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 16: Yesterday’s epiphany and today’s answer

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by cookieheals, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. cookieheals

    cookieheals Peer Supporter

    Hi all,

    To answer the question of have I told people they TMS diagnosis- I told my sister, told my mum, and the guy Tony’s Myers whose teaching helped me accept that I was healed. I don’t like talking about it though because they keep asking me- my mum and sister ‘how’s your leg?’ And bringing the focus back to the body. I told my sister, who is a believer herself, to understand that accepting that I am healed and asking me to check on my leg are incongruous so please just stop it. You’re taking me back to focusing on the flesh, as my faith tells me, and not on the spirit.

    Yesterday’s epiphany!! I went to Black Friday, and walked for 11 hours. The last time I walked for 11 hours was in February, before everything went south. It dawned on me at some point during the day that my knee was not hurting, like at all. I ‘checked’ as I walked and was like oh my gosh. Nothing! As I was buying myself new shoes (since I had thrown out ALL my shoes) because I thought that I was going to have to wear special shoes for the next while, I had to breathe a lot- which is interesting because today’s article was about how to unlearn your pain and it talked about self talk, *breathing* and mindfulness. So there I was, trying heels for the first time in over a year, since the supposed toe diagnosis.

    Ugh, my toe hurt! But I kept saying ‘You are healed already. That pain is just the TMS. I know it’s hard to believe but that’s just your brain’ and I had to breathe pretty deeply. The moment passed and the pain went away. The pain that is supposedly structural according t the stupid doctors!!!

    Then came buying running shoes. I was at Dillard’s and the guy was like ‘test these out’, go for a run. He didn’t know my struggles, and was basically treating me like a normal person. Fear kicked in. Would I feel pain? But I didn’t want to tell him so off I went around the store. It was uncomfortable but I told myself that’s just the TMS. It also wasn’t as bad as it used to be- remember how i’d tell you guys it was a sharp pain on the inside of my knee as I started to run? None of that.

    Anyway, at some point in the store, the heel store, when I was in some pain, my mind started focusing on my body again and i started panicking because I realized that the freedom was in not being preoccupied, but the brain kept wanting to think about the body. I got a little frantic and had to shout ‘ stop it!!!!’ Because I didn’t want to reignite pain by being so pre-occupied with my body. Baseball65’s words sunk in - he said to me in a previous post that TMS is like OCD of the body- and I realized what he meant then. The thoughts kept coming back- how’s the knee, how’s the toe and I had to keep saying shut up shut up shut UP!!!

    When leaving the mall, still pain free, I could feel my brain wanting to focus on my body, nothing now distracting me. As the cab lady spoke to me, my mind was free enough to listen to her and worry at the same time. It was hard. I kept trying to focus on her but m brain kept wanting to think about my body. I would pinch myself to try to being myself back. I want to add here that I had noticed that the brain was worrying about the body the day before, my toe, even though there was no pain. So regardless of pain, the brain was still worrying.

    It was anxiety provoking- the battle of focus. When I got home I distracted myself by showing my aunt everything I had bought. Then, the shower. I literally had to slap myself in the shower. And as I was doing that, I realized first of all, I don’t want to anger my inner child and second of all, I need to practice mindfulness meditation.

    I told myself this statement over and over ‘I am healed, my body is at ease, so there is no reason why I should consider my body at all’ And so as I wrote in mydiary, these were the epiphanies

    1. Yes, the repressed anger caused the pain. But it is the pre-occupation that keeps it going. I’m not sure Dr. Sarno put it that way. Alan, did though.
    2. The reason the pre-occupation is happening is because the mind itself is an unsafe place. That’s why when I was shopping and go completely engaged in what a I was going I had no pain, but when I was left to my own devices, the pain came back. The pain is to distract me from my mind. Once something else is distracting me, 100%, it goes away, but my mind, because of the current stresses, personality traits and undealt with trauma, is still unsafe
    3. The goal is to build safety for my brain. To trust that if it allows me to look at the contents my mind, it will be okay and it doesn’t need to be afraid. This happens through continuing my faith in God, and deepening my trust in Him, because He is my ultimate safety. On my own obviously I will panic, but by trusting Him I will relax and find peace, no matter the obstacles of life.
    4. Ignore the body induced brain sensation lies at all costs!!!!! I wrote that down in caps lock. Ignore it!!!! Not just ‘think psychological’ but ‘don’t ever think about your body’ like EVER!!!! My brain is obsessed with my body. Today morning as I woke up, I had to force myself to think thoughrs like ‘now that I am in complete ease what am I going to do with my wonderful day?’
    5. If I am experiencing pain, thinking psychologically does not mean relieving trauma. I don’t think I understood the concept so I was forcing myself to keep thinking about my feelings during painful times. I don’t want to to think about that!!! So obviously TMS. But SteveO said that it isn’t so much bringing to light the feelings in so much as it is discovering why I repressed them in the first place. Now that, I want to think about. Less threatening to my already anxious brain. So today as I went about my day, I would think about ‘why did I repress my emotions this year?’ And ‘what was the first emotion I ever repressed?’ And that question took me back to growing up with 2 enotionally difficult parents, 1 an alcoholic. I asked myself’ what would have been the threat of expressing my rage?’ And I thought- they could have abandoned me. Been annoyed by me and stopped loving me. And then i would have died because I had no one to take care of me. Bam. Years later and still struggling with that same thought process.
    6. TMS journaling is not to end the pain. If I think about it this way the pain will persist. I have to ignore the body at all costs so if I keep journaling as a way of thinking about my body, then I make recovery hard. According to my faith, Jesus has already healed me. My body is completely at ease. I am well. So the journaling is not to make the pain go away but simply to understand why it began in the first place. This is the reason anyone would keep journaling even without pain. It’s a curiosity of the self that found it necessary to create pain, not a way out.

    And here is the epiphany of all!!

    7. TMS is not a disease or a disorder. It is a coping mechanism. That’s why, even post healing, I still had pain. It is the brain’s way of coping with trauma, and stress, although not the greatest one. The pain is our savior! Otherwise we would have possibly harmed ourselves or others in times of great distress. Those of us who had to cope with intolerable situations in life young in our lives are more likely to get it because it triggers the coping mechanisms we used as children. Repress to survive, repress to survive! Therefore, since it is a coping mechanism and not a disorder, the only way to be ‘cured’ is to realize that it is just a coping mechanism and the fear has no basis, AND, get new coping mechanisms! For me, this means I need to start practicing mindfulness to stop this OCD obsession. It means self talk if any pain starts to remind myself that yes it is real, but meaningless and then quickly move to the psychology. So we have to ‘renew our minds’ as the Bible says, and ignore, ignore the body at all costs


    So how is this going for me? My body keeps trying to create new pains, and I’m ignoring. It means that I’ve started doing things that literally cause me pain, and breathing and doing self talk as I’m doing them to remind myself all’s good in the good. It means I’ve been saying ‘stop it!!! I’m not thinking about you!!’ It also means I’ve realized that I don’t have to be afraid of the thought that wants to focus on my body. I can just notice it, like mindfulness, and let it go. I don’t have to dance with it. I can simply think ‘I’m thinking a thought on my body’ and move on. It means I’m not mad at the pain anymore. It is the only coping mechanism my brain could find to help me survive. Without the pain, I would have probably hurt myself and been gone a long long time ago. So I can even be grateful to my brain for trying its best. I can actually hug myself and say thank you. It also means that now that I know I’m just coping and nothing is actually wrong, I can breathe. Did meditation today morning, woke up with anxiety (since I started tackling repressed fear anxiety has shot Up) and I just breathed and listened to my heart beat. Building safety for my brain is vital, and the next step. Not the pain. As far as issues go, the pain is already gone. The battle is over. It’s just trying to keep me alive, and I will prove to my brain that I am okay. I can keep me alive. And as I do that, I know that the brain will let go and believe me too.

    To conclude these epiphanies, I was reminded of a bible verse that said in Romans 4:19 Ampc

    And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:

    This is about Abraham who was promised a son by God.

    However, at some point in Genesis 17:16-17, Abraham doubts in his heart saying,

    And I will bless her and give you a son also by her. Yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.

    17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said in his heart, Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a son?

    So then I thought, why is Paul saying he didn’t doubt when there’s literally proof in the same bible that shows him laughing in his heart? So I went down a rabbit hole of finding the original translations of the Bible. And I found that the word ‘consider’ in regards to Abraham doubting did not have an adequate translation in English, but leaned more on the ‘dwelling on’ than ‘doubt’, and that that word is usually meant to say that the person did not take those thoughts to heart, ponder them deeply, and fix their whole self on them.

    So in the same way, I don’t need to consider my body. Yes, i can feel something here and there, but I don’t need to doubt, as in dwell on, worry about, draw a painting about, release an album about, or even go into a deep prayer about (though this is useful in asking for strength to keep standing). I can just notice the doubt, or the pain, feel it, and waft it away like a fly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
    Lizzy likes this.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi cookieheals,

    What a wonderful post. I can see you're excited for good reason about your progress.

    Many great insights, and I want to say something too:

    Your successes and insights will begin ---are beginning, to take you out of the mind-body symptom syndrome you've been in. The insights and success go deep, and work where you cannot see them or control them necessarily. (It might help to see this as God's work in you, God's grace.) The healing is in motion. So, take confidence that there is not a perfect way to do this, or that you need to find and hold solid ground here. I want to encourage you to inquire into what makes sense, where you're stuck, etc., but I discourage you from thinking you need to find the best way and cling to it, improve it. You're doing plenty just with some great basic practices. I say all this to reassure you.

    Here are some tidbits I love:

    Yes. I get that you're observing a system doing its thing, and not being swept off your feet.

    Yes. As I read this, I can feel your understanding and compassion for your personal human condition, and later:

    ...having compassion for the biological systems' coping mechanisms, which are natural and don't need to be fought or rejected. Beautiful understandings here!!

    To me, you're developing a deep mindfulness, an ability to see the components work in you and not amplify. Beautiful!

    Andy
     
  3. cookieheals

    cookieheals Peer Supporter

    Thank you Andy! Years ago, in 2016 when I first developed TMS back symptoms, you got me through. Your daily responses were so encouraging, and though I was only here for 18 days last time before feeling fine, I'll never forget you. Thank you!
     
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    You're welcome cookieheals. I am glad I could help, and I am glad you recovered before. I don't recall your moniker from the past. I must have forgotten.

    Sometimes when TMS returns it is asking you to do work at a deeper level. It seems like you're doing that!

    Andy
     
    Hedger likes this.
  5. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Checklist: thoughts, nerves, self care
    I totally get the body scanning when trying new shoes, they feel so wobbly until you break them in!
     

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