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An old timer looking for support with a flareup

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Free of Fear, Dec 21, 2023.

  1. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    Hi all, I used to frequent this forum 5 years ago and found it incredibly helpful - probably the number one factor in my recovery from TMS (presented as lower back pain).

    I've been dealing with upper back and neck pain for the first time in my life, and I realized yesterday that there's a huge TMS component to it (if not all of it entirely). I think I got taken in by these new symptoms because they're new, so it seemed plausible that it was just from the martial arts I do (BJJ grappling, with people grabbing your head a lot).

    Yesterday though I noticed slipping into hyper-fixation on my neck. "Is it in the right position?" "What if it gets worse?" Over and over and over. I even started propping my head up with a pillow... it was a total flashback to all the gadgets I used on my lower back five years ago.

    Anyway, I'd love to hear from you all about how you handle a setback around a totally new symptom.

    • Holiday vacation with family coming up, and expected stress around a particular dynamic with my mother (typing this makes me think I'd do well to explore the anger there)
    • Wife and I started fertility treatment last month. The prospect of IVF is stressful for me financially + emotionally in ways I probably don't realize.
    • Admin tasks building up around my business (self-employed)
    • Recently came back from a very stressful visit to my father who's in a long-term care facility. Basically had a realization that I was raised by a crazy person and was mostly invisible. Lots of grief around that.
    Writing this all out helps me to validate why my body would be reacting in this way.

    So here's what I'm doing / falling back on from my recovery 5 years ago...
    • Acknowledging the stressors, making the focus about the stressors and my emotional life, not my neck
    • DIMS vs. SIMS - maximizing the "Safety in Me" and minimizing the "Dangers in me", mainly using affirmations / self-talk
    • Feldenkrais - which for me is all about helping my nervous system relax (not a physical intervention like a lumbar pillow or something)
    • Continue doing BJJ grappling
    • Enjoy my work / "Go forward" (Claire Weekes)
    I'm going to start journaling again, the way that worked for me before.

    Any other ideas?

    If there's one point of confusion for me, it's how much to continue doing BJJ grappling, since it can be really aggressive on the neck... Edit: I want to keep living my normal life, I just get confused at what point it turns into pushing your body too far during a flareup.

    Thanks for any insight and support! Hoping you're all well on your journey.
    JanAtheCPA and tag24 like this.
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    I don't think you need any more insite - you have got this! You probably just need to get to all the anger that you may have about the stuff you wrote and called "stress", and grief. Add in holidays, it's a lot.
    Ah, you take a week or two off of BJJ grappling, what does it really matter. There’s a huge difference between striving, feeling like you are “giving in” and self-kindness - but it’s all simply mindset.
    If anything, go deeper with the fertility treatment and the expense to the ideas of the lifetime expense of having children and the responsibility, and your perceived expectations from yourself and others.
    JanAtheCPA and Ellen like this.
  3. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    Thank you for the response, and the redirection toward anger. And the idea of going deeper into the fertility stuff, beyond the treatment and into everything about having children.

    Happy holidays!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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