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Advice on reprogramming the mind

Advice on reprogramming the mind

by Liv Chapman -
Number of replies: 3

Hi, 

I've suffered from severe Pudendal Neuralgia since giving birth a year and a half ago. I have made progress since then, and I do believe that the pain and inflammation is a result of my brain being in trauma/panic mode (the birth itself was very traumatic, and I had prior pelvic pain so was already susceptible to pain in that area) and the nerve pathways having learned to stay in this state. 

But I am really struggling with the reprogramming the mind portion of this course. There are two reasons.

1 - Although I try and convince myself that there is nothing to fear and no harm can come to me due to pain, I find it extremely difficult to believe this deep down because for about three months I couldn't walk at all due to the severity of my PN, and had to be a in wheelchair. And I couldn't sit because of my PN so I was never comfortable. At that point, I honestly thought my life was over, and fell into a state of deep depression. The inability to walk came about as a result of 'pushing myself' by going back to work. I am terrified that this could happen again and I'll end up in a wheelchair again. It took six months to get the point where I could walk more, though still not that much, and the idea of relapsing is truly scary to me. I have no idea of how to overcome this fear. I can tell myself there is nothing to fear, but I feel deep down that there is - that I won't be able to walk again. Should I even try to overcome this fear? What I do do is force myself to walk more and have worked hard on my anxiety when walking by telling myself repeatedly "I'm safe," which I do believe has helped my walking improve. However, that deep down fear is still very much there.

2 - I have pain/weird sensations all the time, every day. Given that, how do I talk to the pain, because I can't talk all day of course!! 

Thanks for any advice! 

Olivia

In reply to Liv Chapman

Re: Advice on reprogramming the mind

by Stella Polaris -

Hi Olivia,

two years ago, I was suffering from severe pain in my legs that made walking difficult, at times I could hardly keep from limping at work, and there seemed to be no chance of ever getting better, so I can really relate to your anxiety and pain. Today I rarely have any issues with TMS anymore, but I found that just saying to myself "I have TMS and it isn't a real illness" wasn't sufficient for me. What helped me, and still does, was clearly saying "I'm in pain", because the physical pain, at least for me, is the result of warding off emotions that I fear are too much for me to bear. By acknowledging the fact that there is pain inside me, I take the first step towards realigning myself with my emotions, so this can be the first step of unpacking one's feelings, and finally getting to the point of realizing that it is possible to feel them completely and come out on the other side unscathed. Often there comes immediate relief with saying, yes, I'm in pain, I have a lot of issues, I have a lot of fears and anxieties. The moment this is out on the table, I often realize that this is no failure on my part, that life can be difficult sometimes and that all issues can be improved the moment they are openly acknowledged. I don't know if this thought helps, but I wish you a speedy and complete recovery, which I'm sure you will achieve.

Best wishes

Stella


In reply to Stella Polaris

Re: Advice on reprogramming the mind

by Cheryl H -

Yes, Stella! For a long time I was trying to avoid thinking about the pain(abdominal) and certInly not having much success with that. Saying “it’s TMS and there is no structural damage” was my mantra but with the help of a therapist I learned self compassion and realized by minimizing the pain I was denying how I felt, what I truly heard when I said that was “there’s nothing wrong with you, idiot, use your brain and get over it.” Not nice! What is a better way of framing it, for me, is to acknowledge the pain, really feel it and practice compassion for myself in that moment. I still have pain, very bad at times,  but I don’t stress about it as much. I want to believe that over time I will slowly make new neural pathways. 

I just want to add that all the holiday hoopla can be hard on those of us that have chronic pain..it is hard to be jolly! Notice joy when it’s present and acknowledge sorrow when it’s there...it takes practice and I’m doing the best I can..you are too!

Warmist wishes to you all, Cheryl

In reply to Cheryl H

Re: Advice on reprogramming the mind

by Dianna Cunningham -

Cheryl H fantastic to see you posting on here again. I think it’s really hard to get your brain to acknowledge things like tms when it’s been in command for so long. Practicing compassion was my hardest lesson. I have it for others but not for me. I learned it though because after looking at everything objectively I realized I had a lot of trauma in my life. And I simply had to acknowledge that I was hurting emotionally which I didn’t want to do because I wanted to deny it. I actually embraced myself and my pain. Not easy for me but I did do it.

You’re right about the holidays. They can be so stressful. I quit having any expectations about anything and I let it go. It’s really helped me enjoy the things I can and forget the rest! I have a lot of dysfunction in my family and I don’t expect anyone to do anything at all. It’s awesome. 

Have a great holiday season everyone!!

Dianna