1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Welcome to the Forum for the Structured Educational Program

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by JanAtheCPA, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome to the forum, @Mrpine. I am also 71, but I discovered Dr. Sarno and this work in 2011. I got my life back thanks to the good doctor, along with other resources like the SEP, and especially Claire Weekes for anxiety. Feel free to read my profile story from back then, with my list of resources. I've been hanging out here ever since, because I love being a part of this community where other people are getting their lives back.

    You might relate to my experiences and observations. For one thing, I feel that managing TMS has been more difficult the last few years which I think is a combination of world dysfunction even before 2020, then COVID, and now ever-worsening environmental and social problems - such that it's widely acknowledged that the world is in a mental health crisis. It's even more important for me personally to acknowledge that the reality of aging also plays a part, which was named as a source of rage by one of the other authors in Sarno's last book, The Divided Mind (that was my light bulb moment). I mention this to you because we are the same age, and it's something we simply can't avoid thinking about once we are past the middle point of our lives. It's also prime material for repression.

    Always good news when they can't find anything wrong! You undoutedly know that our guts are often the first place we experience stress, whether it's outside stressors, or the stress of repressed emotions. I defintely had alarming gut issues in 2011 - I was losing weight rapidly, and I had eliminated so many suspected problem foods from my diet that I was living on the "white diet" when I discovered TMS. This was in addition to other TMS symptoms, especially dizziness. The quickest symptoms I resolved were various pain ones, followed by the digestive issues. The dizziness is the symptom that returns with setbacks, and heartburn has been a stress-related issue for years, but I use relaxation/breathing techniques for both these days.

    I've maintained an active lifestyle throughout the years, and sought out additional exercise programs since before age 60, which imho is essential to health, along with a decent diet, so you've got a head-start by being fit, because you can feel good about that. I achieved a high level of TMS recovery in 2011 and early 2012 thanks to this work, and maintained it pretty well for a long time, although it got tougher starting in about 2016 due to the ramping up of world dysfunction. Then in the spring of 2020 I developed sudden-onset RA, brought on by stress (my opinion). It's well-maintained on a low dose of the most basic standard medication, helped by exercise and trying to de-stress (not easy for a serial goodist). So I would say I've achieved a level of recovery which in spite of everything I'm still able to maintain at well over 80% about 80% of the time, which is still phenomenal compared to eleven years ago when I was rapidly on my way to becoming housebound.

    The RA complicates things, especially as I feel I could achieve remission with a serious commitment to mindfulness (and I'm working on not beating myself up for that). RA has to be taken seriously as a medical condition requiring intervention even if it was induced by stress. Ironically, the traditional medical community states emphatically that stress makes RA and other autoimmune conditions worse, but they are completely unwilling to state that stress can cause AI conditions. Go figure.

    This is probably all TMI, but I guess what I wanted to get across is that you are definitely in the right place, but also that this work is not necessarily going to be a linear path to complete recovery. There are a lot of moving parts, and the path is different for everyone. Take it all in, try out different things, and stick with the ones that really resonate for you.

    It is vital to do the work with a serious commitment to self-honesty, because your brain will try to trick you into not being honest, to edit what you write, to move through a resource or an exercise too quickly, or to skip over stuff that it doesn't want you to examine. Do not be fooled!

    At some point your brain is also likely to come up with new and/or increased symptoms in order to make you think that this work is harmful and that you need to stop. Of course, if you can stop, breathe, and think logically, you'll realize that just reading and writing can't possibly be damaging you physically. We always view new or worsening symptoms as good news - because it means you're on the right track. Feel free to report on them (and rejoice) if they happen - although forewarned is forearmed, so who knows? Everyone's experience is different!

    Good luck!

  2. Mrpine

    Mrpine Newcomer

    Thank you, Jan, for the welcome and the excellent suggestions as to how to progress. I’m in it for the long haul as my family needs their father and grandpa and my wife needs her husband at or near full strength.
    I will post occasionally and will beat this awful feeling as l get more familiar with the program and thought pattern change necessary to succeed.
    Stay well and I’ll stay in touch.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. Geri D

    Geri D New Member

    Hi, I'm on Day 8 of the Structured Educational Program. On most days, it's suggested that we post a response to what we've read or written. I'm not quite sure how or where to do that. Is this the correct place? Thanks (I'm not very technologically inclined :-0 )
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Geri D,

    If you go to the main page for this subforum you'll see that most people create a new thread for themselves, often for a single day. This is all completely voluntary, as many people never write publicly. Posting while I did the SEP is how I got started here. Anyway, you can do that, or you could start one new thread just for your SEP posts and keep adding to it with individual posts (you can find it each time by going to your Profile page and clicking on the tab for your postings.)

    There are no rules or even clear guidelines, which makes a forum like this feel kinda like the Wild West for TMSers who like things to be under control. This is good for our fearful brains, as we learn to accept that we can't control everything :eek: (sometimes nothing) yet we can still survive just fine :joyful:

    Jump on in and go for it!
  5. Mrpine

    Mrpine Newcomer

    In the program, we are asked to contribute what we are proud of so far in the program. I am very proud of myself for the journaling that l have done. I have expressed thoughts that l never thought that l would or even knew that l had. I have spoken to people while journaling who l perceived had “done me wrong” only to determine through the help of the program that all people do the best that they can at any time in their history with the information and/or life experiences that they possess at the time. This concept never occurred to me but now l endeavour to treat these people and others with a different point of view and with way more compassion than l was willing to give them in the past. I hope that this makes sense and l will work on getting even better in this regard. I am quite sure that l can’t completely change who l am, but with a more self conscious awareness, l will continue to treat others with a far more open kindness and compassion than l have in my past.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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