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Day 33 First hand pain, now back pain

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by rsiman, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. rsiman

    rsiman Peer Supporter


    I have posted here before, for my RSI in my hands, and basically completely recovered before I finished the whole 40 days. I post every once and awhile if I have a flare up.

    Recently I have been doing much better in life especially compared to when I first started this program a year or so ago. I have been a skinny guy for a long time so I decided to start weightlifting for health reasons plus to improve my physical appearance. I was doing just fine and was seeing improvements. However I added a little weight to one of my exercises, afterwards my back was kind of sore.

    Basically my back starts to complain more and more if I sit down for a long time. I haven't exercised much since, its been about two weeks. This past weekend it almost felt completely better but today it felt a little bit worse. So doing this program is kind of being proactive, maybe I need more time to heal but I don't want to let pesky TMS extend the duration of my back pain.

    I almost certainly was doing something with bad form (although the little weight I added did not seem extreme to me at all when I got hurt). So when I feel better I will have someone teach me and spot me so I can continue to weightlift. I am not a very self-motivated person, but I was really sticking to an exercise schedule this time. My theory is just like TMS infected my hands to prevent me from improving myself (like getting a better job, going back to school), TMS is trying to block me from feeling better about my health and appearance by preventing me from exercising, and also bothering my at school. I definitely think it hurts more sitting just in class for an hour than it does being lazy at home playing videogames for three, which seems like a classic TMS selective pain type thing.

    Anyways, that was my long intro. Now the actual journaling prompt for today: So I'm supposed to write about perfectionism, which is a trait I don't think I actually have that much. However, I am very boastful and brag a lot and compete with others when they don't even care, especially in school. I get jealous when people do better than me. I don't do this to be mean spirited, I kind of do it sarcastically to make people laugh but I also do it because it seems to help me do better, gives me a little energy when I compete with others. So I wouldn't say I am a perfectionist, more than I just really wish I was better than everyone else. Maybe that is the same thing, but when I imagine a perfectionist I imagine someone driven more from their inner person, like someone who just wants everything they do to be perfect for it's own sake. I guess recently I have been trying (and failing) to be an extremely disciplined person. I guess it does hurt me that I fail so much. I am trying to eat less, exercise more, study for school more regularly and responsibly, and be more social. And I kind of fail at it all, but when I try at least I do a little better at least in one aspect.
    Velvet_Hidden and JanAtheCPA like this.
  2. Velvet_Hidden

    Velvet_Hidden Peer Supporter

    Hi, dealt with a similar situation as you but in reverse first I had back pain then right hand pain that sneaked in sometime later after I recovered from TMS back pain.
    What helped me was writing a list accepting all of the stressors perosnality traits I was experiencing during the time my TMS returned...

    Just an example I wrote out

    "I accept I'm a perfectionist"
    "I accept my stubbornness"
    "I accept my lack of quality friends"

    etc etc etc (the list went on and on)

    Reading the list daily and
    Accepting these ugly truths in my life about my experience helped to cease the pain in my hand close to two weeks after I began writing it and the pain has NOT returned since....

    I hope this helps

    Best Wishes!!!!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for promoting this idea, @Velvet_Hidden - it's an important one, and it's more straightforward, and in a way simpler, than what we learn about list-making from the SEP.

    I recently read an article about a study involving college students with anxiety (not difficult to find participants, right?) in which one group was asked to simply write down, once a day (probably at night) everything that was bothering them. The other group did nothing. The group that wrote down their concerns reported significantly less anxiety as the study proceeded.

    The recommendation to write things down, every day, continues to be shown to be beneficial, and continues to be recommended over and over in all kinds of mental health venues.

    But it ain't rocket science! Not only that, there are SO many different ways to go about it - all you have to do is find a technique that works for you.

    The college student study simply recommended writing down the things that are bothering you. What could be simpler? Acknowledge these things, accept them, and move on. That's exactly what we are trying to do here - it's the basis of TMS recovery.

    Nicole Sachs recommends deleting or destroying your daily journaling. You do not have to re-read any of it. That's the method I practice. I've (finally!) been doing this regularly for the last month - writing down whatever is on my mind just before going to sleep, and I always end with one or two things I'm grateful for. Doing this has greatly improved my sleep. I use crappy old notepaper and throw it out (if I lived with someone I would probably shred it and put it in the compost bucket :) Nicole Sachs does it on her computer, using a text file that she wipes and saves as a blank document each day.

    And here's @Velvet_Hidden with another technique - write down a list of negatives that your brain likes to use to beat yourself up (distractions!) and remind yourself every day that these are normal and acceptable characteristics and that you are a perfectly normal and healthy human being.

    Those who resist (fear) writing exercises may just need to figure out a technique that works for them - AND make sure that it's not their fearful brains trying to stop them. Effective writing requires complete self-honesty - and complete self-honesty is what our fearful brains are determined to avoid at all costs. I am pretty convinced that a dislike of writing stems from the inability to acknowledge the things that our brains are repressing. I remember being SO uncomfortable when I first started the SEP writing exercises, because things would come into my head, and I did NOT want to write them down - and I didn't even have anything earth-shattering, so I can't imagine how hard it would be for someone with serious issues. Anyone who experiences too much of this resistance is likely to abandon the effort and call it ineffective.

    But I'm going to insist that writing stuff down is incredibly effective - based not just on my own experience and that of many members here, but on the fact that it is so highly recommended by so many in the mental health profession.

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