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Can't Commit Fully

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by street, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. street

    street Peer Supporter

    Here is my original post back in October 2018. https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/help-lower-back-pain.19604/ (Help - Lower back pain)

    I am still suffering with lower back pain. Here is a message i sent dr. schubiner recently

    I will take you back to the beginning. September 2017 i left my job on the evening as usual, i had developed an awful stomach that really had me worried. I had experienced similar once before in my teens (im now 40) and this resulted in testicular torsion. So you could see why i was worried/scared. I got no sleep that night due to pain so the next day i went to a walk in centre and was eventually told i had protastitis given cipro and sent on my way. I took cipro for 3 days (it was a ten day course). The pain left so stopped the drugs and went back to my life and didn't give it all a second thought work and life were very busy so it was easy to move on.

    Looking back i believe this was stress and anxiety caused by my job at the time. 6 months later my left arm started to twitch 24/7 which was annoying and worrying. I nearly had a nervous breakdown over the worry of a nasty neuro disease. All tests came back normal, so after 4 months of this annoying twitch i started to put it to the back of my mind. Research of the drug cipro had me worried and wondering if this was the cause of the twitch?! It eventully stopped after 15 months.

    Then the back pain came which for me a fit and athletic 40 year was something i had never experienced before. It is a constant in my lower back with sometimes sciatica down my leg on occasion which to this day (18 months and counting) has not resolved. All tests, mri’s etc show no damage. A perfect spine im told, no diagnosis has been given to me, doctors have no idea.

    Doctors have no clue what is causing the pain and aching. It is always lower back sometimes in the middle or on the sides(pain changes from aches to sharp pains to feeling like muscle strains to feeling tight and stiff, it moves around my lower back alot but no where else. Also i have sore spots on my spine which come and go like the bone is bruised and the odd joint may join the party for a day or two.

    It doesn't stop me doing anything or even sleeping (sleep very well no sign of pain when asleep). On a pain scale its a constant 4-5. I am very anxious and depressed over it.

    I have returned to the gym and it hasn't made it better or worse. I believe in tms and see it all around me. But i have one foot in the tms camp and one in damage by the cipro camp. I have read some nasty side effects of this drug and i am scared it has caused permanent damage to my back in the way of nerves or ligaments/tendons for some reason. I know its impossible to say but could it be tms? I have some of the personality traits, perfectionist, dont take criticism well and worry that i may have offended someone. I am obsessed over the pain and finding a cure its all i think about.

    I am lost in the medical system with no clue as what is wrong with me. I have read sarno etc and totally buy into it but maybe not for me? I cant seem to commit.

    The doc's reply

    This is TMS!
    The whole worry about cipro causing all symptoms under the sun, years later, after a few doses is way overblown!
    Get both feet into the TMS camp and you'll get better!!
    Best, Howard

    I know i need to convince myself and not rely on others, but because the pain has been every minute of every day for 18 months i doubt TMS. I go back and forth.

    Any advice would be helpful, i think i have read most tms books on the market. journaling doesn't seem to work for me.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  2. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    I had one dose of Cipro when I was in the hospital after my daughter was born. I developed hives and they had to give me Benadryl to calm it down. So, I had an allergy to it. For it to cause back pain years later is way overblown imo. You are playing into the fear and TMS is piggybacking off that fear.

    I have had chronic pain for decades and been doing this work for 7 years now. I get not being in the TMS camp 100% and if there is doubt, even a smidgen of doubt, address it. It’s OK to feel doubt, but then choose to BELIEVE it can work for you. Sometimes, the brain takes time to get the message. Repetition, repetition, repetition is the key. Habits aren’t developed overnight, same with undoing habits and creating new neural pathways. You have to CHOOSE to believe in TMS. The fear is keeping you from not taking the plunge and going all in - I get that. But, now that doctors have confirmed no damage, rule out disease and rule in TMS.

    Have you been to see a therapist? I had to go and get processing for my traumas, which took care of 75% of my chronic pain. The brain (aka, you) are stubborn, so have a talk with yourself and let your brain know emotions are safe and that you don’t need to fear the pain.

    If journaling doesn’t work, quit it. Try daily affirmations, recorded self-talk that you listen to two or three times a day. The more you get your brain to accept something, the more plastic it becomes.

    Realize that our brains are tricky but they’re only trying to protect you from what they deems is scary. You have to train your brain to realize emotions are OK to have. Also, accept what is, meaning don’t fight it or get angry or frustrated. Accept that your brain is doing what it’s designed to do. Love yourself, soothe yourself, and most importantly, believe that this work can work for you.

    I’ve come to realize that overcoming the fear is the hardest but most rewarding. You’re not broken, you are fearful.

    Let got of the fear and start to think of yourself as already HEALED (because you are). I have to be reminded of this daily.

    You got this! ;)
    Rainstorm B, Ren and street like this.
  3. street

    street Peer Supporter

    Thank you that makes total sense.
    Jules likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I continue to be fascinated by the number of people who struggle for weeks, months and sometimes years, who invariably insist that "journaling doesn't work for me"

    This is your brain on TMS. This is your fearful brain convincing you that a technique which might uncover your negative thoughts or emotions is useless, pointless, and definitely "not for you".

    Journaling doesn't mean buying a notebook and carefully writing down things you'll keep and look at later. Nicole Sachs assures us that we can throw our writing out immediately. She writes into a blank computer document which she erases and saves blank each day. I use crappy old notebook paper and recycle it. I've written a lot over the years and it's all gone, all destroyed.

    The act of writing shit down is the key.

    Go to the Structured Educational Program. Skip the introductory lessons if they are too basic, until you get to the first writing exercise. Do that writing exercise. The next day, find the next writing exercise and do that. Keep going. Do each exercise with complete honesty and above all do NOT let your brain convince you that something does not need to be written down. It will try to tell you it's unimportant or perhaps too embarrassing. It might bring up guilt or shame and you just don't want to put it out on paper. You MUST write everything down that comes into your head, even if you have to force yourself. I know how hard that is because I've been there. You have to do it.

    Many of the SEP exercises aren't even journaling, they are just lists. There's the "unsent letter", which is one of the most powerful exercises you can do for a problematic relationship. There are techniques like "spider journaling" which I didn't get, but others love it. The point is that you can find something that works for you, if you're open to it.

    Therapists and mental health researchers continue to find that writing stuff down is one of the easiest and most effective forms of self-therapy available to everyone. And it's totally free. There is no one way that it has to be done. The only requirement is self-honesty. And that, my friends, is the hard part. That is what your fearful brain will do anything to prevent.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
    street likes this.
  5. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    The distraction and preoccupation with Cipro is another way your brain is trying to bring you down. It's a false belief that has no bearing in reality. I take a medication for ex. (for something unrelated) and if were to go online they have whole sites dedicated to weight gain as a side effect. I don't' read horror stories online or other people's stories anymore because they are replete with misinformation and fear mongering.

    As far as having 100 percent belief in TMS, I think 95% is enough. It's normal as humans to have tiny doubts once and awhile. You can't have one foot in one camp and the other in another though. That's the definition of being on the fence and I would bet it is symbolic (a metaphor) for your life in general. When you don't decide, you decide to stay stuck. Life is about taking risks and making decisions and being willing to deal with failure. That's what stood out to me the most in your post.
    Rainstorm B, street and JanAtheCPA like this.
  6. street

    street Peer Supporter

    thank you for your reply
    miffybunny likes this.
  7. Rainstorm B

    Rainstorm B Peer Supporter

    This is pure gold! Rx
  8. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi again! Something else I meant to add.... the email you received form Dr. Schubiner is akin to winning a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory lol! He basically gave you the golden stamp of validation to get you off the fence. You really can't ask for better than that! When I was struggling with whether or not my weird condition was TMS, he was kind enough to return my phone call. That brief phone call changed everything for me. Anyway, take it from someone who has been there. Hope that helps you off the fence for good now!
    street likes this.
  9. street

    street Peer Supporter

    I agree, It certainly is helping
  10. stayfit65

    stayfit65 Peer Supporter

    Google grounding techniques. There are YouTube videos on it. I started doing this recently and it has kept me out of the rabbit hole of what ifs.
    I’m not a fan of journaling either. But what might help is to jot notes on things that have you upset (vent), and then throw them away.
    I personally believe you have to be 100% committed. I think that’s why I was stuck for 8 years. I’m now seeing a lot more success since I fully committed to the TMS diagnosis.
    May I recommend the Curable app if you don’t have it yet? There is a free version that has a lot of success stories on it.
    street likes this.
  11. street

    street Peer Supporter

    An update, my back has eased slightly i think..but my neck has joined in. It aches and if i pull my head back its very painful. The muscles on either side of my neck are painful to touch. Also my traps are painful when pressed on. Is this fairly normal? Its freaking me out!
  12. street

    street Peer Supporter

    Went to the gym today, lifted heavy weights and for the hour i was in there i felt almost normal. Pain back in full force now but trying to take the positives from earlier.
    Balsa11 and Avnita Suri like this.
  13. Bonnard

    Bonnard Peer Supporter

    Thanks--This is powerful stuff, and such a great way of expressing something that we can (I know I can) complicate.
    I've had my own version of that golden ticket.

    Here's one part of the message that came with my golden ticket:
    There is nothing wrong with me. I'm actually in good physical health.

    That is incredible news for somebody suffering from severe pain and potentially facing surgery and not being able to fully work, engage in physical hobbies and activities, etc., etc...

    Yet, the brain I've got can somehow turn that winning ticket/that fantastic diagnosis into a kernel of doubt.
    It's equivalent to a doctor telling somebody in the ICU that they're ok, tests are negative, they don't have that awful illness, in fact they can leave the hospital immediately. And, the patient getting home to their family and saying, that doctor must be wrong....let me go back and get admitted again.
    miffybunny likes this.
  14. street

    street Peer Supporter

    I am still struggling with this back pain it is now spreading into pelvis/groin. It was nasty when i went to bed last night, i managed to get to sleep and woke up 3 hours later to zero pain. When i woke in the morning i had little pain but within an hour of being up its all back...could structural pain do this?
  15. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Probably not. Keep reassuring yourself and read your Golden Ticket several times a day. Recovery is seldom in a straight line!!!
    street likes this.
  16. street

    street Peer Supporter

    Will keep going, lots of new pains join in last few days and then fade away again..depression and anxiety over this last two years is very high which i am sure doesn’t help pain. Thanks for reply.
  17. street

    street Peer Supporter

    Quick update, just in case anyone is interested and also for my own personal records. Still in pain though it seems slightly better than 2.5 years ago when it all started, just getting on with life and hitting the gym even in pain.

    I have pain in three places thankfully not at the same time.

    1. Middle lower back which is an ache and feels like a brick is in my back. (unpleasant)
    2. Lower back on the sides radiating around to the front in my pelvis. (unpleasant)
    3. Upper buttocks on both sides (my favourite as not really that bad just slightly annoying)

    4. Is no pain which the best I have had in 2.5 years is about 3-4 hours of no/very little pain.

    Really just trying to live my life at the moment, still have hope this will all disappear, I would be lieing if part of me still thinks I am damaged by cipro. If I could get a run of days with no pain rather than hours I would be more confident in the TMS diagnosis.
  18. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think this Cipro thing you are harboring is really keeping you stuck. You have to look at it objectively and see the illogic of your thoughts. The Cipro you took a long time ago is well out of your system and is not causing your present symptoms. There is zero correlation but your brain has given it all this meaning and connection that has no bearing in reality. It's very important not to believe your thoughts. Just because we think something does not make it objective truth. Your description of your symptoms fits exactly into the category of "dynamic pain" which means it's simply neural circuit pain stemming form the brain. It's TMS. That's it. It's not the symptoms that are the problem. It's your thoughts (and focus and monitoring) about them that is the problem. Until you really really get this and accept it, you will stay stuck in the doubt phase and the TMS strategy will continue to fool you.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  19. street

    street Peer Supporter

    thank you, you make total sense. I needed that today!
    Balsa11 and miffybunny like this.
  20. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Muscle spasms/cramps/knots really hurt but they are totally normal. Don't be scared and just give yourself a chance to relax.
    street likes this.

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