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Can't get through the veil of pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Dida8349, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Dida8349

    Dida8349 Peer Supporter

    So I am about 10 days into working through the Sarno work.

    I have read the whole of Alan’s program. I have watched a number of success stories. I had been feeling enthusiastic and positive even though all of this is not new to me.
    I had been through the “Sarno phase” before.

    But now I am growing frustrated. My symptoms are getting worse. Old symptooms pop up - shoulder pain, neck pain. My current symptoms flare up. And new symptoms come too: last night for example I hardly slept because assaulted by the Restless Leg Syndrome, something I have never suffered from before.

    I try to keep the FEAR of those symptoms at bay, but it is so very hard, especially keeping the fear of not recovering at bay, since the journalling and visualisatioon have been going badly too.

    I journaled well on the first or second day. I managed to peel the layers and get to emotions I didnt even know were there, but on the other days, accustomed as I am to write about my life, I write and write with my left hemisphere, and just cannot tap into the right one. I intellectualize, explain, analyze, … I have always been rather good at this, my rational mind excelling at making sense of things, for me and for others, but what has been my strength all my life is now my biggest enemy. My rational mind keeps me away from feeling the more primitive emotions, as well as sensations in the body other than pain. My rational mind also keeps me tighly locked into my pained reality and never for a moment lets me escape into more happier states.

    I can’t feel my body except for where it hurts. That’s always been my focus, the thing I have never been able to change, no matter how much I try to distract myself and focus on other things. So I have stopped trying. My pain has consumed my life. Whatever activity I engage in, whoever I am talking to, I experience everything through the veil of my pain and dicomfort. It's like being constantly held in a straightjacket. How on earth can I relax? How on earth can I change the neural pathways, focus on building more positive ones, as long as the Pain keeps a tight hold on me and I can never shift my focus from it?

    In Journaling I am supposed to tap into my feelings, express them, but you see - that has never been a problem for me, I am highly attuned to my emotions and highly expressive of them too - both in words, tears and some smashing of things too ... , have written about my emotions again and again for the last 20 years and it has led to no pain-alleviation whatsoever!

    How can I dislodge the pain doing what I have always done if it hasn't happened so far?

    How can I train myself in thinking differently when my body always keeps my rational mind occupied with symptoms of pain and discomfort?

    If you are being constantly pricked in the back, you can't not give a fxxxx! You can't focus on anything else!
    At least, I can't.
    It's not about fearing the pain .. I've been living with it for two decades now and have been trained like a Pro in bearing Pain and discomfort, they are my reality, an armour that has been glued to my body. It's familiar. I don't really fear it, I just hate it!

    What I do fear is what is happening: not being able to dislodge the frustration and therefore not being able to get rid of the pain, which frankly is a hope I cannot let go off. Hoping for a pain relief is apparently, according to Alan's course, another no-no.

    I am lost.

    I cannot practise imagining a healthy body in one that constantly hurts.

    Visualisation and fantasy have never been my strengths.

    Just last night, I had a dream, and in it I was experiencing the magic of the countryhouse where I spent the happiest moments of my childhood, and even though it looked like it did when I was a child, and in it I was eating foods that I haven't eaten in 10 years (gluten, meat pate), I was not a child, I was me, a 43 year old woman who was experiencing the magic of the place through the melancholy of someone who is aware that all of that is forever gone ...

    Do you have any advice for me? Please.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Dida8349,

    As you probably know, as you work with TMS, new symptoms often arise. I know this can feel overwhelming and discouraging, but it is helpful to re-frame this as "the symptoms are moving/responding to my work."

    I am struck by your dream. Although you felt this experience as melancholy, I wonder if there isn't also a real glimpse of your future: that of normalcy. Coming back to a life of ease. This is what many who have come to this Forum and Wiki have found in time. In my time of intense symptoms, I never imagined the ultimate relief I found. It actually feels like you describe in your dream.

    Nor mine. This is not necessary. What is necessary is persistence, time, patience with your application of the tools.

    This comes with practice. Not perfect practice, but long-term practice.

    Hating it is also rejecting it. Try not to reject it. And I know this sounds like BS, but it is a powerful way forward. Again, practice. I've had stages where I said to myself: "Of course you're in pain. You're prone to TMS. How could you expect anything different?" You are not wrong for feeling the pain. It is actually normal and to be expected.

    Writing about emotions is not in itself a cure for TMS. You have to connect what your finding, feeling, exploring to the theory of TMS. Then it works its magic. In time.

    Alan's work is a good foundation for your acute symptoms, powerful medicine. I suggest you start the Structured Education Program, or Howard Schubiner's program, or David Schechter's program, and continue your work, revisiting Alan Gordon's work as a refresher.

    Your experience here is normal. Simply practice Alan's technique when you can. You're not making yourself any worse in the meantime. Your anxiety about applying his work is not atypical for someone who has been in pain a long time. It's OK to have these fears.

    It is important to break your anxiety and pain cycle with pleasurable, distracting experiences, fun things, silly things. Focusing on TMS techniques is not helpful ad nauseum, just like focusing on pain is not helpful.

    I recommend you work over time cognitively and perhaps more deeply with what arose in these first couple of days. You're probably tapping into some new understandings of yourself which you can apply to your TMS personal journey. Maybe you don't need to learn more for right now?

    Many people have posted initial discouraging posts like this and have gotten better. Each person finds their own way. Some simply by slowing down. Others by singing loving songs to themselves. In this deep journey you're beginning to take, you're called to tap into your personal guidance, following what feels right for you. Make sense of what you're reading/learning deeply, and dispense with what does not resonate. You actually are not a victim of the universe, although pain and frustration might make you feel this way. You're an incredibly powerful, creative being who is working their way out of a sort of prison. Take heart!

    Andy B
    readytoheal and Dida8349 like this.
  3. Dida8349

    Dida8349 Peer Supporter

    Thank you so very much, Andy, for your helpful advice, encouragement, and compassion.

    You are right: I should persist and insist on trying and engaging in other, pleasurable, fun, silly things.

    It does not come naturally to me. I am very focused and ambitious in a way, I guess like most TMS people are: when I have a problem, I try to solve it, delve in 100 percent, subject everything to the aim of "cracking it". I become absorbed and ultimately perhaps consumed by the obsession. I guess this is how TMS develops. Obsessing over the pain and finding ways of getting rid of it.

    I have replaced chasing cure at doctors' and healers' with studying TMS and everything related.

    For the moment, it's not a chore, I enjoy it, I am fascinated by it, especially the stories - I love stories - but I can see that this is not ideal. I cram in information like the diligent student I have always been, well into the night, at the cost of not giving my body and soul the time and attention they too require and perhaps, most likely, quite certainly, have been asking me for (with tormenting pain and discomfort signals for so long). They have certainly been begging for more fun ..

    Ever since I was little, I was taught to feed my brain .. I have done so all my life ... and now my brain is huge and my body and soul are atrophied. Thankfully, I now feed my brain with more useful and positive information than before when I let myself be exposed to too many scary stories ... but still, I need to learn to give my brain a break and to listen in to the heart and to my body's needs too.

    I guess by gulping down the TMS stuff, without really savoring it, I am paving the way towards disappointment. Information will not cure me (as it has some lucky ones). Reconnecting with my instinct, intuition, the inner child as well as the woman I have become, will help me much more, I feel.

    Thank you, again, Andy. I must practice patience. And I must practice having fun (without it becoming another "task" :)
  4. Rosebud

    Rosebud Peer Supporter

    So relatable. My brain is my best feature! Or so I thought.
    Dida8349 likes this.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think you are having some good insights. The knowledge cure is real, and is working in you, no doubt down deep, and you're intuiting some of the ways you maintain inner tension through habitual ways of relating to the world. Knowing this rub between your way of knowing yourself, and dealing with the universe ---and ways of living in the world which might be more at ease, more self-attuned, this is a learning place, an important place for your life's understanding.
    Dida8349 likes this.
  6. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Hi Dida, I also wrote to you on the other thread you started. Reading this post confirms my impression. As you yourself have diagnosed you are very good in analyzing and rationalizing. I have been there, also from childhood a ‘brainy’ person. I had success with a good psychotherapist, the third I tried! This one is not at all impressed about my analytical skills. She challenges me and I am now at a point of understanding my patterns of behavior that I never reached before. I always had the feeling that something is missing. And now it is not only about understanding but about acting differently. And this is really frightening and at the same time exciting.
    Maybe you can do this alone, Andy B gave you good advice.
    Dida8349 likes this.
  7. Dida8349

    Dida8349 Peer Supporter

    [QUOTE="Time2be, post: 107796, member: 6104" I had success with a good psychotherapist, the third I tried! This one is not at all impressed about my analytical skills. She challenges me and I am now at a point of understanding my patterns of behavior that I never reached before.[/QUOTE]

    Dear Time2be, thank you for responding. I'd love to hear more about your experience. Would you care to share some of the insights you've had since starting your therapy? Maybe even in a private message if you prefer that?

    I am currently so disillusioned with every "specialist" and also financially broke enough to NOT want to search for and try another therapist. I am trying to learn as much as I can from the information available online and in books. It is not ideal, I know, but it is what it is.

    I too have had therapists impressed with my analytical mind, with my "deep insights", but none of them has been able to illuminate me where I need to be illuminated. One psychologist/psychoanalytical therapist told me that I am too clever for my own good. She wanted to put me on meds, till the rest of my life, because according to her I suffer from endogenic depression and there is no other way of pulling me out of it.

    I refused to believe her. I just didn't. I don't think that my depression is a damnation I can't do anything about other than to suppress all my emotions with anti-depressants. I am much more inclined to think, like yourself, that I am just missing something and that it's just a matter of time before I find my way out of the rut.

    I'd love to know what your therapist is doing differently that you see - a feel - a change.

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