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Feeling defeated, needing guidance

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Sparrow, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Sparrow

    Sparrow Peer Supporter

    I feel I have a good understanding of TMS but can't seem to make any progress, so I decided to sign up here and reach out.

    I read Sarno's Mindbody Prescription years ago, with my main motive being to find something that could help my dad. Since then, I've been able to use the TMS theory to rid myself of minor maladies. But for some reason I never made a true effort to apply the idea to my chronic back pain.

    Here I am 3 years later with nagging neck pain, that I've had for almost a year. In addition to my lifelong chronic low back pain that, at this point, I mostly have accepted as part of my life. Lately the back pain has been severe and the neck pain has become intolerable. I also realize that my knee and heel pain started around this same time (I had attributed those to running). Anyway, this culmination of pain moved me to pick up Sarno's book again and I firmly believe that my pains are TMS. But I am getting nowhere with solving them.

    I'm not sure if this TMS journey so far has been more inspiring or depressing. Clearly simply making the mindbody connection is not enough for me to heal, as seems to be the case in many instances. In trying to dig deeper and acknowledge my emotions, I feel I'm sending myself into a depression by recalling all my insecurities and past traumas. Seems like I've had many "breakthroughs" where I cry and cry upon realizing some of my deeper emotions, but it does nothing for my pain. Maybe I'm focusing too much on the emotions and pain. So I've also tried the "normalizing" approach, where I go about life as if I'm not injured (because I'm not). But even during a simple walk in the park I find it hard to ignore my neck pain. When I get out of bed in the morning, I intend to bend down without using my hands for support, because there's nothing wrong with me, but when I do that I fold with pain!

    I didn't realize until delving into this that I have been pretty stressed and anxious for the past 6 months. I know I need to work on that, but I can't seem to figure out how to do so while in so much pain. I'm more anxious than ever now because my mediocre attempts to not be stressed aren't working. I know the de-stressing and relaxation have to happen in order for the pain to subside, but I sort of can't imagine feeling calm UNTIL the pain subsides.

    I'm just overwhelmed with information and the various approaches, none of which seem to be working for me. I'm trying too hard, I'm not trying hard enough. Need advice.
  2. Kozas

    Kozas Well known member

    There's no advice from me, but I just wanted to say my situation is the same(I just have different pains). I try and try, and nothing helps at all. It's somewhat good to know, I'm not the only one, maybe that will help you too somehow...
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  3. Daffy Duck

    Daffy Duck Peer Supporter

    Really liked your post. There is so much I want to say. Can't get all the words out here but will read again and try to formulate something. I really wish I coukd talk directly with others instead of type... Wishing you well, Daffy (and thank you for your writing your thoughts and feelings)
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Sparrow,

    Welcome to the Wiki and Forum!

    I am sorry you're struggling and confused right now. It sounds like you're experiencing anxiety about what to do.

    I suggest you go to the Wiki and complete the Structred Education Program, or get Dr. Schubiner's book and work through it: Unlearn Your Pain. Or any other structured, supportive program that you're attracted to.

    I feel that anchoring your work in some kind of guided step-by-step process will help you. Many people have had huge help from these programs, and from others. Once you make a little progress you will have more confidence. Your sincerity, patience and persistence, as well as posting questions and responses on the Forum will get you through.

    Andy B
  5. litschi

    litschi Newcomer

    This is so discouraging. And I also don't understand it. If you can retrain your brain, then EVERYBODY should be able to do it. It's like everybody is able to learn to read - some take longer, some faster, but everybody with an able mind can. They are telling us our bodies are able and healthy and fine and so are our brains. So if that is the case, then with repetition and persistence, this SHOULD work for everybody, no??? That's what my TMS therapist tells me - everybody can get there. So - Are we just giving up too easily? Could it sometimes take a year for the pain to start being better?
  6. Daffy Duck

    Daffy Duck Peer Supporter

    I keep returning to Sarnos books on the subject. Once I did read a book from the perspective of Fibromyalgia and TMS and the author stated that it was important for her to ultimately get out of group therapy with others who had been experiencing fibromyalgia because it kept her focused on what was causing it. That being said, the search for anger is not the same as finding what you may be angry about. Maybe its enough to let our brains know that we aren't 100 % distracted and then to go on throughout our day...Any other feedback is welcome, of course. Daffy
    Sparrow likes this.
  7. litschi

    litschi Newcomer

    Maybe you are focused too much on trying to get rid of the pain? Seems like measuring progress by how you REACT to the pain instead of by how MUCH pain you have is the way to go.. have you ever tried that?
    Sparrow likes this.
  8. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I tried to isolate a few choice sentences from your post to reflect back at you. Intellectual appreciation is NOT enough to get better or I would have gotten better the first day I read the Book. It also isn't about 'getting down to emotions' or you would have gotten respite from your pain after crying. If that was the one of the 'various approaches' you tried I am not surprised you haven't gotten any relief. I spent years in 'therapy' for various maladies (Mostly alcoholism and Addiction) and had plenty of emotional outburts...breathroughs. ... I knew more about 'me and my issues' than I could stomach... and I still got wicked,evil, burning, fiery PAIN. It was all TMS. Because that well of selfishness in the repressed child is deep, it doesn't get drained with 2 or 20 cleanings. It's a lifetime of work. Mercifully , recovery from symptoms isn't that hard.

    Education is only 1/3rd of this deal. .And part of that understanding is that there are certain things we have NO ACCESS to because they are repressed. I couldn't cry about them if I wanted to because I DON"T HAVE ACCESS to them. I can only get shadows of them on the cave wall. We all have painful memories we can cry about. That is a another part of the conscious mind, called the pre-conscious which holds memories we can access with a lot of effort, but that also isn't what causes TMS...might be involved but it isn't the Septic tank we're trying to clean. We never really get to the Septic tank.. we can only smell it!

    So, there is a sort of Faith involved . Faith that we don't Know. It is the searching, in particular when we are involved in the symptoms that is where the re-conditioning or the second third comes in. Everytime I feel a symptom I have to consciously and forcefully turn mind to one of the problems I am aware of... Economics, Relationship, Jobs, FEAR etc. This takes Work ...and it is labor intensive. ... and it means we are going to have to go through virtually every phase of our day when pain comes in and be prepared to Fight. Kick . Scream. Think. Scheme. strategize, Be DEPRESSED because this is unsavory stuff, but it is fighting fire with fire and it works . If done thoroughly it is only temporary.

    ..and disregarding the symptoms? I hear that kicked around by a lot of people on this forum. That seems like it only works for people who have been through the ringer multiple times and have experience (and confidence) that it is really a charade. Using it as a first line of defense sounds like a formula for agony.

    I am sort of a Sarno Fundamentalist. I don't meditate, Journal or anything else that wasn't directly recommended by Sarno. I have found ways to get to the places he said were necessary to get to.... and I have been pain free for decades.
    It is defintely an action program in spite of his calling it an 'education' program because that education spurs us on to take action. Do something. Anything. If it works, great, if it doesn't, you don't have to waste time with it anymore... Sarno was pretty clear that 2-5 weeks was enough to banish the majority of symptoms so anything you try should be given that much time.

    You will get there one way or another.

    grapefruit likes this.
  9. Sparrow

    Sparrow Peer Supporter

    I think you are absolutely right about that. I've been working on my reactions the last few days and it seems to be helping a little bit! Will definitely keep this advice in mind.
  10. Sparrow

    Sparrow Peer Supporter

    I appreciate your response a lot, helps to have things reiterated and reworded. Maybe more active fighting is what I need to do, in the fashion you described above.
  11. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    In some ways, you have to put your whole life-force/intelligence/sincerity into this work. This is where "belief," trust or confidence comes in. You have to put all your eggs into this TMS basket, knowing that if 10's of thousands of people have succeeded, that there is no reason you will not. Reading Dr. Sarno's work every day, and reading success stories is very important in this regard.

    And finding your own exact way, as Baseball suggests is crucial, because at the heart of this work is individuation/boundaries. It is a lack of individuation ---or lack of "self-esteem" might be the words Dr. Sarno used to point at this, which gives us a propensity for mind-body syndromes. The "Goodist" in us wants to do it right and follow rules. The real path is a little wilder than this, a little "crazier," not as "safe." It is an assertion of something deeper than our conditioning; we tap into a foundational sense of aliveness and choice, with a confidence that we are healthy.

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