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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I’m aiming for pain free for my 40th bday
Hi PainFree440,

@MWsunin12 and @Free of Fear both gave you good advice about not being so rigid (ie: perfectionist!) in your goals and expectations.

I highlighted your sentence above because I want to tell you that the brain mechanism that we call TMS is not actually a condition that we 100% "fully" recover from. You might think that's the bad news, but my intention is to show you a path where you can realistically learn to understand and control this mechanism that was created millennia ago by our primitive brains to keep us safe in a physically unsafe world, during a time when we lived very short lives. The chances of living past 30 in that world were slim. But as long as you had done your job of breeding the next generation, there was no need for you to live longer than that. Right? Modern medicine has completely done away with Nature's plan in that regard, thank you very much. But there are consequences.

I believe this is a normal mechanism, but I think it has gone haywire in the modern world, because we live so much longer, and because our lives are so much more complicated - and we have a lot more things to worry about. I absolutely believe we can experience recovery - but you can't expect to "fully" recover and never have to deal with it again. What you can do is develop skills that you will use now, and in the future when you experience setbacks.

And look at you - you've already had a lot of success, so you know it can be done!

I always recommend doing one of our programs. In doing the SEP many years ago, I discovered that my brain wanted to hide things from me - it was convincing me that writing down or examining certain things, incidents, whatever - were too embarrassing and not necessary. It's scary how easily I could have been misled, and failed to accomplish anything substantial. The thing is, these things weren't earth-shattering at all - but forcing myself to look at them, and to accept myself in spite of them, was revealing and freeing, and it helped to open up other emotions that I'd been repressing - all of them going back to childhood, which is where our life's disappointments and regrets start building up - and I believe that this is true for every human being who has ever lived. It doesn't matter how good a childhood someone had (mine was great, in fact) - from the moment we are forced to give up our mother's breast, we experience disappointment, resentment, shame and guilt, and all of the other emotions that go with having to grow up and start interacting with the rest of the world. Our brains start repressing those emotions at an early age. And those who do not have a loving or supportive childhood will invariably end up with even more emotional and physical issues to deal with.

Again - you've already made really good progress, and you are on the right path. Letting go of rigid expectations and accepting that this work is not linear, not measurable, and extremely individual, can only help in your recovery process.