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

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Beamandme, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. Beamandme

    Beamandme New Member

    It has taken me the better part of 6 months to get to here - Day 1.

    Chronic back pain for 15 years. Progressing to Sciatica, herniated discs MRIs, surgery recommendation and even the threat of permanent nerve damage if "we don't act soon". Chiros, physios, asian traditional medicine, acupuncture, tui-nah (sweat inducing, tear releasing excruciating trigger point massage) mobilization and even bone-setting (whatever that could possibly have meant).

    I read Dr Sarno's book last december. I choose to believe I have TMS traits. I am a perfectionist and a people pleaser. I suffer from anxiety, hate conflicts & confrontations, probably have low self-esteem, harbor insecurities, have abandonment issues and definitely know I am not good enough. Add to this I am tense even at resting state.

    I observed pain patterns have followed emotionally trying events. There isn't a TMS therapist in the region so self prognosis will have to cut it (for now). I do believe in Dr Sarno and TMS - but not 110% though. Nevertheless I followed his plan and within a short couple of weeks, my pain had subsided. It's now the occasional low level ache or sensations of numbness and tingling running along the butt, legs and foot.

    Recently, pain has now moved to the shoulder presenting as a frozen shoulder. This is quite sudden with no trigger. Fingers are tingling and numb. And sciatic sensations down the legs and lower back are revisiting.

    All these because I am hunkering down to initiate on completing this structured program.

    This truly is an anxious Mr TMS attempting to regain the advantage or control after being found out. Though I know that, I am however stuck here and slowly sliding backwards. I am beginning to fret and focus on my back, or sciatica in addition to my inflicted arm. I am spending more and more time being distracted by the scenario of a structural problem. When there truly isn't one.

    I hope this increased pain levels and movement of pain locations is good news reflecting TMS on the run.

  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Beamabdme'

    The fact that your pain is moving around and gets more intense at times is right in line with what Dr. Sarno writes.
    Your subconscious causes it so you will discover the emotional reasons for your pain.

    The SEP will help you to learn the emotional reasons and it looks like they have a lot to do with your
    perfectionist personality and being a people pleaser. That's very common among us TMSers.

    Dr. Sarno says we don't have to solve our emotional problems, just realize we have them and accept them.
    I find that modifying my perfectionist and goodist sides helps. I just cut back on how perfect I want to do things
    or please others and myself. A lot of people try to please themselves even more than they please others.
    We need to cut back on how much we pressure ourselves.

    I found journaling to be very helpful in the SEP and it helped me to get rid of severe back pain.

    My favorite techniques for TMS healing are: believe 100 percent in TMS, practice deep breathing, live in the present,
    and laugh as much and as often as I can. I also try to find a lot of pleasant distractions... things to do or think about
    that make me feel good or happy.
  3. Beamandme

    Beamandme New Member

    This is now day 8 and things have moved. Journaling has been tough because I have so much anger and resentment. Journaling has been painful because I remember the grief and hurt and loss. Journaling has been insightful because I have discovered unexperienced and hidden emotions from seemingly normal events. Journaling has brought out alot of emotions. It is tough experiencing and living with through them. I avoid conflict, confrontation, violence and even simply arguments like the plague. Harmony and peaceful existence is paramount. The better part of my childhood was spent in an environment heavy with conflict, stress and noise. Peace and quiet at any cost (my repressed emotions) rule the day (both at work and home). Journaling has caused that calm still surface to churn. This is not a familiar environment for me. And to intently churn and confront is entirely a new experience. Goes against the grain of my being.

    I have not felt more intense ache in a long time. Lower back, shoulder, buttocks, outer tights, back of the knee, feet. And it moves from left to right. On bad days, I am barely containing the anxiety from erupting. The worrisome anger and rage is low level constant (everyday) since starting this program. It is uncomfortable in this state because I think it's all wrong to feel anger, resentment, negativity and confrontational. But I hang in here and reason it out.

    That's subconscious throwing everything to distract. The more TMS symptoms, the more I will dig for an emotional cause. In this regard, I have reasoned with Mr Subconscious that it's really not working to his favor by presenting TMS pain. Instead of diverting attention away from the emotional cause, TMS symptoms are now actually triggering a search for the cause. No TMS symptoms means no conscious search for root cause. I can only imagine Mr Subconscious being smart enough to realize that. However Mr Subconscious may have the IQ of a 6 year old child (Master ID who's primary concern is his immediate gratification and wants) Considering that it's pretty much raining TMS symptoms each passing day, I can only surmise that Mr Subconscious indeed has the IQ of a 6 year old and is throwing a tantrum (because he's loosing control. Mr Subconscious is himself a perfectionist and a control freak who clearly has an issue with loosing and loosing control. Worst is being found out and having his own wise TMS strategy backfire and now working against him. I can only imagine Mr Anxiety paying him a visit and causing him to do more of the same).

    Wasn't it Einstein who purported that insanity defines as doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

    Dear Mr Subconscious. You clearly are in new uncharted territory. Your old TMS defense mechanism strategy is outmoded. You have been out maneuvered and the very plan you ingeniously crafted is now working in my favor instead. To achieve your original diversion objective, you will need a new strategy and not more of the same. It only makes you look the fool. You are loosing control and indeed bordering on, or if not already in the realm of insanity. Please attempt to maintain a level of pride, professionalism and repute in all this. You definitely have an IQ much greater than a 6 year old. There is still time to save face. You choose.

    I follow the plan each day and do look forward to the activities for the given day. Like Forrest mentioned, I find a balance and not drive myself into further discomfort by trying too hard. Letting go, being STILL, observing self control is itself a tremendous focus of effort. This is one area I have progressed - staying calm in the presence of TMS symptoms (and not running back to Mr Herniated discs and friends for company)

    As the Pet Shop Boys would eloquently sing it: "I've got plans to make and things to buy. I ain't wasting time on you creepy guys!"

    I have been reading up on Mindfulness and recently started on meditation. "Close your eyes, take a deep breadth and relax" (isn't this the first line to a song?). It has been helpful. I use Walt's deep breathing suggestion together with my mantra - MA... RA... NA... THA!

    I keep busy which helps distract from the conscious gauging of discomfort levels. I try to remind that my objective of the SEP is inner healing which would translate to outer healing. Like it or not, healing is an surety (no buts about it). Now that the snow ball's already started rolling down the hill, it is only a matter of when! Even if I wanted to remain in pain (which I secretly do because I don't love me, don't think I am good enough and certainly don't think I am worthy of being in good health), I could not stop the momentum of the healing snow ball and it knocking me blind.

    It has been draining and tiring. I don't sleep as soundly or as well. On the plus side, I do feel lighter, fresher and less toxic (despite being way more vulgar now than before). I keep up the physical activities (maybe not in full intensity) but enough to continuously put TMS to the test. I spend time in prayer discovering the God in me. And I remind myself "TMS is all emotional pain".

  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    eD, I would try to let up on myself if I were you. Don't spend a lot of time each day thinking about pain or psychological reasons for it. Try to spend more time each day enjoying yourself, taking your mind off feelings of not being good enough. I hope you can switch your mind to believing you are really a good person deserving of loving yourself.

    On the plus side, it's great that you spend time in prayer and are in touch with God inside you. He is there in the Holy Spirit, looking after you all the time.

    You just started the SEP program and it looks like you already have the knowledge that your pain is TMS emotional. Walk the SEP slowly, positively,
    not expecting immediate miracles. The healing is going to come.

    For sleeping better, remember deep breathing. And tell yourself you will think about all worries when you get up in the morning. In bed, think of places that you can be that are warm and sunny and peaceful.
  5. Beamandme

    Beamandme New Member

    Journaling gets tougher each day. I struggle to journal because my journal list comprise events which I don't want to confront. People I don't want to send letters to. Personality traits I don't want to beat up on. It's seeming like I don't want to process and release the emotions and memories. I have gotten used to them. They comprise my environment and security. The extra burdens and negativity and repressed feelings. I am fearful of rocking the boat. Of new or uncertainty. Of not being in control. At the same time, there is pressure to get it right. to finish the program. get the job done. read up on mindfulness. meditate. do the daily exercise. pray. speak to the unconscious. neglect the pain. maintain self-control. not think structural. live normally. be self critical with dropping coins on the floor, fumbling with wallet at checkout, creating saliva bubbles when talking, being incoherent in conversations, not having answers to questions, tripping over etc.

    the conversations in my brain daily is taxing. I am self critical because I fall way short of my expectations of a person who's calm, cool, in control and altogether in place. I hold that ideal and each instance i behave other wise, the self critic beats down on me with comments like : you have just got to be kidding me. you cannot possibly be that dumb a duck! you cannot be such a all over the shop fumbler! you sound like an idiot talking nonsense! watch you stupid saliva when talking, people are going to use an umbrella when conversing with you. are you are retard or what? pls get your act straight.

    since starting this SEP, I've had to deal with more head conversations, objectives, criticisms, pain, anger, plans and sheer noise. I wish to simply stop, listen to quiet music and read a simple book - pain, worry and thought free. Simple peace, stillness and silence. SEP is like a full time job on top of a full time job and family. i can't breathe from the noise and activity in my head.

    even when i am consciously aware that i am calm and in control and moving forward. i am beginning to realize that it's a delusion. i think behind the delusion, it's turmoil. perhaps I was already pain free successful after reading Dr Sarno's books. but i came looking for more trouble and distractions in SEP. like I wanted the pain and fear and anxiety back.

    this is truly mind boggling. loosing ground but hanging on! eD
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    eD, I'm sorry it is so rough for you with all the activity in your head.
    Maybe try slowing down in the SEP. Just 15 minutes a day until you can get up to half an hour.
    Don't spend as much time thinking about your pain or the emotional causes of it.
    Try to spend more time in pleasant distractions.

    Keep using deep breathing to relax.
  7. Beamandme

    Beamandme New Member

    I've been on and off SEP. Generally taking it slow. The ache is moving all over and still not giving up. It's becoming tough and I am loosing confidence. A week back and I could only think of physiological. Anytime an ache and I will go looking for a stressor. Never crossed my mind that it was structural. Well these last couple of days and I am digressing back to thoughts of structure. Going back to back exercises in the guise of stretching just for general well being. I am going back to the crutches.

    I am into day 15 of the program. The pain is moving about and I am loosing confidence. The shoulder sure hurts major. Lower back is sore with aches in butts, chin, front thigh, hips etc. Once moment its left, than its right. Why doesn't the subconscious give up, even after having been found out. I used to laugh at it, and thinking how dumb the subconscious is. One trick pony just throwing the same crap continuously.

    I have now come to see the rationale behind that. Just keep going at it and sooner or later, the walls of Jericho will come tumbling down. Well, it's beating me and my walls are begin to tremor.

    On a brighter note, I have resume physical activity. Building up on the frequency, but taking it easy on the intensity of each session. YaY!

    Journaling is tough. I have so much deep seated rage. But I am hanging tough.

    Thank you Walt!
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Beamandme. I believe you're doing everything right. You say you have "much deep seated rage." That's why your subconscious is continuing the pain. Journaling can be tough, but it's essential in discovering those repressed emotions.

    It's great that you've resumed physical activity. That's as good for the spirit as it is for the body.

    The Walls of Jericho are going to tumble down for you. Keep believing that.

    Try to enjoy the holiday weekend. We all have so much to be grateful for, even though our country isn't perfect.
    I think of the soldiers who were injured in this terrible endless war and how brave they are in their recovery efforts.

    Keep deep breathing... inhale through the nose to the count of 4, hold for 4, then exhale for 4 through the mouth.
    It's profoundly relaxing.

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