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healed for 10+ years

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by balto, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is my first post here. Just joined last night. I am a member at tmshelp.com forum for a couple years and post frequently over there. I have know about this forum but just didn't have the time to spend at both places. Don't want to be redundant. I saw quite a few members belong to both forums, which is very nice, it kind of seeing your old friends in another town. :)
    The following is my success story that I've posted at tmshelp.com, I hope this story will help trigger some healing power in some people here.

    It take me a while to sit down and write this, My life right now is so full with love and happiness that I find it so hard to sit for long for fear of missing out on living life. :)

    I hope by reading another healing story will help you in your journey to better health. Mind and Body.

    First, I want to tell you a little about my background. Because I think it would help you understand better why I get tms/anxiety. I grown up in the war torned country of Vietnam. At 16 I escaped from Vietnam and spend almost a year in refugee camp in Malaysia and Phillipine and came to the US in 1981 alone, I was one of those boat people. I am now 50. I came from a lovely and wonderful family. Love my mom and very proud of my dad. Eight wonderful siblings and we got along very well. There is always love and laughter in our house, even the air raid and the bombing outside couldn't silent us for long. I would say my childhood is great and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I was always happy and always healthy, carefree and confidence.

    My Mindbody syndrome started in the late 80's, I made a surprise visit to my long time girlfriend and caught her with another guy. My world turned up side down that day and nothing is the same since. All my tms/anxiety symptoms started soon after that. The sleepless night, the anger triggered stress I constantly feel, the loneliness that never leave... turn into anxiety and IBS. My head feel foggy all the time, I feel like a zomby, I just get up and go to work then drive home to spend the rest of the day all alone, everyday. Every where I go I have to know exactly where the closest bathroom is. I have to stand at the closest exit when I'm in any building, just incase my stomach is acting up. Probiotic, tumtum, and all kind of med my doctor gave me... rarely help. Xanax gave me a weird feeling so I stop taking it. Zoloft is not any better. So I just endure my anxiety and IBS. Long story short, here is the list of symptoms I had suffered from for almost 20 years:
    - Anxiety & panic attack, agoraphobia, ptsd, depression, suicidal, headache, IBS and other digestive problem, CFS, tintinus, tennis elbow, shoulder pain, knee pain, backpain, sciatica, toe pain, gout, hip pain and clicking noise, kneck pain, rash and hive, pimples and other skin problem, tinnitus, chest pain, heart palpitation, sensitive to noise, sensitive to bright light, SAD, eye pain, ear pain, arthritis in fingers and knee, burning sensation in different parts of the body, pins and needles, buzzing muscle, burning mouth & tongue, unexplain dental pain, burping , belching, gas, nightmare, insomnia, sleep walking, sleep talking, night sweat, night terror awakening,... I'm sure if I think back long enough I will remember a few more.

    I went to doctors and got all kind of tests done. I was diagnosed with many diseases I've listed above and was prescribed many kind of meds. Nothing helped me much, the symptoms keep increase in intensity and keep changing. At one time I was thinking of ending it all. The thought of hurting my mom is the only thing that keep me from doing it. So I start reading and reading as much as I can about my health problem.

    One of the first book I've read is "Stop worrying and Start Living" by Dale Carnegie. Dale taught reader how to conquer worry. He gave many examples of how people overcame all kind of hardship and traumatic events and move on with life. He wrote about tms/anxiety before the terms tms and anxiety were invented. He gave practical and easy to understand techniques to overcome worry. He gave examples after examples of real life people that helped me see that my problem is not unique, my problem had been overcame by countless other people. He gave me hope and he ended my suicidal thoughts. I've see that there is a way out. They can heal, so can I. A year after I've read the book, my anxiety level went down 50% and I don't have panic attack as often as before.

    5 days before my appointment with the surgeon to operate on my back to cure my back pain, I went to the library to read up on book about back and back surgery. I just wanted to know what to expect during and after the surgery and be prepare for it. I happened to find "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. Sarno. You might have guess by now, I canceled the scheduled surgery 2 days before I have to go under the knife. My chronic and painful back pain/sciatica is 80% better about a week after I've read the book. I considered myself one of those who had experienced a "book cure". Dr Sarno taught me that the mind is a wonderful machine, but when I feed it strong negative emotions, it can and will produce not only symptoms that consider mental but also symptoms that will effect the muscles, nerve at many parts of the body. Many health problems I thought were physical, now I've realized they were the products of my emotions. I'm not doom for life, I've see a way out and my fear level went way down.

    Although I've gotten much better, and my health has improved to the point that I can functions and work almost as normal as before I was sick. Many of the symptoms has disappeared or subsided. But the anxiety is still there and it go up and down in intensity. The chronic pain keep disappeared then reappeared. I have my up and down. I was happy I got better but I wanted more. I want a 100% better. And that's when my best friend let me borrowed "Hope and Help for your Nerves" by dr. Claire Weekes. I also got an audio copy of the book. Her calming voice and just the caring way she used her words has helped me a lot. I keep listen to the tape for days and days, then one day it just clicked for me. One day I just realized that all my symptoms were started by my emotion, by the intense stress, but my symptoms stay with me because I fear it. It being keep alive by my fear. I feared the symptoms, I feared what the symptoms mean to my body, I worry about the future of my health. And if I can some how stop that fear I would be cure, and that's is exactly what I did. I just refuse to fear anymore. I am sick of being sick and I'm not going to take it anymore. No more fear for me. Yes Sir, no more fear. Whatever happen happen, I'm not going to fear anymore.

    Boom, I was cured. After a few more weeks of what I called "exposure therapy" and deconditioning myself to many situation that trigger a automatic respond from my body, I'm completely cured. That was about ten years ago. I now happily married. I love my job, my family, my life. I am content and confidence. I faced the same work stress and life stress now just like before, but it doesn't bother me anymore. I am at peace.

    Here is my conclusion:
    life stress, life trauma, negative emotions... start the symptoms. Fear is what keep the symptoms alive.

    You want to stop new symptoms from appearing, change your perception about life. think positive, slow down, be compassionate, get involve, be with people, do charity work,...
    You want to stop existing symptoms, just stop fearing it. stop focusing on your symptoms, stop focusing on the body, move on and live your life as if everything is fine. There are many techniques out there to help with overcome your fear like : positive affirmation, meditation, praying, live in the present. But the most important is to accept that your ill is caused by your emotions. If you can accept that you're half way there. The fear just start to melt away. The rest is just conditioning that we have to deal with.

    think about the past created symptoms. Think about the future keep your symptoms alive. The past created anger, the future produce fear. Stop both of them, live in the present and you will have peace.

    I hope this helped inpire you to heal yourself. I was there, I can heal so can you. I'm not a very smart guy, I'm a college dropped out and I have failed at many things in life, if I can do it, you can do it.

    I pick 'Balto" as my screen name because of that Disney cartoon character of the same name. I just want to be that dog that bring medicine to help the villagers. The medicine is right inside you. Be strong, think healthy, don't be affraid, and you will heal. We are much more powerful than we think we are. We just have to take control of our thinking.

    You are what you think.
    ImGa, westb, emporeon027 and 44 others like this.
  2. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm glad you joined this forum, Balto. Thank you for posting your success story. welcomea
  3. Sheree

    Sheree Well known member

    I am also glad you have joined the forum. Your story has resonated with me greatly. I first found out about John Sarno just over a year ago. Although I am now as active as I was before getting the pain, I still have pain non-stop. I have put a lot into getting better, but I know the big thing for me is the fear. I am consumed with it. I just wish I could stop my brain thinking about the pain. I am ashamed to say that I don't suppose it is possible for me to get through even 5 minutes without my thoughts going to it. Even when I am asleep, I am aware as I turn over in bed, checking with the pain. I am encouraged to take on your words about beating the fear and thanks for sharing your story.
    intense50 likes this.
  4. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    Such a wonderful and inspiring story. You made it happen for yourself and
    I know reading this has helped me to surge forward when I'm feeling like
    I just can't do it! Thanks so much. Nancy
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Balto, your post and success story are both wonderful. You give a terrific blueprint for TMS healing. Thank you
    for sharing. Sheree, I hope you can stop the fear of pain. Change it to thinking positive, that you are going to be better.
    Better yet, tell yourself you are already pain-free. Think positive. You'll get there.
  6. Dahlia

    Dahlia Well known member

    Balto, thank you for sharing your story. It has helped me and will continue to as I will reflect on what you have experienced.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    Walt, you are so encouraging all the time, thanks for just being you! You have a huge influence
    over all of us. So Grateful for you. Fondly, Nancy
  8. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Heartfelt thanks for sharing your story, it moved me to tears. Like you my childhood was fine, then I found myself in an emotionally abusive marriage. It was only until after my divorce that the symptons started. It's almost as if my body was in survival mode, then as soon as I was away from immediate danger the TMS started and hasn't let up for 9 years.

    You have given me great hope that I too can overcome TMS

    Much love, blessings and thanks :joyful:
    laradara likes this.
  9. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Hi Sheree,

    I'm a new (UK) member, and I'm in exactly the same position as you ! Just what are we so fightened of I wonder, it won't kill us and will only get worse if we give it permission.

    I've been messing about really until now, I've read all the book and got on with all the things we're supposed to do, but I feel I've been going at it sideways not head on, let's face the beast down together and win :punch:

    Bless you
    Sheree and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.
  10. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member


    Thank you for sharing your story of success! What a wonderful illumination of a hallmark of TMS/PPD recovery: wrestling with the fear of the symptoms. I was particularly struck by how you were able to link removing your fear with new coping tools like meditation, prayer and affirmations.

    Conquering fear of symptoms in TMS is often the last hurdle to a life free on inhibitions (including pain!). There is no one right way to conquer fear but often we need help, support in doing it, accepting it, or simply placing it aside. There are a number of adjunctive measures to do that. I believe all the above tools that you wrote about share an attribute - they're all remarkably grounding. Often, if we seek out tools to ground us, to make us feel a little more solid, a little more stable, a little more upright; we can begin to bear the fear and move past it.

    Thank you for highlighting that.


    Simplicity, Dexy, laradara and 3 others like this.
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Balto so good to see you here my friend. I was wondering when you might come by since you know tms knowledge like a hero. I really appreciate all you taught me while I healed. Your a great person with a heart to match and I can't wait to read more of your post. I just read your success story for like the 4th time in the last year and a half. So full of what it takes to heal and stay healed, thank you Balto so much.
    Bless you
    intense50, Dexy, laradara and 3 others like this.
  12. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Balto, and welcome to this forum! As the main administrator (@Eric "Herbie" Watson and @Becca also help out), I'm really grateful for everyone who takes the time to make an account and share their ideas. People like yourself who have already healed and who come back to share their ideas can be a huge inspiration and source of ideas for the newcomers.
    For everyone trying to heal, I just wanted to quote these words to emphasize them. This is the key to TMS healing. Often I tell people, "first you have to 'get your mind right,' and then your body will follow." This is exactly what I'm talking about. You have to lose your fear and re-embrace what you find most meaningful and fun in life. Once you can overcome your fear and anxiety and relax enough to find more pleasure in life, that is when you will start healing. From then, it is just a matter of time as your brain unlearns the conditioning.

    Thanks for posting.
    Neil, Durga, Dexy and 6 others like this.
  13. Sheree

    Sheree Well known member

    Hi Mermaid,

    Thanks for your message. You are SO right. The fear is keeping us from recovery and it is only "ourselves" that can change that. So let's do it!
    As for your situation I have many times read about people going through traumatic times and coping with them only to find that much later they are struck with TMS symptoms. There is so much good advice on this thread, I plan to keep re-reading it. Good luck with your journey and thanks again for your words - they gave me a much needed boost.
  14. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    thank you for all the warm welcomes.
    Hi Mermaid, when too strong a negative event happened in our life, tms symptoms will appear. We often made the mistake of feeling sorry for ourselves and we keep asking: "why me? why is this happened to me?". Don't do that, don't feel sorry for yourself. You have to realize that what happened to your body is perfectly normal. It would be very NOT normal if one experience divorce, abuse,.... and not having any mind body syndrome. You have to come to a realization that it is OK to have symptoms. It is a good sign that you have symptoms, that tell you that your body is function "normally". Once you realize that the symptoms were caused by extreme emotional changes or chronic stress in your life, and you only need to endure it until you are able to get your life back in balance then symptoms will cease.
    The next mistake all long time tmser's made is: "we FEAR our symptoms", we don't realize that our symptoms have emotional origin, we mistakenly thought there is something "wrong" with our body. We thought some thing "invade" our body. We FEAR what those symptoms will lead to. We fear the back pain will lead to permanent nerve damage. We FEAR the headache is from a tumor that the doctor somehow missed, we FEAR our CFS, our Fibromyalgia, our lime disease... are incurable and we will live a shi..ty life for the rest of our life. That FEAR thought is what keep tms alive. That fear thought is what continue to produce all those stress hormones and tighten our muscle, tensing our body, restricting our blood flow.... and continue to produce symptoms.
    So our main goal is to get rid of all those FEARFUL thoughts and live life as if our life is perfect. (it is perfect! it function exactly the way it was designed to function).
    So try to come up with one "FEAR free week" and you will see wonderful changes to your body.
    No fear, no pain. Don't allow any fear thoughts to enter your mind.
    When one read Sarno's book, one believe in his explanation, believe in his diagnosis, believe it when he said there is nothing wrong with your body, it is just some pain causes by blood flow restriction.... one loose the fear and one healed.
    Dr. Claire Weekes said it is not the fear of the symptoms that is bad, it is the fear of what the symptoms mean to us that is keeping the symptoms alive. All those "what if?" question in our head is what keep tms stay with us.
    So try to keep your mind free from FEAR thoughts and you will be cure. Guaranty.
    It is impossible to cure from mind body syndrome if we still fear it.

    Hope we all heal.
  15. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    I can't say enough how much I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this. Words to live by. Welcome, Balto -- it's wonderful to have you here!
    Durga, intense50 and joseph32 like this.
  16. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Hi Balto

    Thanks so much for all your fantastic advice it's like you can read my mind, you're better than all the books I've read put together !

    You're my Hero :joyful:
    intense50 and Dexy like this.
  17. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    Wonderful posts! So very true, just follow what has been told to you and you will
    be just fine. I fear also, am working on it. It's a lot better now than 6 mths ago.
    Have faith, believe, it will happen. Nancy
  18. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    Wow....what a great post. I just posted today in the support forum that I have concluded my only issue is that I FEAR feeling bad long-term and that is what is keeping me from getting over the last hurdle.

    I can track my progress back to my leg hurting and when I was convinced it was not an issue the pain stopped. I have the same head fogginess and visual issues as Balto and have seen improvement with my positive thinking but I admit, I still have fear pop up each time I symptom check and feel it.

    Working on the fear is my next goal.
  19. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Balto, you kicked off my day in a fabulous way. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

    I'm so glad you're over here. Your post resonated with me on several levels…especially the things Forest and Becca highlighted. One of my mantra's has been "Physician heal thyself" but I think I may change that to "The medicines inside you" just to shake things up for a while. (And this is especially timely as I was actually thinking of getting a doctor appointment to get some anti-anxiety meds for days when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I decided NOT to do that, btw.)

    Thanks to everyone for the great conversation.
    intense50 likes this.
  20. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just want to revisit this post and say hi to everyone again, I can believe this post is already more than a year old. How time fly. Hope you are all healed or are healing. I am still completely cured. Life is still stressful and full of challenges, but I am now equip with the right tools to keep tms/anxiety from ever take control of me. It is all about believing in yourself and train your mind every day to be as fearless as you can. We are the product of our thinking. We will be strong if we have more happy and healthy thoughts. We will be sick if you keep thinking negative or sickly thoughts.
    It doesn't matter what happened in your past. It doesn't matter what will happen in the future. Your cure is right here, right now. Take away all those negative thoughts. Create a life that produce more positive thoughts, and you will be cure. It can not be otherwise. It is just impossible to get sick and stay sick if you're always happy. Happy people don't get cancer and heart diseases. Happy people don't get fibromyalgia, CFS, gout, tmj, migraine, back pain,....
    So: "don't worry, be happy"
    schnurma, Shakermaker, Durga and 9 others like this.

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