1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day 1 My Chromic Pain Summary

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Bowen, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Bowen

    Bowen New Member

    I read Doctor Sarno's book last week and I am sure I have TMS. I am 34 and have had chronic pain for 14 years which started with a minor back injury and the pain then spread and intensified all over my body. The pain has moved around my body over the last 14 years and for the last few years it has mainly been in my hands, feet and face. It has been debilitating on every level. I was a professional sportsman at the time of the injury and since then everything has gone downhill including losing my marriage. I have tried everything you could imagine in Western and alternative medicine over the last 14 years; all to no avail. I definitely fit the personality profile and I am excited about the journey ahead. I read the book 'the brain that changes itself' four years ago and realized that I did not actually have a back injury, my brain had just become cross wired to send false pain signals to my body. Since then I have been searching for a way to re-wire the brain back to the way it should be functioning. I have tried a couple of mind methods that work on creating a positive future and making that my reality but I haven't had any tangible benefits which has been frustrating. I would say I am a perfectionist, and a goodist. I am quite a sanguine personality but was very angry during my childhood and early teenage years. I left home to go to boarding school at 15 and this balanced me out. I became happier, more balance and less angry. After reading Dr Sarnos book it became clearer to me that the anger probably just didn't go away; it probably became repressed. I have good coping skills and can usually joke around and smile despite the pain I am in.

    I know there is nothing really wrong with my body structurally and that my body is just stuck in a fight or flight mode trying to protect me. I now know that this is due to repressed anger and fear.

    My main concern is not in the diagnosis but my own ability to access these unconscious feelings and release them so the pain will disappear.

    Thanks

    Bowen
     
  2. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    This is probably right, and something I think a lot of people with TMS go through. We don't think we are angry people, but the fact that we have TMS symptoms says otherwise. It is important to understand what our body is trying to tell us by developing these chronic pain symptoms.

    Your story is strikingly similar to my own. I learned about TMS at around 34-35 after having a wide variety of chronic pain symptoms for around 18 years. Like you my symptoms moved to include wrists, arms, neck, shoulder, knee, and TMJ. There is always that doubt at the beginning about how are you going to be able to do this and recover. The good part is that if you commit to the approach and to thinking psychologically you will make progress.

    As you start out, sure, you may have some difficulty in identifying what emotion you are repressing, but by doing the work you will gain significant introspection and this will become easier. Now, one important point to also make is that sometimes people don't even really need to fully access the emotion and release. Simply understanding that they are repressing strong emotions such as anger and rage can be enough to recover sometimes.

    Another thing to remember is that your id is the primitive part of your personality and unconscious. Think very primitive and childish about what emotions you could be repressing. A lot of times we try to think the repressed emotion is something very complex that we can't possibly identify, but this isn't always the case. For the most part, our uncosncious develops this thought to prevent us from investigating our emotions in the first place.

    The Structured Program is a great place to start in learning about TMS and about doing the work. Feel free to keep us posted on how you are doing.
     
  3. Susan

    Susan Peer Supporter

    Bowen,

    Forest is right on. The Structured Ed Program on this site is excellent. One other resource that has helped me with the reprogramming/rewiring part on the path to healing is Howard Schubiner, MD, Unlearn Your Pain book and CD which comes with the book. He has some very specific suggestions on how to talk to your unconscious. Steve Osanich's The Great Pain Deception is also vey helpful and has a great chapter, #2, The Mind's Eyewitness that really explains our psyche, personality and the internal dynamics that affect our pain and our life.

    I have also found that doing the work, whatever you choose to do as your own discovery process takes time. It would be wonderful if a "cure" happens quickly. That is not my experience. I have had to draw upon reserves of patience I did not know I have. It is in all of us if we can understand our personality traits and be open to allowing healing to unfold as it will.

    There are so many great success stories on this site that you can access for more support and understanding. Impatience is normal because none of us wants to be in pain. For me, impatience is just another way to beat up on myself. You tell yourself that you are smart, successful and "should" be able to breeze through this experience. For many of us the journey through has so many hidden benefits as we move forward. Getting in touch with those repressed emotions is really very freeing and worth the emotional and physical pain, to me, because I understand myself-the real me- so much better today than when I read Sarno in late June and began the work.

    Hang in there and treat yourself with kindness-not a TMS trait, but one you can learn.

    Susan
     
  4. Bowen

    Bowen New Member

    Thanks so much for your replies Susan and Forest. That is really helpful. I am taking this one day at a time at the moment. I actually have to force myself to not do 3 days at once. I want to read so much more but I am restricted from reading as it flares my face pain up. So gently gently I go. I am sticking to one day at a time of the structured program and listening to Dr Sarno's Mind body prescription audiobook at night. I can only really listen to audiobooks. To read a normal book takes me months due to the pain. Even reading and writing this flares it up. Hopefully I can get some of the books you recommended in audio format.

    Forest your comment: 'Think very primitive and childish about what emotions you could be repressing. A lot of times we try to think the repressed emotion is something very complex that we can't possibly identify, but this isn't always the case. For the most part, our uncosncious develops this thought to prevent us from investigating our emotions in the first place.' is very helpful, as is the notion to always think psychological.

    Its been difficult as since learning a couple of years ago that this is created in the brain and not the body I have tried a few techniques to no avail. Deepak Chopra meditations, concentrating on breathing meditation, Mindfulness, and guided meditations investigating limiting emotions and then switching to the greatest expression of myself. Not having any tangible success in these areas has left me a little disillusioned.

    But what I like about this is is that it is much more specific to my pain and targeting specific repressed emotions that are prevalent in all TMS sufferers and I know are somewhere under the surface within me.

    Your help and support is appreciated. The new found hope of being pain free is very liberating in itself.
     
  5. Michael Reinvented

    Michael Reinvented Peer Supporter

    Hi Bowen,

    I hope you soon find some peace. Your Story is full of Courage.

    Susan referenced Dr. Howard Schubiner's Unlearn your Pain. One of the most helpful suggestions I have discovered in this particular program is a truly mindful affirmation. I am not (usually) a huge fan of this therapy, but these few lines have been really grounding through some hairy recent moments.

    I would urge you to spend a day deliberately replacing any negative self talk that we all become programmed with such as "WTF is this pain all about???" with:

    "I fully and completely accept myself and my body".

    Try that for a day Bowen and see how your body reacts. Good luck, you are in the best Company.;)
     
  6. Bowen

    Bowen New Member

    Thanks Michael, I will try that. Being in the best Company is so refreshing. After such a long period is so great to be amongst people that get it. Not to focus on symptoms but on recovery and the amazing success stories that are so inspiring! Looking forward to the journey ahead with an open mind. :)
     

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