1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day 10 Day 10 Forum Posting

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by jgray01, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. jgray01

    jgray01 New Member

    Hello everyone,

    Today, i'm supposed to post about how i'm doing with the treatment and if I have doubts.

    Honestly, i'm pretty frustrated right now. When I first read Sarno's book, I got rid of the pain in my feet and neck within two weeks. The only pain that persisted (although decreased) was my lower back. I was able to start jogging a few days a week and doing some yoga. I thought that my back pain would continue to dissipate over time. I completely believed in this theory and understood the concepts that got rid of my other physical pain, so why not my back? I thought that I would be in the home stretch by now.

    It has been two months since I read the book. My back pain is now in full force, back to 80% of the pain. That's when I started this structure program 10 days ago. I had to back off from yoga and running and even sitting for my meditations causes me extreme pain now. As you can tell, i'm focusing on the physical again. I sit there and try to think about all the psychological factors that could be causing the pain, but I don't really see a correlation. It's strictly based on whether or not I attempt any physical activity like stretching or yoga and then it takes about a week for the pain to decrease again. I've also tried telling my pain/mind that it can't stop me from exercising because I know there's nothing wrong with my back, and I try and do the yoga anyways. Usually, I have to stop after 2-3 minutes. This may be taking the wrong approach and by typing this on the forum, I feel like i'm reinforcing it.

    Unfortunately, i've gone from 100% confidence in the program to about 90%. I just keep reminding myself that a month ago, I was able to jog short distances and do a little yoga with only moderate pain.

    One thing that has stuck with me was in yesterday's reading. Alan Gordon said, "I am not advocating that you attempt to ignore the pain." I think that i've been trying to do this. I try to think about the psychological factors, and then I try to distract myself from the pain and pretend it's not there. I go on with whatever activity that I was doing and when I think, "ouch this hurts", I distract myself again.

    I'm just feeling burnt out at this point. Luckily, I have 32 more days to go :)

    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. jgray01

    jgray01 New Member

    One more question. What specifically do you recommend that I tell myself when sitting and trying to do meditations. I know it's stupid that my back causes me pain when sitting on a padded yoga mat. Sitting like that should not cause discomfort because there is nothing wrong with my back. Plus, I look forward to my meditations! It's relaxing and I can clear my mind. I couldn't think of anything psychological that could cause my pain during it. Do I push through it? How should I redirect my thoughts in this circumstance?
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    The frustration is keeping the pain in your back, wanting it to be gone by now is also keeping it there, you're not supposed to have a time limit on your healing, this is called being outcome independent and you're not doing that.
    As long as you keep up with the time and stay frustrated at your progress you will continue to be in pain.
    Lose your frustration. Learn to meditate 2 to 3 minutes over time but stop getting ill, judging or criticizing this pain or frustration cause you haven't fully recovered yet, this is a tactic of the tms to keep you in pain.
    Knowing the strategy of tms is important so you can heal ok so know your journey well.

    Why not, because you are timing your recovery, don't time your recovery, let it just happen when it happens ok.

    You don't need to exercise right now, right now you need to get your reactions and frustrations, your stressors and tension under control ok. You can meditate lying on your back if need be but the most important part is letting go of all the stressful reactions. Its why your getting frustrated that is keeping you in pain and again 2 months is just the first phase, you need to do this till you recondition and reconditioning takes longer than 2 months, you have just begun, you have evidence that this works, take the baby steps and lose the anger, let all the small steps add up to your completion over time ok without keeping up with the time.

    Everyone has a small phase at the beginning where they feel better and your not exempt from that, now your back to the journey, your doing well, stay course , you will heal with good faith just like everyone else has healed. None of us had 100 percent faith all the way till they healed all the way, remember that, your 90 percent is fine, you're doing great.
    The pain is there and there's the cure in knowledge therapy but you have to stay with the program, the pain will leave as you recondition, simple as that.
    Your way to early in your recovery to be feeling burnt out, you have to dig your heels in and really give this a go ok. Just take it one day at a time and stop thinking into the future which creates fear based thought - another pillar that creates the pain along with anger.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  4. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    You have pain in your back, there is something wrong with your back, its called tms which is real pain so dont set to do your meditations if it hurts, lie down and meditate if you can ok
    As said above, your reactions to your current pressures is more important to address at this point than meditations but if you can, Im Calm , Relaxed, Patient and Confident are the best words to use when you do your meditations. Thanks, let me know what you think .
  5. jgray01

    jgray01 New Member

    Hello Herbie,

    Thank you for the detailed reply. I really needed the blunt feedback!

    First, I just saw that you had written a book "God does not want you to be in pain." I plan to order it. Even as a Christian, I've definitely struggled with understanding why there is so much pain and destruction in the world. Coming to terms with the fact that God wants to trust him when we're in pain and that he doesn't always choose to just snap us out of it is a difficult concept for many. And I obviously struggle with trusting Him and his timing based off my first post in this thread! I look forward to reading your insight on it.

    After reading Sarno's books, I had the impression that the norm is for people to get rid of their TMS right after reading the books with only 20% of people needing to go to therapy. Since I completely believed in the TMS theory, saw a TMS doctor, and had a few sessions of psychotherapy, I thought that I would be 100% by now after doing everything possible. I'm glad to hear that this is not always the case.

    I may have jumped back into exercise way too soon and I realized that I was pressuring myself to do physical activity once I was able. On days that I didn't do activity, my back and shoulders didn't hurt nearly as bad. On days that I didn't do activity, they would feel much better! I think I felt lazy by not doing any exercise, especially since I telework and sit on my butt all day. I also told myself that i'm not going to let the pain deter me from these activities because one of the daily reminders was to start doing physical activity again once the pain started to go away. This is where i'm still confused. Based on your reply, I shouldn't do anything that hurts me more or puts pressure on myself, correct? I had been telling myself "If it hurts to sit in the chair this way, I need to keep doing it or else i'm giving in to the pain! Sitting in a chair should not cause pain, since there's nothing wrong with my back." And then I try to think about the stressors and negative thoughts going on in my life that could be causing pain. And I sit in the chair until it's too unbearable and I have to move Is that the completely wrong idea?

    I also wanted to confirm that I have the correct way of thinking in some other circumstances when my pain hurts. My pain also increases after a night of going out with friends and when i'm sitting in church. These are two pretty consistent triggers. When examining the psychological issues, I should realize that my pain could be trying to keep me away from the thoughts such as, "I feel guilty for drinking so much with my friends." "I'm stressed about all the of calories in alcohol because of my previous eating disorder." "I feel like i'm not a good enough Christian sometimes". "I skipped a daily devotional." "I do not have enough time to join the church life group I'd like to." And by understanding and meditating on those thoughts, I'm getting to the root cause, correct? I don't even necessarily have to resolve those issues (although it would be helpful)?

    I will definitely work on being more care-free about the pain. Now that I understand two months are "baby steps" in terms of my healing, it's a relief! I had the impression people healed much quicker then that on average. I'm just thankful for all the healing that has taken place already and i'm content with however long it takes knowing that the pain will be gone at sometime!


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