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How to overcome second time pain?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by SheenFabric, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. SheenFabric

    SheenFabric New Member

    Greetings to everyone on the TMS Forum!

    Before I mention my current issues, I would like to give a little insight on myself and my history with TMS. So I'm a 19 year old boy, and only a year and a half ago did I figure out that TMS existed and it was a condition I had. At the time, it manifested itself as an absolutely agonizing wrist/hand pain that didn't let me do absolutely anything and it really changed my life: I felt extremely sad as I had to lay off my favourite hobbies, I went to doctors and did all types of exams and treatments and nothing was found neither did the pain ever subside... I guess you all know how that story went! Then after digging online (again, as I had spent those months looking in every corner for some sort of hope) I came across the concept of TMS and the book by Dr. Sarno. At the time, it all felt a little silly to me. How could something like TMS be real? Even more so, how could it be real when the symptoms I had made sense? (I did use my hands a lot, writing/studying/typing/etc)

    Truth is, after reading the book, my mindset changed and I just KNEW I had TMS. And a couple of days later, the pain was gone. Absolutely gone. My hands that had been making me desperate were back to normal, and I could once again do everything that I used to!

    Every now and then, the symptoms come back but whenever they do it's very short lived as I know that they are TMS.

    Now, about the present day. For about a year, I have been having a lot of foot pain. It took me longer than I'd like to even consider it as a TMS pain, but now I'm pretty sure it is. Before this, I tried everything too, because the symptoms manifested in such a logical way that it had to be something I was doing, right? The thing is, I'm not being able to get rid of the foot pain as easily as I did with the hand pain. My feet burn and it feels exactly like walking on the sand of the beach during the hottest summer days, but it's only when I have shoes on. The thing is, my feet look perfect (and aren't even redder or swollen) and even while keeping my shoes on, there are times when the pain just goes away completely for a couple minutes. This irregularity was what made me think that this was TMS.

    I have tried to do what I did when I had the hand pain, but it seems like nothing is getting this pain away, and I worry that I may have to fight it in a stronger way than I did earlier on. I'm mainly coming here for tips on how to get rid of new TMS symptoms, if anyone would be as kind as to spare any.

    A recent thing that has also been worrying me a lot is frequent dizziness/lightheadedness and this has been going on for around a week, once again at completely irrational times and patterns. I read a lot online about potential causes, and it just made no sense to me: I eat really well, sleep really well, overall just take pretty good care of myself! I'm going to have my blood tested soon just in case I'm suffering from something like Anemia, but given my past, I'm pretty sure that it isn't the case, which leads me to this extra question: can this also be TMS?

    It seems like all the symptoms I have are there exactly to make my life hell. I wish I could just get rid of the feet pain, it makes me not even want to go outside anymore. I absolutely hate running now, and it's just making me a lot more inactive because it's actually given me fear. Now that I see it as TMS, I'm trying to fight against it by continuing to do the things I've always loved, but it's so hard... And for about a week, the dizziness... I've had to skip classes and stay at home because I simply cannot pay attention/feel well enough to remain there, and this too is slowly making a dent into my life, I feel like I'm going to end up completely destroyed anytime soon...

    Does anyone have any tips for helping me with this? I don't know what to do anymore, and it seems like the symptoms are just getting more ridiculous as time goes on.

    About the reasons why this might be happening in the first place... Sadly, while my hand/wrist pain was definitely due to a negative situation I was in at the time (I'm free of it now) I worry that my current symptoms may be manifesting due to unsatisfaction with some other life circumstances which stress me out and that I cannot actually change in the close future, and I worry that it will stop me from being able to recover.

    (Hope the post isn't too long, I'm just trying to be clear and really need help! Putting up with my familiar situation is tough enough, but having symptoms that impair my performance at college... I'm not sure if I can bear with it! I really need help.)
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  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    SheenFabric, it looks like you may have a TMS personality, which makes you prone to neurological reactions like pain, dizziness and potentially other manifestations. Many of us experienced various TMS events throughout our life. Sometimes, we can pin them exactly on the corresponding stressful events, but sometimes we cannot. A strong factor can be a highly sensitive nervous system which at times just feels it has had enough, and sends a signal of pain as a warning shot. Often, just reading a Sarno's book is not enough to get rid of symptoms and people here try to start on one of Alan's programs, or talk to TMS therapists, or even revisit the way we handle stresses and anxieties of daily life.

    The symptoms you describe sound like TMS to me, and it could be that college puts some additional stress on you, not necessarily well understood by you consciously, still enough to burn your nervous system. Looks like the doubt over whether this is TMS may be exarcebating your symptoms and if you convince yourself that there is nothing wrong with you structurally, symptoms may go away. Would it make sense to take a closer look at how you are coping with college workload and try to improve your coping mechanisms?
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  3. SheenFabric

    SheenFabric New Member

    Thank you for the reply! I'm pretty sure that the dizziness is a symptom which acts according to the way you speculate, especially since I'm putting a lot of stress on myself due to college (I don't actually feel stressed, but it's a lot to keep inside, I understand my body on that one).

    What worries me is the foot pain. It's been going on for around a year, and I wasn't even in college then? When I had hand/wrist pain I felt like it was easy to pinpoint what emotions I was keeping inside but this has definitely been a mess... I started journaling recently, and sadly I haven't seen any effects (using my hand recovery as a point of comparison, which was almost miraculous to me!) but I don't want to give up. I will also try to look up that which you have mentioned, and hope for the best...

    I don't know why I'm still skeptical when I managed to heal from my first symptoms, it's strange. Guess that part of it is also some sort of despair, after healing the first time I thought that it would be the end of TMS for me! Facing this as something that could last my entire life, manifesting in various forms... It scares me a lot!
  4. Shajarcito

    Shajarcito Peer Supporter

    SheenFabric, I'm going through similar process as you do so I understand that feeling well..
    I had wrist pain in my right hand for a year, and when I rejected the physical reason for the pain (too much yoga in my case) and recognized the true cause of the pain (fear from rejection by one of the participants) it became 80 % healed! I was amazed as you did.
    However, when I tried to "copy paste" this technique to all of my other symptoms (and thank god, as a Cfs/me sufferer I have plenty of them)
    I failed, big time.. This experience triggered kind of a setback for me
    but then I realized that the mindset is also important in healing.
    A mindset of not trying too hard (and trying so hard to fix your symptoms is a huge temptation after such a miracle..).
    When trying to heal so badly you perpetuate the role of the symptoms - to hold u from moving on with life as a normal person..
    So consume enough TMS knowledge (e.g. relevant success stories) to confirm that overall u have TMS, and then you would be more free to try less.
    Do other activities and stuff, or seek a nice class that you really like and get into it.
    I think its kind of a phenomenon that the first symptom is healed as "a miracle" whereas the next ones arn't,
    but maybe its just the two of us..
    Try to adopt various techniques for overcoming the symptoms, as mentioned there are few powerful ones in Alan Gordon's programs.
    I'm just in the beginning of my healing as you do but I hope this helps a bit.
    Of-course other members here (such as TG957 who gave me actionable advice as well) are more experience than me in guiding you to the right direction.
    One more thing-
    In one of Adam Heller's videos he noted that foot usually takes more time to heal than hands,
    because the foot is located far from the mind (regarding Sarno's reduced oxygen levels theory) so repairing the flow to there takes more time.
    So maybe this is also something that makes sense for your particular case..
    Good luck :)
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  5. SheenFabric

    SheenFabric New Member

    I have to say, your post is very inspiring to me. I relate to your situation a lot and I hope that I can change my mindset and give myself the care I need to heal! Like many of you suggested, I'm going to try to learn new techniques and try to see if I can reduce my pain like that. Very interesting insight on why my feet may take longer to heal, too!

    Thank you very much for your time, and I really hope you can heal! Best of luck :)
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  6. Shajarcito

    Shajarcito Peer Supporter

    You are welcome!
    Thanks and good luck
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Nope, @Shajarcito, it's not just the two of you! This is not just common - it's predictable.

    @SheenFabric, welcome, and thanks for the excellent introductory post! Not too long, and you gave us the important information without dwelling on detailed symptoms, which is important - because symptom details don't matter, so the less time you spend on details, the better :D

    I do think that what you're experiencing is the symptom imperative, as described by Dr. Sarno. You had the miracle of the book cure, which I and many others have experienced (I had a very significant decrease in symptoms after reading The Divided Mind in 2011). However, one of my symptoms that wouldn't go away easily, and which still comes back the minute I'm stressed, is the vague dizziness or off-balance/brain fog feeling that I've had for years, with no sign of anything actually wrong with me. However, I have had a lot of success decreasing the symptoms, banishing them entirely if I'm mindful and relaxed, and, perhaps most of important of all, learning to not fear the sensations when I get them again.

    Definitely get into one of the programs that we offer. Alan Gordon is amazing, and his program has helped and is helping so many people. I've been around since before he developed and donated his program to us, but he did some audio sessions for us back in the day which were really intensely helpful to me. Back then I did the SEP (Structured Educational Program) which has been around since the start of the forum, put together by Forest and early volunteers. If you want a short daily routine that will advance your TMS knowledge and techniques, the SEP is the way to go. But definitely check out Alan's program.

    Someone mentioned Success Stories - I recommend reading one or two (depending on length) every day on that subforum.

    Finally, here's a really comprehensive discussion on psycho-physiological dizziness, along with a link to a super-informative PDF article which I think is very reassuring for anyone suffering from this common mindbody symptom:
    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/psycho-physiological-dizziness-syndrome-ppds.4599/ (Psycho-Physiological Dizziness Syndrome (PPDS))
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  8. SheenFabric

    SheenFabric New Member

    Thank you for your extreme kindness! It makes me really happy to receive all this positivity on here, I'm more than confident that I'll be able to heal myself with enough care and patience. The link to the guide on dizziness is also an extremely helpful addition, since it's a symptom that has been extremely rough to deal with.

    With my time on the forums, I hope that I'll be able to find my way, and I just want to thank you all for slowly guiding me towards it.
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  9. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's really common.
    I have a couple of questions for you.

    What was going on in your life when you first began to notice the symptoms? Financially, Personal relationships (including family), Career planning, college (or not...regrets/confusion)

    Why would this distraction be helpful? From what annoying, irritating, embarrassing, enraging things did/does this symptom protect or distract you from? This applies to when the symptom came AND now.

    Your initial recovery was familiar to me:
    I have counseled a lot of my friends who have had initial spontaneous recoveries just being TOLD about TMS... they trust me, know my experience and bam! They are better in a day or two.

    But.... many of them have had your same experience.... It turned to something else that they told me 'was real' as opposed to the 'not real' back pain, wrist pain...whatever. So their recovery was based on intellectualizing and being made aware of the process but since they didn't go digging and extracting and evaluating themselves the symptom just moved. The Rage/shame/issue at the core never got shook very hard and lay in wait for them.

    Your at an interesting age. I had one of my worst misdiagnosed TMS attacks ever at your age. I woke up one morning and the whole side of my body was paralyzed... like full body bells palsy. Scared the Shit out of me. Went to doctors who blamed it on a Fall I had had a few days previous at Del Mar skatepark. I went to a Chiro and got a good placebo cure. ... but that left the scar on me mentally that set up a lot more problems later.

    When I finally understood TMS at age 32 and looked back at that particular experience, I could remember a lot of deep dark shame that was going on. I had just got out of Rehab and was working as a trashman, having been sentenced to a monstrous amount of community service. I pumped gas and did handyman stuff and my DUMB,Jock friends were in college.... I had no clue what or how to get on with life, but knew I was getting left behind. I had been the top of my class in HS but now I was a skateboarding/trash collecting LOSER. Rage. Shame. Fear.

    The metaphor was precious... "I am paralyzed"

    Ask yourself why you need it and what it's protecting you from. If you can overcome this at your age you will be a free man for the rest of your life. Knowing this and using these techniques will prevent you from wasting time, money and your personal time chasing your tail. Moving towards the truth will set you free

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  10. SheenFabric

    SheenFabric New Member

    Your reply hit very close, the way you describe the things that were at the core of your TMS is just so similar to the problems which I'm sure are at the core of mine. I have many reasons for it, some more prominent than others, but I think that the real problem is that I haven't even solved my issues in real life, so trying to fix the pain inside caused by them doesn't seem as close of a reality.

    I don't want to get into great detail as there's no point in telling you all about my personal story, but I'll try to be brief to provide you some insight on the roots of my TMS. Ever since a young age, I've had a terrible experience with my familiar life. (This constrasts with my early childhood, which gave me no reasons to complain.) To keep things short, a parent died, the other one pretty much abandoned me, I spent years in an extremely hostile and abusive environment with some other family members and only recently (little less than two years ago) I've been living with some other family members. Needless to say, my life was and still is pretty terrible ever since the first thing happened. Life is definitely not as hard now as it was a couple of years ago, but asides from having all those scars, I still feel absolutely no stability or love, and lacking those two things ever since you were 9 ends up taking a toll on you. The best way to describe my situation as of now is that of young children who swing between their two divorced parents, except that neither of those "divorced parents" see me as anything other than a burden.

    While I sound quite grim, and the feelings which cause my TMS are that way too, I've been able to develop a positive outlook on life no matter how dire the circumstances are. There are many times when I reflect on everything (like now) and it amazes me to remember that I've lived something that isn't close to being considered normal. I get by just fine! Like I mentioned earlier, I managed to get into college, I'm affording to pay for it (without having to rely on family's help) and the next step is to find my own place, so that I can finally feel at peace at home. There isn't a day where I wake up and feel comfortable to express anything whatsoever at home, and I absolutely hate the feeling. By keeping so much of me locked inside, it's normal that my mind would find solace in a condition such as TMS.

    By learning on how to cope with the condition, while aiming to do everything in my power to get myself somewhere better, I hope that I'll be able to be a satisfied and healthy adult. One thing that life has taught me is that no matter how bad things are, you can always get yourself back up if you so desire. If you have to do it on your own, then so be it. By wallowing in pain and self-pity, which is something that TMS has been trying to bring back to my life, we're shackled, stuck, imprisioned.

    Your story is nothing more than encouraging, it only proves my previous point. We hold the power to get back on our feet, no matter how hard we fall. I hope that you continue striving to do better, and that life will treat you better in the future. It's all we have waiting for us, after all!

    Thank you.
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  11. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    If I had to wait and solve my problems to get better I would still be in agony. Sarno says the same thing.... if people had to change the situation his "cure rate would be zero". As absurd as it sounds, all you need to do is internalize the information and your symptoms will vanish.... remember, the unconscious is a lumbering, slow-ass ox following behind you... but not that far behind you. Couple of weeks most of the time?

    Is this me talking to me through a time warp?(LOL).... One parent died when I was 5. The other went on a 30 year vacation and left us with relatives and babysitters. Brother, sister and I beat the shit out of each other for a decade or so until circumstance separated us.
    Not a lot of love in my family of origin. HOWEVER when I started a family of my own, we have LOTS of love so you do get to make your own reality.....but I digress

    That indefatigable spirit of yours that is propelling you along a path of your own is amazing! BUT, it can also be a hindrance because it requires you to black out all of that Family of Origin negativity. You don't need to 'go back there' in a spiritual sense, however going back there in an intellectual studying sense WILL do wonders for you now.... the same shitpool that almost drowned you will save you.

    We can't just un-see, and un-feel things that rocked us. That violence and cold that seemed like the only world that could possibly exist needs to be looked at because it left marks on me whether I like it or not. It was reviewing that in context of Sarno's work.... not just a surface intellectual agreement, but a deep thorough inspection, which ultimately set me free.

    I saw how a lot of the decision making process in me was shaped by that.... I also saw a lot of the problems and personality flaws in myself were selfish reactions to that shitstorm. "The world fucked me so I am allowed to feel sorry for myself"

    Really? For how long? You'd be surprised Bro.. I meet 60 year old men still pining about the football team they didn't make in middle school... how that ended their athletic career (I could have been a champ!). Narcissism and low self esteem battling it out inside us as a result of these experiences is at the root of lots of it. "Poor me" and "I fucking Rule" beat the crap out of me weekly, sometimes in the same hour..... and I wonder why I need a distraction to stay sane?

    Remember, TMS is a coping mechanism. The more pressure we put on ourselves (and it seems like you have done just that) the more important it is that we repress those memories lest they trip us up....

    "You are not far from the kingdom" is what Jesus said? Well, you aren't...your honesty and openness are in place and you only need to apply Sarno's work to your experience and then you too will be symptom free. It's that Fricking easy. So easy I didn't believe it when the first second and third offering was made to me...

    But eventually I got frustrated and did the work.... and then kicked myself for wasting time, but Sarno explains that TOO

    your right there
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  12. SheenFabric

    SheenFabric New Member

    I definitely agree with everything you say! Only by working with that that almost drowned me can I learn to heal myself. Ignoring it and pushing it back is not an option. Like you said, if I do the work I'm bound to see results, even if they're nothing more than a better understanding and acceptance of everything that has happened to me so far.

    Hopefully my time here on the forums will prove important for this healing process, but I already feel better even if just for these small interactions I've had with you on my post. It really helps to lean on someone, or something, and not always keep everything to myself.
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