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There needs to be a TMS awareness month

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by North Star, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well girls, we made it through another "Breast Cancer Awareness" month. I've gotten so I hate October because of the paranoia it feeds in me that I'm going to get breast cancer. Now, don't get me wrong, I have dear friends that have died from breast cancer so I realize the seriousness of the disease.

    But I am furious at the industry it has become. I'm furious at the paranoia and "err on the side of caution" inva$ive procedures.

    I got frustrated with myself too the other day. I have a friend who is a photographer who specializes in documenting womens' battles with breast cancer. His pictures are poignant and very emotional.

    But I realized...I can't look at them anymore. In a nano-second, my little squirrel/TMS brain will insert me into that drama and the next thing I know, my stress level is up out of fear. My imagination is running pell-mell and I'm the one getting chemo dripped into my veins.:eek: STOP IT!!!!! I tell myself. No more! (It doesn't help that I was a nurse either.)

    The internet is wonderful but it opens up a world of pain and suffering that we were never asked to carry. (And especially over people we will never meet. Isn't enough that we have our own dramas with those with whom we're in relationship with?) And as TMS'ers, we're more prone to feeling these things passionately.

    I don't want any more "You're Gonna Die of This Disease Awareness Months!" But I DID decide that a TMS Awareness Month would be a very good idea. "Put down the pain killers...you're not going to die from that shoulder ache...Rage is your problem..." Ah, yes. I can see a whole ad campaign.

    Somehow though, I don't think the medical e$tablishment would go for it. :p

    And PS A little off topic. Today, I put my digital blood pressure monitor on Craigslist. Why? Because a doctor told me a few years ago that my "white coat hypertension" could lead to hypertension. So I bought into that narrative and was monitoring my BP at home. And I'm not kidding...just seeing that darn thing in the closet scared me. I would have to calm myself down before I took it because I'd give myself TMS elevated BPs.

    No more. Exercise and being aware of TMS is keeping my BP just fine, thank you very much. :)
     
  2. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    I don't want any more "You're Gonna Die of This Disease Awareness Months" either. Why do we want those images of disease in our brains? I think that the only thing to do when we see those ads is simply to remind ourselves that we are fine and need not worry, then simply move on.

    [oops, I got a little carried away and off topic with this paragraph... feel free to ignore it...] I think that it starts with self-awareness. Some TMSers (like myself) aren't necessarily aware of how things like disease awareness months makes us feel. My bet is that you are, but the first step for someone like me is to figure out, using my internal felt sense, how something like that makes me feel. Then, with that clear picture, I can figure out how to soothe myself, perhaps by reassuring myself using logic like the evidence sheet or by simply finding something cheerier to focus on if I don't have something deep to work on that will bring me back. Certainly, in the case of a disease awareness month, the risk of disease is just part of life and really isn't a problem. There is nothing to grieve and so I just move on.
    I agree, and some day there will be. It's not something that I would put on the next 3 year strategic plan or even on the one after, because it would take significant financial resources. However, the 501(c)3 nonprofit that sponsors this web site is growing very rapidly and I personally am committed to building an international nonprofit that will be able to take on large projects like that.

    One exciting statistics that is indicative of our growth is that over the last year, our website traffic has increased by 85% and our total number of unique visitors per quarter year has increased by 119% (i.e., the total number of visitors is 219% as large as last year). I have planned my schedule so that I will be able to put a very large amount of work into the nonprofit over the next two years (and I'm sure afterward as well). While it takes a very considerable amount of time to run a nonprofit with programs as diverse and complete as our own, we have a group of terrific volunteers who run our chat room (MatthewNJ, who is also the Vice President of our board), our discussion group (Herbie and BruceMC), our Parts Therapy mailing list (njoy) and provide amazing support on our forum (too many people to mention, but you know who you are!), which is what really makes our nonprofit possible.

    Speaking of our strategic plan, one of the things I have on the list for the first half of 2014 is to revisit our 2011-2013 strategic plan and make a new one for 2014-2016. When we first set up the nonprofit corporation, we met with a consultant from the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), affiliated with the US Small Business Administration. He said that one thing we should do was write a Strategic Plan that identified our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats as well as setting Goals and Objectives for a three year period. I find that the document helps us focus our energies on what is most important.

    For anyone who is curious (bless you if you are!), you can see the full document here:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/dl/StrategicPlan.pdf
    I bring it up now because we will be updating it in the first half of 2014. At some point I hope to post a thread to start soliciting feedback on changes that we should make, but I thought I would post it now, just to start teaching people about the process.

    Anyway, another person who is not afraid to think big is Alan Gordon, the author of our TMS recovery program. He is hosting a TMS training in Los Angeles this weekend and is expecting more than 50 practitioners to attend, which I think is amazing (I'm thrilled just getting 10 TMS practitioners in a room). He is also starting a Pain Psychology Center that he intends to operate like a nonprofit, plowing all profits back into spreading the word about TMS. I think that what he is doing is amazing. He cares deeply about spreading the word, just like we do.

    Anyway, good things are ahead... and maybe, some day, we will indeed have a hope-inspiring, positive themed TMS-awareness month.
     
    nancy and Ellen like this.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest,
    Thank you so much for all your hard work and the positive energy you put into this website and the non-profit. You are making a big difference in the lives of many people.
     
    MontanaMom and Forest like this.
  4. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    Thanks for your kind words, Ellen! It means a lot.
     
  5. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest, your update on the Forum here and plans for the future make me want to shout! YAY! And yes, what Ellen said. We all have a debt of gratitude to you. Thanks to you and all the amazing people who selflessly share their time, expertise and experience. I don't know that any of you will ever be able to grasp the amount of fruit your efforts are yielding in the lives of TMSers.
     
    Ellen and Forest like this.
  6. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    I so agree. Thank you Forest for your dedication and energy to keep the wiki going. It has truly
    been a light unto my path. And thank you everyone who volunteers and those who are dedicated
    to responding to others who are trying to find their way to recovery and healing. I have met so
    many wonderful, caring people on this site who have just warmed my heart. I am so grateful to
    be able to glean from everyone on this site. Forest, all your hard work is touching and changing
    lives. Thank you!!!
     
    Ellen likes this.
  7. cirrusnarea

    cirrusnarea Well known member

    Yes Forest, thanks for your hard work.
     
  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had occasion to visit my doctor this week. In the waiting room there are televisions rotating advice (whatever happened to magazines, or simply waiting quietly?), and one public disinformation piece caught my attention. It featured all manner of woes that could afflict the humble penis and his two good friends. It gave me the ad dabs good and proper. I swear I walked down the corridor with the swagger of a gun-slinger afterwards. I detest this kinda shit. Someone is always selling something on the back of it and the currency is always fear. Sometimes I think we need a flat-out *awareness* month.
     
    Ellen likes this.
  9. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great idea, a TMS awareness month! That could then be followed by a TMS awareness year.
    And best of all, TMS AWARENESS LIFE !
     
  10. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

  11. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    A great idea. I'll look at Olfield's URL and see if I can do it around here.
     
  12. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    Hi, Walt, if you are interested in doing PR/media outreach, we've got two resources that might help you get your thinking started. The first is a wiki page we made about Public Relations, with some ideas about how it could be used within the TMS movement:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Public_Relations

    Another resource would be from our old forum. It turns out that our entire website used to be completely different, based on a completely different computer. That old computer is still running and sometimes there are great discussions to be found on it. For example, we once had a discussion about reaching out to journalists about TMS. Here is the link for that discussion on our old forum:
    http://tmswiki.wikifoundry.com/thread/3960919/The+next+big+project+-+media+advocacy!
    Sometimes I call the old site the "green" site because it has so much green in it's color scheme. Perhaps a bit too much...
     
  13. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'll look into this.
     

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