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Day 1 - What would a life without TMS mean to me & what I need to say to TMS

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Mikey, Jan 6, 2016.

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  1. Mikey

    Mikey Newcomer

    A life without TMS would literally mean everything to me, hope, endless possibilities, no restrictions, no limits, all my dreams would become within reach instead of clouded by fear of pain and fear of fear itself holding me back. However slight or severe the pain it always elicits the same response: I am broken, how will I be able to achieve my dreams as a broken being? How will anybody ever love and count on this broken being? How did I get to this point? Why did I get to this point? What did I do to deserve this? Why will nothing I do fix this pain? All I want is to feel normal again so that I can do what I was put on this earth to do, whatever it may be, unshackled by pain that moves around and around making me obsessed with the correct posture and whether this chair is good or that sofa, every minor detail is the biggest deal in my mind and I don't know where this came from. Every minor task or activity puts the fear of god into me. Like can I go to watch Hateful 8 at the cinema because it's nearly 3 hours long and my back will hurt? I mean come on i'm 28 years old, I eat right (most of the time), I exercise every day either running, pilates, weight training or Tai Chi, sometimes a number of those activities and yet I am still fearful of going to the cinema. I am not even remotely ocd, I am chilled and calm but this syndrome has changed the person that I am into someone that I don't recognise anymore and yet to every else in this world I'm exactly the same, because I am so in denial and ashamed that I can't bare to mention in to anyone apart from my closest friends and family.

    Reading Dr Sarno's book has for the first time given me hope that I AM NOT BROKEN and I will carry on sharing my journey with anyone who wishes to hear it, I just hope it reaches someone who was as hopeless as I was before I read this book. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Clearly I have a lot of emotional pain to work through and I couldn't be more happy to realise that fact because dealing with those emotions is my way out of this hell. All I need to say to TMS right now is whether you are a friend that has tried to protect me or a parasite feeding off me I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE & I WILL REGAIN CONTROL OF MY MIND & BODY! NOW I KNOW WHAT YOUR GAME IS YOUR TIME IS UP! I DON'T CARE IF I HAVE TO DRAG YOU KICKING & SCREAMING TMS, I WILL REGAIN CONTROL & GET MY LIFE BACK!!! And if it turns out that you are a friend, then I'm sorry for this outburst and thank you for helping me through the darkness but I'm ok now and you have to let go. Really, it's time to let me decide what I can and can't handle, I am strong, resiliant, caring, creative and driven and I do not need your protection anymore. So please, just let go.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
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  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Mikey; I am 85 and had severe back pain three years ago. A nurse friend told me to read Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain and I found this web site and took the SEProgram and once I believed 100 percent that emotions caused my pain, it went away. Your post shows how strongly you accept TMS and believe it will heal you. It will. Please do share your TMS journey with me and others in this wonderful, caring YMS community. We help each other. Those affirmations make wonderful mantras for you and everyone. I consider TMS and my subconscious to be my friend because my subcon sent me the back pain so I discovered how important emotions are in our health for a MindBody connection. If you worry that you will be in pain if go to the theater and watch a 3 hour movie, maybe just go and sit as long as you can, even in mild pain. If it gets too bad, get up and walk around in the lobby. If the pains subsides, go back and sit and watch more of the movie. It's great that you are getting so much exercise. You're not broken, but TMS is going to mend you in both body and spirit.
     
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Newcomer

    Thanks for the reply Walt, I will do my best to take what you have said on board. I am going to watch the movie and try not to expect pain and if it happens I will try to think psychologically and see if it goes away. I'm at day 2 now and have noticed that any pain that has appeared while i'm active is easy to deal with and it goes away very quickly. However when i'm sitting down the fear returns and in turn the pain. I think it's because pressure is placed on so many more muscles and tendons when sitting down, so when most people would feel a gentle stretch I feel a flashback to the fear of sitting and it exaggerates the stretch into pain. I also think a form of tms for might be constantly trying to be in the best possible posture and worrying if my hips, knees etc. are in the right position. I see now that this thinking is in itself a distraction and is probably because of the years of thinking like this it is so hard to break this thinking. I will keep trying to take my attention away from the body and trying to stop fearing the pain and I will report back. Thanks again, Mike :)
     
  4. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hey Mike,

    Welcome to the forum and to the program. I feel you, I have very similar issues, only mine is with standing and walking... funny how supposed low-back issues can cause entirely different symptoms in two different people, no? That alone is enough to cast serious doubt on any sort of "structural" problem causing the symptoms. That is, you have fear and pain of sitting, but appear to be fine to stand and walk. I can sit all day, with basically zero pain, but standing and walking is when mine kick in. I've been through the SEP twice now, just finished the second round yesterday, and although I'm not entirely free of pain, I learned a great deal and have many "tools". One thing you'll learn as you go is to do the things that cause the pain, as frequent as possible, but only as you can stand it. For instance, I walked nearly 6 miles total today, and I had pain, and had to stop at times to rest, but I got through it and I'm fine. So hopefully you were able to go and see the movie today (I saw it yesterday, was great!). Just keep doing it until you're no longer even thinking about it. I'm going to do the same. I'm going to walk everyday until I'm no longer fearing and obsessing over it.

    Good luck!

    Kevin
     
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Newcomer

    Hey Kevin, yeah that is weird, I'm starting to believe more and more that it's all in the head. The fact that you were able to walk 6 miles at all shows that you must be ok structurally. You said you've done the program twice, do you believe that one day you will be free of pain? I'm really hoping the one time will do me :) Thanks and good luck!
     
  6. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hey Mike,

    Yes, sorry, I should've elaborated a bit more on that. I finished the first time in July and was 100% pain free for 4+ months, doing everything and anything I wanted - no restrictions. But then I had some life stuff come up, dear friend died of an OD; wife pregnant with first child; work pressure; but worse of all, I started thinking about my back again... that is, probably about a week leading up to a "relapse", I could tell I was stressed and I noticed myself thinking and fearing my back... and one day i was in the gym, lifting heavy weight, but nothing I hadn't done for several months prior, and as I was pulling back the memory popped into my mind: several months earlier, before discovering Dr Sarno and TMS, I was still treating my back with convention medicine, so i was in physical therapy; one of the therapists told me that a client of his had recently "injured" his back doing the row weight lift. That is the lift I was doing when that memory came to me, and right then I felt a "strain". That started the fear. I walked home, and I felt more or less OK, but the fear was taking hold and within 3 hours I had succumb to it and was right back to the same pain I had been free of... So, like a possessed madman I got back to journaling and other TMS work, in a hurry to be rid of it... but I've come to learn that I was actually feeding it, so it stuck around. About a week later I started the SEP again, following the advice of some of the seasoned vets here on the site. But again, most of the time I was "expecting" to be rid of it quick.. this is called calendar watching and I can now say, from experience, that it hinders recovery. I am not entirely out of this episode, but I'm accepting that this means i have some more work to do; certainly some more acceptance.... Last time I recovered because I stopped carrying about the symptoms, and I didn't really have expectations. The difficulty with a relapse, and others discuss this in detail, is we now have expectations - that is, we understand what our minds our doing, so we want to be symptom free NOW... but this isn't always the case.

    Anyhow, I hope this is no way discourages you. The fact is, everyone has their own journey. Just keep at it, there is certainly nothing to lose, and one generally learns a great deal about one's self through the process. I learned a lot the first time, and even MORE the second time.

    Good luck and keep posting during your journey.

    Kev
     
  7. Mikey

    Mikey Newcomer

    Thanks Kev
     
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  8. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Hi Mikey am I reading your post correctly that you exercise everyday without pain? That alone I hope helps confirm for you that it's not a structural. As for posture I will speak as a Pilates teacher...although I promote good posture it is NOT poor posture that is causing pain. I work with many clients with postural issues that you would think they'd have to be in pain but you know what they're not! Just the other day I worked with a man early 70's with a head so Forward that when he went to lay down on the mat his head wouldn't touch down. One pillow that I normally use for better alignment was not enough! You know what he's not in pain.

    I hope some of what I've said helps you in your journey to be free of fear and ultimately free of pain
     
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  9. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I had Scoliosis surgery when I was 16 years old. Most of my spine is fused. In the past I have had disc degeneration, herniated disc, low back pain, neck pain, middle of the back pain and on and on. 6 years ago a Scoliosis specialist told me to eliminate all bend. He said my future looked very bleak. I stopped gardening, vacuuming, loading the dishwasher or dryer. Fear arose every time I wanted to bend to pick up a piece of lint off the floor.

    Today I am back to gardening. I play a number of physical sports that requiring bending. I shoveled snow last week. I have no physical pain.

    Welcome Mikey... get ready for an amazing adventure in learning about yourself.
     
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  10. Mikey

    Mikey Newcomer

    Hi Susan thanks for the info. Yes I exercise every day without pain, I can even lift pretty heavy weights doing shoulder building exercises yet when I play guitar for more than 20 minutes my scapula and another muscle (I think it's called the serratus minor) really hurts. The trigger points on my scapula become extremely active and I usually have to release them often. it's strange because a few years ago I completed a music degree; playing guitar for nearly 6 hours a day with little to no pain. My guitar posture isn't bad and I focus on being relaxed and not holding any tension. Now that I know about the nature of TMS I think that the reason it hurts is because during the last year, the darkest of my life, I completely stopped playing guitar because every time I played it released a huge amount of painful emotions linked to my band breaking up and the sadness that although I trained for years it didn't come to anything and it upsets me that I don't play anymore. It also seems to conjure up memories of my 'happy life' before the dark period I mentioned, thoughts of my ex-girlfriend etc. I will keep trying to play whilst thinking psycological and see if the pain subsides.

    As far as poture goes, I used to have a bit of a bend in my back which turns out was muscular but after a huge amount of effort and changes I managed to normalise this bend. The thinking I employed about always being in the correct position is sticking round despite me being ok now. I think it's linked to the fear I felt before I fixed my back. Another thing is that I know that one leg is less than a cm shorter than the other so when I sit on an office chair the tendons on the short side often hurt, could this because simply because I was made aware of this difference in leg length? I also sleep on that side as well, could that cause trapped nerves etc. or could it just be that as my mind see's that as a logical pain I won't argue with, so it keeps using it as a distraction? Thanks Susan
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  11. Mikey

    Mikey Newcomer

    Hi Stella your problems almost make me feel embrassed to be on this forum as mine seem to be very minor compared to that. That is the way I often feel when reading other peoples success stories. Although my problems are minor they have taken over my life and i'm really glad that I took the leap to start this program and post on the forum, I already feel that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel :)
     
  12. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Mickey you have the answers. There is no question in my mind playi,g the guitar isn't causing the pain the assocoliations are. Perhaps work on creating new memories.
    As for the miniscule difference in leg length you've got that answer as well. You've apparently decided that the difference should be causing pain and you get what you believe to be true.
    Mickey you are so very close to beating this as you have the answers now the work is easing up on yourself and applying them.
     
  13. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I have a difference in leg length too. I have also blamed that and having Scoliosis for shin splints, tingling in my feet and hands, IT band pain, pelvic floor problems, heel problems. What a hoot. All along it was my mind creating very painful symptoms to keep me from examining and realizing the emotional pain. Mikey your symptoms are creating very real and debilitating pain in your body. Don't feel guilty about others being worse off. Guilt is also a very powerful emotion that can cause numerous TMS symptoms in the body. You are on the road to recovery. You will learn many tools to help you manage your life.
     
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  14. Mikey

    Mikey Newcomer

    Thanks Susan, will do :)
     
  15. Mikey

    Mikey Newcomer

    Thanks Stella!
     
  16. Mikey

    Mikey Newcomer

    Hey guys Day 3 now reporting back in. I'm going to go into depth with my experience at the movies last night, in short it was much better than expected, also Hateful 8 is a crazy movie I would highly recommnd it but it is real gory. What i'm still really struggling with is sleeping positions and tms pain when waking. I've started to sleep on my side again as i've been trying to go back to everything that comes naturally to me rather than doing things to stop pain occuring. I find sleeping on my side with a pillow between my legs to be most comfortable and as I toss and turn during the night I will inevitably end up almost sleeping half on my side and half on my stomach so one side of my hip flexors will be fully strethed throughout the night. This is something that has caused me a great deal of pain in the past hence why I started forcing myself to sleep on my back. The thing is that I must have slept like this for the first 18 years of my life with no pain at all, so i'm wondering if the tendons and ligaments in the hip are strong enough to take the amount of strain that I have metioned as all the evidence would point to the fact that they are. This makes me think that TMS is choosing to cause tension when i'm asleep because it's the only time that I cannot consciously combat TMS. When I wake sometimes it feels like I have a trapped nerve in my leg and my hip flexor's feel strained. The quesiton i'm asking is have any of you have any similar experiences to this and do you think that TMS is exaggerating this stretch of my hip flexors into full blown hip pain and the feeling of a trapped nerve because as I said before it knows that I will think this is a 'logical' pain and so I will buy into the distraction. Sorry for the longwinded nature of this post it's just one of the most recurrent problems that I am suffering from. Thanks Mike
     
  17. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Hi Mike the short answer is YES! I'm having issues neck/shoulders especially my right shoulder. I too started sleeping in my more natural positions which is my side especially my right side. Most days I wake up without the clenching feeling in my upper trapezoid but today I did. I'm feeling particularly anxious about going on a vacation tomorrow.and my body is feeling it. It's a great ploy to start blaming myself for the pain but logically I could not have caused it neither did you.
     
  18. Mikey

    Mikey Newcomer

    So what your saying is that there's nothing you can do to stop waking pain, it just happens during moments of stress? Thanks, Mike
     
  19. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    I believe for you there is some self fulling thoughts that you think there will be pain while sleeping a particular way and so there is. Not much different from expecting pain while playing your guitar.

    For me at least this morning I know I'm feeling stress and my body is agreeing with me.
    Hope this makes sense.
     
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  20. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Hey Mike,

    Just keep at the SEP, more will be revealed. My experience has been that sleep pain is the first problem to resolve. Also, upon awaking, I try to start my thoughts with positivity, and really watch out for fear before I even get out of bed. As you'll learn, it's our obsessive focusing, monitoring, and ultimately fear of the pain that initiate and perpetuate the syndrome.
     
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