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

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by mina, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. mina

    mina Peer Supporter

    Hello everyone,

    I am a "old" member of this forum as I have already done the Educational Program once. This was over a year ago and, to be honest, I didn't do the last four or five days. Not that I felt cured, I didn't. I felt much better but not painless. Not finishing is one of my issues. In any area, I am good at starting but find it very hard to finish.
    I was on sick leave last year from my English teacher's job and still am as the position I expected wasn't given to me. I waited all year long, not knowig if I wanted to continue teaching (I used to teach in a high school and then moved from the Paris region to the east of France where I was sent to a middle school and I hated it. Now I have realised that I won't be teaching high school level any longer, the public system is made in such a way in France that it is impossible, I have lost all my bonus points when I made this decision (3 years ago) and there is no way I can erase what was done) or give it up. Giving up teaching is scary and so is stopping being a civil servant. I am 46 and I honestly can't see what I could be doing. I know I was a good teacher, much appreciated by my students, still I used to beat myself up constantly, thinking I wasn't good enough, believing that pupils criticised me in my back, etc. So I worked an awful lot and started to resent my job more and more, wishing myself sick to escape it.
    On top of this, teaching is very stressful and when I heal I don't think I will be wanting to go back. In addition, I have lost the little confidence in myself I used to have.

    I feel empty and incapable. I go through very harsh days: some days I am very sad and gloomy as I understand more and more stuff about my life. I have never finished (I guess you will be astounded) writing the list as recommended by Dr Sarno. I have started it and each time I think of going back to it, I don't. Same thing when it comes to choosing a thing in the list and writing an essay about it. I have never done it, for fear (I suppose) of feeling more sad. Indeed looking at this unfinished list of mine makes me cry. Each item is a wound and uncovering new events that were burried is extremely painful. I am under the impression that I will never be able to be at peace with my past and the numerous sad events, adversity that I met.

    I have read other books after Dr Sarno's such as The great Pain Deception and the other books by Steven Ozanich plus a book entitled Running on empty about childhood trauma. I haven't finished this one either, I have read 80% of it and cried a lot: I could see myself on every page. I know that part of my problem is forgiving my parents. It has always been the case but now I can put a name on my issue. Understanding all the wrongs they have done me is extremely hard, let alone forgiving them. I have run on hatred most of my life, especially aimed at my father.

    Last year I was proud that my first self published novel was selling very well and I even imagined I could manage to live on my writing. Yet, I published my second book in July and it was a flop. This is a deep hurt too. Plus the fact that some readers give me bad reviews, which is really hard to accept. Instead of focusing on the positive : I have sold a lot and I just need to write a third one and then a fourth one to continue, I feel knocked out, I think things like: the third won't sell either so what's the point and noone lives on their writing in this country, forget it. My idea was to find a publisher through self publishing and though three have contacted me, it never ended up with a contract. The story I wrote is satirical, which is not in today's fashion. It is too well written one said... Honestly, this is saddening and it makes me furious to notice how publishing houses behave. They don't have the guts to offer readers an original story. Anyway, my second book is much better, I spent eight months on it and all the people who have read both my books have said it was better, friends, indie writers and readers alike. Seeing it is not working makes me feel like stopping. Actually I have no more ideas whereas I used to have plenty of them. I feel dry and disillusioned.
    I am fearful about my future too. I used to be counter dependent and now am faced with an utterly new situation: I depend on my partner and although he isn't the judging type I feel sorry for myself, I judge myself severely.

    When I look at my life, I truly feel terrible as I had succeeded in so many areas. It looks as if all I have done for the past years was to destroy the balance I had tried to create in my life. This balance mostly originated from my profession: this was the only area that had a ring of success to it. Today I have no friends except my best friend but I sense she is more distant and I don't blame her, I am not the fun I used to be; we talk on the phone from time to time and that's it for social interaction. I know noone in my new region, I taught here for a year and I met some teachers but nobody I really could relate to.
    This is a pattern I know too well: before having full blown TMS, let's say when I could lead a "normal" life, my friendships were superficial and people called me because I am a good listener but they were not eager to share outings. I wasn't fond of parties and though I am social, I hated it when we were many. I always prefered small parties.

    Anyway, I am starting the TMS Wiki all over again as this is the only thing that I managed to do almost fully and because I am so so down that I am not able to do the Sarno programme without guidance. Rereading one chapter of his book is too hard, each time I make the decision to do it, I do it for some days then give up.
    Peristance is missing in my path. I will just add one thing: I am not able to let go everything. All that's connected to my future professional life has been impossible for me to let go. For me, letting go is like not caring and I DO care about my professional life. So I push myself and force myself to write and then I hate the new story I have come up with. It's a fool's circle: if I don't do anything then I feel guilty and if I do somethig I find it sooo bad.

    I can't find anything positive about my life. My sentimental life is not at all fulfilling, my professional life is at a standstill and I am still in a lot of pain. Pulling myself together has never been harder. And one more and last thing: I am bitter. I feel jealous of everyone who succeeds and have a lot of negative thoughts in general. I have always been like this but as years go by it becomes worse and I dislike it. I am not able to be happy for people who make it, I have been so driven in my life and had so many dreams that have never come true that seeing success makes me want to hide in a hole. I am not proud of this, let's be clear. All I am telling you is hard as I have the impression you will wonder what kind of nasty person I am. I should add one thing: I am happy when my best friend or people I really love are happy, when I say I am jealous of some people, I am talking about people whom I know but are not close to me. I feel like I can read in people's intentions and hearts so well and what I am seeing is so ugly that there is no way I could wish them something good. I am mainly thinking about a lot of writers that I "know" who are sooo self-centered and pretend to be nice people but are just being nice till they make it. I hate lies and liars and I am not someone who forgives easily, I don't forgive at all to be honest.
    Meditation is very hard too, I used to practise once a day but have stopped. I find it boring and useless. As I said the only thing that proved to be helpful was doing the Wiki program so I will try to stick to it.

    Thanks for reading this long post. I hope to be able to keep in touch, not just write about me but participate the way I did last year and try to give insight to other sufferers but from where I am right now, I don't feel entitled to do so. (yes, I am a goodist too and yearning for peer approval ;-))

  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Mina,

    I am very touched by your post, although I found it hard to read. Hard for me to be around so much suffering that you have expressed. At the same time, I understand and can feel so many of the things you describe. Maybe that is why it is hard to read: my own suffering, my own patterns come up. I also feel compassion for you, me, and the human condition. We are all trapped, again and again in our hell realms. It is not our fault, but it is to be seen, and held, with whatever love we can muster for ourselves. Your honesty, good intentions, and heart come through. I hope mine do to. It is this subtle care which may support you: your own heart.

    I think you're more aware of the "basic suffering" which self-rejection causes in everyone who has ever lived. More aware than most people. You're more aware, and therefore suffer more consciously, perhaps than those who have similar feelings of hate, self-hate, depression, hopelessness, confusion. This is the life of ego, plain and simple. Others may feel themselves very "successful and puffed up," but this is so that they are blocked from feeling the deficient states you so carefully document in you. Ultimately you are closer to the truth than many. Then there is only our heart, to somehow hold all this...

    Putting your success or lack of success in making a living, or feeling more enlivened aside for the moment, I think you can imagine your Inner Child feelings around so many of the life situations, and life responses that you describe. You have made a wonderful list of inquiry subjects, which you can use Dr. Sarno's basic techniques with. "What does not want to be felt?" "What psychological tension might I have?" etc. Remember that Dr. Sarno's work is to recognize, but not to fix these patterns/feelings/responses. Recognize how you fit Dr. Sarno's work, his theory. I think you have a very successful start with this post.

    I highly recommend you do Alan Gordon's TMS Recovery Program before you did very far into the SEP. It has such depth of exploration, and teaches basic skills re TMS!

    I wish you the best in your journey.

    Andy B
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  3. mina

    mina Peer Supporter

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for this very kind answer.
    I know and have read Alan Gordon's program twice. It is very good. Part of my inability to follow a program or finish a book is the fact that there is so much
    info around (which is good) that I read something new and forget the old article/book/program. My guess for the moment is that I should stick to the TMS Wiki program which has helped me in the past and do it thoroughly, reading all the articles and abovel all journaling on a daily basis.
    Writing what I wrote has been helpful as the day after posting about my doing the program from scratch again, I journaled and realized something. I had bits and pieces scattered as to what created tension in me but nothing that made sense as a whole and that helped me understand the pattern that is so destructive and that I have been using all my life long. I knew it was related to my mother and father, I knew stuff but nothing made sense as much as what I understood yesterday.
    In a nutshell: I fell sick about three weeks after leaving the swimming pool, stretching and being extremely confident and happy, thinking to myself: "I will never have pain any more and I am happy for the first time in my life, really happy". Summer was ending, I had spent wonderful vacation: swimming and travelling a lot, I had a good job, I didn't have it all but I had enough to feel secure and fulfilled. By the way, what is having it all? It doesn't make sense, obviously. And then, boom, pain struck son after and expanded and went from bad to worse. I didn't know I had always been a TMSer. I had pain in some body parts that left thanks to the placebo effect: visiting a physical therapist, having a cortisone injection, etc. But that summer I had found a way of curing my pain myself: I had strengthned my body thanks to intensive swimming and by swimming four or five times a week, I could be painless. Was I psychologically balanced? No I wasn't. I suffered from very serious insomnia (still do), was very moody, got angry over minor stuff, etc. Yet, I had never felt better.
    The point I understood yesterday is the following: there are two things going on in my mind constantly and these two things are totally opposite:
    1) Out of loyalty I want to be like my parents (my mother spent her life repeating: "You are like us", I guess it subconciously became my mantra...
    2) I want to be happy
    I cannot be lile my parents AND be happy as my parents have led a life of numerous failures and health issues. I have never seen them happy.

    So, this makes a lot of sense eventhough I know we shouldn't intellectualize too much but this really came up right after journaling about my mother and about how angry and sad she makes me, about how responsible for her happinness I feel.

    I also tried to understand why I hated this one indie writer who is succeeding with her new book. Is it just because I can see cleraly in her different manoeuvres? Partly but not only. She is succeeding though her writing is really bad and only this is enough to drive me up the wall as I wish the organization of the world was fairer. I've seen many good writers fail and I am sick of seeing bad ones succeed. Still, I am so obsessed with her that I sense there is more to it than just "it is unfair".
    She got in touch with me over a year ago, sending me emails, asking me for tips and I didn't count my time to try and help her. Now, when I released my second book, she didn't bother buying it in order to help its launching, whereas I did buy her first two books for this very reason: we need some purchases the first few days in order not to fail the release. Well, I failed my release, she succeeded hers. Useless to say I didn't buy her third book. So I am angry at MYSELF. Plus maybe other things are at play: she has a child, I haven't, she is a teacher, like I was, she has absolutely no doubt about the quality of her writing, I doubt all the time and spend ages editing my work. She is extremely ambitious and is making her dream come true, I am ambitious too but I am stopped by my condition and my personality as I find it harder and harder to relate to other writers and be nice to them while I don't think they are nice people but rather self-interest oriented people who have understood the social game and abide by its rules. I have understood the social game but don't accept it (this could have a relation to my mother, again... for ex: if I abide by social rules, then I am likely to succed. If I succeed then, I am different from my mother. OMG!

    I grasp what you say about the inner child, I think mine is so tormented that it needs a lot of soothing and I am not good at self compassion, this is somethign I have to learn.

    Thanks again for your answer Andy.
  4. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    Success is a lottery. Doing your best does not guarantee a good result. This is true for writers, teachers, business people, politicians, ... for everyone.

    Even worse, the most brilliant people are often ignored or destroyed (Ignaz Semmelweis, Alan Turing, Aaron Schwarz ... )

    If you are brilliant, you want to play it safe. It is important to accept that you will never get the recognition you deserve.

    I know people who are anonymous geniuses that are very happy despite occupying an unimportant work position or being unemployed. It is as they are not aware of their tremendous talent. For me it is a very humbling experience to meet those people.

    Those people clearly operate in a different success scale. They feel successful when they help others, when they give to others. They find happiness in "unimportant" things like the colour of the clouds.

    Oh, and "success" does not protect you from tms. Tim Parks wrote a book about his chronic pain "teach us to sit still".
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  5. mina

    mina Peer Supporter

    Yes jaumeb, I know you're right. I've done a lot of thinking about being a novelist and I know having success has to do with luck as much as it has to do with talent. Over here in France, we have many successful writers who don't work on their style and this is what mainstream literature is about: an easy read plus a lot of positive messages. I am amazed when I look at the huge amount of books that are a mix between some personal development theories/or exercises and an easy plot. I guess people lead very unfulfilling lives and try to find answer in novels instead of looking for this extra thing that I love finding: originality both in the writing and the plot.

    Anyway, I also know that even if I sold many, I wouldn't be healed. I would still be looking for something to be unhappy about: a bad review for example.
    If I had a publisher, this would be no guarantee of being happy either though I would feel proud of myself.

    I know happiness lays somewhere else. When I taught, I did have those moments you mention when I felt extremely content as I had exchanged with a pupil who had told me that he had a taste for the English language thanks to me. It gave meaning to something that otherwise would just have been a job. I also enjoyed the prep.work.

    Finding happiness in seemingly unimportant things is something I have never been able to do. What you mention clearly stems from mindfulness. I am not mindful although I have read and read things about it. My life has slowed down dramatically but the way I look at the world hasn't changed. I hope it will eventually.

    Thanks for your answer.

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  6. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    I thank you for your posts. I learned a lot for them. I saw myself in your posts but I wouldn't be able to write them.

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