1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Day 9 coming back to the program

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by bennet, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. bennet

    bennet Peer Supporter

    When I started the program over a month ago, I had already been doing similar work on my own. I only stuck with it for about a week before I felt like I didn't need to go through the program formally any more. I felt all better for a while.

    My first big symptom was hip pain-- that's gone now. When I started the SEP I was dealing with neck/shoulder pain--which went away for a while. It's back now, as jaw pain right under my ears, and a near constant ringing in my ears. I've actually been trying to ignore it for a few weeks now. I've been focused on not reinforcing it, to let go of suffering, and on trying to remind my body how to relax through meditation.

    This morning I couldn't bear the idea of going to work. I knew I was about to explode from stress (everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, lately). Sure enough, just after I decided to stay home, my boyfriend called to tell me about ANOTHER THING that had gone wrong and I just exploded in tears.

    I'm realizing that I've been neglecting an important piece of the treatment: actively processing emotional issues. I've been avoiding it because, due to an insurance issue, I haven't been able to see my therapist in weeks. I've been avoiding digging into issues because past experience tells me that doing that alone, without a therapist's support, digs me a depressive hole. And everyone I am close to is so deeply entrenched in their own terrible life problems that I don't feel comfortable asking them for the level of support that I need. (My parents unintentionally trained me in childhood that if I have emotional needs, I am an overwhelming burden. It's hard to un-learn that.)

    So anyway, I decided to come back here. Meditation and journaling just isn't enough of an outlet right now.

    I've been putting so much pressure on myself lately, and the external stress is just piling on day by day. I'm in my mid-20s, I'm struggling with health issues, barely earning enough to live on, worrying so much about finding a career, and I have no family who can offer me genuine support (emotionally or financially). Its hurts to see friends who are living well, finding opportunities, and who have families. I feel very alone, and very overwhelmed. Hopefully I will be able to see my therapist again in a week or two, but until then, I'm hanging on.

    Maybe some of you can relate and it will help to read this. Or maybe some of you have encouragement to offer.
  2. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I went to lots of therapists and altho' many were interesting to talk to - they didn't ever really help! The SEP cut straight to the chase. But it was painful and emotional and it took about 2 years in total before i was totally pain free . I felt like i was wading thru treacle but it was SO worth it. I think you need to persevere with the programme and work ALL the way thru before you give up. The pain moving from one place to another is a classic symptom of TMS. And life throwing more problems is a sure sign that you haven't dealt with previous ones yet! I know it is hard but i think you need to buckle down to it until you DO see lasting results. Don't look to others - look to yourself for support, healing and good judgement - you have it all within you...!
    bennet likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Bennet. I had the same experience with a psychologist that Hectate has had with therapists. They mean well but many of them just listen to us and take our money. I suggest you instead try a technique of meditation that has helped me and many others. It's called the Relaxation Response. It clears the mind so no negative thoughts are there.

    Meditation is a time-honored way of relaxing the mind and relieving anxiety, mental stress, headaches, and even physical pain. There are many ways to practice meditation, but many consider the most successful to be a technique called the Relaxation Response (RR).

    It is a wonderful way to practice TMS Mindbody Healing because it changes harmful thinking in the subconscious mind which Dr. John Sarno says causes pain that is not caused by anything structural.

    The RR, practiced once or twice a day for 10, 15, or 20 minutes has a profound positive effect on the subconscious mind, relieving or curing everything from anxiety, hypertension, headaches, fatigue, nervousness, dizziness, high blood pressure, insomnia, stomach problems, all forms of pain including backaches, abdominal pain, muscle pain, neck, arm, and leg pain, and relieves side affects from cancer and AIDS.

    RR is like Transcendental Meditation which is taught by TM specialists who charge hundreds or thousands of dollars. But the RR is free and you can do it yourself.

    It is practiced before a meal and works best if not practiced within two hours after a meal. I do it in bed before arising in the morning and again in bed before falling sleep. Often, I only do it 5 or 10 minutes and it works to calm me and put me to sleep.

    Just sit in a chair (or lie in bed in the morning or at bedtime), close your eyes, don’t listen to any music, and try to avoid outside noises. Let your mind think of a word such as

    "One " which has no real meaning or association. Or say a calming word such as “Calm” or “Peace,” or add the faith or spiritual element by saying a favorite religious word or prayer. Breathe naturally or incorporate Deep Breathing by breathing in through the mouth to inflate the stomach, suck in the stomach while holding the breath for a few seconds, then say the word when you exhale through the mouth.

    Say the word silently over and over. At the end of the 10 to 20 minutes, picture and feel yourself as you were when you felt your best, and in a place where you felt that way.

    When distracting thoughts arise during the RR, as they will, just tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and go back to repeating your chosen word.

    There are several free videos on Youtube about the Relaxation Response. I especially recommend these two by Dr. Benson:

    and this one which can put you to sleep:


    bennet likes this.
  4. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Ohh work stress is the worst. Especially when you can't even take a day off without people calling you.
    Do you have any outlets to reduce stress?
    One that my therapist taught me was to categorize things into my control, somewhat in control, out of my control. Then, just go through your list and do what you can. If there is nothing you can do then there is no reason to stress.
    I've also gone on walks on my lunch break or put earbuds in to listen to pandora comedy. Anything to try to escape the stress. I've even mediated at my desk. Also, I've tried reading on my lunch breaks.
    hecate105 and bennet like this.
  5. bennet

    bennet Peer Supporter

    I also like to go for a short walk during my lunch break! Sometimes at work I spend a few hours scanning papers and I can listen to podcasts while I do that. I also listen to a quick guided meditation sometimes. I need to get better about taking quick breaks. I'm definitely allowed to, and my supervisor wouldn't mind, but I feel uncomfortable taking breaks because I'm the youngest/lowest down at my workplace and it makes me feel self-conscious. I even get nervous going to the microwave to heat up my lunch, or going to the rest-room. I think my social anxiety really kicks in at work, so my stress level goes up a lot.
  6. bennet

    bennet Peer Supporter

    I truly have found my therapist very, very helpful-- I'm sorry you never found a really helpful match. I think it's healthy and important to allow yourself to be supported by other people, so long as you don't rely on them entirely-- it's about balance. So I appreciate you reaching out to me, but I'm going to respectfully disagree there. Thank you for encouraging me to stick with the program and reminding me that I have a lot of healing power already inside me. I'll take that with me.
    hecate105 likes this.
  7. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    I get social anxiety too! Through journaling and the SEP I realized it was all due to low self esteem in certain situations. Just being aware that that's what it is is really helping. Not sure if that's why you have social anxiety but I thought I would share in case it helps you. Good luck.
    bennet likes this.
  8. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Walt, I've been trying thto meditation each morning, and it has lessened the frequency of my horrible headaches. I used to do Centering Prayer (very similar) each morning, but had gotten away from it in the past year or so. Thanks for the reminder!

Share This Page