1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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What else is there - Seriously

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by eskimoeskimo, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    @tgirl, sometimes the people who seem the strongest ask for the most reassurance, because they’re putting on the facade all day and need that support.

    I had to ask myself WHY I felt so unstable, and as Plum pointed out, unsafe. Safety is a huge topic on this forum and I’m glad it’s popped back up. I hated the alcoholism of many adults around me growing up, I resented my siblings for having certain issues that dragged my parents down, I resented my mother for her nervous breakdown, I felt like a freak for not being straight or completely gay, I couldn’t stand disparity in my city and how quickly people seemed to lose everything, I despised how my parents and pediatrician just said I’d “grow out of it” when I asked for help with anxiety and depression, nobody taught me how to appropriately handle intense feelings and emotions, I was told to smile and never bother anybody, etc. Nothing felt safe, everything was stressful - I see now why I had mood swings and suicidal ideations. You need enjoyment in life!

    Once you learn how to help support yourself (a goal anyone should have in therapy), life truly changes for the better.
  2. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    I can relate to what you are saying Dorado. I was extremely anxious growing up, living with alcoholic parents, fearing they’d divorce and on and on. It takes a toll for sure. I don’t have reasons to feel unsafe now, but I guess it’s hardwired in me and I have to loosen that up.
  3. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Patterns certainly do become hardwired. I totally understand. Loosening that up is very rewarding and definitely necessary and possible!
  4. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Okay, I feel like I’ve answered all the questions I can. In the spirit of not engaging in thought loops or reassurance seeking, I’m going to step out. I’m always happy to answer new questions on topics that we haven’t previously discussed.

    Just remember you’re not alone. When I was at Mayo Clinic having a nervous breakdown, the psychologist actually began my health profile in the patient portal by saying that I was “a very pleasant, bright 27-year-old dealing with a unique situation today...” Pleasant in the middle of a nervous breakdown. You’d never know if you met me on the street. Everyone has a story and you aren’t a failure. To live is to struggle, and you can always come back from struggles. And make sure you find time to enjoy some little things, too.
    eskimoeskimo, Balsa11 and plum like this.
  5. Kozas

    Kozas Well known member

    I remember that for 7 years, since my pain started to 2018 I was asking questions like 'why me?', 'why it still hurts?', 'is this my fault?' to my parents and especially my mom constantly(I mean in almost every time we talked, and for some of those years we lived together). After few years they where so tired they almost hated me. What helped me in this regard(OCD I would say) was work of John Kabat-Zinn but I know you are familiar with it. It did nothing with my pain, but it's a proof for me that at least OCD component is something you can recover from. What helped me break this horrific cycle were medition added to I think this book(sorry, I had polish edition and cover art is different, but I think it's this book):
    Every other meditation practice I tried in my life was a failure but this one made my mind free. I'm still in pain... but while before pain my life was 7/10, after pain it was 2/10, after this book it's 5/10. Not great, but not terrible I quess. Maybe it's worth a shot?
    Balsa11 likes this.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    You’re a beautiful soul and I wish I’d possessed a fraction of the awareness you have when I was your age. I hope your stance is respected because it stands as an example of the kind of healthy boundaries and choices we must make to be free, healthy and thriving. Your compassion and kindness is beyond question and quite simply, I love you. x
    Lizzy, tgirl, Balsa11 and 1 other person like this.
  7. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    I kept telling her “But my pain is level 10. How do I ignore that??” She would reply, “This is preoccupation with the pain, even though it’s strong pain, it’s still just your brain creating it. Let’s talk about what’s been going on with your life over the last week etc.”. This ultimately taught me to retrain my brain to not take notice of what my pain was doing and rather go straight to how am I doing.
  8. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Nice! I think I can relate to this in that I'd be having a conversation and I'd happen to be less bothered by thoughts or pain.
    birdsetfree likes this.
  9. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    Plum, you are truly one of the wisest, kindest, most loving souls I have ever come across. I am grateful for you. Love you right back!
    plum, tgirl and Lizzy like this.
  10. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Hi Balsa11, in therapy we talk about fear and safety and feelings. This last year caught up to me in August and I was hit with a flare up that was worse than any previous tms symptoms. I was disabled by symptoms and my husband had to carry me to the bathroom at the worst point. None of my previous knowledge of tms was helping, so I decided to get therapy for tms. My symptoms were not my problem, my fear thoughts, fears about feelings and insecurities were what I needed help with. I never thought I had anything structural, but I was very fearful of the pain. I don't know how many sessions I had before my therapist even knew what my pain was.

    Hope this answer is helpful,
    tgirl and Dorado like this.
  11. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Hard to separate the two for me but I guess the mental suffering is the worse
    Balsa11 likes this.
  12. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I strongly encourage checking out Ali Greymond OCD on YouTube. I think she explains reassurance seeking - why we do it and why it's maladaptive - really well. She has a zillion videos and a lot of them cover them same ground, so I encourage you to just pick a few to get the idea ... and not turn watching her videos into another reassurance seeking behavior and feel the need to watch all zillion.

    An intolerance of uncertainty and intolerance of related feelings of anxiety ... reassurance can temporarily provide relief by temporarily making you feel certain (regarding the situation you're worried about) and bring the anxiety down. But the ruminative brain gets back into the muck and finds ways to doubt the thing which was previously reassuring and spins it back up and suddenly you're doubly anxious and want another hit of reassurance. And the returns are diminishing. I don't even get the 'hit' of anxiety relief anymore ... at best, some rare reassuring statement will bring my anxiety down the tiniest bit for all of 5 minutes. In that sense I think it is like any other addiction.
  13. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Thanks. I'll look into. It worries me that this doesn't address the pain ... if the pain is psychological. Many professionals have thought that my pain is sensorimotor OCD, but cutting out reassurance didn't help the pain ... which sends me back to thinking it's physical

    I was the same way, especially with my Mom
  14. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    When did the brain let go? Did you believe her?
  15. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Yes I believed her but could not embody this concept for at least six to eight months. I guess that was when I noticed myself automatically talking to her about emotional issues instead of pain levels. The pain at this point was greatly improved but I kept up regular sessions to keep adjusting my brain and strengthen the new pathways that were focused on getting to know me and how I had been living a life I had not authentically chosen. All in all I had therapy with her for about eighteen months at which point I felt more than ready to fly en solitaire!
    tgirl likes this.
  16. Idearealist

    Idearealist Peer Supporter

    Sounds familiar. This is something I'm starting to explore with my therapist, and I'm ngl, I feel so much dread at the prospect of facing such issues. I feel like I'm going to puke/crap my pants before each session.
    birdsetfree likes this.
  17. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Is it 'normal' to feel this badly? Every day I'm shocked / traumatized all over again by just. how. bad. I feel. Neck pain, all over pain, unreality, anxiety, depression, you name it. 'Accepting' sounds good until I'm actually in it. Accept this? Fat chance. Does everyone feel this way? I can't remember what's it like to not feel like absolute shit.
    Idearealist likes this.
  18. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Can someone explain why this doesn't affect the pain if the pain is psychological and obsession driven?
  19. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Facing reality can be so confronting. I was in denial for a long time but my therapist would not let me get out of it! I made some major changes over the course of a few years and my sense of self has grown with them. It helped me to see that those changes were necessary and I was strong enough to endure them although it has been a rocky road to travel. I feel as though my world has opened up emotionally, mentally and physically! Stay strong, listen to your gut and keep in touch!
    Idearealist likes this.
  20. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I don't understand how it's possible to hold onto belief through so much suffering for so long. How could I still have any hope for getting better after 10 years of not? I'm so tired

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