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A bit more encouraged, except for my favorite seat

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Matthew419, May 17, 2020.

  1. Matthew419

    Matthew419 New Member

    In my first post 3 weeks ago, I talked about being a bit discouraged. I had a breakthrough last weekend during a journaling exercise, which led to two days that were almost completely pain-free. I've also had some good days this weekend. I've noticed that there is a definite correlation to my work schedule each week. My more painful days tend to be in the middle of the work week, when the pressure is high. On the weekends, when I can set work aside and the pressure lowers, I tend to have my better days. One ongoing point of frustration will sound silly, except to fellow TMS-sufferers. I still have pain triggered by sitting in my favorite place. This time of year, our front porch swing is my "happy place," both in the early morning and late afternoon. During the worst of my pain over the past two years, I would invariably have pain within 5 minutes of sitting down here. Of late, the pain hasn't been as predictable, but it still generally happens. I've found the same pattern to be true in my wintertime "happy place," in a rocker by the fireplace. Dr. Sarno talks about how one seat is as good as any other when it comes to back pain, and Alan Gordon talks about the pain being mentally conditioned. I believe them, but I'm still experiencing pain any time I sit in these places. Anyone have encouraging insights?
  2. AnonymousNick

    AnonymousNick Peer Supporter

    I struggled with pain and discomfort when sitting. With continued work on psychological issues it starts to fade away, but I can give you a tip on the conditioning. Remind yourself that there's nothing wrong with you and that you should be able to sit comfortably. Defy the idea of structurally caused pain by relaxing into it and "sit harder" if that makes any sense. If you do this fairly consistently, the brain starts to get the message. I think it's sometimes easier to defy the pain when there's an activity involved, so these passive things are trickier. But that's the way I did it, and I still do it if I start to get squirmy in my seat for some reason. Also, that this is happening in spots where you want to relax the most probably begs the question of why you might be resisting that kind of rest on a psychological level. You'll get there. At my low point I was shuttling between lying on the floor and sitting in the living room chair, and never comfortable for long in either position.
  3. Matthew419

    Matthew419 New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement. Good to know that others have walked this road.
    AnonymousNick likes this.
  4. Ariana

    Ariana New Member

    Hi Matthew, sorry to hear you're still struggling with pain and sitting in particular. I can empathise - pain when sitting was the first form of back pain I developed 7 years ago, and I think for this reason, it has been the hardest to shift. I didn't know about the mindbody connection for the first 5 years, so understandably I developed a fear of sitting and was constantly worrying about doing things like going to the cinema, where it would be a problem. I think this prolonged preoccupation & fear makes it more deeply conditioned. Reminding yourself you are safe and that the chair you are sitting in is a completely safe place for you to be should help over time : -)
  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    The very last symptom to leave when the majority of my symptoms left in '99 was sciatica when I sat down in my car to go home at the end of the day. It had nothing to do with fatigue... I might go out and work out afterwards, pain free, but sitting in a nice soft velour car seat made my leg burn a little.

    Knowing it was clearly conditioning I finally went 'F This' and I had a rage-a-thon. Turned off the radio and focused on all of the possible rage inducers, called myself names like "skinner box bee-otch" and generally lost my mind. The sciatica left in a couple 30 minute sessions. It was well worth the peculiar looks I got from other drivers.

    Whenever I have a minor relapse it is usually when I am trying to 'relax' like Sarno's woman getting herself the cocktail at the end of the day.... the TMS comes to get me when I want to decompress. It's a pretty normal pattern... your making the connection with the rocking chair is insightful. Do you have a lot of 'shoulds' ? Is there some little niggling voice in your head saying "I should be doing this or that" Or "I don't really deserve to be relaxing... I should have____"

    or it could be old fashioned Pavlov, and in that case the best way is to do something absurd to destroy the conditioning....to scratch the record so it won't play anymore. Instead of relaxing you might bring a dumbbell and do curls on the bench.... or bring out a radio and listen to death metal...something so crazy your brain won't be able to make the connection anymore. I have used this method to great effect.

    You sound like your doing well... a little creativity on your part will clean out these last little corners.

    Since the problems is in our mind, going a little crazy can sometimes be very therapeutic!

  6. Matthew419

    Matthew419 New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement, Ariana!
  7. Matthew419

    Matthew419 New Member

    Baseball65, that's an interesting approach! It is ironic that I can go split wood, and play whiffle ball with my kids, and jog 3 miles, without any pain, and yet when I try to sit in a comfortable spot, the pain starts. I'll have to get creative!
    Baseball65 likes this.

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