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When Your Brain Says, "Well now you've done it!" /Overcoming triggers

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by hoolie, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. hoolie

    hoolie Peer Supporter

    When I look back at advice and support I've given to others along the way, I have to laugh a little. I am so bad at following my own advice!

    Here's my problem. I am not new to TMS, I have had so many successes, and still struggle so acutely with FEAR. My current situation reveals to me the extent to which I still battle it.

    My first TMS symptom was back pain. While I consider it more or less "cured", I still fear certain activity and movement, a lot, especially lifting heavy things....although I pick up and carry two year olds (twins) all day long. Over the weekend, I helped with a garage sale and my friend asked me to help her move a heavy sofa a few inches out of the way. With a moment of hesitation, and realizing that she had just carried it from the basement (and is smaller than me and not exactly a bodybuilder!) with her husband, I helped her push it back.

    I could have congratulated myself for facing this demon, but instead my brain has been condemning me for it every since. I have had some pretty bad back pain and soreness, starting after that activity(though in reality, it didn't feel that difficult, or hurt, while I was doing it). I hear things like, "Well, that was stupid. Why did you think that was a good idea? Do you really thing you were ready for that?" and "Well, maybe you weren't injured before that, but you are now! Those 'strong and healthy' mantras don't apply anymore, 'cuz you messed yourself up!" (Does anyone else have thoughts like this? I feel so alone). I think if I had chosen to do this with a lot of planning, I'd have less fear, but because it was a 'surprise situation', my brain is beating up on me.

    I am a PT by training, so unfortunately I still have a lot of lingering "bodies are fragile" mentality.

    So I guess I just need some serious reassurance and TLC :) I'm scared, so sick and tired of being scared, and need some help this time. Also, any advice on overcoming these triggering activities would be so helpful.

    Thanks in advance.
    plum likes this.
  2. Zoltan

    Zoltan New Member

    Hi Hoolie,

    I used to fear facing the pain and forced myself to finish my scheduled walks still. It is easy to say that you will not be hurt, but very hard facing the pain. In your case you dread the possibility of the return of pain or even more pain. Well, as Echart Tolle would advise, notice the thought but do not judge it. Notice it and know it is there, and know that it is not you. It is only ego. It wants to force you into a comfortable prison of self doubt, series of complaints and judgements. So whatever it says it's OK because you know it is fake. When you observe it without response it will shut up and your consciousness fills up its place.
    Ellen and plum like this.
  3. TheUndyingMind

    TheUndyingMind Peer Supporter

    Just my opinion, but I've laid off physical activity a lot as I work on my mental state. Don't get me wrong, I still stretch, go on walks and use an elliptical but I haven't hit the gym in several weeks. I've been practicing a lot more relaxation techniques, breathing and taking life in & trying to have a more positive attitude/outlook. I figure once I feel good in my mind then I'll just know when I'm good to do vigorous activities.

    I guess what I'm saying is do stuff based on how you feel and then don't 2nd guess yourself. I think the reason you helped move the couch is because subconsciously you were ready to do that kind of thing. Trust the part of you that's doing things without hesitation and confidently reassure your conscious-self to chill and there's no reason to freak out :)
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  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    I've lost count of the goofy things I've done on the road to recovery. I seem to have a real knack for self-sabotage. If I'm not doing something daft, I'm thinking something chronically stupid, leastways that's how it feels. However I know that pretty much everyone else is bumbling around, getting on with being civilised and sensible, wondering why we all play along instead of just play. And then I smile and realise I've caught the little monster of bullshit jabbering again and I ruffle its silly hair and go give something a cuddle.

    You know you're ok. It's nothing more than stoopid TMS doing it's stoopid thing. Be nice and nurturing to yourself. This fear will pass. As for triggers? Go gently, mindfully. And don't worry if things get wiggy (as they have, as they do), because it's only a teeny tiny setback within the big shining beautiful orb of your healing.

    Hugs from afar lovely hoolie.
    Ellen likes this.
  5. hoolie

    hoolie Peer Supporter

    Thank you thank you all. I don't post on here often-- it's only when I really need a shift in perspective and reassurance that I do.

    @plum, I think you're right. I think I do know I'm ok, somewhere in there. I just have to cut through all that noise to realize it. Some days, like that one, when I'm so scared and hurting, it's so easy to blame myself. This alone is a trigger, as it reminds me of how my mind was when this whole thing started. Obsessing, ruminating, blaming, despairing. Thank you for your gentle words and kindness. I like being called "sweetness" and "lovely", maybe I could try using those words on myself :) What a thought. Hugs right back.

    @Zoltan, you're right, that isn't me. It's just the Asshole, as @TheUndyingMind called it in another post (funny, I had just journaled and called it by the same name).

    @TheUndyingMind , that's a great thought. Subconsciously I felt ready, felt whole, and I should trust that part of me. 2nd guessing comes all too naturally to me, especially when it comes to TMS and challenging myself. So I just need to bolster myself with courage that I have found in other peoples' stories.

    thank you for taking the time to chime in and help.
    plum likes this.
  6. Lou

    Lou New Member

    I had a similar experience this morning. I hefted the garbage bins outside last night with the idea that it would not cause a problem because there is no physical reason why it should. This morning I had pain in my shoulder and immediately started trying to figure out why. "Oh, yeah, the garbage bins ". Then I realized what was going on and said, "No way. Those bins were't heavy. I know what you are doing brain and it isn't going to work." The pain disappeared!

    Unfortunately, it was soon replaced by terrible anxiety! I did somatic tracking, which helped somewhat though not as much as usual. I then had to do some breathing exercises to finally calm down.

    I know this is a process that is going to take time and patience. The more I try the harder my brain fights back but I am slowly making progress. My biggest improvement- regardless of the pain, I am once again sitting...yeah!! It feels great.

    Just keep trying. You only fail if you give up (I've been told this many times and I actually believe this these days.) I know we will all get our lives back and be rid of the fear eventually. Good luck! ..and here's a "HUG" to help you along ! Have a great day!
    plum likes this.

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