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Without fail...it keeps happening

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jules, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    So, started my new job three weeks ago, and of course, it’s been a little hectic trying to learn everything about the company and my responsibilities. In short though, I love it! Now, this is where the conundrum comes in. I like it so much that I don’t want to lose it, yet, TMS is rearing its ugly head every F****** day! It seems to mainly be my ribs and shoulders, but it hit my middle back too! I am doing a lot of typing, but not as much as my last job, which ironically didn’t seem to affect my ribs or my back, only my arms and shoulders. Now, it’s both!

    I feel valued in the company and really love the challenges. My boss is great and it’s a small company, so I don’t feel like just a number. I have already given two presentations on social media, and even presented ideas that are being implemented as we speak. It’s a perfect fit, so why is TMS coming on so strongly?

    In the last 3 weeks, I’ve done painting, scraping, scrubbing, sweeping, mopping, and gardening - all without much pain - until last Sunday when I overdid it, I believe, and felt my rib pop out and start spasming big-time. This hadn’t happened in months. Since then being on the computer has been hell. It’s so bad that I take Motrin every day and icy/hot patch just to get through my workday. I only work 30 hours a week, and have half days Thursday and Friday, so not bad at all. I can’t continue to take Morin and Icy/hot every day just to be able to type. Why does TMS find the WORSE possible time to flare??

    Any ideas as to what’s going on and how to forge ahead? @plum need your sage advice, please.

    plum likes this.
  2. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Even good things that happen to us can be essentially stressful...Could it be that your subconscious is interpreting the 'hectic-ness'/pressure of learning a new job, being in a new environment and wanting to perform your new role to the best of your abilities as a bit of a threat? I'm no expert on TMS as I'm still trying to cure my own pain, but I am finding it so helpful to tell myself regularly 'I am safe' and 'everything is okay'...Also, perhaps on your days off, at least during the early days of getting stuck into your new job, in your spare time increase the amount of calming pleasurable things you do, e.g. visualizations, deep breathing, meditation, self massage or whatever you find relaxing...and keep the things you don't like doing to a minimum if possible.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
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  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    I'm happy to hear you're enjoying your new job and I think @BloodMoon is right about the eustress, the good stress. I like her suggestions around self-soothing and peaceful, pleasurable activities. Eustress, distress and stress can exert the same effects on the body and mind so you may be experiencing little more than a TMS tickle, as it were. I don't have a personal example of good stress affecting me (oy vey :)) but I can describe something from the other end of the spectrum in the hopes you/we can extrapolate.

    I've noticed in myself, in the past, a strange relationship between life getting better/me feeling better vs. TMS and self-sabotage. Basically I can be riding high and something happens (all have been legitimate such as the man I have a restraining order against violating the order or a family member being hospitalised), and subsequently everything falls to shit and TMS arises.

    Over the last year I've been keeping a dated journal (as opposed to free-writing with no time markers) and I've overlayed the various incidents on top of that. A clear pattern emerged: every single time I started to feel really good about life, something rotten would happen. It reached the point where I would feel great and joke about it with my partner a'la Cassandra...and then within a few days all hell would break loose.

    Initially it was vexing. I would reflect on the solid TMS advice that we don't need to rid ourselves of stress to overcome TMS and yet I was being de-railed every 6-8 weeks as a matter of course. As time rolls by though I have come to see that I've allowed these events to throw me a curve. I don't know why the distress follows a predictable cycle (esoteric explanations aside) but I do know I don't have to let it rattle me so much.

    I'm gently facing down this tendency to lurch reactively thereby letting the stress sabotage the good things. It's taking a measure of mindfulness and discipline but I am breaking the pattern. I remind myself that TMS simply adores riding bareback on our self-destructive behaviours and that sometimes we have to get out our psychological magnifying glass to examine the minutiae, gently so, no digging, just tending and observing.

    It does well to remember that this is nothing more than the symptom imperative and to do our best not to get sucked in. I've found attending to my health and well-being on a general level helps to alleviate the fear and obssessive thinking.

    Mostly Jules I would treat it as just another flare-up. No biggie. Simply TMS doing it's daft thing. Try not to feed the animal. Call to mind the victories you've had beating this sucker before and be very aware of the dramatic nature TMS employs to recapture your attention. Bodily pops, pulls, yanks and throbs are all TMS tactics to make you believe you have injured yourself. There are posts on here pretty much every day (and often posted by the same people) who think they have injured themselves but once you take a step back, it's as clear as day that the TMS strategy has them firmly in its grip. Keep your eye on the psychological prize. Face down the mindgames. Forge ahead.

    I hope this helps.

    Love to you xxx
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  4. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    | Bodily pops, pulls, yanks and throbs are all TMS tactics to make you believe you have injured yourself. There are posts on here pretty much every day (and often posted by the same people) who think they have injured themselves but once you take a step back, it's as clear as day that the TMS strategy has them firmly in its grip.

    You ain’t kidding! It is the weirdest thing how benign noises can scare the living shit out of us! And, I know this is the symptom imperative at it again; I just thought by now, I would have kicked it to the curb for good. I find it interesting that this started when I was giving the bird to TMS and was doing it anyway. Oh, and another thing, my therapist said that we have been processing all the traumatic things that have happened to me or my family and now is the time to feel the effects of what those traumas did. She said that takes longer and can be more emotionally vexing - hence why TMS is maybe geting worse now.

    It’s like my brain thinks I can’t handle the truth. (said in a Jack Nicholson tone.) I just hope this flare can at least calm down so I can work without taking gobs of meds. And another thing I think may be surfacing is the fact I go to Thailand in November and it’s a 17 hour flight. UGH. Not looking forward to that stress and then coming home the week of Thanksgiving!

    Thanks again for all your wisdom and sage advice Plum. You don’t know how much it means to me and this forum, in general. I will forge ahead and face the music. (I’ve always enjoyed music that gives the finger to life, sometimes, aka, rock.) ;)
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  5. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member


    You've been given wisdom here already, so I will answer about good things giving symptoms.

    My best friend of more than 40 years lives in another state, once a year we spend a week together at her vacation home. Best therapy in the world! Anyway, she has IBS. The days before we arrive both of us have symptoms. Mine are nervous, butterflies, having to pee, heart beating like crazy. My body does excitement the same way it does fear or stress. My body feels like I'm going to the hospital to visit someone who is dying. My friend's symptoms are more physically disruptive :(

    Anyway, I think you need to face, float, accept and let time pass. I'm glad you are loving your job, lol, maybe you just need to pinch yourself to see if its real or a dream!

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  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Jules,
    I just want to comment about this statement. This is something I've had to work on like crazy and feel it is an important key to recovery. These types of stories that we tell ourselves before something, during something, and after something can scare the hell out of us and suck all possible enjoyment from life. The thoughts in our head define our experience if we believe them. Once I started to become aware of my thoughts, I realized how much I do this kind of thing. It's a bad habit. We set ourselves up for misery.

    Now when I catch myself running some kind of negative script in my head, I stop, put my hand on my heart, take a deep breath and try to sink into the present moment. I tell myself to let go and let things play out as they will. I am fine. Nothing is wrong NOW. Just be. Make some room for a positive experience to unfold. Life is so much more enjoyable when I do this.

    You can have a wonderful time on your trip to Thailand if you allow it to happen. In fact you can have the time of your life......I wish that for you.
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  7. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Thanks Ellen. There is something I didn’t realize that could be also playing a factor. We were supposed to go three years ago to Thailand, and the company wasn’t doing so well at that point, and so we decided to put off. Well, the same day that we would’ve been there, that terrorist attack occurred at the airport. So, I think that is also factoring into my fear. I mean it was a good thing that we didn’t go, but it is still a trigger that I can’t deny.

    Also, I don’t feel like I have a choice whether I want to go or not. This is company paid for, and if we don’t go, then my husband has to be at work for those two weeks that the company is gone. That of course puts pressure on me, because he would be upset with me, and then I feel like I wouldn’t be able to live that down.

    We went to Europe about seven years ago, and I was worse back then, but I still made it. The only thing that I am not looking forward to is the long flight, where as I am already leery about flying. Being there, enjoying it, is not an issue, it’s just getting there and having to come back home.

    Thanks everyone for your advice and comments. I did just find out to that a wasp sting from two weeks ago give me enough of an allergic reaction that it caused my nerves in my wrist and arm to go haywire, so now I’m on a steroid and an antihistamine to calm it down. TMS really likes to hijack injuries doesn’t it? :mad:
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  8. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    First of all, I am so glad that you love your job!! Congrats with that! Then: can a rib pop out? I don't think so. You can break it, for sure. But nothing like popping out (but I am not a doctor ..). You did a lot physical work and maybe you overdone it a bit. Then it can hurt for a while. Fear makes it worse. In my experience TMS is only waiting to hook itself upon any weird bodily feelings.
    I find the comment of Plum very, very instructive. "As time rolls by though I have come to see that I've allowed these events to throw me a curve", Plum says. Yes, that's exactly the problem. We will face all sorts of physical damage, disease, bodily feelings that we don't consider as normal. But most of these are only temporary, they will just vanish. The problem of 'us' is that we put to much attention to these things. I definitely are still trapped here. My mind spirals of in all sorts of catastrophic thinking, anticipating the worst (and very rare) diseases. I thought I learned how to tackle this. I had thyroid surgery without much fear or problems - in this case I was calm. I have a problem with my foot, a little bone is more pronounced on the right side of the foot and it hurts when I walk. Not much, but a bit. I asked the doctor, he said that happens, the foot will heal itself. The osteopath explained that there are many bones in the foot and if the foot is destabilized (in a fall e.g.), it gets more loose and this bone can 'pop out' a bit more. He tried to stretch the foot etc. I don't think it has worked, now I just wait. I had several other things where I was just indifferent - psychologically speaking. and that worked best. And then there are things that through me in a big crisis, everything evolves around the symptoms and the possible disease. And then I need to ask myself: Why? Why now?
    I think, Jules, you are on a good path. Take it calmly. And accept that sometimes the body reacts - be it TMS or be it really physical by overdoing it. That happens - and it will pass!
    Regarding your trip to Thailand: I also dislike long distance flights, I though next time I take something that helps me sleep ... However: try not to look at it as something problematic. As Ellen@ says, it could be a wonderful trip! And the hassle around Thanksgiving, well, scale down - not everything has to be perfect!

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