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Doing good, but got stuck

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Waterbear, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. Waterbear

    Waterbear Peer Supporter

    Happy Holidays, everyone! I'm looking for some help.

    After about 1 year of a ton of "tendonitis", I finally discovered TMS in Oct. I've had great results. My pain was diagnosed as follows

    Knees: patellar tendonitis -bilateral

    Left elbow - pinched ulnar nerve (cubital tunnel), golfers elbow, tennis elbow, and tricep tendonitis (I'm a left handed artist :/ )

    Right elbow - tennis elbow

    Right wrist - tendonitis, carpal tunnel

    That's just what I saw doctors and physical therapists for. By Oct, the pain had spread to both ankles (achilles and peroneal pain), my right shoulder, my right pec minor, and my left pec major.

    I went online one day looking for some type of mediation or something, anything, to help me deal with the depression of constant pain. Instead I found a blog from a young athlete who spoke about TMS; I'm so happy I did.

    So it's been 2 months since I read my first blog post about TMS. Since then I've read Dr. Sopher's "To be or not to be pain free" and Sarno's "Mind body prescription." I'm very excited to say that 99% of the upper body pain is gone. The ankles have pretty much calmed down except when trying to throw me for a loop (but that only last for a few mins or so)

    The knees though, those damned knees. If it's not the left one hurting, it's the right, and vice versa. Don't get me wrong, I've made great strides with them and I've gotten up to 5 mins or running and 6 mins of walking for my warmup. I was unable to run at all before.

    I emailed Dr. Sopher and he said that he has no doubt that I have TMS. (He got a much more background detailed story). I had a theory that my upper body pain left so quickly because I cared about it less, and my knees still hurt b/c I care about them more. Dr. Sopher agreed that that was what was going on as well.

    I've been soul searching and I've come to this point.

    I made running, jumping, climbing and being physically athletic part of how I define myself. In my circle of friends and family I've always been the fastest, the most agile, and quickest. Losing that, to the point where I could barely walk, really ripped at my core. I felt like my body betrayed me. Waking up and being unable to be athletic felt like a part of my heart or soul was dying slowly, every morning.

    I had a few people (they must have been jealous of me this whole time) who seemed to revel in it. They said "now you'll never be able to be fast again", "you'll never run again". They can still run, way slower than I, but now I couldn't run at all, so they became better than me, more powerful. I hate that and I hate them. (But they're my best friends….) Their comments and my pain developed into this beast that terrifies me. I can't stand! I can't stand, that idea of them being right about me and my injury. The hate and rage and fear that that generates in me is awesome and all consuming. I want to stuff it in their faces. I want to take their noses and rub it into the dust that I leave as I streak by them at my old, quick, pace. I also just want to run for joy again. Just to run and run and not worry.

    But I still have the knee pain and I'm progressing, but slowly, and every time I have a bit of a setback, the fear of them being right about me come back and I worry, "maybe I won't really get back to my old self?"

    Here are some more realizations.

    1) This beast of worry and fear about my friends opinions has to be slowing down my healing/dealing with TMS

    2) Having a physical aspect of myself (athleticism) as a major defining characteristic for myself, has to be slowing me down. It's stupid, we all get older and can do less athletic things and I shouldn't care about it. So what if I can run? So what if they think of me as a different person? But I care, I care oh so much! I also think that all the people saying "you're 30, you can't run anymore are full for crap", but I still have to overcome that as well.

    3) My athleticism has been my armor since childhood. I was bullied in jr. high. I was bullied until I got my class on the soccer field in gym class. Then they stopped bullying me. Then, I was bullied in high school, until I held 3 school records for soccer. Now, I feel like my armor is gone.

    Now, I'm asking for help and guidance. Does anyone have an suggestions for getting over this? I've journaled. I write little sticky notes reminding myself how good I'm doing each time I increase my running time by 30 sec-60 secs. I yell at my TMS sometimes. I coddle it and tell it I'm okay sometimes. I take days off.

    Yet, it's always there, lurking.

    Edit: Geez, am I a freakin' perfectionist? I just re-read this. Yeah, upper body is fine now and instead of enjoying that, I'm saying "why can't I fix my knees that fast too!?" I'm not happy unless I'm perfect. Damn, it's hard to even shut that off a little :/

    Still, any help would be awesome!

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
    Msunn likes this.
  2. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Waterbear, You're history is similar to mine. It seems like I've had tendonitis/tendonosis in pretty much every joint. And while I've never considered myself "athletic" I've always enjoyed exercise and physical activity. But then there's a laundry list of other TMS equivalents that I won't bore you with. ;)

    You are on SUCH a great path! The knowledge and the progress you've gained are of inestimable worth. And those naysayers…30 too old for running? HA! I have friends into their 60s that are avid runners. It's amazing how quickly friends, even if they're well meaning, can shoot down a person.

    I always remember the Hawaiian crab story when I think of that aspect of human behavior. A crab fisherman was asked why he only used a shallow box when he was collecting his harvest. "Won't they climb out of the box and escape?" he was asked. His reply, "If one crab tries to climb out, all the other crabs will pull it back down into the box so it can't escape."

    And honestly, one really good thing about TMS is that it forces you to re-evaluate relationships…starting with your relationship with YOURSELF. Being honest and transparent with oneself takes great courage. And as the new "you" emerges, you'll find some relationships just don't work anymore. And that's okay. Doesn't mean you don't love them anymore or don't share some happy memories….it's just time to move on. (I've been going through some very painful relationship re-defining lately with some dear friends so this stuff is fresh on my mind.)

    As far as your TMS. You are doing just super! Just remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time. It's a journey. Keep doing what you're doing and allow the healing to unfold.

    Hang out here too. There's so much wisdom and encouragement here. It's playing a significant role in my on-going healing.

    Merry Christmas!
    Lily Rose and Msunn like this.
  3. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    Waterbear...sounds like you are making good progress my friend. I too was terrified of losing exercise when my back and hands started to give out on me. Just remember... you are running for yourself. You are not the jr high kid who was bullied anymore. You're running for yourself and not to please your friends. Once you get a handle on your TMS, you will be able to enjoy sports and exercise well into your old age.
    Msunn likes this.
  4. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Hi Waterbear. You've really made a tremendous amount of progress in a few months! For me, the hands are most important so that where I can obsess, micro manage etc.
    Accepting that it will take as long as it takes to heal, has actually allowed me to have much less pain playing guitar (RSI hand problems here). Kind of like one of those bamboo finger traps, when I stop fighting the pain, it gets easier.

    I don't know if you've read Alan Gordon's post "Breaking the Pain Cycle" but that has helped me a lot.

    All the best
    Ellen and jazzhands like this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Steve Ozanich writes about tendonitis in his book The Great Pain Deception, and agrees it can go back to childhood.
    He tells of a boy who experiences knee pain before every track meet. His physician tells him he has tendonitis,
    but this was never true. He suffers from TMS due to unconscious self-imposed pressures to 'do well,' and to never fail
    in the eyes of others. His anger (a social reaction to his fear) surfaces in the form of knee pain to distract his mind's eye.
    TMS is explained to him, he listens, he believes, and his pain never returns.

    And Dr. Alan Gordon says we all heal from pain differently. What works for some doesn't work for others,
    we we need to try different healing techniques. And people heal at different paces. Some heal faster than others.
    If the repressed emotion(s) are deeply hidden, it can take longer to heal.

    Good luck you guys. You're doing great.
    Msunn likes this.
  6. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    I offer this seed for you to plant .... redefine yourself.
    And a 2nd seed .... redefine your relationships.

    Oddly, the latter one is the most challenging. Family and friends do not like us to change. For us to change, it means making them uncomfortable. They cling to patterns and habits. This is why it is easier to seek a new community, such as this forum. There aren't any preconceived images of who and what you are. The thoughts you share, your openness ... this can happen here because we want you to succeed.

    Many people believe that they can only get ahead by stomping down on those around them. If you refuse to play that game, if you choose get ahead by encouraging your friends to better themselves, to urge them on to their own greatness, you remove the negative competition and the jealousies.

    None of us ... not a single one of us ... is better or worse than anyone else. I may be stronger in one area, while you are stronger in another.

    If your relationships are salvageable, perhaps it is time to begin changing your perspective. Laugh off the competitiveness (Walt is a great one for laughing). Offer encouragement and praise for their accomplishments. When you flood someone with love, they begin to experience changes.

    That anger and fear that you will not be good enough, that is the real issue to address. You are good enough. You are more than that. Far more. The shields that you have developed have worked well for you, but are they really necessary anymore? Have you outgrown them yet? From your words, it sounds very much like you are on the cusp of transformation.

    An apt quote states: The caterpillar thought it was the end of the world, and then she became a butterfly.

    As for redefining yourself, consider this: We all will die. We could have minutes, weeks, months, years, decades ... but it will happen. In this perspective, are jealousies and anger towards friends really how you want to spend your very precious and finite time? These cloaks we don around us, they are heavy, and keep out the light.

    Every morning upon awakening, we can choose to re-invent ourselves. We can set our intentions and see where they lead. We may get de-railed, and frustrated if we don't succeed, but success isn't the real measurement. Practicing is the key ... success becomes a byproduct of practice. It will simply happen on it's own if you practice.

    Just ... practice.

    Remember, you are already beautiful ... you just need to clear your vision so that you can see yourself as you really are.

    with grace and gratitude,
    Dahlia likes this.
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just love this metaphor. Thanks.
    Msunn likes this.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lily Rose,

    A few days ago I posted about an interview Dr. Gupta of CNN had with Pastor Osteen of a megachurch
    and Osteen talked about what he think about when he awakens each morning...

    Despite what you see on television, Osteen does have bad days. He has found that the start of any day will determine what kind of day you are going to have. So, he spends a few moments every morning thinking of all the things for which he is grateful. He also cleanses out the negative thoughts, from "I am not talented, and nothing good is in my future," to "I am a person of destiny, headed for greatness."

    He also took time to remind me that "sacrifice" around the holidays will be rewarded. We were talking about the festive nature of the season, but also the particular challenges for people in the sandwich generation -- those taking care of their children and their parents.
  9. Waterbear

    Waterbear Peer Supporter

    Oh my God, mind blown! At first when you said redefine yourself, I immediately became terrified. I thought "No! I don't want to admit defeat! I want to me regular old me again!" and then you hit me with this bad boy. I never once thought of it like that. Thank you so much!

    I'm going to start doing this.

    Good call, I guess it's not really a race after all.

    Thanks for all the amazing help everyone! Hope your holiday was great!

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