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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Adiós Pain, You Lose, hahahaha!!!!

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by KevinB, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hello community,

    My name is Kevin, I recently completed the SEP and am now 100% better, and I believe cured. I thought I'd post my story here.

    Like many of us, for the longest time I've suffered from some form of TMS, but I only learned it was TMS about 3 months ago. Reflecting back on as far as I can remember, it seems I nearly always had some sort of physical ailment going on - knee, back, elbow, foot, shoulder, stomach, depression, anxiety.... generally it was one of these things at-a-time, but sometimes I would have 2 or 3 simultaneously. These things would typically come up, stick around for a while, then subside, only to be replaced with another one either immediately or shortly thereafter. I just thought this was normal for me.

    The most painful has been a reoccurring lower-back issue that began in my early 20s, but didn't get really nasty until early 30s. The first one was brutal - I was 32, going through a vicious breakup, had just moved to NYC, just started a PhD program and new job, and was drinking and using drugs pretty heavily. I played softball one day and the next morning awoke to a shifted trunk and extreme left low-back/buttock/leg pain. It stuck around for a few days, then got worse, to the point where I was getting insane spasms at night and crying from the pain. I went to the doctor, and it was the usual- prescribed painkillers and told to take it easy. The pain did improve a bit, but stuck around for months, so I was finally sent for an MRI, which revealed some slight disk herniations in the low back. I was prescribed PT and, after several weeks, that worked (placebo) and I was pain free for a little while. I should mention that I also completely ended the toxic relationship & quit drinking/drugs.....

    Less than a year later I had another flare up, this time after running a couple miles. I didn't go to the doctor this time, but I did the PT exercises I had learnt, and saw a chiropractor - it seemed to get better after 4-6 weeks. During the next 2-3 years, I had probably 2 other flare ups, as well as other distractions such as tennis elbow, bad left knee pain, stomach issues, etc.... but the back pain generally didn't stick around too long because of some placebo (PT, energy healing, etc.). In retrospect, these flare ups were always happening when I was on break from school, when it was time to "relax", Dr. Sarno speaks on this phenomenon.

    This most recent one, the worst one to date, happened this past Xmas-eve day, 2014. My wife had flown home and I decided to stay behind, alone for the holidays. We were recently married that August, and I had just finished my first semester in a new tenure-track position at a new school. So there was a lot going on. I went to the gym and was doing some lifting, pretty heavy weight, and I felt a bit of a strain in the usual low left area of the back. I stopped, went to put the weights down, then felt a "pop" and the pain immediately shot down my left buttock and leg. I began sweating heavily and panicking. It had never happened suddenly like this so I thought for sure I blew something, or worse. I hobbled to my car and drove home in extreme pain. I could hardly get out of the car and make it upstairs..... I took Advil and laid on the floor for the following several days (great Xmas!!!). I was hoping it would improve on its own, but it really wasn't, I could barely move sans extreme pain. I slowly began my PT exercises, researched like a madman on the internet all of the horror stories on back issues, tried hot baths, acupuncture, energy healing, meditation, affirmation, prayer..... nothing was helping! I finally saw the doc, he ordered an MRI because it had been 5+ years since the last. The results showed the same herniations as before, nothing major - he recommended me to a back specialist who checked me, read the MRI results, told me it was nothing serious, and that PT and shots in the back should do the trick.... I refused the shots for I had heard too many horror stories, but took the PT. This was already March, so about three months of nasty pain by then, mostly when walking and standing. The PT helped a little, but the results were minimal. I was considering shots and/or surgery because I couldn't take it any longer... I was even suicidal at times... I just didn't see a way out - nothing helped. I was defeated.

    Then one day a friend sent me a quote from Dr Sarno and his book Healing Back Pain. I was skeptical, but at that point I had nothing to lose, so I got the book and began reading, this was late May, so nearly 5 months of chronic pain.... the book spoke to me and I wanted to believe it, but was having a hard time because I had been told for so long that my pain was due to structural disk issues.... but I thought, what the hell, let me look into this further. That's when I found this community and the SEP. I decided I'd try the SEP, full on, and see what would happen.

    I had already noted some relief just from reading the book. The relief grew as I got into the SEP. It was a process, and there were ups and downs, but I kept with it and followed the directions. For me personally there were a few milestones along the way that really helped: 1. I ripped up my paper copy of the MRI results because I was obsessing over them; 2. I had scheduled an appointment with a local TMS doctor early on, but the appointment was 2 months in the future, but I felt it was delaying my recovery, so after a few weeks I called and cancelled it, which brought almost immediate results for the positive; 3. I continued reading books on TMS; 4. I began seeing a therapist.

    It's wild, but for me the pain essentially vanished right as I was finishing the SEP. The final day of it (it's 6 weeks total), I was at about 95%..... within a week of finishing it, I'm 100%. It is amazing. I'm still journaling and seeing a therapist for a bit longer. I aim to be CURED of this, not just temporarily relieved. I do everything I want now - long walks, go to shows, gym, you name it! Getting over the fear is difficult, but I learned many tools from the SEP and continue to use them. Also, one of the main things that helped was that early on in the SEP, maybe day 2 or 3, you're asked to sign an agreement and set a future date to do something you love, but had stopped doing as a result of your pain. For me it was a long walk over the Williamsburg bridge into Manhattan, which I used to do at least once a week. I set a date about 4 weeks out from the start of the SEP. That date came, I was scared and didn't feel ready, but did it anyway, and although I did experience some fear and pain, I got through it! After that my recovery really sped up. I really began to believe it was emotion, not structural.

    In closing, I want to say that before I found out about TMS, all I wanted was for the pain to stop - I was constantly dwelling on how great it was before the pain, how my life was now horrible, and how I'd never be free or happy again. Once I began to understand what was going on and recover, I become grateful for the pain.... that is, I don't believe I would've faced many emotional wounds had I not become so hopeless due to the pain. Now I look back and thank my body and mind for this experience because I'm FINALLY dealing with some shit that I simply did not want to look at, mostly childhood and other past events/emotions. It's like the old cliché, a blessing in disguise. I really am so grateful to be where I'm at today, to understand how the mind can create these pains, and to be open to experiencing the emotions instead of hiding from them. And all of this was free...... amazing, simply amazing!

    brendan537, missy, Alyssa5 and 12 others like this.
  2. Grateful17

    Grateful17 Well known member

    Kevin, Thank you so much for taking the time to share you story of recover with us.
    And congratulations of being Pain Free..........
  3. silentflutes

    silentflutes Peer Supporter

    Inspirational. Thanks for sharing.
  4. FenderBender

    FenderBender New Member

    That's awesome man! I feel like my recovery is following a similar pattern as yours -- if you don't mind me asking what is the SEP? Sounds like some sort of program that could be beneficial
    KevinB likes this.
  5. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hey fenderbender,

    Sorry I wasn't more clear with that, SEP stand for the Structured Educational Program located right here on the tmswiki page. It's 6 weeks long, absolutely free, and in my experience, life changing. I hope you do it.

    Grateful17 likes this.
  6. IndiMarshall

    IndiMarshall Well known member

    you inspired me
    KevinB likes this.
  7. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    God bless you
    KevinB likes this.
  8. bd123456

    bd123456 New Member

    Great story. I'm happy that you feel great! Thanks for the advice about SEP. I'm going to look at it now.
    KevinB likes this.
  9. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    brilliant, its impossible to truly explain to another person what its like living with pain and having the epiphany type moment discovering Sarno!
    KevinB likes this.
  10. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Thank you for sharing! Simply amazing what the mind can do to get our attention and then reward us for paying attention.
    KevinB likes this.
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great journey. Great recovery. Great writeup.

    And you have brought so much to this community.

    Yeah Kevin! dancea
    KevinB likes this.
  12. Alyssa5

    Alyssa5 New Member

    Thank you for giving us hope for those of us that are starting our healing journey!
  13. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hi Alyssa,

    Welcome to the journey! Are you doing the Structural Educational Program here on the tmswiki site? I highly recommend it. Also, if you haven't already, I recommend Dr. Sarno's books - they are very accessible and effective.


  14. Alyssa5

    Alyssa5 New Member


    Yes I have started the program, today is day 3.
    KevinB likes this.
  15. Zoeinoz

    Zoeinoz New Member

    Hi Kevin,
    Love your post title and the detail and honesty of your TMS journey description. I'm laughing at my pain now as well as giving it the finger. I often see parallels in my experience and those of other TMSers. I also had a number of TMS symptoms, often simultaneously, over the years and only found Dr Sarno's books after a severe episode and total desperation. Having a lightbulb moment when reading one of Sarno's books (unsung genius) and the empowerment it brings is awesome. I definitely feel better in every way and I'm only half way through the SEP. I'm like the phrophet of Sarno here in Australia. I want to pass on the good word about TMS to everyone I meet! Of course not everyone is receptive. ;)
    High five on your recovery!
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  16. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Thanks Zoe! Unfortunately I've had a relapse recently, but I'm doing the work again and I have faith in this approach. Good luck to you. Blessings.
  17. brendan537

    brendan537 Peer Supporter

    how are you doing kevin?
  18. richard13

    richard13 Peer Supporter

    yeah, ditto, Kevin, how now? I hope well...I found that the Sarno method worked much faster (only a couple of days instead of a few weeks) when I relapsed and had another bout of chronic lower back pain about a year later...though I had had to chase it around my body after it left my back the first time, so repeated the process multiple times: for my shoulder, then my elbow, then my wrist before it left completely for many months...I was bummed when it returned to that original site, but like you mentioned: faith in the initial results helped...I haven't had another bout in over fifteen years, and have been involved in some physically strenuous tasks: building houses, stone works, giant puppets, sculptures, etc...am so hoping there was another "Adios" for you ("y no mas")! Another hahahaha!!!! (or just another Ah ha!)
    Cheers, r
    brendan537 and JanAtheCPA like this.

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