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 One

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Here4chocolate, Sep 22, 2022.

  1. Here4chocolate

    Here4chocolate New Member

    I am 16 years into my chronic pain journey with vulvodynia (first symptom) and inner thigh pain(second symptom after surgery for the first issue).

    I discovered TMS about a year and a half ago when someone mentioned the curable app on a Facebook group for pain I was in. I had absolutely nothing left try try after almost 15 years at that point and so I downloaded it. I did the exercises and listened to the podcasts and interviews and it all made SO much sense. Nothing had previously worked(multiple of all....medications, nerve blocks, physical therapy, acupuncture, surgery, painkillers, spinal cord stimulator..) and nothing has shown up on my MRIs (12 different ones), ultrasounds, nerve conduction studies etc. No one could give me a diagnoses or cure.

    Through the app I found all the books, Dr. Sarno, Dr. shubiner, Alan Gordon, Nicole sachs and, the perfectionist type A personality that I am, read them all (I'm a work in progress).

    The pain came at a time of stress (college, and problems with friendships) and after a lifetime of childhood adversity.

    I am currently seeing someone from the pain psychology center but between that and reading the majority of the books I was looking for more and found this program. I do feel this is TMS. However, as it's been a year a half since I learned what that was and I'm still no better. Plus, after seeing so many seemingly instant success stories, I don't doubt it's TMS but I wonder what is wrong with me that none of this is working (being hard on myself, I know, work in progress).

    Thanks for listening.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great username, @Here4chocolate :joyful: and welcome!

    Forget about the instant success stories. Yes, they happen, but in my eleven years of experience, I think these are individuals who did NOT experience childhood adversity, and who suddenly develop, for example, back pain out of the blue because they are in a relationship which unconsciously makes them miserable, or they develop RSI because they unconsciously hate what is supposed to be their perfect job.

    Someone like that can indeed resolve their symptoms as soon as they resolve their conflict, especially if they already have a healthy relationship with their bodies, and already understand and accept the power of the mindbody connection.

    Childhood adversity and trauma are a whole other thing, I'm sorry to say. Even Dr Sarno clearly stated that people with deeper emotional issues will need therapy in order to recover.

    Just for the record, the majority of us fall somewhere in between these two extremes. When I did this work in 2011 at age 60, it was clear I'd had TMS symptoms off and on all my life. Feel free to read my profile story which is typical for many of us. And while I have experienced success, I still struggle with life stresses (including the reality of aging, which is a terrific source of Sarno-defined rage). Recovery from setbacks comes easier and quicker, and things like panic attacks and being housebound are long gone.

    But getting back to your concerns. What I've said so far doesn't mean that this is hopeless. There's plenty of good news. For one thing, TMS knowledge and techniques can absolutely help tremendously to understand and manage symptoms. You do have to acknowledge and accept that it will take more work and more time to unlearn years of living in a constant state of fight/flight/freeze, along with resolving years of emotional conflicts - which are extremely convoluted by the time a traumatized child becomes an adult. And that it will continue to be a lifelong work in progress. But it can be done, and the alternative is not acceptable, right?

    Lately I've been seeing this more clearly, perhaps because of the worldwide mental health crisis, leading to perhaps more people than ever finding this work and our forum, and I'm getting a better sense of these different life experiences.

    My developing theory is that the first requirement for people with childhood adversity/trauma is to conquer fear and anxiety, and train their fearful primitive brains to live without them. The biggest problem I see is that the brains of traumatized individuals are extremely resistant to letting go of fear and anxiety, and they keep repeating the fear and doubt cycle over and over again, and they don't experience any relief.

    So my best advice to you is to go back to your TMS coach, and address that issue. And to keep the fear cycle in your awareness as you do the SEP.

    It's all about hearing the fear coming from your brain and kindly rejecting it. Do this with real commitment and brutal self-honesty as you work on the SEP exercises, no matter how much your brain tries to tell you you don't have to.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
  3. Here4chocolate

    Here4chocolate New Member

    Thank you!

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