1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Our TMS drop-in chat is tomorrow (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern (now US Daylight Time) . It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support, with BruceMC as your host. Look for the red Chat flag on top of the menu bar!

Why Isn't TMS Healing a Linear Process? UGH

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by COgirl05, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    I've been battling TMS for about 18 months and have had good times and bad. Lately over the past 4 weeks, I've felt like I was really beating it. I had been working with a psychotherapist about some behavioral changes to help and they were working. My brain was changing - I was learning to not care about the pain, outcome independence, not having as much fear or preoccupation. I even survived a visit with my in-laws with no pain. This past week, however, I've been feeling more anxious about it coming back and feeling a few twinges again. A financial stress occurred early last week and I'm wondering if that was why. Just a few minutes ago, I felt a stronger twinge and got a little more freaked out by it. I'm trying to ignore it and practice outcome independence, but just could use some words of encouragement that I will, indeed, beat this sometime!
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, COgirl. Financial stress is probably the cause of your return of pain. I worried about that same thing last night and told myself "this too shall pass." This morning the situation improved and my fears did not come about.

    Here is a recent post on outcome independence and some advice about not caring about the pain that you and others might find helpful.

    The post:

    I read in here from one of the previous answers: If you stand up to this inner bully with a desired outcome in mind (e.g. getting rid of your pain), it’s inauthentic and just a subtle form of pressure. If you generate anger because you’re genuinely upset that you’re being treated cruelly, that’s when you’re on the right track.

    How does one do this? And is it really important? I feel like I'm getting bogged down in small details. I'm a push through the pain kind of person. But now that I know it is TMS I've been trying to tell myself 'I know this is repressed emotions and a conditioned response'. I get angry and tell my brain 'to stop it!' But I'm definitely doing it b/c I want to rid myself of the pain not to stand up to a bully.

    I'm becoming overwhelmed and lost with all the different things to tell my brain.


    The reply from Derek Sapico, a TMS therapist:

    The harder you push, the harder the pain pushes back.

    You mentioned that you "push through the pain" and that this is your "normal." In order to push through pain you have to be focusing on it, monitoring it, trying to ignore it, and getting upset at the pain (and at yourself by proxy). Every time you do this you reinforce the purpose of the pain: to serve as a vessel of preoccupation and fear.

    This method doesn't work because ANYTHING that you do to monitor, change, eliminate, problem solve, or push through the pain is ultimately reinforcing its purpose.

    Is this hard? Of course it's hard! It is probably the hardest thing that you will ever do. But it is worth it and IT WORKS.

    If you truly want to stand up to your inner bully in a meaningful way, the pain has to come to mean nothing to you. When you get to the point where the pain doesn't matter, you will have cut off all reinforcement and the pain will no longer have a purpose. When you have done this, the pain could be gone within days.

    My best advice for you is to stop. Stop trying to get rid of the pain. Stop pushing through the pain. Stop worrying about whether or not you're doing it right. Stop feeding this beast that thrives on fear and preoccupation. You are hurting yourself when you do these things and that should be unacceptable to you.

    You have one job only; Don't give a shit about the pain.

    The more you focus on anything pain-related, the more you reinforce it.

    If you're in pain, instead of pushing through it, focus on refusing to let it make you feel defeated or put you in a terrible mood. Wink at it and tell it that its days are numbered. Then move on with your life and try to be confident and present.

    Hone your authentic indifference to the pain and don't allow it to determine your progress. Measure your progress based on your response to the pain instead of the pain itself.

    Keep it simple and keep trying. You can do this.

  3. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    Thanks Walt! That's a great reminder. I was doing so well with that and all of a sudden my brain switched gears. I'm trying to get back to that. It's so easy to say and so hard to do! I had a great month, so hopefully each one will get longer with no pain in between. This "flair up" is very minor compared to others as well.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi COgirl05,

    This is something to really take in. You can see how your mind gets activated, fearful and worrying about the "worst" outcome. When in reality, you have made so much progress!!

    Andy B.

Share This Page