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Day One: 20 years of suffering...is there really life w/o TMS?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by HumanWholeHoly, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. HumanWholeHoly

    HumanWholeHoly Newcomer

    Hello...I'm feeling so deflated & maybe scared & definitely angry. I am NOT new to TMS. I was diagnosed by the fabulous Dr. Sarno himself in NYC in 1999. Back & Neck pain. Thinking over my lifetime of TMS shenanigans... I guess that would include... the back/neck pain (a few blow ups since 1999, but only a few), eczema (still off & on), urge to pee (too often), tooth pain, various forms of tendonitis all over, migraines... and NOW, ezcema (only my legs, only @night), a new, scary, weird lung/muscle/ cramping thing, pretty bad tooth pain off & on, and OH, my one eye is twitching. Oh, bad heartburn a few weeks ago.
    So, I am such a huge proponent of TMS... I have read every book, well in 20 years, Lord knows how many times. I know how to journal. I have given Dr. Sarno's book to strangers and my primary care physician to read...and thankfully convinced at least one family member that she has it.
    OH, and in case you're thinking.. maybe she (yes I'm a she :) needs therapy... I have been in therapy (psychoanalysis no less) for over 20 years, most of it AFTER the Dr. Sarno meeting, so I DEFINITELY have analyzed my life & the TMS connection OVER & OVER & OVER. OH, and I have been in the 12 steps (primarily OA, but also spent some time in CODA) for 20 years as well.
    I don't know what else to do? I know we're supposed to rule out "real" physical diagnoses before accepting it's TMS, but I usually start with TMS (unless it's obviously physical, like a broken foot last year) & if it doesn't go away, get (un)necessary tests. I mean in one day I'll wake up with tooth pain, which will switch to this weird lung area cramping type pain, then back to tooth pain.... I AM EXHAUSTED. I only am considering this 6 week program because I am desperate, but it looks so rudimentary, because I know so much about TMS... I'm afraid it won't help. ugh.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    As Eckhart Tolle says, Studying madness won't make you sane.

    TMS is always telling me something. It might be telling me about my past, the present or my fear of the future. It can be telling me about my job, my relationships, my attitude , but if I am not listening to what it's telling me and following that up with action it tends to just mull around and turn into a lot of different things.

    All my accumulated knowledge about TMS is pointless and academic (Big book) if I don't do something about it..and I can always tell when I am treating it correctly, because it goes away....but I have to leave all possibilities on the table. One thing I know after 20 years is that if/when I get a little somethin somethin if I don't get busy moving where that arrow is pointing, it just hangs on. I know many people in my life who intellectually agree with Sarno, but can't break free of symptoms because of terrifying thoughts... what if their marriage really is a shit pile of addictive clinging? What if their career that their ego is so invested in really sucks? What if that 'dream' they were promised was going to come true one day, really isn't? Or hasn't. Or won't?
    I'd say about 99.7% of the time since spring of 99. But anytime that tickle has come back, it isn't buried in what I know or don't know about TMS. It's buried in what I haven't admitted or acknowledged to myself and God...what I don't know or don't want to know. ...and THAT? I'm not sure any of us ever really gets to the end of that...
    Balsa11 and birdsetfree like this.
  3. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    I agree with Baseball65 in that it sounds like you may be avoiding painful/tricky parts of yourself or life situations and that is what is keeping you stuck in a cycle of symptoms.

    In order to rid myself of 15 years of symptoms I had to take some confronting steps in my life after tuning into my true self/my gut/instincts and really listening.

    On top of that I decided to trust Dr Sarno’s word implicitly. I decided I would never let the doubt in. I am pain free now and my confidence in control over my brain grows every year. From time to time a symptom will pop up but does not last more than a few minutes! My doctor told me I was one of the worst he had seen and he had been treating people in chronic pain for 20 years. I had been in an emotionally abusive marriage and had been denying myself in order to keep the peace. The pain came to protect me. When I stood up to it I lost about 40% of the pain. The rest was conditioning.

    It is obvious you know this treatment inside out but do you know yourself as well? Therapists are good but not as good as our own inbuilt instincts about which path we should really be on. What’s underneath the anger? Is your fear brain convincing you you will never be free of symptoms?
    Baseball65 and Balsa11 like this.
  4. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Listening to our guts is really fuzzy and odd but also fun and worthwhile
    HumanWholeHoly and birdsetfree like this.
  5. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    The problem is, we see therapy as a class, you read the textbook, do homework, you get a grade. But there's no metrics here, no signposts, just uncertainty and instinct. Our feelings are not the same as book education. So overthinking and overanalyzing can heighten the stress response.

    Don't think. Feel.
    birdsetfree likes this.
  6. HumanWholeHoly

    HumanWholeHoly Newcomer

    Thank you. This is helpful, and also not so... I really appreciate your support. But not so helpful too...just because I wouldn't know how to delve any deeper. I mean, 20+ years in therapy & the 12 steps. I journal everyday about my feelings...And as you end your post, "I'm not sure any of us every really gets to the end of that,"... meaning, I might not ever know all that is causing my deep fear/grief/rage... I've tried everything I can think of to peak into every nook & cranny of my childhood more times than most people. I feel like half my life has been stuck analyzing the past. And If there's anything else traumatic there, I just don't think I'm going to be able to get in touch with it. And I absolutely don't avoid feeling, even when I'd rather not. My life is full of fear, rage, sadness on a huge level now. It just makes me sad that I still get symptoms... I've worked so hard, for so long. I've done everything you're supposed to & more. But again, thank you.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  7. HumanWholeHoly

    HumanWholeHoly Newcomer

    Thank you. But I do feel; all the time. I have a motivational card next to my bed about feeling all my feelings. I do agree that I am motivated to do life, therapy, everything well... but I always welcoming feelings, even if they hurt. But thank you again. I do appreciate your support.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  8. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    listening to your gut sometimes is different than doing a method

    Plum's posts about self soothing are really helpful.
  9. HumanWholeHoly

    HumanWholeHoly Newcomer

    Thank you for your help. I can't imagine what painful/tricky parts of myself that I'm avoiding. I know of one life situation that I am avoiding, so if I choose to address that it could help, but it might not, and could completely blow up a relationship that I have been trying to repair for a while.
    But I'm not sure how to tune into my true self/my gut/instincts and really listen more than I do. I journal everyday. I did Ayanla's 40 day introspective writing journey...I am always exploring my life & my reactions & how I can love respect & love both myself & the people in my life. UGH. Sorry, thank you again. I do really appreciate your response.
    Oh, okay... I will try to find them. Please know I am grateful for your support, but it's hard to not feel hopeless when I feel like I know this process inside & out AND I check in on my feelings inside & out...and have, for over 20 years... and yet.. still have symptoms. Thank you.
    birdsetfree likes this.

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