pain.
  4. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    If anyone has seen the movie - Gremlins, you may remember that you should never let them wet. If you don't give them water, they are fine and cuddly. If they get wet .... they turn into raging demonic monsters. I liken my internal demons along those lines ... if you give them the negative, they are voracious. If you love them and cuddle them ... they are your sweet friend.

    Another tool is Motivational Cards ... I have faerie cards, animal cards, Louise Hay, and a few others. Not Tarot, as they are not motivational. I sit quietly, shuffle the cards for a while, and one will often fall out. If it doesn't, you just select one (with your non-dominant hand). The message is simple and easy to explore.

    Often, I imagine my Angel companion is at my back, his or her wings wrapped protectively around me.

    Self-talk is important. Key words, mantra words. I am safe. Or a poem, or phrase, or lyrics. They are used as a reminder. When I lived in Alaska, and depression was seeping in and out, I put on temporary tattoos of butterflies, dragonflies, faeires. This was another reminder. Sometimes on my wrists, sometimes my ankles.

    Deep breaths with affirmations. I can do this. I am strong. I am .....

    I look at my dog and marvel at the love.
    I look and look and just really observe the world around me.

    ... and listen. To the wind in the trees. Rain. Birds. Insects. People sounds. Your own breathe. Listen.

    with grace and gratitude,
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    G.R. likes this.
  6. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    From another thread (bemused and gentle changes), Nancy invoked the memory of another, very valuable motivational tool .....

    Give yourself in service to someone else.
    Use your own insecurity as your basis.

    I am not a musician-artist, but I can teach music. I can motivate and inspire simply by my belief in someone's innate ability. Every Sunday, a group of busy women have fallen into the joy of practicing music. An assured woman started her piano-keyboard shyly. Another takes up the mandolin and violin (they share the same string names). Two others take up guitars (both started on my lovely pink electric Fender named The Duchess, and one still has her), the one who has my Duchess found confidence to get a banjo, and also plays the Native Flute, another is learning the flute, and the largest of all ... they are singing. Several were terribly shy with traumas of being told they had poor voices, or were not good enough .. I provide sheet music in the keys needed, tabs for guitar, flute, mandolin, and even a concert ukulele (an 11 year old young lady).

    Every Wednesday, there is an additional practice for the quieter ones.

    Ages range from 40's to 70's. Women with painful histories.

    During these moments of full attention on anyone but myself, with my awareness of the magic that these women are creating from the wells of their own insecurities .. pain rarely intrudes. Though there are days where it is there, I use it to make them stronger ... an example: one day my hands hurt too much and I could not maintain the many chord changes needed for Hallelujah, so I informed the keyboardist she must carry the song rolling chords, and another must do this, and that and and and .... at first they were uncertain, but now they soar *smiles*

    This ..... this motivates me into becoming even stronger.

    Every single one of us has something to offer.
    Every single one of us ... you do. You really do.
    Find it. Use it.

    Light your corner of the world ....

    with grace and gratitude,
  7. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I absolutely love this, and sounds like something Alan Gordon would suggest about being kind to yourself. It is similar to an old thread, Feeding the wolf vs. lancing the boil. The way in which we react to these situations will have an impact on our health. Worrying that you are never going to get better is similar to pouring water on a gremlin.

    With fear of being too simplistic, when you are worrying if you are going to get better, the best thing to do is to remind yourself that you do in fact have TMS, therefore your symptoms are benign. In my case, I noticed that my fear and anxiety about my symptoms were based on my fear that I had a real, incurable injury. During my recovery when my symptoms flared up and I began to worry again, I reminded myself that I had TMS and therefore there was no need to worry about the pain because it will go away. This sounds very similar to the idea of floating the pain.

    One of the first steps TMSers need to accomplish is to become comfortable with their pain. By this, I mean, you need to reach a point where you can have symptoms and not let your mind go to that place of fear, where you worry that you are getting worse and will be damaged forever. If you are in a place of calm, you can then remind yourself to Think Psychological and to turn your focus to your emotions. I tend to view this hand in hand with Living Tension Free, which focuses on reducing emotional tension, which is something that I continue to have difficulties with, but have found immensely helpful in calming my inner bully.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, Herbie has it right, that when we are impatient with our healing, we just have to remind ourselves
    that it is TMS and not physical or structural. It's from repressed emotions that we haven't yet fully explored
    or found peace with. The more peace we find in ourselves, the more we will become free of pain.

    Reducing emotional tension in ourselves brings us at peace with ourselves. Being kind to ourselves is so
    important. Being patient and trusting in God to bring us peace and make us pain-free.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and LindaRK like this.
  9. LindaRK

    LindaRK Well known member

    Walt, what you posted is just what I needed to read today. THANK YOU!
  10. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Hi Forest - You are so right that one of the first things TMSers must do is to become comfortable with their pain. We really must learn to live with the pain before we can live without it. Anyone who is trying to recover by thinking they would be cured by the pain going away doesn't understand the nature of TMS. It is the fear and emotional distress causing the pain that needs to abate, often long before the pain goes away. I think that the key to telling if someone has truly recovered is when they can think of their pain, imagine it, without feeling fearful or other negative emotions.
  11. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    This is an important issue that all TMS sufferers can gain benefit from examining. First of all, I think it is very important to remember that the purpose of the symptoms is to make you feel helpless, anxious and fearful. What could be more fear and anxiety producing, or create a greater sense of helplessness than the idea that you will never get better? These kind of thoughts are natural reactions that almost anyone would have to chronic pain. They are the result of human instinct, compounded by any sort of patterns we have picked up along the way (more on that below). So first of all: be patient with yourself. Recognize that the pain is specifically trying to make you feel this way, so there is no shame or failure in experiencing those feelings. The question becomes not "Why do I experience this anxiety, what the heck is wrong with me" but rather "How can I address this anxiety and help myself to feel better".

    There are a number of good suggestions above as to how you can address that desparing voice, but I thought I would add a couple ideas into the mix. One thing you can do is to create an evidence sheet, a list of reasons that demonstrate that you do indeed have TMS. So many of my clients benefit from being reminded over and over, that their symptoms are not structural. Maybe your pain comes and goes, maybe it moves around, maybe you have a clean MRI, or a Doc that you trust has told you your symptoms are stress induced. Whatever it is, write it down and put it somewhere that you will see it often. Whenever you feel that voice telling you that you will continue to be stuck, remind yourself of all these reasons that demonstrate to you that the symptoms are not structural. If the problem is not structural, it can be dealt with. It will take practice, diligence and hard work, but it can be done.

    If you find that the problem is not buying into the TMS diagnosis but rather that you doubt your capacity to overcome TMS, then you must recognize that this is a self-abusive behavior. This is what got you into the problem in the first place! Telling yourself that you aren't capable, judging yourself for being stuck, doubting your capacity to take on the practices, these are all judgmental, pressure based thoughts that your inner bully uses to keep you subservient and in pain. Part II of the TMS Recovery Program goes into detail on how to address these kind of thoughts. This kind of self-abuse is key to understanding your own patterns and how they are connected to your symptoms.
    G.R. and tigerlilly like this.
  12. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Cool, I love this thread. If the Voice is audible and you can actually hear it. The Tms method is to tell it to shut up or stop it.

    The Weekes way is to let the thought float over you as you face its accusations and don't fear it.

    The parts way is to ask the voice does it have a name and then get to your self part and have a conversation with this doubting part thus gaining confidence and truth where doubt and hurt had been.

    The Abraham low way is to not pay any attention or give any thought to the trivialities of this voice for in time when you don't react to the voice it will leave anyhow.

    My way was to imagine a knob on a huge radio and hear the voice coming from a huge speaker in my imagination. Then when I'd see the knob in front of me and hear the voice I'd just reach out and turn the sound to the voice from 10 to 0 -- down till I heard nothing and repeated if needed. This would usually get the voice out of my mind.

    The nlp way is to imagine the voice coming from your big toe -- now wouldn't that steer things up. I have used many many styles. I have even tapped negative emotions with the voice away. I do them all and they all work well.
    G.R. likes this.
  13. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Eric, I just love your response to this. I am going to put this in my tool box. I think I will turn the speaker to 0. How great!!!
    I think sometimes that voice that you are not getting better can be so intimidating. I have to capture the first thought of it and not
    let it bully me.

    Thanks Eric for your response. I learn so much from you and you always know the exact words to say.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  14. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Alex, Thank you for your response. I think I will post this thread on my refrigerator to reinforce that I am getting better and better.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  15. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Excellent, Herbie, for pointing out the possibilities. It is interesting that the ONLY way that has ever worked well for me is the Abraham Low way to trivialize it. The instant I engage it in any way, I have lost.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  16. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Chickenbone, I think you are right.
  17. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I trivialize a worry or anxiety by laughing at it. It's amazing how fast the problem goes away.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  18. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Right, Walt, that has been my experience also.
  19. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank You GR. I have learned that we can expand our boundaries and learn many methods for getting out of tight spots. That's what those defeating voices are ya know. Yes I was amazed when I learned I could turn down a sound I heard in my mind. Wow, but that's why we study so we can learn how to expand our learnings to effect a change. I love and invite different styles. Don't like limits or rules much even though in the imagination their are rules but no limits. We have friends on this planet that out think computers. You are always stronger with that you know -- and it actually works. I love that.
    Bless You.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
    G.R. likes this.

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