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Day 8 report

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by danielle, May 21, 2012.

  1. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter


    I am here to post my progress so far on day 8 of the structured program. Actually I was out of town and slacked off and missed a couple days, and have backslid somewhat. But am back in the game.

    The first week was very hopeful because I started getting some big changes in my neck. Associating old painful memories and current conflicts with the neck pain and seeing some letting go. There is even a big story that I can't sleep on my stomach because I wake up and my neck gets so $%^&ed up that I am a wreck the rest of the day and blame the whole thing on my sleeping position. But one morning I woke up and realized the story starting to insert itself on the sleeping position and I caught it in time, and the neck stiffness went away in a few seconds!!! This happened a few days in a row and I started sleeping on my stomach more and more.

    I also realized something about 'fibromyalgia' — in TMS we are taught that certain activities/movements get associated with pain and the pain response is conditioned, such as every time your mother-in-law comes to town, or every time you lift something heavy, or every time you sit at the computer. But with this widespread a pain issue the conditioned associations are just SO EVERYWHERE that they are hard to see. Like, I am conditioned to expect pain every time I get up, every time I sit down, every time I reach to throw something in the garbage, every time I go to the bathroom, basically every time I move or don't move is this long string of pain expectations. But I saw the window where they didn't just all run together and I DID have some relief for a few days!!

    And now I am in a lot of pain this morning with a massive headache and jaw clenching/clicking that I want to blame my sleeping position for or what I ate yesterday. In the last few days I slid back again (and then I missed a couple days program so...). Trying to remember that I can remain happy about my progress even if I lose some of it — there was a lot of cool success in the first week...

    Thanks for being here.

  2. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi Danielle:

    I have a few friends who have Fibro and I think it's very courageous of you to take on this program. You're right. Fibro seems to be everywhere in the body. But you have had some good days. You might want to try meditation and think about those days. You haven't lost anything, it's a matter of practice. And mindset.

    If you are thinking psychologically vs physically, then you have lost nothing. But welcome back anyway. Hang in there, you will find what you are seeking. And remember - breaks are fine. Just do what you're doing by getting back into the program. At first, saturating yourself with the information and the steps in the program can be very beneficial.

  3. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Hi, thanks for the encouragement, BG.

    I just realized after dragging myself out of bed today with this raging headache, that after just getting back into town from being gone 5 days, I am now faced with a lot of pressure, including getting caught up on a ton of editing work, seeing my therapist today who i've been having mixed feelings about, giving notice on my rental place today and finding a new place to live in next couple weeks, catching up on school studies and projects, catching up on all communications that I've fallen way behind in...etc. etc. Anyway I think I am feeling enormous pressure to both perform and face scary conflicts and the headache might have at least something to do with all this...
  4. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Yeah pressure, ya think? Those are all very stressful things on your list. Choose one or two for today, and call it good. The world won't end tomorrow if you don't complete that list today.

  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I wouldn't say might, but most definitely is behind the headaches. One of the biggest steps is being able to identify what stresses are creating our symptoms, and it sounds like you are starting to do that. Vacations can always affect us, especially when we come back to a huge pile of work we have to do. The important thing is to just identify what emotions are going on when you have this huge to do list and you have to play catch up. We can't always avoid having a lot of stuff to do, but we can change how we react to it. We can ignore how we feel and repress or we can think psychologically and recognize the underlying emotions.

    Even though you have an increase of symptoms today, it sounds like you are actually making terrific progress. Simply connecting our daily stresses to our symptoms is a huge step that can actually help us begin to overcome them entirely.
    Beach-Girl and danielle like this.
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Danielle, just discovering that one open space, you call it a 'window' where your pain has abated for a little while is a MAJOR first step in the deprogramming process. The open space created by your intellectual understanding of the conditioning process has obviously helped you start identifying the major psychological stresses that are "triggering" your fibro-TMS symptoms. You've created a crack in the armor of your conditioning. If you don't back down and give up, it'll just keep getting better and better. Setbacks are part of the learning process too.
    danielle and Forest like this.
  7. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    Wow, Danielle, that's an awful long list to combat! No wonder you woke up with a headache. I agree with Forest and MorComm, it sounds like you've made great progress over the last week. Even finding that little period of time with no pain is a huge win.

    Good luck with all your challenges. :)
    danielle likes this.
  8. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the support everyone. Now to get back on track with Day 9! (probably more like day 14 or something...)
  9. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Danielle, when I look back a year ago, when I got up, pulled on my left pant leg, and heard a "click" in my lower lumbar region, then the pain would start up and get worse and worse all day long. I couldn't even pull on my socks without initiating the sciatic pain cycle. Today, I can pull on my pants without a click, put on my socks normally, and the pain doesn't start up until after walking over a mile uphill. I guess I'm a slow learner! Dr. Sarno would no doubt send me to psychotherapy. But the point is I have been improving gradually over time, but have been improving immensely nevertheless. Two years ago it was agony to push the recycling bins up the drive way to the curb for pickup. Now I don't even think about it. And my TMS has been getting much better after completing the structured program and getting into Dr. Shubiner's book. Of course, you're never satisfied until you're 100% and doubt is always trying to creep back in (at least in my case). I did road bike 40 miles Sunday, with a 1000 ft of uphill, and I didn't have any sciatica or weakness until the last few miles. A year ago? No way! If you keep at the program you will improve even if you don't notice it except over a long period of time. A year ago I used to gimp around the market and limp from my car to the gym, now I'm walking straight and tall, with only a twinge of pain (which still makes me focus on the TMS). The changes are subtle and incremental and just keep improving I'm sure you'll discover if your experience is anything like mine. Confidence!
    danielle likes this.
  10. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    I am really appreciating all the replies. I fell off the wagon again due to schedule overwhelm. Also I had another couple good days and on those good days I was pissed to have to squeeze in time to journal when I didn't feel bad. But I gotta stick with it, I can tell. Cuz now it's sliding again. Anyway, more soon.
  11. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Don't beat yourself up over not journaling...I think about 2 weeks into it I started easing off on it. I still work on TMS every day in one way or another but the real heavy- duty journaling was getting a little overwhelming for me.

    That's great that you are having more pain free days. Yay :)
    danielle likes this.
  12. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Thanks Veronica. Yeah it's kind of ironic that I start to feel built up rage about having to do a certain program.:p
    It is great to have less pain. Not all the time but definitely more often, the pain is less. I do think there is a lot more journaling to be done and it is a good way to work on things. But it's good to hear it's OK not to be perfect with the program, lol.
  13. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Definitely OK. My therapist, who works with a lot of TMS patients, also says that you don't have to dredge up every last thing in journaling.

    Also for me journaling brought up a lot of old painful memories that I didn't want to work on alone. My pain was getting better but I was feeling sad and anxious all the time, so it felt right for me to slow things down a little. I think you can listen to yourself and find the right pace for you.
    danielle likes this.
  14. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Thanks. Also I find it hard to journal about past events when instructed to do so, when there are so many current ones that are really pushing me over the top. So I am learning to trust my intuition more. This program is a great framework. Just can't turn it into a perfectionist routine like everything else. ;)
  15. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi danielle:

    I have this issue too. I did the program and really got a lot out of it. But then I needed more. So I did Dr. Schubiner's program. It's excellent. I like the journaling because I love to write. But I understand it's not for everyone. Dredging up old stuff was tough for me too, but I came to a point and had a great awakening. I realized that the events in my childhood were out of my control. But they made me who I am today. I can't change what happened, but I can change how I react now. Important distinction.

    I think it's really important to explore past events. But I disagree with the point of "feeling the feelings" again. You can simply watch them go by instead of trying to go back and be there again. I think by journaling in this fashion (since we can't change the past or predict the future) one can get a lot out of these lessons.

    But perhaps it's me. Perhaps by not "feeling every old feeling again" I'm missing the boat. But I did do the best I could and used the watch the scenes of my childhood go by - rather than engaging in them again.

    Yes and no. I think it's also good to submerge ourselves in these programs. Do the work. Take the quiet time each day to write anything. Some days I simply wrote about the woods. Or the beach. Or my cat. Anything to get some thoughts on the page. Didn't have to be perfect, and I have learned so much from consistently working on TMS everyday.

    However, at the end of the day? It's up to each of us to find what works best. These are just some things I discovered a long the way. It may or may not be your way of getting through this.

    You're doing great. As McCormm said - even small moments of no pain are a victory!


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