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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Day 42 and now?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Pietro Carloni, May 7, 2018.

  1. Pietro Carloni

    Pietro Carloni Peer Supporter

    here I am, I have just discovered that I have completed the program and I would like to share some considerations with you.

    the first point I would like to underline is that I feel like a new person, with new ways of interacting with myself, new perspectives and new approaches to face everyday life.
    I feel like I'm in a passing phase and I have to admit that, despite everything, this original awareness is exciting and stimulating.
    I resumed (after about 8 months of inactivity, of medical visits, of physiotherapy, osteopathy and acupuncture) the normal daily activities, I started to run (even if short-lived) and I joined the pool. after about three months from the beginning of the program, I feel that there have been many changes in me, especially regarding the perception of myself and the fear of facing small everyday challenges, I learned that my symptoms, which were so scary before, are an alarm bell through which I can measure my stress level with respect to what I want to do and what I do not want to do.

    Unfortunately I am among those people for whom it is not enough to read Dr. Sarno's books to get out of my disability and I think this is the effect of the conditioning that my mind has for years exercised on my body.
    I had the need of a psychotherapist to guide me towards a real acceptance of the problem, my anxieties and my fears and I must say that even today, I have some important and devastating days of regression. I realized I was in a process in constant evolution, in which my mind with so many subterfuges tries to impose itself on my body and on my repressed emotions, as it may seem absurd and totally illogical. sometimes I can not really understand what the real problem is, sometimes I feel depressed about not being able to get out of this situation, but sometimes I could say I was really good at doing things that I really like.

    I can not say I came out of the cycle of pain, but I can certainly say I saw a glimpse of well-being after a long time and this makes me happy with myself and gives me the strength to continue looking for my way to appreciate life, even in small things.

    and now? what to do now? I feel I need more stimuli to lead the way towards the discovery of what I like and I would like advice from you.

    what really made you feel good?
    I believe that for me the most important part was to find that at the base of the pain there is fear and that if I can unmask the fear even the symptoms become less aggressive. I learned that if I can be kind and take care of myself, I can also better express what I feel to myself and to others and this makes me feel in tune with the world.

    lovely hugs
    KevinB likes this.
  2. JillJill

    JillJill New Member

    Hi Pietro - I have just started my journey ( day 3) and I can appreciate how you feel at day 42 - what now?! It is very encouraging t hear you sound very much in a better place after 42 days. Your name sounds Italian - I'm not Italian but I live in Italy :)
    Pietro Carloni likes this.
  3. kjulia

    kjulia New Member

    Thank you for such a great post Pietro. I am on day 17 of my second round of doing the program (I took a two-week break in between the first round and the 2nd). My pain is still present BUT it doesn't occupy my thoughts like it used to and --like you, I feel like a new person!
    Pietro Carloni likes this.
  4. kjulia

    kjulia New Member

    I'm not Italian either but love Italy and it's my goal to one day live there for a year. This program is amazing!
    Pietro Carloni likes this.
  5. Pietro Carloni

    Pietro Carloni Peer Supporter

    Hi JillJill,
    thanks for the appreciation, but I think I'm still far from resolving my situation.
    The process is not linear and I have had, I still have, many flare ups.
    The thing that I have noticed and that makes me hope is that the pains move with great frequency. In fact, when sciatica disappeared (which then reappeared a few days ago), upper backpain, shoulder pain, malleolus tendonitis, as well as headaches and sometimes nausea came to me.
    In all these symptoms I believe that my acceptance of the diagnosis is still partial, because a part of me is still too focused on body pain rather than mental processes. I understood that for me the acceptance of the diagnosis, even if in the Sarno's books it is placed as a starting point, is the most difficult question to internalize and my subconscious always finds devious ways to convince me there are physical problems on my spine.
    But the days pass and I try to go on enjoying my little great conquests (play with kids, running and swimming).
    Italy is very beautiful, but finding a TMS therapist is very difficult for me here in Rome (the only one found on this site is in Brescia at a distance of 600 km from my house).
    Thanks to all the answers.
    A big hug
  6. JillJill

    JillJill New Member

    Hi Pietro
    Thanks for you reply. I'm sorry to hear you are not out of the woods yet. I understand how hard it can be to internalise the diagnosis of TMS. I'm still struggling a bit myself but am determined to convince myself my mind has had a lot to do with my physical problems.

    I live in northern Italy and Brescia wouldn't have been too far away but it seems that Andrea Bariselli has gone into neuromarketing instead!
    I'm seeing a fibromyalgia specialist who believes in a mind body approach - so I'm glad I have an appointment with somebody.
    I hope at least the warm summer weather gives you some relief - it certainly helps my symptoms I know.
    Pietro Carloni likes this.
  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Have you explored the Alan Gordon program? I struggled for years by following the purist Sarno approach which is fine as far as it goes but has been greatly enhanced by contemporary neuro-psychological insights. Sarno based much of his theory on the insights of a neurologist Candace Pert, who believed that the body was the subconscious mind. The neurological approaches take a more expansive view in their recognition that the subconscious/unconscious has it’s roots in the sympathetic branch of the nervous system. Many people find greater healing in working gently with the nervous system. This in no way contradicts Sarno but in fact explains what he called “the black box” in the autonomic nervous system. He simply didn’t have the neuroscience to explain his theory at the time he wrote.

    I hope you find the missing healing elements you seek. Do have a look at Alan’s program as there are some very powerful insights and healing keys there.

    Plum x
    Pietro Carloni likes this.
  8. Pietro Carloni

    Pietro Carloni Peer Supporter

    thank you Plum for your kind reply,
    I really thought the next step will be Alan Gordon's program.
    In the last days, in reality, I'm getting closer to Jon Kabat-Zinn's method and I have to say that at times it helps me a lot; not only for the TMS, but also to find some small daily spaces to devote to me in a kind and compassionate way.

    In the end, do you know the strategy that has worked so far on me? These were the moments when I dedicated myself body and soul in what I like and amuse, like a simple spring walk or a drink with long-time friends. Moments in which I am not troubled by what I will have to do next and when I wanted to laugh and have fun.

    So I conclude that in order to really get out of this situation the solution can be to try to live in the present, without thinking too much about the past and without projecting the thought into the future.
    Although as a first step I agree, as indicated in the SEP and my psychotherapist, in reflecting on what we are experiencing, on how we are living and on past events that have contributed to shaping our personality.

    Greetings and thank you very much
    plum likes this.
  9. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bless you for such a warm reply. You are so right, it is the return to our lives that is the healing. Sometimes we need a friendly nudge to get back there.

    Jon Kabat-Zinn is a gift. The neuro-psychological work simply provides scientific evidence for these gorgeous ancient practices. There is nothing new under the sun only fresh explanations for the human condition. Perhaps the most treasured lesson of all is that our lives are brief and beautiful, that emotions are natural responses, and that when we care deeply for ourselves and others these trials and tragedies are so much easier to bear and can be the making of us.

    I wish you the very best my dear.

    Plum x
  10. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Dear Pietro, you started your journey and as you say, have improved substantially and learned a lot about yourself. The rest will come! You say that the pain tells you about your stress level and that it also tells you what you want to do or not want to do. You also describe the best moments when being with good friends, or going for a walk, moments when you don’t have to bother what to do next and what is expected of you. This resonates a lot with me! I was very astonished that there are a lot of things I thought I must like to do which I really didn’t. And that the constant worry about tasks, work and other achievements makes it almost impossible to relax. For me it had a lot to do accepting sides of me that I avoided and not to fall for a kind of construction of whom I thought I needed to be.
    It’s difficult to tell you what the next step would be, you are very reflective and that is sometimes actually hindering from feeling what is going on. My experience is that we usually know what the missing link is but do not want to touch upon it. Myself included! I also have the feeling that something important eludes me. But there is a huge difference between chasing in panic and trying patiently to figure it out, panic creates more fear and unsecurity. Patience goes well with calmness and confidence. So, being more honest about my feelings and having confidence is the next step for me. I wish you luck! And I can only agree with the others: Italy is wonderful!
  11. Pietro Carloni

    Pietro Carloni Peer Supporter

    in my opinion this is the most controversial part of the whole process. my anxiety, as well as my perfectionism, can not accept the idea that there is a part of me so voluble and irrational. the real underlying problem is that to experience emotions we should not worry about this image that we have given ourselves, but accept the fact that we are imperfect and emotionally unstable.

    Life is a constantly changing flow, trying to stabilize it with habits and too rigid images of ourselves makes us poor, vulnerable and insecure towards new stimuli.
    Time2be likes this.
  12. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Having this ‘flaw’ is a major issue for me, bewildering and a cause of shame. At times the irrationality of it drives me crazy. And the flow of life? How wonderful it must be to go with the flow without being scared and feeling the urge to control ! You are absolutely right, life then becomes rigid and we become even more scared. I noticed lately that my perfectionism and being a pleaser stands in way of my creativity. Letting go is a virtue that is difficult. Maybe that’s a step you need to take?

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