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Day 1

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Stephen, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Stephen

    Stephen New Member

    Time to get started

    I've been feeling a constant sharp pain in my lower middle back for going on 3 months now. I would say it just showed up in the morning when I had to fly out of town for work. I was pretty stressed out for what I was going on the trip for and was afraid of how I would of been judged by others being I was new to the job and very nervous. Since then the pain felt like it would move up and down the back and butt. I continued to exercise anyways because I had been going out a lot to eat and drink beer and was gaining some pounds. I can get through a work out but feel the pain afterwards.

    About a month ago after finding out about Dr. Sarno and reading Healing back Pain, I started to feel a little better. Maybe 6O percent better. I thought wow I guess maybe I do have TMS if the book made the pain go away even just a little bit. I still haven't gone to the doctor to see if I have anything really threatening, but after all the research and reading I have been doing on TMS it would just seem to be a real waste of time to do that. Plus the fact that the pain has gone a away a few times for over a few hours, there couldn't be a structural problem. It still shows up in the morning, but I think thats because all i think about is the pain first thing when I wake up.

    So I'm starting the SEP because the pain is still around and I want it 100 percent gone. I am remaining positive and feel I need to keep the press on to make this pain go away. My problem that I think I will encounter is trying to feel the feelings. I live a pretty chill life. Never married and no children. But work is pretty stressful and I think I have been really hard on myself. So I need to dig deep into that. I just may need some advice if there is anyone out there who was able to feel the feeling s of work stress.

  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Stephen,

    Welcome to the community.

    I would definitely see a Dr just to rule out anything structural, it will also give you peace of mind, confidence and reduce any fear of there being something pathologically wrong.

    It seems to me that you may have identified the very reason for your TMS, anxiety, a people pleaser etc. All the common traits all of us TMS folks share.

    It's great that you've started the SEP program, I know how hard it is to journal, but don't be discouraged. It will help you uncover some truths that you may wish to explore and perhaps change. Alot of our suffering is self made and due preconceived ideas which may or may not happen.

    I wouldn't say that you have to feel your emotions to heal, but as long as you are mindful and can learn the art of breaking any toxic thinking it can cause a change in your mind and physiology.

    I would start thinking psychologically rather than focusing on the pain and create an evidence sheet which charts your symptoms. This will help build up your confidence that it is TMS.

    I would also recommend that you try mindfulness meditation, it's proven quiten useful with many who are currently on their journey.

    I'd also like to add, please be kind, gentle and compassionate to yourself. I know TMS can be overwhelming but please don't let anxiety fuel it.

    Good bless and good luck
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Stephen. I think Mike has given you some good advice. Mindfulness meditation is very important in TMS healing. A month-long series of daily sessions on this begins Oct. 1. See info in the general section of this web site and I hope you will join us in it.

    Meanwhile, I've found several good videos on Youtube about mindfulness (living in the present). One of my favorites is from Michael Sealey called "Guided Meditation for Detachment from Over-Thinking." I watch it with a cup of hot milk and almost go to sleep, it's so calming. It focuses on deep breathing and living in the present moment. Another Youtube video I like for mindfulness and visualizing calming is "Relaxing Nature Sounds" in which a Japanese musician-photographer, Okanokumo, has a 10 minute video of a mill along a stream. Very relaxing.

    Deep breathing is definitely the gateway to reducing anxiety and pain.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Stephen, I'm one of those people who never saw a TMS doctor to get a diagnosis. When my symptoms were significantly relieved by just reading The Divided Mind, I knew I had found the answer to years of vague symptoms.

    So, four years later, I would say that I'm at about 90% recovery. In spite of the fact that I'm a perfectionist, I'm thrilled with 90%, because where I was four years ago was intolerable. The thing you need to know about TMS is that it's the result of a primitive survival mechanism in our brains to suppress emotions, which served us well when we only had to survive long enough to breed and raise the next generation, and when we were distracted by day-to-day survival during those few years. It just doesn't work that well in the modern world, but it still exists. Which means that if you have a perfectionist/goodist type of personality (the kind that thinks it won't be satisfied with less than 100%) you will be dealing with TMS the rest of your life. Rather than 100%, might I suggest a goal of keeping it under control using techniques of mindfulness, and to have a calmer and more accepting relationship with the symptoms when they reappear?

    Everyone thinks they won't be able to access deep emotions. The thing is, (Freud knew this and Dr. Sarno embraced this) every human has repressed emotions from their childhood. Some are more traumatic than others. My childhood was not traumatic, but by doing "the work" I discovered plenty of childhood guilt and shame and isolation, because these feelings are inevitable in children, as is rage at having to grow up, or at not getting 100% attention and love from our parents 100% of the time.

    The mechanism of emotional repression kicks in early, which means that those old emotional hurts are buried deep - but if you can access them, the repression will lose its purpose, and the symptoms won't be needed. Unfortunately, we still feel shame and guilt and abandonment and rage in our current lives. Just driving across town will provoke rage at our helplessness against slow traffic and other drivers, and you've already mentioned stresses at work. Work is a great place to experience all of those old childhood emotions, but your brain will repress them because it thinks that you will die if you're wallowing in emotions rather than being constantly on the alert for danger.

    Because I did most of my work four years ago via the SEP, I only just discovered that we have another great resource, which could give you a really good overview of the emotional component of TMS - it's the Alan Gordon TMS Recovery Program which I'm going to be working on myself, just so I know what it's all about, and I've already learned some useful techniques, for recognizing negative self-talk, for example. You can quickly read through it before going back to work on the SEP. There's also the Mindfulness Summit which Walt mentioned and which Mike2014 actually found for us - see my signature line for the link.

    Good luck, and keep posting - we're all in this together!
  5. Stephen

    Stephen New Member

    Thank you Mike,Walt and Jan for your kind words and advice. It's great to know that there are people like you out there that are willing to take the time and help other people. I will make an effort to try out everything you have mentioned.

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