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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A life set free...

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by birdsetfree, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    I feel like its time to post my success story with great excitement and gratitude. I had chronic back pain for 15 years and had tried everything possible to free myself from a life so disabling and hopeless from severe, unforgiving pain. Two years prior I had purchased Healing Back Pain, started to read it and felt insulted that someone would dare to tell me it was psychological, throwing it across the room.

    After that I tried more pain management etc but still no results. Eventually out of desperation I asked my husband to look up success stories for chronic pain on the internet and Dr Sarno was the only name that came up with over and over again.... so I picked up his book again. I got onto TMS wiki and listened to Alan Gordan's recovery programme and felt hopeful and excited again for the first time in a very long time. Anyway, that was April 2015. Now I have a completely different life. Life is good again, so freaking good!! I can't believe I have been given a second chance, it is amazing. I am probably 80% better and know that I will be completely cured. I am not rushing it as I am relaxing and enjoying the recovery. I have done a lot of emotional healing, set boundaries and learnt to advocate for myself. It feels good. I am so grateful to Dr Sarno.
    mm718, Laudisco, Celayne and 10 others like this.
  2. tgirl

    tgirl Well known member

    I love reading the success stories. Thanks for posting.
  3. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Great story
  4. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    My expanded success story for those who have time!

    Ok here goes! 15 years ago I reached a pinnacle in an emotional breakdown due to childhood issues unresolved, marriage issues, personality traits, and traumatic life experiences. I was having strange symptoms all over my body and kept going to the Doctors for tests but nothing significant came up. My anxiety was through the roof. I had a young child to look after and was repressing a lot. I really had no one to talk to that could relate to what I was going through. Anyway I started to get severe nerve pain in my hip for a few days and one night it got so severe that I passed out. The next day I went for MRI scans and they said I had herniated discs in my back. They put me on painkillers and anti inflammatories. I now I see that the pain came to protect me from intolerable emotions.

    And so I started the merry-go-round. I tried healing on my own initially but after 8 months realised the back pain was not resolving and so got referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, who looked at my scans and suggested a physio to look after me. She just got me to walk more. That didn't solve anything. A year later I went to see another orthopaedic surgeon who also did not want to operate and sent me to a neurosurgeon who couldn't see anything wrong with the nerves and so referred me on to another physio. Then the trouble really started! They told me not to sit even on the toilet as they said I had Degenerative disc disease and it would only get worse and I would have to protect my back for the rest of my life. She suggested a clinical pilates session twice a week and more walking and taping of my back to prevent me from bending over when I was having a flare up. She also suggested sleeping with a pillow between my legs and also always have a pillow behind my back when sitting but try not to sit at all!

    For the next six years my life got smaller and the pain got worse. I stopped doing anything that involved sitting, dinner, movies, holidays, driving, socialising. The pain was severe.

    The physio sold her business to another physio who took over my care and they didn't care. It was about this time we realised none of this was working and it was time to try something else. I went back to the gym and tried a few personal trainers who put me on workout routines that worked around my back and didn't actually exercise it. At that point I could drive 10 minutes to the gym do a workout for about 45 min, drive home and have to lie down for a couple of hours. In fact my life was mainly lying down at that time with small outings to the shops and back.

    I was walking about 15min in the morning for exercise. Tried one more personal trainer who got frustrated with my back stiffness and sat on my knees to push them into my chest to stretch my back and I nearly fainted! It put me into a major flare up for several months. This was about 2012. Next we started researching back pain cures on the internet (and theres hundreds!) We got hold of Stuart McGill in Canada who is a physiologist who researches chronic back pain. Didn't work after six months. At this point I had it in my mind that my stiffness from not moving normally was the cause of my pain. Had another MRI scan which showed a normal spine. I started to think that I had chronic pain not back pain. I started looking for "I cured my chronic pain" on the internet. I came up with Dr Sarno, bought his book and started reading it and threw it across the room in disgust because it told me my pain was psychological. I didn't get it then. I went to a Pain Management clinic, tried it for six months, it too did not help. Back to the internet and I found a collection of researchers who were researching brain induced chronic pain. I looked up a practitioner and flew down to see him. Tried his methods for six months but no results. But it helped to look at my chronic pain as coming from my brain and not my back. Picked up Healing Back Pain again. I watched a youtube video of someone who cured their pain and it turned out to be Dr Sarno again and he referenced Tms.wiki and I started with Alan Gordens Recovery programme and got excited for the first time in 15 years, it resonated. Straight after listening I was able to sit in the car for an hour without pain which was a light bulb moment. That was the first time in fifteen years that for a moment in time I had no pain. That was the turning point and established my faith in this treatment. I went on to the Structured Educational programme and after the six weeks my pain was about 40 percent gone. Then I still had the stiffness which felt like strong pain to me, so I was still quite disabled. I spoke to Howard Schubiner and he reassured me that the stiffness was just another TMS symptom and I could let it go. He referred me to a TMS therapist.

    My first challenge was to sit for more than 10 min, walk more than 15 min do any workout at all. Thats where I started. I was able to do this because I believed that the pain came from my mind and that I was not doing any damage to myself when the pain came. With the therapists help over the last year I have gone on an emotional journey of growth, setting boundaries with my primary relationships, going towards my triggers with courage and knowing that they cannot kill me. I am reading claire weekes which is helping me accept fears and anxiety about the pain so that it loses its power. I also challenge myself physically, I do not give into the pain, I do what I want to do anyway. I do not give the pain any power. I workout like a normal person now. It helps the pain. I feel empowered more that I ever have in my life. I do an hours yoga twice a week and Tracy Anderson and Cathe Frederiks workout videos. Walk thirty minutes a day.

    Now my life is amazing. I go to the movies, dinner, travelling. I drove my daughter to her Uni an hour away. I feel free. I am not fully back in my life yet but I know I will be. I am enjoying the journey with great faith and gratitude.

    Thank you Dr Sarno.

    birdsetfree, 39 minutes agoReport
    mm718, Laudisco, Sugarfrost and 10 others like this.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi birdsetfree,

    Wonderful that you are sharing your story. Thank you.

    I think this statement is important.

    First is the basic learning to set boundaries for yourself. So many folks come here to the forum where this is an issue. That's what makes a Goodist, right?

    Second, you had assistance along the way.

    Third, is your attitude about healing at this moment: You're a year into this, you have had 80% recovery, you've gotten your life back, and you've taken a very skilled stance toward your present situation. You're not pressuring yourself for the perfect cure. This is extremely helpful in my experience. The more we "don't care," the easier things go. Bravo.

    Andy B
    mm718, Laudisco, plum and 3 others like this.
  6. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Thanks Andy B, your positive feedback means a lot! I am happy to be part of this community.
    plum likes this.
  7. Mark W

    Mark W Peer Supporter

    Congrats, birdsetfree! It so great to hear how much your life has improved!
    birdsetfree likes this.
  8. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Thanks Mark W! I feel very grateful!
  9. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    This is a great story...thx you so much for sharing with us all
    birdsetfree likes this.
  10. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Thanks for reading my story Boston Redsox!
  11. Bunneh

    Bunneh Peer Supporter

    This is amazing! Thank you for sharing the story. You've got the "aha moment", once you realized the pain is incosistent. Love it!
    birdsetfree likes this.
  12. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Thank you for your story.. : )
    birdsetfree likes this.
  13. BBDiesel

    BBDiesel New Member

    Thank you for you story. I just recently started this new journey and your story gives me hope and lessens my fears.
  14. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    TMS therapy is all about hope. Have faith in it and see it through to a better life. I am grateful that my story helped you.
    BBDiesel likes this.
  15. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    I love your name, your avatar and I greatly appreciate this expanded version of your story. There is much insight here. Of particular value for me is:

    I realise that while I accept neuralgia to be tms, somewhere along the way I have tacitly assumed most if not all of the tension and stiffness I experience to be a consequence of tms. The devil really is in the detail. I can sense my mind growing eyes and looking at itself.

    Given that we carve experience with perception it is important to seek and gain clarity with regard to everything that could be tms. Much of tms healing relies on faith especially in the early stages, therefore we must ensure it is faith built on our truths and not someone else's. It is incredibly helpful when people like you elaborate on the nuances of their healing as it benefits many others who may be puzzling over similar pieces. After all no one tms jigsaw is quite the same as any other.

    My thanks that you care enough for others to continue posting, sharing and supporting when you'd be fully justified in saying sayonara and skipping your way far from tmsville.
    birdsetfree likes this.
  16. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Thank you Plum for your generous reply. I really enjoy how you write. I am glad you were able to benefit from from my story.
    Howards response to me on the stiffness was gold and looking back at it I now know that it worked.

    I quote "The stiffness you are having is due to tense muscles. Your muscles are tense due to TMS. Your brain has been trained and conditioned to activate these muscles out of fear of having a back problem. Since you are now aware (hopefully) that you don't have a back problem, you can relax. Calm the fear and danger message in your brain and your muscles will relax!!" Thanks Howard.
    plum likes this.
  17. andyships

    andyships New Member

    Wow. What an inspiring story. So great to read such a life turnaround after so much time.

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