IS TMS YOUR DARK PASSENGER?
One of the obstacles to becoming pain free that we point out over and over again is: giving your chronic pain (or stomach upset or ringing in your ears or skin rash) way too much power. We’re typically teed-up to give our symptoms too much power when a doctor gives us our “diagnosis”: “You have ankylosing spondylitis or degenerative disc disease or trigeminal neuralgia.” Often, it’s a hard to pronounce mouthful that sounds really scary….and possibly contagious! And then you’re told: “We don’t know what causes this condition. There’s no cure. It’s chronic. You’re just going to have to do XYZ to manage the symptoms.”
So then, (understandably) over time, a chronic condition starts taking on a life of its own. It becomes a huge part of your identity. One of our student’s referred to his neck pain as his constant companion!
This comment made me think of the once-popular Showtime drama Dexter. If you're not familiar, this disturbing, yet captivating series followed the title character in his dual roles as forensics specialist by day and mercenary serial killer by night. Though he only targeted “bad” people who he felt had gotten away with terrible crimes – he enjoyed his “side work” a bit too much! Over time he began to refer to his vigilante-style justice personality as his Dark Passenger.
A similar dynamic can happen with chronic pain, and it takes a deliberate, dedicated effort to shake off this negative hitchhiker. Where to start?
First, stop calling your condition by a (false) medical name. You have Tension Myositis Syndrome. TMS is what’s causing all your chronic symptoms. Great news! This means, you only have ONE (recovery) hill to climb.
Then, separate YOU from your pain/symptoms. It’s NOT part of you. It’s just a temporary shadow-self that you can, that you need to shake off. For many of you, it’s taken years or even decades to conjure up this false master of pain. But now, by accepting the mind-body connection to your chronic pain, you have the chance to fight back, to heal for good and win your freedom!
To do this, you must develop a healthier mindset, a healthier body and, often a less complicated and more satisfying life. You can't keep doing things the same way that you’ve been doing them. It’s just not working.
Change is hard, but change is worth it. Remember the payoff is no more pain! It can be done. So, say a permanent “adios” to your dark passenger and start living the pain free life that you deserve. Would you like more help? Click here to check out our coaching options and keep moving forward with your recovery.
You’ve Got This!