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My TMS is my stress

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by pointforward23, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. pointforward23

    pointforward23 New Member

    When I journal I'm supposed to write about life's stressors. And I have quite a few, no doubt about it. I've had several stresses in the past that coincided with the beginning of my chronic fatigue and infection state, and I have a classic TMS personality. That being said, the biggest stressor in my life are my symptoms. They're what make me feel depressed, they're what I worry about, they're what I cry over, they're what anger me like nothing else can in this world. They're what make every f*cking task in my life twice as difficult as it is for everyone else. I know, I'm not supposed to focus on my symptoms because that's what feeds them. But I also can't ignore them or pretend like they're not a big deal. They are. So when I'm writing about other "stresses" in my life, it feels like I'm being disingenuous because ultimately, anything I write about is a fraction of the stress that this syndrome takes out on me. Yeah, school is tough. Breakups affected me a lot. My parents fought when I was young. I have low self esteem, I'm anxious a lot, I aim to please others oftentimes at my own expense. I moved to another country at a young age and I didn't want to, then again as a teenager. I'm not negating the effect all this has, but nothing has ever come close to the trauma of going through this illness. Nothing has caused so much frustration and psychologic turmoil, tears, and screams of anger. Nothing has ever made me feel so alone and disconnected from others. I'm sure it's just a positive feedback loop at this point. Symptoms cause frustration, which causes more symptoms, which causes more frustration. So shouldn't I write about this? I've read so many books on TMS already and this has never been addressed. Dr. Sarno seems to explicitly advise against writing about symptoms. Any insight would be appreciated.
    Gusto likes this.
  2. AnonymousNick

    AnonymousNick Peer Supporter

    Ah, but that's just what they want you to think. :) All I could say about the lack of success with the journaling is that either you haven't hit on the biggest issue for you (this is about repression after all) or you are intellectualizing the stresses and not actually allowing yourself to feel them. There are lots of different ideas, but I don't think anyone here would say obsessing on and fearing the symptoms is the way to go. TMS isn't all childhood trauma, it could be that this is about something more current for you. It's going to sound really facile and simplistic, but a lot of this is about learning how to lighten up on yourself. You're beating yourself up through these symptoms and you need to find out why.
  3. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Write in your journal like a three year old. Scream on the page. Get p.o.'d. On the page, you don't have to have a reasonable adult perspective.
    Swear, curse, have a tantrum about how unfair it is. Really let it rip. Be completely honest...like a three year old would. Blame people. Hate them.

    There is no right and wrong way. I think it would first help you to write about the frustrations. Get that out. And, do it every day for a while until your subconscious feels it doesn't have to suppress it anymore. THEN, probably the things that caused it in the first place may come up and be recognized.
    westb likes this.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree with Marcia. It sounds like you think there are places you shouldn't go or feel in your inner work, such as anger toward the symptoms. When we're told "we better not" this only enrages us more. There really are no bounds in this work. The aspect of freedom is important. It is important to allow ourselves to go anywhere. Get angry at God. Get angry at the symptoms. Get angry at the Wiki. As Marcia suggests, the deeper roots and understanding will emerge when you don't hold back. Part of the cycling you are experiencing between the stress of symptoms and creation of them, in my opinion a lack of full release. I feel relaxed when I read Marcia's post. Part of what she, Annonomous Nick and you write about is the probable need to get really angry at the symptoms! Isn't this Dr. Sarno's advice sometimes? I'm angry at your symptoms just reading about them!
    MWsunin12 and westb like this.
  5. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Hi Pointforward,

    This could be me story.. being agry
    at the symptoms
    I took me a long time to understand
    because i felt the need to know what had to be underneath that:
    The thing i get so far is
    Big symptoms mean : not being functional : meaning not being good enough .. not being able to contribute
    Not being a ‘good’ friend, daughter
    Maybe created because i am expecting too much of myself .. perfectionisme
    I could discover i cannot be great ‘ at certain things.. so than feel as failure
    And then cannot cope with feeling unable .. dealing with imperfections
    of life, myself, other people
    Does that make any sence to you
  6. zclesa

    zclesa Well known member

    You're clearly very angry about your symptoms (which I understand) and you express it in your post. TMS is caused by repressed anger. Therefore, your symptoms are not the thing to focus on. It's about finding the thing (or at least acknowledging that there are things) that you have repressed anger over. If you feel angry about something and know you feel angry about it and are expressing anger about it, that's not "repressed anger" is it? It's the things you don't yet realise you are angry about that you need to discover. Things that you never felt anger over, because your superego wouldn't allow you to feel and express that anger, are the source of TMS. What things SHOULD you have got angry over but didn't? What things SHOULD you be getting angry over now, but aren't?

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