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Doubting TMS Diagnosis

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ann Miller, Jan 4, 2022.

  1. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Well known member

    So, you’ve read the books, you’ve researched mind/body pain, you understand the concept of neuroplasticity, you check many of the boxes on how your pain behaves like neuro-plastic pain, you’ve checked many of the boxes of the typical TMS personality and yet…you still doubt. And you’ve heard that healing only happens to those who believe 100% so you are desperate to believe…and yet…you don’t. Not really. Not deeply. In your heart of hearts.

    Now what?

    First of all, take consolation in the fact that I had serious doubts too when I began this journey and I am going on three plus years of beautiful pain free living. So do not abandon hope just because you are skeptical. I believe, because I saw in myself and I see in the clients that I help every day, that there is room for both skepticism and healing. But you’re going to have to get vvveeerrryyy honest about what is fueling your doubt.

    Here are some questions to ask yourself. Answer slowly, with careful consideration, introspection and compassion. Please do not knee jerk reaction. I say that because as little goodists, we KNOW the “correct” answer to each question below and can so easily hide our true motivations even from ourselves. After all, we like to see ourselves in a favorable light just as much as having others see us that way. So take your time here and consider:

    What kind of identity and connection have I built around my symptoms? Are my symptoms ways for me to feel that others care for me? Do they give me an excuse to stop and take care of myself? Do they give me something to talk about with others when I’m feeling shy? Am I in online groups for people who suffer from the same diagnoses as me? Do I get a sense of friendship and camaraderie there? Do my symptoms give me a handy reason for my life to stay small and safe? Do they protect me from seeing how empty I am, how unworthy I feel, how few friends I have? These are tough questions and I will tell you very honestly that I had to answer “yes” to ALL of them when I first started this journey. It wasn’t easy for me to see how my pain was serving me, in fact I was quite offended at the mere suggestion…but in the end, seeing the truth was both vital and brave.

    Do I really want my pain to be TMS? On the surface this might look like, “yes, of course I do. Then I can feel better.” But underneath this top layer is a more nuanced and complicated reality. Because when I accept TMS as my diagnosis, I accept that I and I alone now have responsibility for my chronic pain. My symptoms are no longer something happening TO ME. They happen because of me and my beautiful, but somewhat overactive nervous system. And that knowledge, that acceptance has made all the difference.

    SRcombs, Cactusflower and Saffron like this.
  2. Saffron

    Saffron Peer Supporter

    Thank you for this. I don't doubt. I know this must be me. But I have chronic migraines. Wake me every day. They started 20 years ago and I've been following TMS techniques for 10 of them. But they've just worsened. I'm not giving up. I used it for my plantir. And IBS. But migraine. Waking me each morning. It's not doubt. But what am I doing wrong.
  3. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    How do you make sure that the stuff happening in the third paragraph doesn't get overlooked and actually addressed because TMS makes it really difficult to concentrate and I try to pay attention to what's really behind it when I have nothing else to do. Aside from scheduled TMS work, how do you get your brain's attention mid flare? How do you stop getting burned out when you do more life to stop avoiding? How do you do this work without using up all your mental energy?
  4. SRcombs

    SRcombs Peer Supporter

    I so get this. I know that one of my issues with TMS is that I am an introvert and I have family members who want me to be involved in way more stuff than I want to be involved in. Pain gives me a reason to not join every cause, committee and club that they want me too. I'm having to learn, instead of saying, "I'm sorry, I just don't feel well enough to do that." to say, "You know, I've really got all that I want on my plate right now, but thank you for asking." I'm having to learn that it's ok to be an introvert and to not want to go all the time. This has been an adjustment for me and for my family members. Luckily, my husband understands and is not one of the ones who pushes me. He gets that my social life is much more quiet. Lunch with a friend, sending cards to those in my Sunday school class who are suffering in some way, phone calls to those I haven't seen in a while. I'm not one for big group activities and I don't want a commitment more than once or twice a week.....AND THAT'S OK!!!!

    So yes , you have to get honest with yourself about those questions. I'm currently suffering a relapse after being pain free for several years and strangely enough it's because I retired. Now that I'm not working, I feel that I should be doing more volunteer work, but at the same time I just want to not do anything for a while and kind of slowly work my way into what feels right. My husband gave me some good advice. He asked me, "How long did it take you to really feel comfortable and "good" at your job?" I told him that it took me a good year to really feel like I'd found my groove in the workplace. He said, "So give yourself the same leeway with retirement. Spend a year trying things, but don't commit to anything. At the end of a the year you'll have a better idea of what you WANT to do and what you have time to do."
    zclesa likes this.
  5. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Well known member

    What a great way at looking at retirement. Major life changes can bring on all sorts of emotions and self judgment. Sounds like you’re on top of this.

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