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 1 Excited to get started - need your help

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by marcy, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. marcy

    marcy New Member

    I’ve suffered with pain for 2.5 years. My life is obsessed with the pain. Every moment of every day, it is what I think about. In Dr. Sarno’s book he wrote that for sufferers of chronic pain, pain is often the first thing they think of when they wake up and the last thing they think of before they go to sleep. For the last 2 years I have had chronic nerve pain in my foot. I thought it was the worst thing in the world. Then 6 months ago, I developed back pain in my middle back. It’s excruciating. I can’t do anything without pain, it’s all I think about. I have given up my regular life and things such as sitting at a restaurant for an hour seem to be impossible. I stopped cooking, walking, going out with friends, sitting on the couch, sharing a bed with my husband. At work, I would have to lay down every hour (and the other 50 minutes of that hour were excruciating).

    I found Dr. Sarno’s book by chance after some desperate internet searches for “progressively worse chronic back pain.” I found someone else’s story and ordered the book on my kindle 10 minutes later. I read the book in its entirety that evening and became convinced that I was suffering from TMS. That was one week ago, and while i am convinced I have TMS, I still have doubts. FIrst, my pain is in the middle of my back and most people have pain the lower or upper back. Second, my foot pain has a real injury - the nerve was completely entrapped and was not able to move freely at all. Third - how can this much pain come from my mind? My life hasn’t been that hard, how can i internalize this much pain? BUt then I think about it more and so much of it makes sense. The pain keeps moving around my back. I have a very strong desire to be liked and considered a good person by everyone who knows me. I have put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed. I am an attorney who recently graduated from law school. I graduated number 1 in my class. I really really didn’t want to say that because I feel like I bragger but I think the beauty of this journal is to be completely honest and I think my school pressure more than anything opened my eyes to how much pressure I put on myself. There was no reason to push myself that hard. I didn’t want to practice at some big city prestigious firm. I just wanted to stay in the cornfields and be an attorney around here - you don’t need to do too well in school to get that far. BUt i still put the pressure on myself.

    Other discoveries continue to convince me. The back pain started in my hips and started around the time that my foot pain got better. Over the past 3 years, I worked extremely hard to put on a happy face and not let anyone know that I was sad or frustrated or in pain. I often tell people that the best part of the pain is that it doesn’t leave any room for worrying about anything else - which i now realize was just me further repressing emotions. My parents separated the same month the back pain started (the separation was after the pain started, but maybe part of the reason it has lasted so long?) I also remember when i was in college that I would get very very sick the days after final exams were over. Maybe this was part of the TMS?

    Regardless, I am extremely happy to have found this diagnosis and to start my path to recovery. It’s been a week since I read Dr. Sarno’s book. I have definitely seen some improvement, but get nervous because it has not been as drastic as other people’s rapid improvement. Has it take others of you longer than a week or two to recover? I found this structured educational program today and am hoping that increases the improvement.

    What Would Life Without TMS Mean To Me:

    A life without TMS would mean everything to me. Just everything. I would be able to sit at work without crying, I would be able to go out with friends without fear or worry. My husband and I would finally be able to start a family. I would be able to be normal and not deal with self wallowing and guilt every day. I would be able to run and work out again. I would be able to sit in the car for more than 30 min. without panic. Just everything would change. To be honest, I can’t remember what my life was like before TMS - what did it mean to be painfree? To wake up and not even think about the pain or how you would make it through the day? To count the minutes until work ended because then you could go have fun, rather than counting the minutes until you could make it home and lay on the floor for the rest of the night?
  2. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Welcome to the forum Marcy! I am so excited you have this, and that the TMS resonates for you. You said quite a few things that I could relate to. I certainly remember the all encompassing pain. I also have the mid thoracic pained area. While I was doing this SEP, my pain decreased about 85% and that was within the 42 days of this program. I'm experiencing some of the old stuff, but I recognize the amount of pressure I put myself under for Christmas, present buying, parties, etc. I never knew before I started this program that I am a perfectionist. I also learned to start feeling the anxious energy that I, my thoughts, would generate, just out of habit. Doing this program helps break up a lot of things and starts dropping the pain level into snippets of life experience that is related. I am really looking forward to reading your posts and celebrating your recovery! I also wish I was one of those people who had the pain lifted just from reading the books... but I am also way less outcome focused which relieves any stress and pressure to get better. Not that I enjoy having the pain around!! ha-ha. I can tell you that I've had days - full complete days without any pain. Its fantastic!! I believe that someday soon, I will be able to say that I have months or weeks without any pain, or even thinking about my back. I know it will happen. But I stay close to the exercises, read daily, participate on this forum... I'm getting way more than just pain relief.
  3. Dahlia

    Dahlia Well known member

    Hi Marcy and welcome. You question, Has it take others of you longer than a week or two to recover? The answer is a resounding Yes! I have read comments from Dr. Sarno when he was asked how long it takes to recover. He was reluctant to answer because everyone is different, but I think he talked about 6 to 8 weeks on average. So one or 2 weeks must be the exception.

    Certainly, not everyone is pain free in 6 to 8 weeks either. So try to look at it this way, work the program and see what happens. You have nothing to lose by trying this and everything to gain. It can take longer - that's OK.

    As far as this SEP, I have found it most valuable. I think that when you're really up to your ears in misery for a long time, a program and support forum like this is invaluable. It's a place you can turn for the encouragement you need to keep going. A sympathetic ear, a kind word can mean a lot. That's what you will find here.
  4. marcy

    marcy New Member

    Thank you both so much. Just reading your responses gave me the confidence to know that my pain is from TMS and that it is completely normal to not be pain free this early into the process.

    Nowtimecoach - you made my day when you said that you suffered with mid back pain. Just knowing that one other person had their TMS triggered in that spot was good to know! Also I completely relate to the feelings of being a perfectionist. A few days into journaling I am realizing how much of my life revolved around being perfect and making sure everyone else thought I was perfect too. Whew!

    Mary - thanks for helping me to know to not give up! I'm promising myself I will do the 30 program and try not to analyze my results until the end!
    Dahlia likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Marcy, many of us on TMSWiki have the same back pain or have had it. I healed after months and not
    until I believed 100 percent that it was from TMS and not from aging or normal wear.

    For Steve Ozanich, author of The Great Pain Deception, it took more than a year. He too had to finally
    tell hims elf it was all from TMS.

    I hope you look up Dr. Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain, at amazon.com books and read the reviews
    from people who became free of pain after reading it and practicing TMS healing such as journaling.
    It's very inspirational.
    marcy likes this.
  6. marcy

    marcy New Member

    Thanks Walt! "Healing back pain" was where I first learned about TMS. Very eye opening.
  7. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Hi Marcy,
    TMS symptoms take many many forms. Read "my story" and you will see how numerous they can be. plus i did not list them all....pretty amazing stuff. 90% of my symptoms are gone. Most after a couple of months. The symptoms left are a warning bell that my personality traits are getting out of whack or I have repressed anger. Meditation has been very important to me. walking every day is important and journaling several times each week.

    I, also, did not know I was a perfectionist which knowing what I know now is hilarious. Yes, I am a perfectionists but selective.

    You are going on an amazing journey.
    joseph32, Ellen and marcy like this.
  8. joseph32

    joseph32 Peer Supporter

    Marcy: Welcome to the site. I am also from Illinois and discovered I have TMS about a month ago. I currently am very happy with my life with my wife and kids. I did however have a really rough childhood. I am like you though when it comes to being a perfectionist and wanting to being liked by everyone. I overachieved professionally and scored higher on promotional tests than anyone had in the past. It always seemed I had to be the best and something to prove. I really believe now that this causes me some inner anger, as I can never achieve enough to prove myself worthy to some degree. I am sorry you are going through some rough times, only people who go through this can truly understand. The belief of TMS and working consistently will help you. I have improved and still am on my journey. I would love to be one of those who improved in one week, but everyone is different. If you place too much attention on a time frame, it will only cause more stress and not be good for recovery. Take each day as it comes, and think of the small gains. 7 weeks ago I couldn't sleep and literally was in tears from my back pain. Yesterday, I ran up a large hill 5 times and a mile home in this Illinois snow. I still have chronic pain and hurts most of the day. But I am making progress. You will overcome this, I pray for it. Try to stay positive.
    Stella and nowtimecoach like this.
  9. marcy

    marcy New Member

    Thanks Joseph. That is great advice to not put a timeline on my recovery and just focus on the small gains. I am so happy to hear that you have had good progress, and I will continue to pray for you as well.

    I finally reread the post I had written and my perfectionism came screaming out. When I posted my first note, I followed some instructions to not worry about spelling/grammar/typos when writing in my journal. I find it so hard to do that! When I go back and read, all I want to do is fix it :). But at least now I know that that too is due to my personality trait of perfectionism.
    nowtimecoach likes this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Joseph, it's great that you're active despite the pain. Steve Ozanich did the same and finally healed.

    Marcy, don't worry about spelling and grammar when you post. I have no trouble with that.
    It shouldn't add stress, so just do what the author Edna Ferber did... she said she wrote fact and
    didn't worry about spelling or grammar. In her case, an editor fixed that up before publication.

    But with our posting, we're not considering publication. Just writing about our TMS journey.
    joseph32 and marcy like this.
  11. David B

    David B Well known member

    Marcy, I'm only a week into the program and only 2 weeks into full belief that my symptoms are 100% from MBS. I too was fortunate to make some big strides in the first week. My symptoms now jump all over place. The intensity, timing, location, sensations, all of it. One of the experienced members of the forum said that shows it's working "you have it on the run"; so do Drs Sarno and Schubiner.

    Every thing I have read and everyone I have consulted says this can take awhile and everyone's experience will be different. It's not like a broken bone or torn ligament, I have had plenty of both. No one can say three weeks in the cast, 6 weeks in rehab and 3 months of strengthening and you will be back.

    However a friend who would never in a million yrs be someone to believe this would work was cured.

    Be patient. Be persistant.

    "Hang in there everyone. Breathe and relax. You've found the answer. You're body is just trying to teach you to take care of yourself. You are enough." - Peg Hanson

    Be well.
    Stella, marcy and joseph32 like this.
  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Going back over what we write in journaling to correct grammar and spelling can be an okay thing to do.
    It could reinforce your thinking on a repressed emotion.

    Dr. Alan Gordon says in his Techniques for Healing…

    No two people will recover from TMS exactly the same way. This is predominantly due to the fact that each individual has their own unique experiences, which fuel their symptoms in a unique way. One person may find journaling to be helpful, while someone else will find affirmations to work better. There is no right or wrong way to recover from TMS. The key is to find the right way for you to recover from TMS.

    Experiment with the different techniques. Try journaling, affirmations, meditation, and other approaches. The only way you will find out what works is by trying different things. This can mean doing different techniques, as well as different styles of the same technique.

    If you find that a lot of emotions are coming up when you are journaling, then it may be a good idea to keep doing it. Of course, if you journal for two months and find nothing comes up or you find journaling to be overwhelming, then you may be better served using another technique.

    If one approach does not resonate with you, don’t worry about it. Just because one technique does not help, does not mean that the TMS approach will not work. The more you worry, the more you will feed the TMS cycle.

    Happy Holidays!
    Stella, marcy and joseph32 like this.

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