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Disappointed in TMS wiki chat

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by mncjl123, May 29, 2016.

  1. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    i waited all week to sign in with the chat forum on Saturday. After reading the sarno books, doing the sep, and reading all the miraculous stories, I was encouraged for more positivity! When I signed in the leaders kept saying you will never be 100 percent and that 80 percent healing is good enough, and that TMS will come back to haunt you in the future. Ok. My mind and brain wrestled with this at first ad then that gave my brain rise to say, see I told you so! I am back reading success stories today, and will try to forget what the team leader was saying. All I have to say is if you are going to be a TMS leader, you better strive for positivity and healing or you will lose valuable people like me who are struggling. That mention of TMS coming back, and that you can't be 100 percent is what sarno and this group are promoting! Shame on you for giving me a setback. I will prevail. But certainly need more encouragement, not hopelessness. That is why we are here.
  2. lilfrankster101

    lilfrankster101 New Member

    Hey mncjl123. How are you.
    I was not at the chat, so I can't really speak for that, but in terms of losing a bit of motivation when someone says "you wont be 100%" is kind of a turn off. Because, atleast in my eyes, anything less than 100% pain reduction (like 95, or 80) is still just coping with the pain.

    But I also see it from the perspective of those who were in intense pain. Those who thought they were never going to be able to walk again. Those who seriously believed their livelihood were shattered into a million pieces, and trying to pick it up would simply hurt their back even more. From that perspective, if someone told them they could get rid of 95% of their pain, or even 80%, they would be ecstatic. I would even go as far as saying that those who were, until recently, bedridden would be grateful for even 50% of my mobility.

    I remember when I first heard the news from the doc. The nurse called saying I had mild arthritis. Hearing that at age 19 is not a pleasent thing, and that began my spiral of negativity and anxiety for the next few days. The pain actually got worse. During those days, theres one thing I told my self and it was this: "I don't care if the pain I'm feeling doesn't go away. I just don't want it to get any worse".
    I was soo desperate, I begin looking at the pain I had now to be heaven compared to the pain I thought I was going to feel (since I believed that it was going to get worse).

    I digress.

    Anyways, I'd just say to not really let what anyone say get to you. only you can find out what will happen. The pain I felt literally last week is pretty much gone (with a few slight flare ups here and there). For all you know, what they considered 80% could really be 95-100% to you. All about perspective.
    I hope that this gave you some form of hope and reassurance. I know for a fact that hope in a seemingly hopeless situation is the main ingredient needed for perseverance. So Hope.
  3. lilfrankster101

    lilfrankster101 New Member

    Oh, and a side note, I realize that forums in general might not always be helpful, only because of the fact that the main topic is about "Problems" (which cant be help since TMS in nature is a problem". Something I would do to limit your belief is to just swoop in, take what you need, and swoop out. That is, don't keep filling your mind space with the problem.
    I went out with friends yesterday, and didn't notice any pain at all. especially while driving, which is usually an issue. Be aware, and understand TMS (and the steps it takes to overcome it, and maintain a TMS free body), but don't let it become your life.
    Anisha_d87 likes this.
  4. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Peer Supporter

    I was at the chat yesterday. The leader of the chat is a volunteer who has given up her time to help to lead a chat group and answer many questions on the forum. I rather have her to give an honest answer about her TMS experience than to be doctored with theories.

    There are many different ways to recovery as there are different TMS experiences. Everyone is at different stages of the journey. Other people in the chat group offered their experiences and what they did to recover.

    Take what you can use from the chat group and forget the rest. That way the chat group is a helpful tool for people who has questions about the TMS process.
    mike2014 likes this.
  5. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    thanks lilfrankster. I am the homebound person of 16 years and can't walk. So hearing your side of things was much more inspiring. I also know I need to take it with a grain of salt, but I am aiming for a healthy, happy, pain free life. And 80% will not be good enough. Maybe if I reach 80, it will be, but I am hoping for the best with this tms group and sarno. I like the swoop in and swoop out idea.
  6. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Peer Supporter

    The important thing about TMS is to think 100% that your pain is psychological. As far as the percentage of healing will depend on how much of your thinking is 100% psychological. I hope you understand that point.

    Your pain may go away at a certain point but it may come back once in a while when your mind may test you to see if you are still thinking that the pain is psychological. If the mind sees that you see that the pain is psychological, then the pain will go away. These tests will happen less and less as the mind sees that you know that the pain is psychological.
  7. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    thanks wonderwoman. it was just the way she phrased it in the chat. That it is a lifelong and it will always come back. Little Franster helped me realize that this was just her experience. However, I would expect forum leaders to be cured, positive and hopeful for it's members. And, if she isn't there yet, then she should have said, "I am a forum leader and I am still going through getting well." But, she made it sound as if I would be dealing with pain for the rest of my life in some capacity or other because she is. I appreciate your explanation wonderwoman, and know that I will just go forward reading only what I can find that is positive, and will most likely not be going into the chat room again.
  8. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    I agree mncj123. This has always bothered me too. Dr. Sarno indicates (MBP) that if you are still feeling pain, you are not done yet. I prefer to scoop up this information.
  9. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    Thanks lady phoenix. What a cutie you are - your photo I mean. You look so happy!:) Something must be working for you!
  10. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi mncjl,

    I'm sorry to hear that you felt that the chat wasn't helpful for you. I think that you've gotten some terrific advice from @lilfrankster101 and @wonderwoman above in this thread.

    It sounds like you are really focused on convincing yourself that you will heal 100%. To be honest, I don't think that that is so productive. When I healed, I wasn't at all sure that I would heal fully or even partially. I was full of doubts and fear, but that really didn't stop me from healing.

    I've actually seen people make breakthroughs when they give up some level of hope. Paradoxically, for some people, when they accept where they are at, right now, and realize that they might not get better (or might even get worse), they seem to get better.

    As to why this might be the case, if they were trying to hold onto something that part of them had doubts about, that could be very enraging and lead to a great deal of emotional tension. Essentially, they would be putting more pressure on themselves, which fills up their reservoir of rage.

    The whole goal of TMS is to get you to focus on the body. If you say that only 100% healing is enough then not only does that lead to more emotional tension, but it also means that you will focus more on your body. You want to focus less on the body and more on the parts of your life that make you feel alive.

    Instead, "allow" a bit more. TMS is your body trying to send you a message. Chances are, that message is about how you live your life on a day to day basis. You want to allow more, so that you will be able to receive that message and let go in the way that you need to let go.

    It's a bit like outcome independence, but for your beliefs. Don't worry about whether you will heal 80% or 100%. (I remember when I would have been thrilled just to heal 20%!) Yes, the remaining 20% would be terrible, but you are strong, and you can get through it anyway.

    Anyway, those are my ideas and my 2 cents. As others have said, feel free to take what you like and ignore the rest. That's the way that it works around here. :)
  11. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member


    Dr. Sarno wrote of having the TMS equivalent of gastric distress, which he called heartburn in Healing Back Pain and gastroesophageal reflux in The Divided Mind. When discussing repressed anger in Healing Back Pain, he said: "I do that [repress anger] a lot. I have learned that heartburn means that I'm angry about something and don't know it. So I think about what might be causing the condition, and when I come up with the answer the heartburn disappears. It is remarkable how well buried the anger usually is. . . . Sometimes it is something that is so loaded emotionally, I don't come up with the answer for a long time." This does not sound like Sarno got rid of his gastric distress once and for all by thinking about what might be the psychological cause of the heartburn, that is, what was making him unconsciously angry. Rather, he was saying that when the heartburn occurred, he could get rid of it'd by figuring out what was making him unconsciously angry at that time.

    In The Divided Mind, which was published 15 years after Healing Back Pain, Sarno said the cause of his gastric distress while on a long trip with his wife was unconscious anger at her for having to accompany her when he really did not want to be on the trip. He repressed his anger because "[m]y psyche wouldn't permit me to be consciously furious at my wife, and neither would my reasonable self." As for the idea of permanent cure of TMS, keep in mind Sarno's teaching about the narcissistic, illogical id and consider whether it is realistic to believe that a person who figures out an episode of TMS (or a TMS equivalent) is due to unconscious anger at his spouse will thereafter never again get unconsciously angry at his spouse?

    With the help of Healing Back Pain, I ended more than two decades of recurring low back pain. Although I have never again had low back pain, I occasionally have an episode of what Sarno calls the symptom imperative--TMS elsewhere in my body. Over time, with practice and with the study of ISTDP (the psychotherapy model used by the psychologists who worked with Sarno's patients having difficulty) and modern neuroscience, I have gotten very proficient at figuring out what is causing the unconscious anger behind a TMS episode. Am I cured of TMS? With apologies to the therapist that I am stealing this from: The only thing that gets cured is hams. But I am 100 percent over TMS being any problem for me.

    I am not suggesting that developing the skill of thinking psychologically, as Sarno prescribes, is easy, but it can be learned with hard work and persistence.
  12. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    This was a sticking point for me at the beginning of my tms journey. I also needed to know that 100 percent recovery was a possibility, so I understand so well the importance of that goal when you are suffering so much. It was the question I most needed answered by my therapist who assured me that indeed it was achievable. She also informed me that this would be the hardest thing I would ever do! I am now so far into my recovery and it is exciting and exhilarating as I am living so much more and my mind is so much more occupied with that as opposed to my pain. This, I believe is where we start to really exchange our old pain pathways for new pain free pathways. I don't see that we have to put a limit on that.
    breakfree likes this.
  13. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am enjoying this discussion! To simply not worry so much about a certain outcome has been very helpful for me. Each piece of progress, as they occurred in me, was a miracle in itself, and more unfolded. They unfolded from a lack of pushing, I believe, and a wonder at the process/progress. At the same time, there was a lot of hard work in the education piece, to get myself convinced that I had TMS. But this was education, not coercion.

    I do recall going in that one of my doubts was "will this really work well?" "Will this really fix me?" That doubt was similar to mncj's experience. I was so un-nerved by my pain and all the treatments I had undertaken, that I was extremely anxious that nothing would fix me. You could say there was a fear of disappointment, and a simmering enragement that I would be let down. Writing it now, there was also a feeling that I did not want to be taken for a fool. Inner Critic anxiety...

    breakfree likes this.
  14. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    Thank you all for this! Part of the TMS personality is how to go through these forums and pick up the good and try to get rid of the bad. Because the bad sticks to me like glue! I wrote recently in one forum asking if sesamoiditis could be TMS related. The only response I got was mmmmm? And that the person had her sesamoiditis cured by surgery. Now you can imagine where my little brain went with that. Now I am thinking oh.... It couldn't be TMS now. I really do have a problem.

    So I need to be careful about what I ask as the answer may not be the positive helpful response I am looking for. As the day I was in the chat room.

    We are all struggling here. So I will also be careful as well in leaving responses to others that will only encourage their TMS brain and not warrant the pain to continue for them.

    Big lesson learned here for all of us!
  15. Renee

    Renee Well known member

    Duggit, if I may ask, did you go to a therapist who specializes in ISTDP? What are some good resources on this? I went to the wiki page and it looks like there is a recent book on it but it sounds like it might be more for clinicians.

  16. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Since you are so suggestible at the moment, you may want to avoid TMS forums until you gather a better foundation of the Good Doctor's theory--all the answers are in any TMS book.
  17. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    thanks tennis tom.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  18. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member


    As I said in my post above, after I overcame my low back pain I would get episodes of what Sarno calls the symptom imperative. I was not bad at dealing with those by thinking psychologically, but I wanted to get better. So I saw a physician trained by Sarno. He never mentioned ISTDP, but having read Schubiner’s Unlearned Your Pain, I knew that is what he was talking about.

    That motivated me to read nearly all of the books on ISTDP written for clinicians. ISTDP has a unique lingo that is hard to penetrate. (I'm retired and had the time to learn the lingo.) There is a book on ISTDP written for lay people by a Norwegian clinician: Kristian S. Nibe, Reconnect to Your Core. It is obvious that English is not Nibe’s native language and that he did not have an editor proficient in English. Nonetheless, the book is an accessible explanation of ISTDP. Nibe gives specific advice on uncovering repressed emotions by yourself, with no therapist. The book is on Amazon.

    In my post above, I quoted a passage from Healing Back Pain. Here is the same passage but with a sentence I omitted earlier that is now italicized: "I do that [repress anger] a lot. I have learned that heartburn means that I’m angry about something and don’t know it. So I think about what might be causing the condition, and when I come up with the answer the heartburn disappears. It is remarkable how well buried the anger usually is. Generally for me it is something about which I am annoyed but have no idea how much it has angered me. Sometimes it is something that is so loaded emotionally, I don’t come up with the answer for a long time."

    Way back when I was suffering from back pain, it occurred to me after reading the italicized sentence that when I was having pain I should ask myself if I was “annoyed” about something. That would be the starting point to help me get at what I was unconsciously angry about. It worked. After a few times of doing that, I was permanently free of low back pain. Years later I would learn about the ISTDP concept of cover words. Cover words are words we use to cover up, i.e., defend against experiencing, a more intense unconscious emotion. Cover words for anger include annoyed, irritated, frustrated, aggravated. ISTDP regards cover words as an undesirable defense mechanism. I regard then as a helpful clue to what is going on unconsciously. Once I realize I am annoyed, frustrated, etc., then I can dig deeper.

    With regard to digging deeper, my earlier post referred to Sarno's gastroesophageal reflux while on a long trip with his wife. To go into more detail, Sarno and his wife realized the distress was psychosomatic and tried to figure out what was making him unconsciously angry. They came up with several possibilities: (a) he no longer liked to travel because of its inevitable inconveniences and discomforts, (b) he found some places they visited disagreeable, (c) he wanted to be home working on a book, and (d) the trip was too long for him. But Sarno wrote: "We obviously didn’t hit on the right answer, because my symptoms continued unabated for the entire trip. It wasn’t until we got home that I realized what had been going on. I had promised the long trip to my wife, who loves to travel. I was being a good guy. I was unconsciously furious for having to do something I really didn’t want to do. My psyche wouldn’t permit me to be consciously furious at my wife, and neither would my reasonable self—so to be absolutely sure the rage remained unconscious, the brain dished up the severe gastrointestinal symptoms."

    In short, Sarno’s goodism was the source of his symptoms. To be a good husband, he accompanied his wife on the trip. But unconsciously he was angry at her about having to go on the trip.

    To grasp more fully what was going on with Sarno's long trip, it is useful to refer to a passage in his The Mindbody Prescription: “Bear in mind, we repress anger that violates our image of ourselves. . . . [A]nger you are aware of may be what is known as displaced anger. That is, you become overtly angry at something relatively unimportant, like a traffic tie-up or poor service in a restaurant, instead of at your spouse or a parent, because the latter is simply not allowed by your psyche.” Unlike anger at a traffic tie-up or poor restaurant service, anger at a person with whom we have an important and close relationship—such as a spouse, parent, or child—is important anger. We TMS sufferers repress it because it violates our image of ourselves and thus is not allowed by our psyche.

    As I see it, Sarno’s unsuccessful initial efforts in items (a)-(d) above to figure out the cause of his gastric distress are instances of displaced anger. Some or all of the items might well have been true, but they were no more important than a traffic tie-up or poor restaurant service. He did not hit on the right answer until he focused on his relationship with his wife. If even a master of thinking psychologically like Sarno can be side-tracked by displaced anger, as he was while on the trip, that underscores the importance of focusing on one’s important and close relationships when trying to figure out the cause of a TMS episode. That is why I said in my post above that thinking psychologically takes hard work and persistence. Our psyches do not want us to hit on the answer.
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
    Ellen, Renee and Forest like this.
  19. Renee

    Renee Well known member

    Thank you so much for taking the time to explain, and especially for the book recommendation. I just ordered it. I've had pelvic issues since I was a child so even though knowing about TMS has helped me with neck pain, and back pain just recently, I'm having a heck of a time applying it to the pelvic stuff. I think it's because I've had it so long with so many different types of symptoms throughout my life, it seems like my unconscious knows it really has me by the balls. No pun intended here since I don't have any, I just couldn't think of a better way to describe it!

    I do now remember reading in Mindbody about being overtly angry at seemingly unimportant things. I always thought it strange how I took someone cutting me off in traffic so personally. I do know that I have a lot of anger towards the pelvic issue itself since it clouded my childhood, and then of course made its mark on my adulthood as well. But maybe that anger is mis-directed as well.

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