1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Fear of pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Varg, Sep 28, 2022.

  1. Varg

    Varg New Member

    Hello everyone, I have already posted my stories of pain everywhere and tendinitis as soon as I heal a few things something else happens within two days, which gives me very little time without pain. Here's why I think it's TMS pain that moves all the time. wake up stiff in the morning fear of bodybuilding fear of having pain at work fear of walking outside (ankle hyperlaxity) discovering the TMS my mind took a hit. I feel sad all the time and want to cry I feel really anxious and stressed, something I didn't feel before. I read Mindbody by Sarno. but I find it difficult to identify my hatred / rage. I started the program a week ago so i keep the diary I have absolutely nothing physically, MRI everywhere, blood test ok and the pain is often much stronger than a big car accident I also have severe tinnitus. the only relief is sport, PT and chiropractic but over time the latter does not work much anymore. what bothers me the most are the pain in the elbow, thoraco brachial parade and wrist. I can't sit for long with sciatica... not too many phones otherwise pain in the wrists... Even if I noted my past anxieties, my fears and my traumas... what else should I do to get better? do i have to cry?
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    You don't have to do anything except be brutally honest during the writing exercises, because that's where you can find very useful and revealing information about your early experiences (going back to childhood) that your brain has been repressing, even if you did not experience childhood adversity or trauma.

    This was certainly the case for me, with a secure home and loving parents. A "normal" childhood is all about leaving the comfort and safety of being an infant and having to learn to exist in the real world with other people, which is traumatic enough in a functional setting. The fact is, even in the most normal upbringing possible, no one escapes childhood without some or all of these: guilt, embarrassment, shame, sibling jealousy, injuries, illness, or the loss of a pet or the death of known individuals outside of the nuclear family, like a distant or elderly relative. Those are "typical" traumas to be expected in any childhood - which our childish personalities do perceive as traumatic, so our brains start repressing very early in life.

    I also didn't feel like I had obvious hatred or rage until I read one of the additional chapters in The Divided Mind that was written by someone other than Dr. Sarno - and this author said that aging and impending mortality can be a source of rage. Bingo - at age 60, I knew it was true. The repression, of course, is repressing the knowledge of mortality as being too existentially horrifying to contemplate consciously. In doing the SEP, I was able to go a lot deeper and uncover clear memories of the little childhood things that had been repressed for decades, which was very revealing and freeing.

    I also use a technique that I've found very useful, which is to contemplate individual emotions, stressors, incidents, relationships, or whatever, in conjunction with the four "Core" human issues from a practice called Existential Psychotherapy. They are: Isolation/Abandonment, Meaning, Freedom, and Mortality.

    All of life's stresses, whether buried in childhood or in your current life, can be related to some or all of these issues. I understood and accepted that the loss of two well-loved individuals in the space of one year was mostly about Abandonment for me, while Meaning and Mortality also played smaller roles. Aging and its inevitable end are about all four of them, especially Mortality, but also Isolation, Freedom (fear of disability), and Meaning (as in, what's the point?)

    I personally feel that the writing exercises in the SEP were vital to my recovery, and I still pick up the pen and paper when I'm having a setback. What I learned back then is that my brain was actively trying to edit what I wrote down, and sometimes even try to convince me that I could ignore something I thought of, as "not important". It was fascinating how I had to force myself to write those things down anyway. They weren't earth-shattering, but they were the ones that were the most revealing when I told my brain that we were going to look closely at them anyway - and that I would be perfectly safe while doing so!
  3. Varg

    Varg New Member

    I have a phobia of death and of my own aging... teenager I had premature deaths of people I loved and with each death I had a huge crisis... I thought I had overcome these deaths but there is absolutely nothing... I'm afraid that the parents will die, of finding myself alone without anyone... even while doing the program I am lost in my own mind...
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    There you go, @Varg - this is a key issue for you, and it is one which society as a whole does not want to talk about, and it is certainly an issue which our brains want to repress. The early deaths of people who were very close to you would have been extremely traumatic at any age, and even more so as a teenager. I think that it's probably very important to write about each of them.

    As you do this, I encourage you to explore the how you felt about being abandoned and isolated by these individuals leaving you.

    On the face of it, this doesn't seem like a good idea, does it? When I did this, my first reaction was that it was incredibly selfish of me to be angry with them for abandoning me, especially as each of them had a spouse who had lost their life partner far too soon. That's our TMS goodism, repressing the deeper emotion, which is actually the rage that Dr. Sarno (via Freud) talks about.

    Here's the fact: human survival depends on having relationships with other humans. This is why we are terrifed at the thought of being abandoned and being isolated.

    Our brains have two good reasons to repress the rage over being abandoned by someone who dies: guilt and fear. You have to be willing to face them both, and understand that they do not need to have power over you (this is something my therapist/coach reminded me about just this morning).

    One of the people I lost was my youngest and favorite brother, very fit at age 55, of an undiagnosed heart condition, and the other was one of my best friends, at age 52 unable to recover from infections after successful radiation therapy on a brain tumor. These both occurred within less than two years, and the death of my brother was shortly followed by my mother who essentially died of depression at age 93. I was furious at the unfairness of the first two, and I was even more furious with my mother for choosing death, because there were still three of us who would have enjoyed having her around for a few more years. She was otherwise very healthy and fully competent - but she was more afraid of physical and mental incapacity than she was of death. Which, you know, I get - and of course it wasn't about us, and although it was triggered by our brother's death, it wasn't even really about him.

    I'm still angry, in this year that she would have been 101 (and I think she could have reached that, honestly) but I've forgiven her. And I still mourn the other two, who should have been getting older with me (and with their spouses, of course - but being honest about my emotions means acknowledging that it IS about me - and that's OK).

    Anyway, back then I wrote like crazy about my rage and about being abandoned and isolated, as well as how these deaths reminded me about my own mortality. The Unsent Letter technique is a great one, for telling your loved ones how you feel about them, and about how it feels to be abandoned by them.

    Have compassion for yourself as you do this, and above all, keep at it.

  5. Varg

    Varg New Member

    Thanks you so much !
    yes this is the rage sarno is talking about after if I lose my parents I find myself alone I have no wife or children at 35 because the pain did not allow me to take care of children. my last relationship dates back to 2020 and since the thoracobrachial parade, impossible to find someone, I don't want to put someone through this, you see. I wrote a letter, but the interlocutor does not count much, does it? your story is tragic and i'm sorry to hear it, you really are a strong person and it's admirable and i thank you very much for helping me with this program.

Share This Page