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Day 3 A bit disappointed

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by njoy, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Not sure what I was expecting but I'm at Day 3 and there has been nothing new -- nothing I haven't done a thousand times before. The first article on Day 3 (James Schwartz, I think) was impossible to finish on the small screen of my laptop (one of those awkward google articles, like old fashioned micro fiche). What I did read was well written but I was not able to finish it.

    I guess I am beginning to feel depressed. This happens to me often and is cyclical but the cycle completes in hours, days, or at most a couple of weeks. Once I was totally betrayed by someone who reminded me of my father (also a betrayer). I was depressed for two years but that was an exception. Usually, something cheers me up and I'm happy for awhile until it all starts again.

    This is not bi-polar, apparently, but the hope and joy does become mildly manic and then turns to anxiety and then depression again. Are mood swings a tms equivalent? Lately, I seem to have a sense of thinking something specific just before I get depressed. Today the word "hopeless" comes to mind. I can keep it at bay while I'm awake but sleeping brings on a wave of negativity.

    Right now, I am trying Ace1's Steps on the tmshelp.com forum. I had to rewrite every word to make sure I understood what he was saying, a big job, but now I think I have a fair idea of what to do. Can affirmations help me? It seems unlikely but I've promised to give it a good try.

    As for the Structured Educational Program, I may as well check in once a day and go through the motions. Often gold is found after a lot of digging.

    Perhaps I will never be able to "cure" myself. Of the (many) methods I've encountered, Sarno's is as good as any. I have had a lot of success with it but, invariably, a new problem pops up and a new cycle of pain begins. I know I am full of anger but also sadness, too. Yesterday, I realized anger and love are the same thing, in different forms. Perhaps so is sadness and joy.
  2. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Sounds to me as though you are quite more than a "bit" disappointed. You seem to be giving yourself a lot of negative messages here, to me it reads as if you are expecting failure. I would recommend you be very careful with this as it might just become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    One TMS author writes that "to recover rapidly you must be truly motivated to get rid of the pain and live a healthy, active life".
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    njoy, I think that Leslie hit the nail on the head - she's very perceptive (yes, you are, Leslie!).

    I can relate to the downward spiral. I also tend to be somewhat cynical, which does not serve me in the long run, and I am working hard on that. (however, unlike you, I find Dr. Zafirides to be a tonic for my cynicism, but that may simply be the result of "knowing" him here for a long time, and of absolutely knowing how much he cares.)

    You said "Perhaps I will never be able to "cure" myself." Maybe it's time to look for help outside of yourself. Dr. Sarno is very clear that there are people who need therapy in order to recover, especially if they suffer from depression. Although he and other TMS docs are pretty sure that depression is a TMS symptom - but it's a very very tough one to fight on your own.

    The SEP is definitely basic, as it should be for a free resource which is introducing many different people to these concepts, often for the first time ever in their lives. It's also maintained by non-professional volunteers - in our spare time, and I tell you, it's a challenge! Not everything works in all formats. (If it wasn't tax season I would check into your technological comment, but I just can't right now. )

    Here's the thing: the SEP is loosely based on the structure of the workbook by Dr. Howard Schubiner "Unlearn Your Pain". Many people report that UYP is much harder to get through than the SEP, so if you are looking for something that is more professional and consistent, designed by a medical TMS professional, Unlearn Your Pain may work for you.

    An even more advanced program is The Presence Process by Michael Brown.

    Finally, I get that you are skeptical about affirmations. I know that skepticism, because I've been there, and I'm sorry (seriously) but you're going to have to get over it. For some places to start, check out this conversation started earlier today: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/a-book-on-learning-to-love-yourself.1745/

    Good luck

  4. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    njoy, I have had depression all my life along with numerous physical ailments. Sometimes I have thought I would rather have physical pain than depression. The despair can be so painful and disabling. Of course, both can be very debilitating. Over the years I have been to numerous shrinks trying to get "fixed." None ever helped. It was a waste of money and my time. I always thought "I am an intelligent person. Why can't I get this figured out." Then I would feel just awful about myself because I couldn't figure it out and I had so much shame attached to being depressed. Very few people in my life ever new of my being depressed. Now I tell everybody everything. I have kept this deep dark secret buried so deep inside me.

    When I was a little girl after my baby brother died my Mother stopped loving us. There was no more affection and no emotional support. She pushed us all away. I watched her so closely. I watched every breath she took. I listened to every sigh. I saw every shrug, every turn of the head. I tried so hard to be perfect so she would love me. Nothing ever worked for the rest of my life.

    Working in this program has helped me, with a lot of hard work on my part, learn how I "watch" and "see" everything in other people to see if they approve of me or to see if they are disappointed in me. Even a small negative gesture would be interpreted as disapproval then I would feel the cloud of depression in my head deepen. Using journaling as my guide I have been able to attach a visual or verbal action that I see or hear to a thought which creates the dark cloud in my head. You can do this too.

    You already have a lot of insight into yourself. What I have learned is to try to connect an experience from a past event with how I handle a current situation... still working on that one. And I have to journal everyday about the past and today even if only for 5-10 minutes to keep my mind alert to how I interpret situations. I have had years of conditioning.

    Just work the program. I know you can do this too. Every one is different about how long it takes. But I have complete faith in you.
  5. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Thanks for the replies:

    Leslie - you underestimate me but I appreciate your straightforward response.

    Jan - you are a hoot; I will take your advice and "get over" my aversion to affirmations. Shouldn't be tough because I was a fan of Co-Counselling and had great results for a long time. Still would, probably, so I'll incorporate C-C into my affirmations practice. Thanks.

    Stella: I have also had no luck with finding help "outside" except 12 step programs, self-help books, and the occasional experience of transcendence. In those, you take what you want and leave the rest. This works for me as does journalling. I am not interested in a guru. I have very little respect for doctors. I am not a good follower. Generally speaking, it's my way or no way at all. I have not always been this way. Like you, I was an unloved and terrified child, always on the alert, trying to be good enough to be safe. Now I very seldom care what anybody thinks of me. I know that what truly matters is what I think of myself. I believe this is as true for everyone as it is for me.

    Anyway, I am feeling much better than when I posted, yesterday. The down mood didn't last. The catalyst was my husband (a mystical chap) who said:

    Who would trade their happiness
    Just for being right
    Sell their joy at any price
    Or abandon their delight?

    That thought and a bit of sunshine and I'm okay again. Ridiculous, I know, but c'est moi.
  6. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    njoy - "Now I very seldom care what anybody thinks of me. I know that what truly matters is what I think of myself. I believe this is as true for everyone as it is for me."

    I guess I wonder who you are trying to convince.... yourself, us or both. Or maybe no one.
  7. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Ah, you don't believe me. Well, that's okay, too.
  8. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Having nothing to go on but my own understanding of your post, you may absolutely be right that I underestimated you. I truly hope that you are correct. I'm glad your down mood did not last, a burst of sunshine is a wonderful thing!
  9. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Actually, Leslie, you nailed it. I was hopeful, at that moment, of finding a way out and that's all I meant by "you underestimate me".

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