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Day 1 hopeful and scared

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Elphi7, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Elphi7

    Elphi7 New Member

    Hi all - like a lot of you, I see myself in these posts and in the writing of John Sarno and others. And like many of you I've tried everything to come across my path: diet, supplements, homeopathy, numerous body work modalities, cleanses, energy healing, BodyTalk. A lot of money over many years. My main pain symptom is Migraine headache (can be chronic, day in, day out) but also have various pains around my body - a constant drilling numbness/pain under my right Shoulder blade, left Hip pain, lower Back Pain, digestive issues, sleep issues, frequent urination and bizarre things like out of the blue it feels like something has dropped into my eye...there is nothing there, I'm sitting indoors usually, but it completely gets all my attention right NOW. Sooo strange. Dr Sarno's TMS and equivalents completely makes sense to me and after reading The Divided Mind and watching some videos, have experienced some lessening of symptoms. At the same time, I've become aware of how much of my life is taken up with mindbody distractions!! and I have this fear that I will be the exception, that this just won't work for me. Have ordered Dr Sarno's lecture DVD and will work through this TMS recovery program. Thank you for this and for listening here!
     
  2. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I think the fear is probably quite natural, I know I had it. Why wouldn't I be the "exception"? After all, none of the other things I had spent $$$ on had worked. Clearly I was "special", unique, the rare, un-curable patient. As long as the fear exists, the symptoms stick around. As unique and special as we all like to believe we are, I doubt very much that any one of us truly wants unstoppable physical symptoms to be the thing that makes us such.
     
  3. Elphi7

    Elphi7 New Member

    Thanks for replying. For sure some of this comes from having tried so many things and failed, while others seemed to be helped. I know this isn't really true - lots of people went on to have other symptoms and there were times that I had some help as well. This is about that kind of despair that can set in - you are right, the last thing I want is to be the incurable one. I don't think this is about an ego need to be special and unique by having incurable symptoms, just a base fear of having to life with this all my life. And it's only a part of what's going on right now - it was present yesterday on writing the post and after that, I went on to 'feel' my way out of a migraine...very cool. Thanks again for commenting on the post - it's good to be able to talk about this with others!:)
     
  4. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I apologize if you thought I was implying your struggle might be rooted in some sort of narcissistic ego need. That wasn't my intention. If anything it would more likely be a need generated by id. I think it's probably more common than not for TMS sufferers to be the last to identify that they have needs, we're usually the ones fulfilling everyone else's needs before the others even know they have them. I would agree that fear is at the root. I find that is most often the case with my own symptoms. It was very strange for me to realize that fear was at the root of my issues. I spent my entire life believing the only thing I was afraid of was spiders. As I took a closer look I discovered that I have developed a large number of fears (many of them completely irrational, like answering the telephone for instance) in the past several years. I've found identifying and facing the "little" fears, one by one, to be very helpful in building my overall courage and confidence. Each time I've faced one it's been a baby step toward realizing that I am still strong and can be back in the driver's seat in my life. As my courage and confidence grows it's gotten easier and easier to face the fears and the thoughts that something is horribly wrong with me have surfaced less and less.

    Being able to "feel" your way out of a migraine is tremendous progress! I hope you celebrate your accomplishment, I'm certain there are many more to come for you!
     
  5. Elphi7

    Elphi7 New Member

    Yes! I have been noticing how much fear rules my life. That's been clear for years but having this context to put it in - that its another way my brain distracts me - is so freeing! The fear just kind of melts...it crops up again somewhere else but seems to be losing it's grip. You mention spiders - I have been snake phobic my whole life; maybe that will fade too? Last night after a good run I had hot bath. That is usually a sure-fire recipe for migraine and nope! no pain!! thanks for the reminder to celebrate!! Hooray!!!!!! The other thing yesterday is the feeling of relief realizing that I am perfectly healthy, that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with me. That is potent!! Yaaaaaayyyy!!!! Thank you so much for talking with me about this, Leslie; I really appreciate it!
     
  6. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Your progress and positive attitude are incredibly encouraging and uplifting, thank you for sharing them with me! Celebrating the milestones is one of the best parts. Not only does it give us a much needed refresher course on enjoyment and relaxation (seems those are fairly foreign words to TMSers) but it's a great step on the road to self-compassion (another foreign concept for most of us). It has turned out to be one of the biggest contributors towards progress for myself. I started out getting angry with my subconscious for "doing this to me". I'd threaten it before I began something that would normally trigger symptoms, then I'd get even angrier when it would respond by making the symptoms worse. Our subconscious truly is a very young child, it understands punishment, but it can also easily view the lack of reward or encouragement as punishment too. When I started setting clear, reasonable goals and establishing both the punishment or the reward that would result from achievement or failure, progress started improving. Turns out my subconscious does not respond well to threats but it loves rewards. I also discovered that it's really important to deliver the reward really soon after the accomplishment to really reinforce the change. I think for those of us that are fear-prone, getting angry with the subconscious and threatening it just generates more fear, and we already have plenty of that and more than enough experience with where fear gets us.

    Yes, I definitely think it's possible that your fear of snakes will fade too. I don't know if it will go away completely but I wouldn't be surprised if you notice a dramatic reduction. I was sitting on my deck reading a book a few days ago and I looked down to see a fuzzy, black spider creeping his way along my shirt. My automatic reaction to a personal encounter with a spider used to be a blood curdling scream with lots of hysterical jumping around, etc (that reaction was so automatic that it actually occurred once when I was sitting in an anatomy lecture of almost 200 people my freshman year in college....talk about humiliating). The other day it didn't happen, totally shocked me. There were no hysterics, and no frantic jumping around. Granted I did command it rather loudly to "get off me", but there was no screaming. I just shook my shirt until it fell off and went on it's way. I noticed afterward that the physiologic effects of panic were far less to. Heart was not pounding out of my chest and I didn't feel like I couldn't breathe. In fact, now that I think about it, I didn't even have the "creepy crawly" feeling that used to generate shudders for minutes afterwards either. There was some muscle tension but I told myself to calm down and relax and I went back to my book. The tension faded quickly.
     
  7. Elphi7

    Elphi7 New Member

    Thank you so much!
     

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