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DR. SARNO ON HOLIDAY STRESS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Walt Oleksy, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sarno says in Healing Back Pain that many of us feel pain from TMS holiday stress:

    "One often hears or reads that holidays may be stressful. What should be a time of relaxation and fun often turns out to be unpleasant for some people. I have been struck by the fact that many patients will report the onset of attacks of TMS before, during, or shortly after major holidays.

    "The reason is obvious: big holidays [like Christmas and New Years Eve] usually mean a lot of work, particularly for women, who take the responsibility in our culture for organizing and carrying out the festivities. And, of course, society demands that this be done cheerfully, with a smile. Usually the women are completely unaware that they are generating quantities of resentment, and the onset of pain comes as a complete surprise."

    I add that memories of past Christmases can be stressful, especially those at which we didn't get the present we so badly wanted. Remember the boy wanting a b-b gun in "A Christmas Story"?

    My stepfather gave me a gift to open and I was overjoyed to find new ice skates. Then he said he was sorry but they were for my older brother and instead gave me a set of Lincoln logs to build things with. To this day I hate Lincoln logs.

    I also wanted a toy typewriter but never got one.

    Still, I remember the happy Christmases. That's what we all have to do.

    Merry ho! ho!
     
  2. Laudisco

    Laudisco Well known member

    Thanks for sharing! I realised that I started putting too much pressure on myself in the lead-up to Christmas, and I ended up getting some TMS pain in my neck and shoulder which I haven't experienced for quite a while. I've decided to journal and not pressure myself, and this has helped a lot. The pain seems to be reducing each day, even though the tension hasn't completely gone...
     
  3. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    Thanks for this, Walt! And thank you, Dr. Sarno!!! Christmas is DEFINITELY triggering my TMS, though I realize that as I (try) to relax, let go and just enjoy myself, I'm OK. I had a very "different" and offbeat Christmas experience as a child. As part of my ever eccentric Hollywood upbringing, we actually kept the Christmas tree up ALL YEAR LONG, adorning it with bunnies on Easter and hearts on Valentine's. Sometimes even pumpkins on Halloween. And to make things even weirder, birthdays were even celebrated under the tree. In fact, I wasn't named till my 5th birthday (paging Dr. Freud!)...until then I was named "Baby". I was FINALLY named "Donavan" in April, by Santa! So to say the least, Christmas is kind of a weird trigger for me, and while it was a happy and abundant holiday as a child and teenager (pine trees and tons-o-presents year round), my adult years have been much leaner and I find myself looking back nostalgically at the past with a wistful melancholy. My mom died in 2000 of cancer and my dad estranged himself from the family (at Christmas) in 2001, so Christmas has become (quite) a bit of a somber holiday. But I am a believer (grace based, open minded episcopalean), so I have to see it for what it really is, a reminder to be thankful, mindful and remember that I am celebrating the birthday of my savior and that my heavenly father loves me and wants me to be happy, not sad or in pain. On that subject, I really want to ready your book! I just mentioned that fact in my introduction in the support sub-forum. Anyway, I just wanted to say Merry Christmas, to you, Walt! I really enjoy your posts and thoughtful contributions and I'm so grateful for this TMS Wiki and the forum. It is a true lifesaver and refuge of hope. I'm very happy to be here, among my new found friends.

    PS- I don't know who designed the "ringing bells" at the top of the wiki, but they are marvelous! Such a fun idea, I can't stop ringing them!
     
  4. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Thanks for posting Walt. I have had a TMS attack after being completely pain free for 4 months. Had some stressful traveling, then christmas prep and also trying to plan for a 6 day road trip - all this pressure I felt building up culminated with my subconscious reverting to old ways. I'm so grateful tho that I knew immediately that it was TMS and not structural and that I needed to sit down and journal out all the details that were adding up to my Good Girl and Perfectionism personality traits.
    Donovan - thanks for mentioning that the bells ring! How Fun!!
    Blessing to you all!
     
    AC45, donavanf, Laudisco and 2 others like this.
  5. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    I had a very bad relapse after doing a huge, stressful Thanksgiving dinner. I realized that I really hate doing these things. So for Christmas, I am going to other people's houses and am feeling dramatically better! I need to really resist the urge to volunteer to do too much!
     
    Laudisco, North Star and nowtimecoach like this.
  6. Marla

    Marla Peer Supporter

    Thanks for writing this (and I love the ringing bells too!)

    I am working extra hours and my back has been really acting up bad, I know it is TMS and not structure because I went for months fine. I know its because working with my young boss who thinks she is a slave driver makes me nervous, and then all the usual Christmas time stuff that although I try for the most part to stay out of it seeps in.

    For me I just love the lights and the spirit of Christmas, I am not religious. But my husband now that he is retired and our money is tighter has no joy because he loves to shop and I tell him not to. I let him buy all the things we did get because he loves to shop. He gets more stressed than me and I try hard not to let his attitude affect me but when I am already dealing with moody boss and tired from extra hours its hard. I think he feels guilty watching me work more hours and seeing my back hurt when he is home full time.

    I am working retail too, need I say more!!!

    I actually would be fine on all of it if both boss and husband would just chill. I find myself withdrawing into my own little world to numb them out, but I am doing reading about emotional eating that arises from burying my emotions. I also think burying my emotions causes the TMS stuff.

    Still in the midst of all the extra work and pain I got 3 days off and pain went away on Christmas day the 3rd day and I felt like that was a gift. We just relaxed and went to the movies, I am sure the distraction helped.

    So back to work all weekend :) Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
     
    donavanf, Laudisco and North Star like this.
  7. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for kicking off this thread with such a great reminder, Walt. First - I love the bells too! They're delightful. I suspect the little elf is @Forest. :)

    I've had resurgence of GERD but knew it was TMS. Lots of family over. (A lazy mentally ill brother who likes to be waited on, among them.) Thankfully, those symptoms haven't stayed on too long.

    One really great thing…we bought a piano which I have been enjoying immensely. Music is such a great stress reliever. :)
     
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Guilty as charged! It's a fun thing I try to do every year. I like playing them, too. :)
     
  9. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    Forest is the elf of the bells! Yay! Awww, man, I miss them already!!!
     
    North Star likes this.
  10. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Me too, Donavan! How are we going to ring in the New Year? ;)
     
    donavanf and Forest like this.
  11. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Come to think of it, a new logo block with fireworks might be nice. ;) Now if I could only get it to play sound....
     
    North Star and donavanf like this.
  12. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi and Happy New Year, everyone.
    I will spend the evening home with my darling dog Max, and will surf YouTube for
    New Year's videos, concerts and funny stuff.

    Forest, you have until July 4th to try for a new logo block with fireworks and sound.
    I bet if anyone can figure out how to create that, it's you.

    One of my new year's resolutions is to learn how to upload videos onto YouTube.
    Becca says she will try to help and maybe you can, too, Forest. But no hurry for this.

    Maybe someone reading this post can give me some help uploading videos to YouTube.

    Have a great new year!
     
    donavanf and North Star like this.
  13. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I wish I could help, Walt, but I'm in the same boat as you.

    I am away for the holidays, returning on Friday. I can't say I've been pain free as my TMS has found yet another site, my knee. I've made sure it hasn't stopped me from any activities including a 90 minute paddle in a kayak through choppy waters (speaking of boats), bike rides and miles of walking. Psychologically there is a lot going on like family conflicts, my inability to stand up to an overbearing spouse and child and insecurity about future plans that involve moving house and country. Oh yeah, I'm just ripe for TMS but I keep laughing at it.
     
  14. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I expected the Christmas holiday to be stressful but it wasn't. I went out to lunch with friends, had some family and friends over, and it was a very busy
    and social Christmas. Now I'm looking forward to the January doldrums, with little socializing. But I know things will come up. Memories of a
    real nice Christmas will help me anticipate more socializing. My dog Annie really loves socializing. She loves it when people visit us.
     
    donavanf likes this.
  15. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just realized that I had the wrong year up! It said 2014. :eek:

    I photoshopped the following image to shrink the file size and give it a transparent background so it blended into our site. I then uploaded it as our logo on the forum for two days.
    New-Year-2014-Fireworks-Image (1).jpg

    But I didn't check the date!

    Ah, well.... I think people got the point and it's the thought that counts. But I definitely need more sleep. :(
     
    Ellen, nowtimecoach and donavanf like this.
  16. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Haha, you always do such an amazing job on the site, something was bound to have slipped at some point, don't be such a perfectionist. :) I think we were all just glad to see the wishes. I am surprised nobody else noticed it :)
     
    Forest likes this.
  17. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perhaps someone else did. ;) I'm not the only goodist here.

    Anyone notice it?
     
  18. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ha ha, the wrong date on the new year's greeting. But it still tells the thought.

    And I'm glad we don't have to repeat 2014 and all the bills that came.
     
    donavanf and Forest like this.
  19. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    Yes I did notice the wrong date and puzzled over it. Then I laughed to myself and said it must be an American thing, celebrating the year just been!! (I live in England) :)
     
    Forest likes this.
  20. donavanf

    donavanf Well known member

    I didn't even notice! I just thought, "How cool that Forest updates this site and makes it festive". I still miss the bells! And the Santa hat on the message tab! But remember, my family kept the Christmas tree up all year, so I always get confused anyway. Speaking of confused, if it's New Years Eve in 2014, do you say, "Happy New Years Eve 2015"? Or do you have to wait till the first?. Heck, I don't know, half the time, in my mind, it's still 1984. Or 2084. I'm a vintage futurist. Is it any wonder that "Back To The Future" is my favorite movie of all time? I have a hard time being present, which is probably a big part of why I have TMS! I always joked that I wanted to write a book called "The Power Of Not Now".

    In any case, Happy New Year, 2015! Phew, got it right. ;)
     
    Forest likes this.

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