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Day #3 When the pain is convincing

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by cookie_777, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. cookie_777

    cookie_777 Peer Supporter

    So I'm at day #3 right now, and have been struggling so hard to ignore the ache in my shoulder blades. Also I am learning that I have probably had TMS my whole life. i had irritable bowel syndrome and hyper acidity from 14-18, then I had an ankle issue/ fracture, then knee pain with no structural issues, then frequent Urinary tract infections and now we have our most serious case, BACK PAIN.

    It's so hard to believe, when my shoulder blade is aching and I'm drawing this art project, that the pain is from tension. A part of me wants to say, 'Cookie, straighten up, your posture is the one giving you pain,'. I answered the question of exercise today and thought to myself about the last time I exercised and how it felt.

    I'm in an intense theater program right now and we have classes 7 am to 10pm daily NO WEEKENDS. The program ends December the 19th but its very hard. I was terrified to do this program because of my back and even now I still am. Imagine doing downward facing dog with a person strapped to your stomach. It's intense.

    Every morning we have mandatory warm ups. I just realized, by reflecting, that at yoga last week I was so stressed out. Every time the instructor suggests a certain position, I have to 'BACK CHECK' it like, Back, do you think we can do that? And even though I do almost everything in the class i'm just stressed out, like, oh that's going to definitely case pain. Then, when we do the twists and turns and back stretches, I put more emphasis on them like, 'Okay, here we go, better get rid of that tension... STRETCH AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!' And so the entire class is one of frustration and anger like- why isn't this getting better? Or pressure on my back to really extend. Any ideas on how to remedy this? What should i do to fix this? My inner bully is quite something.

    I believe I have TMS 85% now, but now, wondering whether I should stop seeing a physical therapist. This person is like my safety net, and no doubt, my left is weaker than my right.

    Also, it seems, recently, that I have been feeling fine, which makes me wonder sometimes whether I have TMS. Like my shoulder is on fire, but emotionally, I feel fine. So I keep wondering what I could be repressing. The other day I expressed my frustration about something, then the pain went away, travelled to my right side, then up to my neck, disappeared, then came back after five minutes and I was like, 'PAIN? I THOUGHT I JUST UNREPRESSED YOU??"

    Any comments on that?
     
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Cookie. That's a very strenuous program you're in, and a long one each day. I think anyone of any age and physical condition would have pain in it. But I do think your pain is emotional, from TMS, and not structural. It moves around because your subconscious may still need to know about your repressions. You are only in day 3 of the SEProgram so probably have not journaled enough to learn those repressed emotions. Or it may be a perfectionist or "goodist" personality wanting to please everyone.

    You say you believe in TMS 85 percent. Try to work on that belief so it becomes 100 percent. That's what Dr. Sarno says it takes to completely heal from TMS pain.

    Keep seeing the physical therapist if you can. It sounds like that is helping you.

    It's great that emotionally you feel fine. You're doing a lot and deserve to congratulate yourself.
     
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This sounds like TMS to me, too, Cookie! The fact that you feel emotionally "fine" while your shoulder is on fire is the TMS mechanism in your brain, doing the job it was designed to do (not that it's a good design, mind you).

    A couple of things to keep in mind, which you can remind yourself about frequently as you do this work:

    1. Your primitive brain is wired to be negative, which is meant to keep you alert for the sabre-tooth tiger. It's always going to give you fear and warning messages whenever it thinks there is the slightest chance you could be in danger. Toning down that negativity and learning to counteract it will be very beneficial alongside the emotional work you do.

    2. The other side of the "negative alerts" mechanism is that your primitive brain believes that if you are bogged down in emotional distress, you won't be alert enough to notice the tiger. By giving you some non-dangerous pain, you are more likely to stay alert and on edge, worrying about danger. If you actually did see a tiger and needed to make a run for safety, believe me, that pain would be gone in an instant. You've already experienced how TMS pain can suddenly go away.

    Walt was right on when he reminded you that you're only just beginning this process of discovery. My advice is to give yourself a break, and try not to apply your perfectionist tendencies towards your recovery, or to how you're doing the SEP. There is no one "right" way to do this work, so relax, and let it unfold in your own unique way.

    And, by the way, welcome! And good luck on this new journey!

    ~Jan
     
  4. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    As Dr. Sarno might say, "Your class is very demanding! Your inner child is probably very angry about that!" Remember that you have a strong healthy body. You don't need a physical therapist. Until you acknowledge that it is psychological, not physical, it will continue. I know it's difficult. Maybe reading the book a few more times will help you to make the transition.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  5. cookie_777

    cookie_777 Peer Supporter

    Hi, thank you so much for your response. I just made my day #4 response, and today was doing like an arts project and because I was bent over it was hurting so so much to do it, but I stuck through the entire hour and now my back is in SO much pain. If TMS is caused by repressed emotions, why is it that when I bent to do my art work, and had to keep standing and bending over, standing and bending over, it got worse? Is TMS supposed to get worse with activity? *copy pasted this to hear all your individual responses.
     
  6. cookie_777

    cookie_777 Peer Supporter

    Hi, thank you so much for your response. I just made my day #4 response, and today was doing like an arts project and because I was bent over it was hurting so so much to do it, but I stuck through the entire hour and now my back is in SO much pain. If TMS is caused by repressed emotions, why is it that when I bent to do my art work, and had to keep standing and bending over, standing and bending over, it got worse? Is TMS supposed to get worse with activity? *copy pasted this to hear all your individual responses.
     
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    The TMS response is actually a combination of mental and emotional things - and it's not quite the same for everyone, although there are many commonalities.

    One reason for increased pain with your activity could be your expectation of pain - that's conditioning (phantom limb pain is an extreme example of conditioning).

    But the more likely emotional reason for this pain is that your brain is causing the pain to distract you as it represses negative feelings about something going on. Which could be from your past, or it could be very much from your present. For example, are you having any doubts about what you're doing right now, or about some of the choices you've made recently? Based on your description of the stresses you're under, it wouldn't be surprising that you're harboring doubts. But your primitive brain senses that those doubts might lead to bad negative emotions that will end up distracting you instead of staying alert to danger. So it goes into counter-distraction mode. It can't afford to let you wallow around in those negative emotions, so it gives you some pain to keep you on your toes and alert for real danger (like sabre-tooth tigers). Did I mention it's primitive? And not very effective in the modern world, but unfortunately it's what we're stuck with until or unless we can evolve into some better mechanism.

    I'm just throwing out some possibilities based on what you've already described about your life. The key to eliminating pain is to be honest (with yourself) about negative emotions that are lurking in your subconscious. Bring them out in the open and acknowledge them (it doesn't matter what you DO about them) and your brain will give up the distraction activity. And go on to the next one - which of course is what you have to learn to watch out for.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
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