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Couple q's & Update 9 months into TMS treatment for fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue symptoms

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Joey2276, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    Hi all

    wanted to give everyone an update and welcome suggestions or advice on how to proceed with treatment.

    Briefly I am a 38/m and had fibro/CFS symptoms since teens. I came across the 20 20 Sarno segment and it stuck a big chord and I've been on the TMS train all the way since then. For 2 or 3 weeks I did journaling, reading, exploring myself, but with essentially zero results. I began psychotherapy with a TMS trained therapist once per week and found small improvements in many symptoms from the get-go.

    It seemed each session my uncsoncious was changing into a more healthy uncsoncious as we unpealed the layers of anger and fear and other unhealthy mind states. The symptoms that have improved the most are body aches/joint stiffness, brain fog, anxiety, OCD, and I do feel now that my body is strong, after my whole life thinking I had a weak constitution. This has me very excited as I was very much into athletics and am doing a bit more with that lately and not fearing so much that I'll damage myself. The fear is strong though; I would say I am psyched out after a life time of babying my body and am somewhat PTSD from "fighting" all the symptoms for so long; I mean they really are horrible symptoms.

    Here is where I need some advice. It's been 8 months in therapy, 34 sessions, and each time I get a small improvement and feel I am interracting with the world and my thoughts in a healthier way, but when I try journaling, meditating, reading TMS books, it doesn't seem to make any difference.

    **I'd like to know how often did Dr Sarno's patients go to therapy on a weekly basis.**

    I'm thinking of going more often but have a long drive which is very tiring to get there. Also if anyone has any tips to how I can get into my unconscious and/or improve my symptoms or if anyone has had a similar story as mine I would love to hear what course they took with their treatment.

    I do still deal with doubts; I believe fully that my body is strong, but I wonder about my brain; my worst symptom is a flu like fatigue/mental depression that is always there and has been for many many years. The more exercie I do the more my body feels very drained; I love surfing but dont do it because after an hour of it I feel utterly exhausted and have to be very carefull driving home almost as if I was drunk. Same drunk/exhausted feeling after moderate exercise (2 mile brisk walk for example).

    On the bright side the anxiety and joint stiffness both seem about 1/3 of the way better from the worst times. I think way too much, think fast, talk fast, always am out of my body as Eckarte Tolle would say and this habit seems nearly impossible to break. Perhaps that is a big reason for my body being so worn out. The times I really feel in my body are when I cry, or when I have a migraine or am sick in another way; things slow down big time then and I feel very present, though my symptoms are still basically the same aside from a reduction in anxiety.

    The therapy has been very interesting; for the first 3 months I had a massive wall of anxiety my therapist could barely get through, then for a few months we were able to get to some feelings but still a high wall. Only in the last month or two have I really began feeling some raw emotions like anger and sadness during therapy, and he is able to talk more to the true emotional me and not the self created resistance wall.

    My relationships are changing quite a bit. No more mister nice guy especially; much more of a sense of calm but still a long way to go; if someone starts stepping on my toes they darn well know about it now; where's before I had the disease to please in a major way. I still fall back into that as it is deeply engrained but the liberating power I feel now when I do stand up for myself in an emotional context in dealing with people and thoughts compared to before is awesome.

    Well this should have been 4 postings but thanks for reading if you made it this far.

    Tennis Tom likes this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Joseph,

    I can relate to your story as I, too, have had fibromyalgia, migraine, chronic fatigue, and depression. I have been able to get rid of the fibromyalgia and migraine using TMS healing techniques (took about 9-12 months), but am still working on the fatigue and depression.

    It sounds like you have made some good progress with the help of your therapist. Congratulations!

    As far as making progress on your own with journaling, meditation, and knowledge therapy, I feel it is very useful to a use a structured learning program. I used Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain, and feel it is excellent, but there is also the free program (SEP) available on this site. Another book that you may find helpful is Schubiner's Unlearn Your Anxiety and Depression, which also addresses chronic fatigue to some degree. It has helped give me a roadmap to use on addressing my last two TMS equivalents.

    Perhaps trying a structured program first would be a good next move before increasing time with your therapist. If it didn't help after you went through the entire program, you could always go back to the idea of increasing therapist time.

    Best wishes...
    Joey2276 and Colly like this.
  3. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Joey

    Your self awareness is starting to shed light. That's such an important step to recovery. Ellen's advice is gold.

    I had fibromyalgia once and joined a swimming club. The drills were very hard and often I would have recurring dreams of swimming through concrete. I recall how exhausted I would feel too and especially at work where I had to mask it just to get through from day to day. Gradually my pain and fatigue dissolved over time, helped by the fact that I was swimming with a group of fun people. As exhausting as this prospect sounds try to engage with others in an exercise routine. This will help in distracting you from your pain, and the socialising will soothe your system.

    Slow down your tired mind and don't rush TMS healing… it needs time and peaceful contemplation for restoration to take place.

    Persevere, your body will heal.
    Joey2276 and Ellen like this.
  4. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    Hi Ellen, I havent done the structured program; I'll give it a try and see how it goes. Thats great that you've made such progress. I'm sure if you can overcome half of your symptoms you can overcome the other half.

    Colly I will give the excercise with friends thing a try and see how it goes.

    Thanks to you both for the tips.

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) and Ellen like this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Joey. I do hope you will start the Structured Education Program, as Colly suggests.
    It helped me and many many others to heal from TMS pain.
    You're working on your personality trait to be a people pleaser and the more you deal with that the better.
    Joey2276 likes this.
  6. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    Yes Walt; the poeple pleasing!!!!! Its funny because I've been in TMS psychotherapy for a year now, and after 3 months I would look back and think wow I was really a people pleaser back then; glad I'm doing better now; and then after 6 months I would say how much of a people pleaser I was 3 months into treatment, on to this day.

    Its amazing how much people and thoughts/fear will drain the mindbody if one allows it to; even if one allows it to (and especially so) without conscious awareness.
    Markus likes this.
  7. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Joseph,
    I have not had your symptoms, but I will make an observation or two...

    It seems to me that you have a lot of evidence about how cut off you are from your feelings, and how this progress is slow and steady for you. Observing this, it seems that your process will take time. Probably there are a lot of things that "don't want to be felt." At the same time, there is a deeper trust to feel now, more recently.

    Everyone unfolds at their own pace. It can only be that way. Partly this is true because we are attuning to our self. We aren't attuning to someone else! Attuning to our self means accepting more and more where we are and what we need. This means we don't ignore where we are right now. Like this:

    You are doing this. To me, that reduction in anxiety means that you are settling into yourself. Your journey may be one of deepening into yourself as much as it is a journey of "getting rid of symptoms." I see your journey as more of a "soul's journey," which is what we all want down deep. I wish you the best in this. It takes patience.

    Also: Have you asked your therapist if they will do phone work with you? Most will, especially if interspersed with in-person contact.

    Andy B.
    Joey2276 likes this.
  8. Joey2276

    Joey2276 Peer Supporter

    Awesome Andy thank you for the great insight! will probably post a longer reply soon but want to say thanks; I DO see how it is I who am lowering the anxiety, not the other symptom. So wily and tricky this tms is....
    Markus likes this.
  9. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    Contrary to other suggestions, I would say if you are not getting benefit from the self-treatment by introspection (journaling and such), don't bother with it. I think it can be good to do a bit of education just to remind yourself of the right mode of thinking - but you are already on the TMS train 100%, it seems. Perhaps when you're feeling some symptoms - it seems like you have questions arise the future of the symptoms fairly frequently - you can remind yourself that with time the symptoms will improve because you are taking the right steps physically and emotionally, and maybe direct some awareness to how you might feel - then move on with your day.

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