Healing from Tension Myositis Syndrome involves detaching from our survival brain, or primitive brain. Detachment means separation. We need to separate ourselves from our primitive brain to see it for what it is: our conditioning or learned patterns that served us at one point in our lives but don’t anymore. If the fear brain is equivalent to your inner child or younger self, we need to stop letting her run the show so we can begin to access our rational brain.

The home I grew up in was unhealthy to a certain extent, but not the worst. However, my mother had terrible anxiety, and my fear brain took over at a very young age. Let’s say hypothetically that my home was very dysfunctional, and I had to go live with my aunt and uncle. My aunt and uncle were very loving and met all my needs. However, because I was attached to my mom and dad, even though it was unhealthy, I still wanted to be with them. I couldn’t detach.

The TMS Way

For good reason, this is how our fear brains operate. We know that self-care is best for us, yet we still run from it back to the TMS way. Self-care doesn’t feel familiar to us. That is not our coping style, so we follow the same neural pathways to fear and pain.

Hypervigilance is what seems safe. Being on alert. That way, we don’t miss
anything. We keep everyone around us happy, we do more than our
share, we have unrealistic standards for ourselves, and we beat ourselves up for making mistakes.

We must be on time, we must do everything one hundred percent, we must keep up our exercise routine, we must watch everything we eat, our homes must be clean and organized, we can’t spend too much money, and we must be the best at everything we do.

This way of life is exhausting and is far from self-care. It’s hypervigilance. Hypervigilance keeps us safe. We think if we stay in fight/flight/freeze/fawn mode, we will stay safe. We run back to what is familiar because we are desperate for safety, but healing from neuroplastic pain requires following The Self-Care Way.

The Self-Care Way

But if we choose self-care, people may be mad at us or think we are selfish, they may abandon us, we may not be the best at everything, we may gain a little weight, we may lose a little more often, we may have a little less in our savings account…but we are free. We stop caring so much. We let go and slowly but surely learn to choose ourselves.

Our experience matters. We matter. We learn to live in the gray. We are less rigid, have more joy, and can feel again. We talk nicely to ourselves. We have compassion when we make mistakes. We can either choose the self-care way or the TMS way. If we don’t learn the self-care way, the TMS way becomes our default.

A New Way: Healing From TMS

Eventually, my aunt and uncle give me so much love and care that I begin to feel safe. My nervous system relaxes. I’ve lost some people, but I’ve gained healthier people. I don’t win as much, but I enjoy things more. I can play again. I am only in fight/flight/freeze/fawn mode when there is a true 911 danger.  I am safe, and I have created new neural pathways. 

My rational brain is in charge, and my fear brain no longer sends out pain signals to my body. That is not what keeps me safe now. I love my parents, but I choose the self-care way. I detach from my parents, and I can see that the whole time, they thought they were keeping me safe.

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2 Comments

    1. Thank you Mark. I started a website so I transferred my blog to it. It’s helpfortms.com. I appreciate your kind words!

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