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Day 1 Level of Acceptance

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by mrswhitney, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. mrswhitney

    mrswhitney Newcomer

    I have been experiencing lower back pain and hip pain since November of 2013. Finally when I reached my pain anniversary in November of 2014 I decided to give up on doctors and just start lying when people asked me how my back feels. I was tired of getting sympathetic looks from my friends. This idea of pretending the pain wasn't there gave me an idea and I googled emotions and back pain. Obviously I came up with the 20/20 video featuring Dr. Sarno. I immediately bought his ibook Healing Back Pain and read much of it that night. By the time I finished the book a couple days later I was already starting to feel better. Soon I was essentially pain free for the first time in a year! It lasted about two glorious weeks and then I obviously started to beat myself up about something again. The pain returned shortly after Thanksgiving when I came down with laryngitis for almost a full week. I was also diagnosed with a labral hip tear two days prior. While I was sick I craved comfort food and my normally clean diet went to crap. I felt guilty and stopped trying, carrying this attitude with me through a Christmas trip to FL with my in-laws. On our return flight I finished The Divided Mind. I think finishing this book sort of gave me permission to start to get better. I had covered my bases, read all the material and all the testimonials. I had a perfect knowledge base, so to speak. I am a person who can't make a decision until I have explored all the options and collected all the data. Finally just yesterday I started to feel better again. I watched the 20/20 video again and was left with hope, but also even more questions.

    I fully accept that my repressed emotions and personality have power over my behavior and demeanor and it's easy for me to extrapolate that effect to physical pain in body. My feelings of doubt about a TMS diagnosis linger for two reasons:

    1) Though the MRI of my back shows I am completely normal, the labral tear diagnosis is tripping me up. I was encouraged tonight when I finally brought myself to read the doctor's report. I would call his interpretation of the imaging for lack of a better description.... B.S. His wording makes him sound like he was searching for a diagnosis to justify the test. He goes so far as to say "a suspected tear" which only spans 2 1/2 clock hours of the labrum. By this I am encouraged.

    2) Dr. Sarno talks more than once about back pain being en vogue or the new fad in medical disorders after peptic ulcers. I struggle with understanding why my brain chose back and hip pain when I never even thought of back pain before. I have never feared back pain and never feared over exertion or injuring myself during exercise. It's just not something I ever obsessed over or thought could ever happen to me.

    I desperately want to be free of doubts and fully accept TMS as a diagnosis so I can move on and go back to strenuous exercise, being able to do whatever I want. I am only 31 years old and I am not ready to accept a life of aches and pains.
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Mrs. Whitney. I am so glad you posted here and told us about your back pain.
    The MRI only showed what Dr. Sarno says really doesn't cause pain, so I believe it is from TMS
    You have read his book and The Divided Mind and have an almost total believe that your emotions and
    personality are causing the pain from the subconscious. That's great, but now you need to work on 100 percent belief
    because nothing short of that will completely heal you.

    Have you looked into repressed emotions? Probably going back to childhood. Maybe something recent triggered them.

    I'm a wee bit older than you, 84 and a half. I began having severe back pain two years ago and a nurse friend
    suggested I read Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain. I then discovered the TMSWiki web site and reading posts from
    those who healed from TMS and others working on it. I became about 90 percent free of the back pain,
    but kept thinking it was partly from aging. When I switched to 100 belief in TMS causing my pain, and
    journaled to discover anger going back to my childhood, I healed totally.

    I hope you will spend time every day with the Structured Educational Program and do the journaling to
    learn about your repressed emotions and perfectionist and "goodist" personality. You're not alone with them.
    Most people have one, two, or all three.

    Ab0ut going back to strenuous exercise, take your time with it and wait until you're almost pain free.
    Another very good book about TMS and especially about exercise, is Steve Ozanich's
    The Great Pain Deception.

    I also wrote a book with another TMSWiki friend, Eric Watson, offering TMS healing techniques,
    and we add the spiritual element, asking God to help us heal. That also worked for us.

    You're making great progress and will be free of all pain real soon.

    My best healing techniques have been deep breathing, living in the present and not the past or future,
    and meditation. You'll find lots about all three in the subforums here.

    Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.
  3. Irene

    Irene Peer Supporter

    Mrs Whitney, I had never thought of back pain before either, and yet that was certainly my biggest bout with TMS. (And, I didn't learn about TMS until years later, a long time after having surgery.) I don't think it matters whether you've ever thought of the symptoms before. I've had tennis elbow, but never played tennis, and TMJ, and laryngitis, and so forth. I wasn't fixated on any of those areas.

    But now I don't fear them either, because as soon as some new ailment or pain comes along, I ask myself if it's TMS. The usual answer is yes. But that means that just maybe God is trying to get my attention about something I've got to face so I can move on in my journey.

    So, welcome to the forum waveaand Happy New Year!
  4. mrswhitney

    mrswhitney Newcomer

    Thanks for your advice, Walt & Irene. I am feeling optimistic again :)
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I recall Dr. Sarno saying we can pick up ideas about "what might hurt" ----the back or feet or whatever with very little actual exposure to the idea. Back pain is part of our culture, so it is in the field of your awareness, regardless if you noticed a fear about it.

    About the "tear:" you have had wonderful success so far using Sarno. If it is a tear, it will heal on its own, right, even though there is probably a whole industry built around chronic pain for something like this "problem." So if you continue to do what you did to release the pain earlier (engage Sarno work such as reading, daily reminders, journal about tension in your life, etc) and ignore the actual symptoms (perhaps take it easy to let the thing heal, if needed), you are ahead either way.

    This post about outcome independence is good. Not an easy trick, but vital for many of us here, I believe, and a life-long skill to develop.
    Ellen likes this.
  6. mrswhitney

    mrswhitney Newcomer

    Thanks, Andy. Strange how we pick up things without even knowing it. I guess if I think about it my mom spent a lot of time sitting motionless in a chair when I was little, her upper back in pain. At some point she got a cortisone shot and I haven't heard anything about her back problems since. My culture back then certainly did expose me to pain syndromes! I just never realized I was influenced by it. It's just strange how the first feelings of pain in my back came unprovoked while I was in yoga doing a pose I had done 20 times before without pain, while concentrating on my breathing.

    I would agree that I am definitely allowing outcome dependence to feed the pain cycle. By now it is absolutely becoming a habit. I took a snowshoe hike on New Year's Day and before my hip could even start hurting I started thinking, what if I get a couple miles into the hike and my hip starts to hurt? Then of course a few minutes later I started to feel a twinge each time I took a step with my right leg, just this subtle physical reminder to keep me in fear that if I'm not careful I might cause pain. I finished the route as planned and obviously lived to tell about it. I try to keep reviewing the photos we took so I can see that the activity was enjoyable, I made it through without any permanent injury, and I should think about the experience and not be monitoring my body all the time.
  7. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    This quote shows your level of awareness. Fear not, because with this kind of awareness, and continuing to do activities ----regardless of symptoms, the symptoms are extremely likely to subside. It may not happen over night, but you are using the right tools. Good luck, and you don't have do kill yourself in this, just gently "push against" the fear, and the beliefs that your pain is physical. I took my time, increasing activity very slowly over a couple of months...I think the resumption of activities---action against the TMS, the direction you are choosing, that has an effect, not how much you are doing to "prove you can get over it." Although others have had huge success just radically pushing through all pain, and sticking to this.

    Also, you have embarked on the Structured Education program, which is taking your commitment and learning to a much deeper level. I hope you can be patient.

    The doubts will be there too. I think you can have a certain level of doubt and still be very successful with Sarno. The key is to observe your doubts (mindfullness) and hold them with compassion. Don't completely believe them, if possible.

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