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 Day 1

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by debbi1955, May 7, 2014.

  1. debbi1955

    debbi1955 Peer Supporter

    I learned about TMS today, at about noon. My husband and I spent the night in a hotel, and I woke 3 times with excruciating back pain. As has happened many times recently, instead of spending a relaxing day, I told my husband we were packing up and heading home, where I could suffer in peace.

    Doctors have told me my only alternative for back pain is surgery, and that they can't promise recovery. I have untreated scoliosis and arthritis with bone spurs. I've tried all the usual - I've already read enough to know that I don't have to tell you all everything I've tried. I've been determined to avoid surgery, and in the past few years, I've become skeptical of traditional medicine. I have had eczema, been diagnosed with asthma, had a continuing issue with sinus and middle ear infections, and overall, have had back pain since I was in my 20's. A doctor told me I'd be in a wheelchair in 10 years (30 years later, I've proven him wrong). The diagnosis of asthma led to a six week regimen of the maximum dose of steroids when I developed sudden breathing problems; when this didn't work, the doctors finally admitted they may have jumped to conclusions in trying to treat asthma when what I had was a viral infection. I could never understand why, if the scoliosis and arthritis cause the back pain, I would have days and even longer periods when it did not bother me at all, then suddenly I would be in so much pain I could not stand up without assistance.

    I have had some success using meditation and following the teachings of Tolle in relieving some of my problems (eczema, asthma), but not with the back pain. Today, I felt desperate and searched the internet, and found Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain. I bought the eBook and read it in a single sitting. It connected with me. I am a real believer in the mind-body connection, and I know I have a lot of anxiety issues. I was on medication for anxiety for a few years, but I have been successful in relieving much of it through meditation and journaling. So I am hopeful that an understanding of TMS will help me conquer this issue that is starting to impact my quality of life.

    After watching the John Stossel video, my first reaction was that I believe this method will work, but I'm afraid I will not do it correctly and so it won't work for me. Yep, I think there's a good chance I have TMS, and I have a lot of work to do! I was so happy to see the Structured Educational Program, because it is the kind of process that works well for me. I'm moving forward, hoping to make progress and not get in my own way.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Oh Debbie! I am soooo happy you found us and this forum. I can guarantee, promise without a doubt that you will feel better as you embrace this healing program!! The SEP is laid out for building your awareness and sharing with others. I am one of the slow healers - been recovering since Oct. 2013. My goal is to be 100% free of pain and FEAR of pain. And because I've read other posts, do my homework diligently (probably too much aka call me perfectionist!) and stay active with this train of healing through readings, meditations and participating in the forum... I KNOW and Believe I will get there. What I thought was recovery has changed so much since I've started this work. I've healed way more things/habits/personality flaws than I ever thought possible. So it is a program for healing on many levels beyond physical. So happy, once again, that you found us~!!
    debbi1955 likes this.
  3. debbi1955

    debbi1955 Peer Supporter

    I'm already having success, which is amazing. I learned about TMS reading 'Healing Back Pain' because that is what I was searching the Internet for on a day when my back pain was completely disabling. But I'm learning from the forum that TMS can cause a lot of other things besides back pain, many of which I also have. The support I've found out here already is absolutely incredible! I've spent most of my free time the last few days exploring and reading posts and articles and watching videos. I love how the site really encourages posting - I was afraid of annoying people if I started posting too much as a rookie, but I've really felt accepted by the community already.

    I came in with a strong belief in the mind-body connection, which I think gave me a leg up, but I never applied it to my own back pain. Doctors had told me I had scoliosis, arthritis, and herniated discs, so I thought there was a structural problem and never looked beyond that until I read Dr. Sarno's book. I adopted a new mantra that night, and chanted it to myself as I fell asleep - 'there is nothing wrong with my back!'. I have believed there was something wrong with my back for 30 years, but my logical brain has questioned why it never heals, why it only hurts sometimes. And Dr. Sarno brought up those same questions and answered them, so it really helped me shift my belief in a hurry.

    Now I'm trying to figure out how to deal with some of the emotions from my past. There is a lot of information out here. If anyone can point me to some good materials for how to work through the emotions it would be helpful. I was raised on shame, and even though my very logical mind tells me I have nothing to be ashamed of, I still get very emotional when I think of some of the things I was shamed about, and I still feel extreme shame in some situations even though my rational mind says there is no reason to. I cry when I try to journal about it, and I'm wondering how you work through it. Do you just keep crying until you can't cry anymore, or are there better ways to work through it? Any guidance would be very, very appreciated!
  4. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Debbie, Just keep doing this SEP and it will guide you with journalling to get to these emotions. I think at this point, just relax and have faith that everyday you will be shown what and how to do your recovery. The good news about this program is that you will have an assignment that relates to your emotions, personality type and how to write and ponder these things. I understand wanting to get to the best most effective way to do something because I/you want to get out of pain... but this slower methodical journey is one that will help you go in deeper and more gently.
    debbi1955 likes this.
  5. debbi1955

    debbi1955 Peer Supporter

    Patience was never one of my virtues. Thanks, nowtimecoach - I will take it a little slower.

    I need to find a picture to post. Just looking at yours makes me smile!
  6. kindlethelight

    kindlethelight Peer Supporter

    Thanks for sharing Debbie. I am on DAY 1 of SEP. Luckily, I also came in with a strong belief in mind-body symptoms. And although I am on DAY 1, I have been reading Sarno and Ozanich's books, lapping them up in fact!
    Shame is one of the toughest emotions that I have to face. Rage is second to that and I can see why I developed pain to distract me from these emotions! But I do understand having to go THROUGH the emotions to get to the other side. I try to lean in and really feel them in my body. Self-soothing by talking to myself and behaving towards myself like I am a 5 year old. Asking myself what I want, what I need and then letting adult me decide. Re-parenting myself in a much gentler way than I was parented. Also, google Brene Brown and her TED talk on vulnerability. It is very soothing. Happy to be on this journey with you.
    debbi1955 likes this.
  7. debbi1955

    debbi1955 Peer Supporter

    OK - I got real evidence of what you said today, when I was writing another post. I really wasn't sure I was repressing emotions. I'm very good about letting out my anger, and I don't try to hide sadness, but I realized that while I was writing I was trying to belittle my anxiety, and that is the emotion I repress. Never let them see you sweat - I've taken that to the extreme. Then I said I was glad I could share my anxiety here without anyone thinking I'm a cry-baby - and I realized why I never let them see me sweat. And then a childhood memory hit me so hard that I had to stop writing and take some time to absorb it.

    I work with computers, and I think I was looking for the manual. There's not going to be a manual to guide me through this! But the process of being shown what I need for recovery has started.
  8. debbi1955

    debbi1955 Peer Supporter

    kindlethelight - I had a shame based upbringing, so I am right there with you. I'm so amazed that you recommended the TED talk on vulnerability, because I just realized this morning that one thing I repress is my vulnerability, and I think that is where I need to start my work.

    I just watched the Brene Brown TED talk, and I could relate to so much she said, it's like she was talking to me. But I found myself thinking that it would be nice to be one of the people who is comfortable with vulnerability, and who feels that they are enough, but I could never get there. I feel like I'm miles from there. So I found it easy to believe that my back pain is not caused by structural issues, but this - this is where the real work is going to be.
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    You're doing great, debbi. You're all fired up about TMS and learning how to heal from your pain.

    The "work" ahead in learning more about TMS will be some of the most rewarding of your life.
    You're going to learn more about yourself and others than you ever dreamed,
    and it is all going to make you happier, healthier, and free of pain.

    There is plenty to read and learn from in the subforums and posts from people who have
    either healed or are healing. Welcome to our wiki family.
  10. debbi1955

    debbi1955 Peer Supporter

    I had a tough journaling session today. My pain moved for the first time, in an attempt, I think, to distract me from my journaling. I found I'm having a hard time dealing with my emotions about what happened to me when I was a kid, not just because I felt so awful then, but because looking back from my perspective as a 58 year old woman, and much older now than my parents were then, I can understand more of their issues and I feel guilty being angry at them for what they did back then. I was trying to find a way to deal with my feelings about how I was treated without it becoming supportive of my parents' behavior at that time (and in a way, adding to the mistreatment of that little girl I was). So I've been picturing conversations between myself at this age at my parents at that age, and I'm talking to them about how their issues are affecting the child that I was (and in my mind, they are hearing my message). I'm finding that a really helpful way of working through some of this.

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