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 3 & 4

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by nadia, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    Day 3~Question To Ponder: When was the last time you exercised or did another physical activity? What was this activity? How did it make you feel physically and emotionally? If it is has been a while since you last exercised, why?

    The two physical activities I enjoy most are walking and swimming. Before the SI I was walking 45-60 minutes daily year round (including in our -35F winter weather). This all ended four years ago after visiting a Medical Institute in the Baja's (and spending over $7000 for diagnosis and detox program) where my hip 'popped out' during a swedish massage session. I have been unable to walk consistently since that time. I may be able to walk for a few days and then the hip starts going and I can't sleep. So I quit walking, let it rest and try again. I've been in this cycle for 4 years and 2 months. All medical tests and various health care professionals I've consulted have not identified any physiological cause for the hip pain.

    I last walked on May 27th! On May 28th my right knee was bugging me because I wanted to keep walking I decided to try a knee support. On the morning of the 29th I put the support on my knee and within a couple hours my knee 'went out'. I ended up using crutches to get around that day as I couldn't put weight on my knee.

    This was when I began to re-read Healing Back Pain. I was inspired to remove the knee support and decided to ditch the crutches as it was obvious that this was TMS issue. I have had several painful days and going up and down the stairs to do laundry (multiple times a day) has been difficult but I felt I needed to push through. Up until a couple days ago my knee was regularly 'buckling' and I was cautious in movement. Although I still feel some residual weakness, I am hopeful to start walking in the next couple days. The past 24 hours we have had tonnes of rain and wild winds but once the storm passes I hope to get outside and do a short walk.

    I haven't had a swim in several months as I've not had a vehicle. The pool I use is about a 1/2 hour drive from our town (we do have an outdoor pool which is open now until the end of August, but it is heavily chlorinated which I don't like). My husband's new work car arrived last week, so we are back up to 3 vehicles. :) This week I plan to get to the rec center at least twice. I LOVE swimming and always feel so great after a swim!

    Day 4~Question To Ponder: What was the most disheartening thing a doctor has told you about your symptoms? In what ways have you kept that in your mind?

    This is interesting for me to ponder. The most disheartening thing(s) I've been told by doctors are: (1) "these symptoms are some weird psycho-somatic manifestation and not physiological in origin." This from a neurologist I saw some 17 years ago when this dis-ease began, and, (2) "we have done every test possible, all your results are normal. Have you considered that your pain and various physical complaints are being caused by spiritual &/or emotional issues?" This just recently from my MD of 17 years who has been a constant support for me.

    When I consulted with the Neurologist some 17 years ago and he made this statement I was devastated. How dare he suggest that my pain and debilitation was 'all in my mind'. He lacked professionalism and empathy in communicating. He made it very clear that he felt I was wasting his time and told me to go find a Psychiatrist and get some Lithium. More than disheartening, I was devastated by this 'diagnosis' as I was hoping for a treatment and cure.

    My doctor's recent comments about the link between spiritual/emotional health and physical health was disheartening as I've invested thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) into trying various therapies to 'heal' my body. She commented on my 'obsession' with my physical state and what the impact has been in regard to simply living life. I was hurt by her words and felt betrayed and I immediately began to investigate other doctors and therapies, thinking I needed to find someone new who might be able to help me.

    Today I feel grateful for these God-incidents and see that they were truly signposts on my journey pointing to TMS and this forum. It's amazing to me that two of my most disheartening moments regarding my health were in reality moments of truth and now give me great hope that I can be free from chronic pain! I am inspired that God has His healing hand on me as I move forward in the program.

  2. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Wow Nadia:

    That must have hurt. My doctor could care less about me, but that's another story. The best part is that you've finally found some support and reading material that will hopefully get you out of this!

    I love swimming too. Haven't swam in a long time. You are inspiring me to go to the pool - also in the next town.

    And I love walking. Haven't done THAT in awhile either. Too much going on right now. But YOU are an inspiration to me.

    Let's get at it!

  3. Annie

    Annie New Member

    I have been afraid to exercise because I think I will possibly hurt myself and then not be able to do my day. Hard place to be, I am in awe of you guys that are out there doing it. Someday......
  4. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    BG, I'll let you know how my swim goes, and look forward to hearing about yours! Lol!

    Annie, I hear you on being afraid to exercise, I am terrified that if I try walking my knee will give out. Swimming doesn't cause pain for me, so that is an easy thing for me to do! Baby-steps...
  5. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can relate, Annie. This was me not long ago. It was not only exercise, it was a whole load of other things I was afraid of such as carrying the vacuum clearner up the stairs. It seems like there are two issues here, the first being fear of exercise. It's natural to be afraid but fear will keep you rooted to the spot. If you have been told by the Drs that you are okay to move, then there's no time like the present. I really wish I could come take your hand and walk along with you. It'll be okay. A scene in a film came to mind when I read your post. I think it was from Heidi where a disabled character (possibly Heidi?) is on a hill somewhere and she gets up from her wheelchair and starts to walk. Suddenly there is a tremendous outpouring of emotion from her. I don't think I understood all the emotional stuff when I first watched the film as a child, but I certainly can now. See what emotions come up for you.

    When I became incapacitated by sciatica, I googled it, as you do. Thankfully I found more than one site stated that resting at first was the thing to do but not for too long. The advice was to go back to work or to your normal activities as soon as humanely possible. I took this advice. As soon as the pain was no longer at levels 8-10, I got out there. I had to wake up early to give myself time to straigthen up, literally. When I first got up my upper body was practically leaning at a 45 Degree angle. Over the next couple of hours I would manage to ease myself into a more upright stance. In the process there was much venting of anger and crying, but I was determined. Fortunately my job was so compelling that I couldn't focus on anything else, including pain, once I got stuck in.

    The second issue ties in directly with what Alan Gordon was talking to you about the other night. Guilt is part of the 'ammunition' that our 'internal terrorist' uses against us. I look forward to hearing about your progress.
  6. Annie

    Annie New Member

    Thank you yb44:

    I love what you've said here about getting up the nerve to exercise again. I tried a long time ago, before I knew about TMS. I was in agony for many days. So this has kept me from trying again. Plus there is the time issue......

    I'll try and write more today about what I learned from Alan and thank you for the response.
  7. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    Yesterday my husband and I went for a walk in the river valley. It was a gorgeous sunny day here, +27C! I was apprehensive about my knee as it is still 'touchy'. We decided to walk for 30 minutes on the trails. Once I was out of the car I was excited to be in the trees, hearing the birds singing and the insects buzzing, smelling the moss and fragrant blossoms. It was so glorious! But within minutes I felt my right hip 'pop' and felt that pain shoot down my SI. I felt immediate anger and my brain shouted, "Get out of here! You are not not wanted or needed! And you are not going to take this away from me!" I was shocked by this as it happened so spontaneously. I was even more shocked when the pain instantly vanished! We had an awesome walk and I felt much joy. I'd love to know more about how or what this was?

    yb44: Your story is sooooo inspiring! Thank you!!!!
    I don't remember googling sciatica. I tend to stay away from stuff like that as I can freak myself out by reading medical information. I appreciate very much learning that resting at first is good...but not for too long. (I've pretty much rested for 4 years!) This makes sense to me and will assist me in being consistent with exercise as I move forward.

    I need to learn more about this as I have ridiculous amounts of guilt.

    Annie, I would love to know more about Alan Gordon. I did see there is a link to a call with him, but it was long and I haven't had a chunk of time to listen yet. Yesterday as I was reading over various threads I came across a post with some of your story, and was so inspired by your courage! Thank you.

    ~ N
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think a lot of people go through this. For me, I felt it was disheartening to have doctors tell me they couldn't do anything for my symptoms, which I think is pretty similar to what you went through. It can also be frustrating to learn about TMS, especially after spending so much money on traditional treatments. It is easy to feel like we wasted so much time and money on treatments that failed. The important thing though is to understand that TMS is fundamentally different and offers us hope that we will fully recover.

    It is interesting that you found it disheartening whent he doctor said your symptoms may be psychosomatic. That term has gained such a negative connatation in our society. It is so bad that the American Psychosomatic Association is actually going to change their name and drop the term psychosomatic, because so many people view it negatively. Part of this is because doctors are not really skilled at explaining mind body approach in an effective way, partly because they are unware of TMS.
  9. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Honestly if I hadn't learned about TMS on my own I might have had this same reaction...I probably would have felt like I was being dismissed as having a problem "that's all in my head" (which is of course not what TMS really is).

    Yep, "psychosomatic" seems to be a triggering word for a lot of people (as it was for me for a long time). There's still such a huge stigma with anything psychological. It's really unfortunate--I think about how people will go on at length describing their latest gorey medical procedures and no one cares, but if someone mentions therapy most people will get uncomfortable.
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  10. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is what you call a breakthrough, Nadia. Congratulations! When I read my first Sarno book and he talked about talking to your brain, I thought, 'I am so not doing that. I'd feel silly.' After continued problems I read another one of his books and one day soon after I wound up telling off my brain. It happened spontaneously as it did with you. When you have these breakthroughs you really start to accept that the pain is benign and you now have the strength to make some positive changes in your life.

    I agree googling symptoms can set many of us back as it can reinforce a structural explanation for our pain. It can make us fear, obsess and doubt which will only exacerbate symptoms. However if I hadn't googled 'sciatica' I wouldn't have found out about TMS and this supportive community of peers. :)
    nadia likes this.
  11. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    Hi Forest, I think what was most upsetting with this particular Dr was the dismissive and condescending way he spoke to me. He was abrasive and rude and told me point blank that I was wasting his time and what I needed was 'a shrink.'

    If he had taken the time to speak sincerely with compassion, the potential is there for a different reality. I was very open to mind-body connection having studied psychology in University for a couple years (I did not finish my degree...something I may do in the future). Most of my symptoms back then were numbness, tingling, buzzing, dizziness, and so on. My biggest concern was that I had MS. In fact, over the years I've had little pain (up until this sciatica). My doctor referred me to another Neurologist and I did have an MRI which came back normal.

    Once I knew the MRI came back 'normal' and with the help of a little book, Fibromyalgia & Muscle pain, I began to talk my way through the various symptoms that would come and go. Sometimes (and this is many years ago now) when the tingling (burning) sensations would flare up, I'd be overcome with anxiety and I'd re-read the book, reassure myself that this was all 'normal', part of Fibro, not life-threatening and the symptom would stop.

    A few months later, I found a doctor in a city nearby who worked with FMS/CFS/ME clients. He was an occupational health doc by day, but evenings and weekends he would do private consults for clients. He was somewhat of a local expert on FMS/CFS as his wife had this diagnosis. His approach was to reduce symptoms through empowerment and awareness. For about six months I saw him every couple weeks and he taught me how to become aware of emotions (especially anxiety and anger) and various techniques to manage them. Working with him I had rapid improvement, going from about a 4 (energy level) to a 9.5. I walked daily 45 - 90 minutes which made a huge difference in regard to my emotional well being and outlook in general. As I had three small children at that time (6, 4 and 2) and operated a day-home, I lived for my daily walk once my husband got home.

    I also had great improvements with reduction of various symptoms and decreased anxiety/anger and so on with the 12 step group I belonged to and through various spiritual practices. I am catholic and one of the practices I took up, after reading a book on Healing by Father Francis McNutt, was frequenting the reconciliation. I had amazing healing experiences.

    In retrospect, I realize that some of the roads I've traveled have touched on aspects TMS. The times I've been active in exploring emotions, journaling, and practicing reconciliation and forgiveness with myself and others are the times I've functioned more optimally (both health-wise and emotionally).

    Forest, you sure nailed this one! I have been thinking a lot about this for the past few days. Almost 5 years ago, we re-mortgaged our house to have the funding for me to chase my dream of 'optimal' wellness. My husband, who turns 50 this year, has been calculating our financial reality and it's grim! We have 21 years left on our mortgage. The reality is that for 17 years it's been all about me: how I feel, my energy, my allergies, my fatigue, my pain, my self-worth, my anxieties.

    And I see that over the past 4-5 years things have gone down hill for me in regard to my emotional and physical health. I could go on, but for now will leave it here. (In the past week I've pinpointed several key issues that occurred 4 years ago when I began to experience low back pain (for the first time) and the sciatica.)

    This is so true! I will be giving my doctor a copy Dr Sarno's book. She is very open to learning and over the years we have shared various health books back and forth. I know in the past that she has recommended books I've shared with her to other patients in her care. I think she will be very receptive to TMS (mind-body).

    This week I have walked several times, including a 2.5 mile walk yesterday, and gotten out on my bike (something I haven't done in years). I had hoped to swim, but it didn't happen due to vehicles needing tires and tune-ups and so forth. I am in the city tomorrow and am going to try to get to the rec center. Interestingly, other than a brief twinge in my right SI when I did my first walk (and got right ticked off, telling it to 'get lost'), the pain has been much less than I expected (based on past experience). In the past when I've exercised, the pattern has been that I wake up around 3am with pain in my back, hip, leg and can't get comfortable. I think I did experience a twinge a couple nights ago, but immediately told myself that this was TMS and went back to sleep.

    Thanks for your insight and feedback Forest, which has assisted me in gaining deeper understanding of some of the things that I've been carrying. I feel a somewhat ambivalent this morning. On the one hand I desperately want to be free from the tyranny of living with chronic illness; but on the other hand I am struggling with the awareness that because of my 'health' challenges these past 17 years, our financial reality is bleak. And more than our financial reality, my children have grown up in the shadow of 'how is mummy today?'.

    This is a little overwhelming, right now!
  12. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    I am so grateful that you 'googled sciatica' and shared on this thread as it was a light bulb moment for me when I read:

    I have thought of this many times the past week prior to and during exercise. It's part of my strategy to convince my brain that all is well with my back, hips and knee. So thank you for this gift!

    ~ Nadia
  13. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi Nadia:

    I too have SI problems. Alan mentioned it was a "weak spot" so my anxiety camps out there as pain. Ick. I am trying to work on my anxiety issues but don't have the bravery you've shown in taking those walks! But it is inspiring to me. Part of my issue right now is time. I simply have too much to do and haven't seen the beach in over a week. But I have to admit to taking pain meds before I go because of the fear of pain. Fear. The Great Wall.

    But then I mowed our lawn (without pain medication) and it felt OK. I was very aware of my back while doing it. So the next step is to (get the time) to head to the beach. I know I can do this and YOU are a great inspiration.

    Money issues can bring on a lot of anxiety as well. But you need to let that go. Money is simply paper anyway, and the best things in life are your kids and the people you love. Those are what take me out of anxiety.

    You're doing great. I'm amazed that with Fibro you are able to do what you do.

    nadia likes this.
  14. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much, BG, for the encouragement! I love your posts, you have so much insight into TMS and are so gentle and kind in your replies. I really need to listen to Alan, I keep seeing comments from others that I connect with. Anxiety, guilt, shame, inner terrorist...key words for moi!

    Way to go on the grass mowing, that is great that you didn't take the pain medication. I can relate to the whole time issue. Too much to do...too little time! The past year I've been very blessed to be able to step back from many commitments. Last year (2011) my word for the year was 'be'. I did some work with a counselor focused on learning 'to be' and not 'to do'. I think I mentioned elsewhere that for that period (about 6 months) I did not have back pain. We did a lot of emotional work around allowing myself to sit and 'be' with my emotions, going into the emotion and observing what it looked like, felt like, sounded like and so forth. I realize now that there are TMS elements to the work we did together. At the time I believed that the disappearance of the back pain was due to weekly acupuncture treatments. But now I see in reality it the pain left when I was doing the emotional work. Interesting stuff!

    Honestly I don't feel that I've been brave regarding exercise, just plain pissed off. I LOVE my walks, I LOVE being outside, and I LOVE the how I feel so uplifted, energized and strong when I exercise! For over four years I've not had consistent exercise as it seemed to be a trigger for the back/si/knee/joint pain, and I've been moping and living in pity. What I've learned from Dr Sarno and on the wiki makes sense to me and the scales are coming off my eyes. I don't like being duped....and by golly, my brain has 'duped' me good. I am so done with that, lol!

    I have miles to go yet. I am learning that all these nerve issues (tingling, buzzing, numbness), digestive issues (low stomach acid/reflux, nausea, food sensitivities, IBS/colitis), dizziness, brain fog, visual disturances, Reynaud's syndrome and so forth...are all TMS! Wow, my brain has been working super hard to repress stuff.

    Money, as in lack of, is a BIG issue for me.I have so much guilt and regret for the impact that my decisions have negatively impacted our financial security. Our house is half torn apart because we started reno's (which was why we remortgaged our house) and I got carried away with creating a healthy home (installed high efficiency furnace, whole-house hospital-grade air purifier, whole-house water purification system, organic bedding, etc) that used up a big chunk of our home equity. Then our builder went bankrupt with the crash in 2008 and we lost our 50% deposit. As a result our main bathroom is mostly gutted and non-functional, we have plywood floors (I tore out all the carpet as I have severe dust mite allergies previously requiring shots) and our kitchen cupboards are crumbling apart (they are 35+ years and some kind of particleboard that is literally disintegrating. So everyday I live with the reminder that we used up all our home equity...and have no means to finish the reno's.

    Truthfully, I absolutely hate our house! I never wanted to move to this town and desperately want to move somewhere else. However, due to the state of our home we could not sell it right now with no main bathroom or flooring as our mortgage is higher than market value due to the crash in the economy. And we have quite a large credit card debt as well. This is one of the things I've discovered I have a lot of anger around.

    With three adult children (19-22) who are attend post-secondary and working to get established we would like to be able to assist them. I t was always our plan to purchase a condo near the university (which is about 45 minutes from our home) so they could live in the city. But because we took out all our home equity, that didn't happen.

    This is all very hard for my husband who is ultra frugal and works very hard to provide for us. He is very patient and hasn't carried anger toward me for our current financial situation. I have enough anger for both of us!

    I am jealous of you living near a beach! I love the sea and treasure opportunities when we can get to either the east or west coast. The salt air does something for me, I feel alive when I am near salt water. I hope you find time soon to be able to get there, even if you need to take your pain meds! The sea-air and rolling waves can be great therapy in working through emotions!

    Take care BG!

  15. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member


    My heart goes out to you. And I can totally relate. We are so broke we can't pay attention! (old boyfriend line) We're so close to going under it scares me most every day. I tell my husband I'll work my way through it, but we have a large amount of debt too. We also got caught up in the big crash and I had no idea it would go on this long.

    It must be tough to see your home everyday. I crashed over all our debt a few months back and now am putting out fires. I continue to keep myself first whenever possible. How am I to accomplish all I need to do when I'm in pain? The pain stems from the anxiety I currently face. But every morning, I try and remind myself that I'm first.

    Another tip is when I go to bed at night, I try and tell myself all the things I did that day - instead of "what's next?" My husband says I'm way too hard on myself and never give myself credit. Do you? Because it sounds to me like you're making progress. And this economy will get better. The house will be completed someday. Is there some small project you could do on your house so that you feel you're getting somewhere? Like painting a room? Taking your time with it?

    Our house is an old logging cabin. It has been renovated by former owners and we added on about 10 years ago. It is so funky - but we love the location. But I have rental houses (family inheritance - sort of) that need work that I can't do. I don't want to see them fall apart, and my renters are happy so I need to just ask for protection of the houses and hope for a good year. I never used the rental income for personal use until a few years ago. Now that bank account that had money for projects is dried up.

    Living on the west coast is nice but it's very crowded in the summer. I know I should be grateful for tourist business - but 75% of the year we have 1200 residents. That swells to over 20,000 people a day sometimes in the summer. I dislike this a lot and so try and go to the beach at dawn so nobody approaches me and asks a good place for breakfast.(insert eye roll here)

    Anyway - be kind to yourself, continue the work. You will get stronger and the financial answers will come. This is how I have to think - and perhaps it will work for you too.

    The most important ones here are me, my husband, my 15 year old kitty and my 11 month old kitty. They bring us joy and well, kind of run the house.

    Take good care and remember: you come first.

  16. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    Just listened to the webinar today. Very enlightening! Like Veronica, feeling feelings is HUGE for me.

    I am very sensitive and somewhat melancholic in temperament. As the oldest of 4, I had a lot of responsibility at an early age. (By age 10 I was preparing meals and caring for younger siblings after school until my parents arrived home from work.) I was/am a deep thinker, philosophical and idealistic. Both my parents were perfectionists (my Dad more than my Mum), had high expectations of us kids, and had/have OCD tendencies. My Dad had intense anxiety/anger issues which I picked up at a very early age. He often would 'freeze time' and abandon us emotionally through extended periods of silence. All four of us kids have had emotional issues stemming from abandonment, and also anxiety, depression, etc.

    I remember once around age 10 I was in a very 'black' place, (I can see myself standing in our kitchen) and my mom was frustrated with me and told me to 'snap out of it'. That I should go to my room and stay there until I could come out with a smile on my face. This incident captures my childhood experience and is where I learned to stuff the emotions down. I turned into a compulsive closet eater using food to soothe and nurture myself. I filled my body with junk foods (garbage) and have reaped the results. Today, although I've journalled about and feel that I've worked through these past memories from a forgiveness perspective, I realize that I am still using the same coping strategies and mechanisms.

    As to feeling my feelings, I am struggle with: (1) either identify the emotion as often I have no idea what is there, I just feel bad; or (2) am totally engulfed as emotion erupts from within and spews out everywhere.

    Through therapy I revisited the reality of my childhood. Of course as a child, I would have had no awareness of the dynamics which were playing out. BUT I was a barometer for all the emotion and it possessed me in a suffocating way. I carry that today...feeling it in my gut as I type. It is palpable, dark and intense. It is an out-of-control feeling of fear...a feeling that if only I could get it right, if only I was more, everything would be okay.

    Alan talked at some point in the call about our personality and that it isn't our circumstances but how we react to our circumstances. This is where I need to begin working.

    I see that I am still living in this fantasy world created as a young child that if I could just get it right or be enough, then we'd all be happy. And THIS is my sadness over our two oldest sons moving into the city for school/work, I feel devastated that we will never have the chance to 'get things right' to have 'harmony and joy' flooding our home, to create that perfect childhood that I so longed for as a little girl.

    Wow! Am I ever hard on myself! But I think I've also had this expectation of my husband. Thank God he is a very patient, kind and loving man. The other thing I learned from both my parents is blame, shame and guilt. Aaaarrrrggghhhhh!

    Where to from here!
  17. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter


    I want to thank you so much for taking part in the call with Alan. What a beautiful, generous woman you are! I related to many of the things you shared on the call and you continue to inspire and encourage me in the journey. Thank you.

    Yes!!! Because I am a stay-at-home mom (and work from home), I have the constant reminder of the choice we made to pull the equity out of our home to focus on my health. I have a deep inner need for security, peace and serenity. My woman's heart wants to create and give this to my husband and our kids...and to others who visit our home. And I feel like a failure.

    And I hate decorating, so the thought of painting a room, completely overwhelms me and makes me feel like I will suffocate if I have to do that, lol! My parents were constantly renovating our home. They LOVED D-I-Y projects and were always upgrading which created a lot of stress as my Dad was a major perfectionist. If things didn't go right, he would lose it. So my Mom really tried to everything in her power to make sure things went how he wanted. For me decorating and renovating is a hugely stressful thing and I want to hire others to take care of this for us. Which isn't a reality with our finances! Sigh...

    I am hard on myself. When I was going to the counselor last year I would joke about the 4 f's: "failure, fatally flawed and fucked up" This is how I have viewed myself for most of my life. I did some emotional work around this last year, but I realize there is more to do. It is this mantra above (that plays over and over and over) that is the prison for me; this 'belief' keeps me from trying new thing and living life in general. I think this is the terrorist that Alan was referring to.

    I am blessed that my husband has told me to take however long I need to work through my pain and to do whatever it takes to be whole...to be well. I am grateful for all your kind words and encouragement, and for listening to me. Know I am praying for you.

    ~ Nadia
  18. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    PS I just looked over my long list of Personality Traits and see that most of them are contributing to unrealistic expectations of myself (and others) and the high anxiety that is a constant in my life. I wonder if others would comment on methods they've used to work through some of these traits: Idealistic, Perfectionist, All or Nothing thinking, low self-worth, shame, blame, guilt, critical, controlling, people-pleasing and so on. I have only made it to Day 6 in the Structured Program so perhaps my question is addressed further on in the program? Thank you.
  19. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hate to sound like an unreconstructed Marxist-Freudian revisionist (which I probably am!), but all of these references to money and the anxiety it creates (angst) made me wonder whether the incidence of chronic pain, TMS, and other psychogenic illnesses has increased since the Big Recession of 2008 and its lingering non-recovery? I know I obsess over all those NYT articles about the crappy economy in the USA, Europe and Greece and wonder if that input is intensifying or even causing my TMS symtoms? I do notice that I had a so-called herniated disk at about the same time as the Dot.Com bubble imploded in 2001 and likewise had a relapse consisting of sciatica and lower lumbar pain beginning at the same time as the Market Collapse of 2008. Consciousness and Das Kapital: Two perennial coordinates! 2001 is also when I inherited my mother's upscale California home and all the stresses associated with maintaining property and of course 2008 is right after the house marketing bubble collapsed and also after I sold my property in Montana (though at a good price for Montana at least). You just have to wonder how your unconscious is reacting to all the subliminal gloom and doom economic messages bombarded at you through the media each day, don't you?
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  20. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    "I wonder if others would comment on methods they've used to work through some of these traits: Idealistic, Perfectionist, All or Nothing thinking, low self-worth, shame, blame, guilt, critical, controlling, people-pleasing and so on."

    You ask, Nadia, how I worked my way through all those characteristics? For years and years I kept pleasing my tyrannical father by achieving and achieving and achieving: AA., B.A., M.A., Ph.D., 50 first ascents in the Sierra, two all-free Grade 6 climbs in Yosemite, article after article after article in prestigious professional journals and magazines, high-end technical writing and engineering contracts for the International Standards Organization (ISO). By paying that price, I was able to walk around feeling perfect and superior and overcoming my father's legacy of an inferiority complex. Only problem is that when my parents died, the psychic bill came due and I started exhibiting TMS symptoms. I can vividly remember all of the psychic games I used to play: Either get my Ph.D. by the time I was 30 or commit suicide, write the best dissertation ever written or commit suicide, climb the hardest climb in the world or commit suicide. Bunch of stupid games! Ways of evading confronting my internal bully that didn't work once the external bully was gone to the great beyond. Now or later. Now I am having to "work through" and process all the emotions I was evading through obsessive work and over-achieving. I think it's like a wise friend of mine once said, "You can only keep putting your garbage out in the alley next to the house for so long. Some day it's going to stink so bad, you'll have to go out there and do something about the smell. No way out of it."

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