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Flaring up real bad!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Karen, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone! My name is Karen and I feel like I hit the jackpot tonight finding this forum. I truly do.

    I would like to condense my story because I haven't slept for over 24 hours due to a huge flare-up in the last few weeks with sciatica nerve pain and I am very tired tonight. I just got back from a lovely resort down south in which I could barely walk for the first few hours of the day. I cried on my vacation the pain was so intense. I know all about TMS and I have been reading information about it for years. I was able to put myself somewhat into a great remission for a very long time. I almost forgot that I suffered for many years from the pain. Life was good again. I actually spoke years ago in our hospital support group for a year, every week helping others to recover from this terrible tension pain.

    It hit me like a ton of bricks last week that I am in a huge flare up again and I know why. I got a scribbler out at the pool and started to write, write , write. Hate poured out of me on paper. I filled 4 pages of frustrations. My husband supported me and held me as I cried my eyes out, which was well hidden behind large, fancy sunglasses.. :cool:
    (I am a perfectionist and very proud lady which goes along perfectly with the syndrome.) But I couldn't stop crying. Among many stressful things in the last 2 years, I also took in my 91 year old MIL to live here at the house. I did not realize how this would affect my life.

    My life has been full of tension for the last 2 years again and I think, maybe the fibro was set off again by a very bad 'rear-end' car accident. I actually forgot that a car accident could set this off. I have suffered lower back pain for 2 years now. Life has been incredibly difficult and I have been diagnosed with severe depression. It has affected my job.

    I was diagnosed with 'fibro myositis' over 30 years ago in my 20's. Of course this long word turned into fibromyalgia a few years later. Now I understand it as TMS and am ready to take the bull by the horns again and try to put this all into remission, at least to a certain, manageable degree.

    I am looking for friends to talk to because I find that this is not an open topic with most people. I want to become strong again and listen to all your great suggestions. I am ready to completely change some things in my life right now and, but I need to go slowly and make good decisions about getting some things off my plate again. I got the buffet' plate too full once again. Lol

    The girl who can do it all, is falling apart again. I welcome any comments to get me started. I will now go dig out all my Dr. Sarno books tonight. Thanks again for listening to my whining.

    Thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate this so much.
    Sincerely, Karen
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Karen, welcome to our community - we're so glad you found us in this crisis - and I hope we can help, even if all we do is listen! And I was surprised when you used the word "whining" because that's not what it felt like to me - so the first thing you can do is stop beating yourself up! We are all in this together, believe me!

    So if my math is any good at all, we are about the same age, and I think that this is the age when the s**t can really hit the fan for a TMSer. Part of my stuff was having a 91-year-old in my life which is hard enough when you're past your own mid-span, never mind in your own house and in your face 24/7! It's certainly not what you asked for or ever expected, is it? Eesh, I'm really sorry.

    Have you ever read anything by Peter Levine? He's a brilliant therapist who has specialized in the mind-body aspects of physical trauma and its emotional aftermath. I've finally started reading my first book by him, and he's really really interesting on this topic - he's very compelling and his theories might resonate with you. He's written a lot of books, so I don't know which one to recommend first - I just picked one of the few that was available at my library for downloading to my Nook, and I'm not that far into it. The one I want to read (but I'll probably have to buy it) is called In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness. His classic is Waking The Tiger.

    The other thing I'm going to recommend for you is the Self Acceptance Project which is a series of interviews with experts on the topic of... self acceptance. A number of us have been listening to the weekly interviews and really getting a lot out of them. It's free - you just have to sign up with your email address, they send you the links to two new 30-minute interviews each week (the past ones are all on the website) and you get a marketing email for their books and CDs not more than once a week. The organization is called Sounds True and they published the Peter Levine book that I'm reading. I listened to the very first interview again today, by Kristin Neff who is just wonderful, but I've loved almost all of them so far. If you like them you can add your comments to the thread at http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/self-acceptance.1685/#post-9301

    Again, Karen, welcome to the wiki and the forum, and keep us posted, okay?

    Karen likes this.
  3. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Oh my god Jan, thank you so much for your reply!! I just Registered!

    I actually feel excited this morning for the first time in a long time. I have not told anyone of how severe the depression was. I am trying to slowly close down a 40 year old hairdressing shop. I am finally part time. The pain has forced me to wind down in my business and I have wanted that for 10 years now. I have been soooo burned out. I have worked with hundreds of woman over the years and I have let so many people down in the last couple of years. I am VERY hard on myself. I must be the proper hairstylist you know. :p Make-up everyday, hair done just so. My whole life has been cleaning my house and trying to look good to the public. I am not conceited - it's actually the opposite...I don't have enough self confidence to go out in public without being all made up. I am soooo hard on myself.

    So now, I am running a part time beauty salon from my home (with a very sore back) keeping an big 11 room house looking good and now added to my life , I am looking after my 91 year old MIL. I thought I was going to have a total nervous breakdown a month ago. I am now on 2 weeks 'leave' and am trying to relax a little. Yesterday, I called 6 more very faithful clients and told them goodbye. I have to get my workload down to a minimum this year or I will lose my mind. I have to take care of me. My husband and I agreed on our vacation last week that we will put a time limit on how long we will keep his mom living with us. Knowing that it will only be for another year brings me great relief. She is helping financially so there is a benefit to her living here. (I feel guilty saying that) I probably could not go part time if it wasn't for her, so I want to develop a really good attitude. (I have been hating her inside and not telling anyone)

    I feel guilty letting go of my clients and of course, at the same time, afraid of losing the financial security. Some of my clients are very angry at me. I say that I don't give a s--t, but I still feel guilty inside. I thought my total co-dependant days were over. I do have strong boundaries with most friends, family members....but I am still soooooo guilty all the time. I have 2 grandchildren who I haven't even had the time for and when they do come around, their noise drives me crazy and I can't wait for them to leave. I am ALWAYS feeling guilty. I can never do enough. I don't even take the time out to play with my 16 year old cat and he's not going to be with me for very much longer. I hate myself for all of this. I thought at 58, one would be more relaxed....to be able to finally put your feet up and read a good book. I'm surprized that I'm taking this much time to write to you right now because I feel that there is always so much housework to do. My husband already agreed with me that within 2 years, we can put the house up for sale and move to an apartment.

    I am rambling on and on this morning because I am so excited about finding this support forum. I do not think I would ever commit suicide, but there hasn't been a night that when I fall asleep that I do not care anymore if I wake up in the mornings.......What a terrible feeling at this age. Nothing really excites me anymore.

    The councillor that I have been going to gave me the diagnosis of 'Vicarious Trauma' from hearing so many horror stories over the years from all the woman. (and I mean horror stories!!) I am so tired, I don't even want friends around me. I constantly have to play, Let's Play Pretend' with my phony smile on. I have wanted to go live alone up in the woods by myself. I am so sorry, I am just pouring this crap out on the internet....but the writing helps me so much. Just having your response there this morning meant everything to me. I do know that I am feeling hope again this morning!! The thought of not working much downstairs in the salon is very exciting to me right now. I have a old house that is falling apart and desperately needs some loving care. I could get the business cut way down, look after this 'old doll' and do a bit of 'freshing up' the house this year with a bit of new paint and wall-paper. The house has been very neglected. I used to love to do all that, but it has become nothing but a burden to me. If I took the time out this year to so this - it would make me feel soooo good.

    And I desperately need to get out more. I have become a hermit.

    Thanks again Jan...I mean that......

    Sincerely, Karen

    Thank you so much for caring.
  4. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant


    You have the perfect storm of circumstances for TMS to bite. Aging, retiring, caring for a loved one, guilt, etc, etc. No wonder you're struggling, you have been through much. It's a normal response given your circumstances so don't beat yourself up too much. Most people would respond the same as you.

    As long as you know certain things about why you're reacting like you are, then you will heal. It all depends on self-honesty and it looks like you see yourself as you are, but there's always more that you cannot see, thus your TMS. Your body is telling you how you truly feel inside as it expresses what you yourself cannot, or do not know.

    There's not enough joy in your life right now, the burdens have overshadowed the light. But that will change soon. Healing begins with a first step and you've taken it. But it's time to get to work now.

    Guilt is the driver, anger is the energy, self-esteem is the platform, and fear is the instigator. Together they create a feast of problems, and TMS comes along to save your day.

    The first thing you need to do is sit down and realize all your blessings. That will give you the pull to begin wanting to heal. People can't heal unless they want to. The not-wanting to go on is the thing that we fear most because we know how powerful the darkside is over us. TMS itself is a blessing, so there's your first one to appreciate.

    Good luck,

    Karen likes this.
  5. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi Karen,

    There's a handwriting analysis trick that I learned years ago that works for typewritten letters as well. To get to the point, what was central in your mind at the time you wrote this message, believe it or not, was the fact that your house is getting old.

    In your message above you seemed very focussed on your house. Interestingly enough, I met a woman a few years ago who was into feng shui. She shared with me that I should observe the incidents in my home and the land that surrounds my home for clues about what is going on in my life. Her advisement has stayed with me because every time something happened in my home, subsequently, something would match the home event in my current life. For instance, an appliance would do something strange and before you know it, something bizarre would happen with the health of someone in my family (or me). My car would have a technical glitch and then something would occur with my health that would reflect the car being out of commission. There have are many signs if only we would be aware of the messages that the universe sends us.
    The universe is kind, she said to me that day. Yes, I believe this is true. The universe is kind in that it gives you symbols to see and experience that will hint at what is to come.

    Your focus on the "old house" raised a few flags for me. I think that in your mind, the house reflects your personal self (which would explain your frustration with aging given that you refer to it as the "old house").

    Plus, I think that Steve O. above has much to say that is significant for you. You do have the "perfect storm" happening in your life - the convergence of retirement, taking care of your mother-in-law, aging & the issues related to image that accompanies the aging process - it's quite a bit enraging to deal with one of these concerns, never mind all of them concurrently.

    Do not diminish the issue of taking care of your 91 year old mother-in-law. There is something about the "primitive inner child" that Dr. Sarno refers to that rebels against the idea that it needs to sacrifice its own needs in favor of those needs of a relative or loved one.

    I don't have an answer for your condition. Your inner self needs healing. Perhaps a cleansing of your house with new paint, a fresh airing out of the old for an ushering in of the new - this could bring you such much needed healing. If it's true that our home and land shows us how we truly are, renovating or cleaning out parts of your home can reflect a cleansing of your emotional self. Being a caretaker can be exasperating. I think that this is weighing more heavily on you than you know consciously.

    Pay attention to when you have the pain. Are you talking about anything in particular? Does your mother-in-law walk in the room and invade your space? Does your husband shut down leaving you to deal with the interpersonal issues of an aging parent? Are you the buffer for the household? I ask these questions because I think your getting your house in order (as you desire) is a symbol for your wanting to change your personal life and gain some semblance of control over your freedom. There is no freedom in caring for others until you care for your innermost self first.

    Hope this resonates with you. You cannot change circumstance unless you first change your internal view. I care for a relative, too, so there is much compassion and love here for you. Be easier on yourself. All will be well.

    Peace and light.
    plum, Karen, Leslie and 1 other person like this.
  6. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Steve, thank you so much for responding. I am very proud to say that I just ordered your book. I will try to be patient as I await it's arrival. :)

    Funniest thing Steve. I have 16 chapter book that I wrote 10 years ago collecting dust under my bed . Much of it has to do with this very topic. I called it, ''Born To Be Alive''. LOL I wanted to be a great author like you!! Life got in the way again...Oh well, I'll remain like the frustrated painter...I'll get discovered after I die!! :D

    You my friend have hit the nail on the head for me. What you say above is 'right on'! I did start today to look at things from a different perspective and I know I will have to change my attitude. I do have the ability to turn this around and look at this whole situation from a totally different, positive point of view. (If I choose to )

    And I do make that choice tonight because if I don't, I will sub-consciously put myself in a wheelchair and say, ''I can do no more''. I do understand what the mind can do. I remember reading Dr. Sarno's book for the first time after suffering from muscle pain for a very long time and I knew I had to take back my life. But to take it back would mean becoming a healthy part of society again along with all the responsibilities of life. At that point, back then, I was able to use my pain as a great excuse. I have watched many people do it. I lent out Dr. Sarno's book to so many of my clients but they didn't want to get better. I knew that in my heart. I didn't ever judge them for it.

    And that's what's happening to me right now... excitement to live life again. I just feel it. I feel hope again tonight. Thank you soooo much for your words of encouragement. And thank you for taking the time to write a book that may save many lives, including mine right now.

    Sincerely, Karen
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Lianne, I couldn't go to bed without writing a quick note to thank you for this amazing observation. It is getting late and I want to re-read this again in the morning. Thank you so much for sharing this new type of perspective with me. You also have hit the nail on the head. I want to share a little personal information tomorrow about this house and why I hate it. You will understand - you will see how you are 'right on'!! And I need to share it just to get it off my chest.

    I knew I hit the jackpot when I found this forum. I have so much hope inside of me tonight. Thank you...thank you all so very much. This is awesome!!

    Sincerely, Karen
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi Karen,

    I am so glad that you found this site, too! It's been very useful and supportive for me and others here - welcome. Forest does an amazing job of maintaining and overseeing this site (forgive me if there are others that support this site who are not being credited). Yes, you did hit the jackpot here, Karen.

    I am so happy that my insight was of value to you in your healing journey. I must admit that I am quite curious about any specifics you wish to share here on the forum about the house metaphor and how it has meaning for you:)

    This woman (Nancy) profoundly impacted me in terms of my now being more observant about my house and the land around my home and how it reflects my innermost self and the current events in my life. In the past few years I've observed her theory in action and realized that it is amazingly accurate. When a tree falls down or an appliance dies I now think, "Utto!" LOL!

    The subconscious mind is so powerful, is it not? That is why we're all here.

    Oh, this is so funny....I have to tell you. My husband is making Easter dinner right now. He leaned over my shoulder to see who I was writing to on this forum. He looked at your photo attached to your message and asked, "Are you writing to Paula Dean?! He loves Paul Dean from the food network and he was getting excited that I was writing to Paula Dean! I love her too! You do look something like her and I think she's a beautiful person, inside and out. LOL! A lighthearted tangent that I just had to write you here :)

    Keep in touch to let us know how you're doing.


    Karen likes this.
  9. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi Karen,

    One other thing... You wrote back to Steve O. about possibly putting yourself sub-consciously into a "wheelchair." Read his book - that statement has profound meaning, given his story. It's a great book!
    Barbara M likes this.
  10. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Oh my goodness Lianne, that is soo funny what your husband said about Paula Dean!! Thank you so much for the beautiful compliment. I get stopped EVERYWHERE I go and get told how much I look like her. I went to her 'images' pages a long time ago and if I had blue eyes and platinum hair - I do have pictures in my own photo albums that look exactly like her!! It's quite spooky!! I have also been told by everyone that I have the identical personality of her, so if you need to know what I'm like, you can picture Paula Dean talking to you!! I'm a bit on the crazy side like her!! Amongst all the stresses in my life - I still like to have a lot of fun. It is the way I survive. Lol

    Now.... a little bit about my 'house'. For 10 years, I had myself in remission. I read Dr. Sarno's book and followed it to a tee. I taught it at our local hospital support group. I could tell who liked the information and who didn't. It's not an easy message to get out. That the mind can create all this pain. People just don't believe it.

    I was living very simple life before I moved into this house. My adorable 2 bedroom mobile home was paid off and I was living the way I finally wanted to live. I had owned homes before and didn't like all the work you had to put into it. I always, as long as I can remember, got overwhelmed very easily. I was the sensitive personality. I liked a Very simple life and I finally had it.My husband and I went camping every weekend and life was ok.

    THEN.......... My only sister, who was also my best friend in life - only 11 months younger than me, dropped dead from a brain aneurism. My mom died one year before my sister. I was still grieving my mom's death when this happened. My sister had 2 children and the fathers were not part of their lives, so within 24 hours, at the grand age of 40, I became an instant mother to 2 grieving children. I did not have any children of my own. 5 miscarriages and 2 ectopic pregnancies ruined my chances of becoming a mother. I was ok with that at the older years. In fact, I was relieved not to have all the problems that go along with having children. I couldn't admit that out loud because it would show the 'selfish' side of me that the world would not accept. The 'dark side' as Steve explains it.

    My sisters wishes in her will were to have the 2 children grow up in a house. She left me a very small insurance policy so I would have the down payment for a home for the kids. I did not want a house. I did not want any of the 'situation' but I knew I would do it for her. I already had agreed that if anything happened to her, I would gladly bring up the children.
    But Lianne....she was not supposed to die!!!!! I never dreamt in a million years that this could happen to me. It could happen to you or anyone else...but not in the little 'bubble' I lived in. Her death devastated me and I landed up in the hospital with what the world calls a 'nervous breakdown'.

    To make a long story short, they counselled me and I came home very shortly (within a week) to take good care of the children. That is when I bought this house 'site unseen'. I was so depressed that I couldn't go house hunting so my husband video taped them for me and I watched the videos from my sister's apartment and picked this one.

    We bought the house and I did everything in my power to bring happiness to these 2 dear children. I wanted to fulfill my sisters wishes. I loved the kids - but none of it was easy at all. It was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. My dear little boy was gay and suffered terrible in school. my 'girl' was with drawn. I had so much to deal with. I was grieving myself and trying to make a happy home for all of us at the same time. Then my Dad died. I had to grieve again.

    To make matters worse, I think we had the kids for 4 years when my husband came home one Friday afternoon and announced to me that he was leaving all of us. He said he couldn't do it.
    He walked out of our lives that day and I have never seen him since. It was a total disaster. I really thought I was going to lose my mind. I begged him to leave the house to me because I just couldn't start over again. He told me I would never make it. But I am one stubborn girl! He took his 'cut' from the house and left me with it.

    I cleaned and painted 2 rooms in the house and for 3 years took boarders in, just to prove to him that I could do it. The boarders caused me so much trouble...I truly thought I was caught in a nightmare. The day I decided to work my heart out and make it on my own, was the day that the police showed up at my door and arrested one of the boarders for theft during the nighttime hours. He was going out and robbing during the night and coming home in the wee hours of the morning. I knew nothing of what was going on..

    The kids moved out shortly after this and I slaved my guts out to keep this 40 year old home. The wallpaper in the upstairs bathroom is still the same after 16 years. It was only when I met my currant husband that I began to 'update' the house. My new husband came with his own set of baggage and that included a very healthy older mother who needed constant attention. And now....5 years later...she lives here. I call this the house of depression. I really wish I could burn it down, put my MIL in a nursing home, tell my dear husband, it 's been nice knowing you and leave the whole situation. But I have spoken the truth to my new husband and he is very supportive. We have agreed together to continue fixing it up and hopefully, this time next year, she will be in a nice nursing home and we will be selling this old joint to live a much simpler life. He knows I am writing on this website right now and I think he understands the whole concept. I have that going for me.

    The car accident happened 2 years ago and the pain has been slowly getting worse. I couldn't walk again this morning.......

    I am now going to read Steve's book and take the 'bull by the horns' because I am not ready to die just yet. Do you understand a little better now that when I read your post, I almost fell out of my computer chair?

    A lot has happened in 16 years. It has been constant stress. I smile my way through the whole thing and look good to the world, but deep down.. I just want to die like the rest of them....I am tired of being the 'strong lady' that everyone tells me I am........

    I am proud to say that I have kept this house for 16 years now and the kids are all grown up and doing fine. I have 2 beautiful grandchildren that I don't have time for. Yesterday, I had a wonderful easter egg hunt for them and it was so much fun. I need to find time for them....as I said yesterday. I am always guilty and I am sooooooo tired of that feeling. I hope I have not given out too much information that would upset anyone on the board.

    Hugs to all today and thank you all for the fantastic information that I need to help get me better and heal. I once again feel that there is hope for the future.
  11. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    WOW, Karen, WOW. Please, please, please (even if you can only do it for me) take at least 30 seconds and give Karen a HUGE hug from me - CONGRATULATE her for how much she has been through and how well she has handled it. I can't even being to imagine everything you have been through and the fact that you are NOT in a wheelchair is nothing short of amazing to me. I cracked under far, far, far less.

    I highly recommend keeping those little grandchildren around for entertainment as often as you can tolerate, but be careful it doesn't become "expected" (by their parents or by you). I spend some hours each week with a few little ones and they are always very good for laughter. Not to mention, they have fabulous imaginations so they can be very helpful for improving your imagery skills if you try to follow along with what they're "seeing". The added bonus is that if they are pre-school age they are also extremely helpful for "personifying" your inner child. It's kind of eye-opening for an adult that hasn't been around a young child for many years to come face to face with one throwing a tantrum and realize "hey, that's exactly what my sub-conscious is doing inside me right now (for the same illogical reason too!)".

    I know you will find all the support and encouragement you desire on this site, it really is a wonderful group of people. I couldn't have made it without them, that's for sure. Do your best to be kind to Karen, and when you can't - just put a post on the forum that says so and you'll get lots of help with it!
    Happy Healing!

    Lianne - was there anything in your lessons from Nancy that had to do with broken appliances that were fixable by the hubby? You have me on high alert now wondering what sort of "event" is about to "clog up" my life!! Yesterday in the middle of washing a few small doormats, the washer just stopped working. Turns out the backing on one of the carpets had disintegrated and had clogged up some part before the drain. Fortunately my husband was able to fix it and it's now working fine, although I did get a very stern warning about "so much as thinking about putting small carpets in the washing machine ever again". :)
    JanAtheCPA and Karen like this.
  12. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Leslie - I second your message to Karen - WOW! You are certainly brave Karen. I will write to you in a bit, but I want to first address Leslie.

    Okay Leslie, now I know that the universe is kind, and has a sense of humor!

    Given that many of us TMS'ers are "goodists" and that we block emotions by the function of repression...what better way for the universe to reflect back to you that by allowing yourself to be a "doormat" for others (the goodist) by always giving of yourself, you created a situation whereby your own pent up negative, resentful emotions got clogged in your body, manifesting as pain (or the dishwasher got clogged, unable to "clean" the dirty dishes)? Your husband was the one who helped to release the clogged dishwasher, so I would guess that he's a great support for you (that is, after he's done being ticked about your putting such an item in your dishwasher!) I laughed out loud when I read your message, Leslie! You did see the metaphor, I know. You had to - you're too smart to not see that. Very very funny, and oh so confirming of my friend Nancy's theory. Very neat.

    Karen - No wonder your jaw dropped when you read my insight about the house. Wow! Amazing story. To say that you're brave is an understatement. I agree with Leslie that you should give yourself a big hug and self-congratulate (not self-flagellate) for surviving and getting through that period in your life, the dark night of the soul.

    Your story makes me wonder how many of us on this site are caretakers for others. There seems to be a common thread among more than a few of us in this regard. Your first husband saying "I can't do this" was heart-wrenching to read. I am glad that you're about to read Steve O's book, The Great Pain Deception. You will find your story in his story. His was a story of bravery, too.

    I am so sorry that you are suffering in pain. Perhaps writing your story and hearing the feedback from others here and me is helpful to your psyche. We all must find healthy ways to soothe ourselves.

    Maybe you are Paula Dean's twin, separated at birth. Did you know that her first husband left her and her two boys - just left them on their own one day. She was in dire straits and needed to figure out how to support herself and her two boys so she began making sandwiches and sold them out of her home, at first. She worked incredibly hard and overcame so many obstacles. We see her on the food network and think her life was charmed and was achieved with little hardship, but that is not the case at all. I wonder if she ever had serious back pain? Hmmm....

    Anyway, I digress. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us; you are indeed a brave woman.


    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  13. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    In my defense, the carpets were in the clothes washer, not the dishwasher (I AM the dishwasher!!) so I'm not quite that dysfunctional :D Had the whole thing happened to someone else I probably would have seen the metaphor glowing like the stadium light that it was, but I can be incredibly dense when it comes to seeing things in my own life. As completely clear as it is now (thank you sooo much for opening my eyes Lianne!!) I had actually totally missed it. And the timing is spot on too, been dealing with a bit of a flare up myself the past few days. I realized late last week that I have some digging to do in an area I thought I had already cleaned out, and I've been putting it off - don't ask me why, maybe there is some part of my twisted conscious mind that actually enjoys not being able to get comfortable watching tv. In my defense, my eyes are WIDE open now, so I will take up the shovel and dig today! Thanks again Lianne!!!
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  14. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Thanks to all who responded to this thread. I cannot tell you how excited I am again! It amazes me how this pain snuck up on me again after suffering for so long many years ago. I almost forgot that I could still suffer from TMS. I am going to be reading Steve's book all day today. (I'm off this week from the salon - just have to take care of MIL)

    Last night I fell asleep talking to my brain and to the pain gently. This morning when I woke up, I could walk. The sciatica pain is there today but it's at 'bay' right now. I will continue to take inventory today of what needs to be changed in my mind and my life.

    Hugs to all of you!!


    P.S. I sat up till midnight reading Steve's book.....I am soooooo excited. I want to live again!!
    JanAtheCPA, Leslie and Forest like this.
  15. quert

    quert Guest

    It's really a terrific book. Like with any good TMS book, the key is to think hard about how it applies to you and what it tells you about your own life. Enjoy the book and go deep!
  16. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Karen - I am glad you found our site. I have to say that you are tremendously courageous. You have been going through a lot of stresses, and you still have hope. You are much stronger then you think you are. Your determination to overcome TMS is very inspiring.

    Reading TMS books, especially Steve's, will give you the tools to continue down this path and stay motivated in your recovery. As Steve mentions, belief, especially in yourself, is the most important part of recovering. If you believe that you can heal, and that you do not have a structural problem then you will. That is one of the more moving ideas that I took away from Steve's story, and something that was very relevant in my own recovery. Was I afraid of my symptoms at first? Yes, but the more believe I had that I was okay, the more I was able to increase my activity and decrease my symptoms.

    As I read through this thread I was also reminded of the Existential Anxiety approach Dr. Zafirides utilizes. The general idea here is that there are four ultimate concerns that are core parts of all humanity and can lead to the development of TMS: Death, Freedom, Existential Isolation, and Meaninglessness. As we encounter one of these ultimate concerns we approach what Steve would call the "Perfect Storm for TMS." Check out his podcast on it in the thread: The Role of Existential Anxiety. It will provide a lot more info on how this relates to TMS.
    BruceMC likes this.
  17. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Karen,
    I hope your symptoms have lessened because of expressing your situation here on this Forum. But I couldn't help but notice that taking care of an elderly family member seems to be one of the common features in what Steve O. calls the "perfect storm" behind the manifestation of TMS symptoms. Of course, it brought to mind my own case where after my father's death in 1997 I inherited care of my mother with dementia until she died in January 2001. I had a so-called "herniated disk" 6 months later when I inherited her house. However, this reminds me of so many other people who seem to develop TMS symptoms after taking on care of a loved one in decline. At the PT clinic I went to in 2002 there was a woman, who had recently moved her mother into her upscale residence with her husband after mom had begun to exhibit symptoms of dementia. On top of that, her and her husband had just been let go from high-paying, high tech jobs and were obviously now borrowing from Peter to pay Paul to finance the illusion of upward bound social mobility. The woman in PT had developed CTS that was so bad it required an operation to relieve pressure on the nerves in her hand. She used to bring her mother into PT and I had the opportunity observing them interact. Whenever her mother started to have memory problems, the woman would start acting anxious and hysterical. She obviously had some problems too with death and aging because she was always emphasizing that she was a "woman in her forties", but from listening to several of the things she said I pegged her age as 55 for sure. She also kept talking about what a big success she used to be while hinting about just how much she'd lost in the stock market. After a while, I have to admit I could read her like a book. I think Dr Sarno is absolutely correct to identify the internal child's need to feel omnipotent and immortal as an important contributing factor in creating the repressed rage that drives TMS symptoms. When you've become a care giver for a family member in decline you're faced everyday with the fact that you're not immortal and all powerful.

    I think you'll find that verbalizing your subconscious issues is an important first step toward healing your TMS symptoms. It's when you don't verbalize them that they manifest as debilitating physical complaints.

    All the best to you on your journey toward self-knowledge and healing.
  18. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Lianne, I wanted you to know that I actually hired a painter to come tomorrow to do my whole downstairs!!!!!! I picked out really pretty colors! I am soooooooo excited. I can't do it myself right now. I don't have the motivation. I am such a 'cheapee'. I don't like to spend money on things I can do myself!!!!!!
    (and they may not do it right, eh? :rolleyes: Lol )

    ....Anyway, he came today, gave me a half decent quote that won't break me.. and my downstairs will look like new!!!!!! He is coming tomorrow morning! Maybe, after it's painted, I'll have motivation to 'create' again. I just needed someone to get me started and between your response the other day which motivated me to hire a painter ...I will begin the work with 'The old house'!! Maybe, I'll clean out a closet while he's freshening up the dreary downstairs!!:D


  19. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Forest, I want to thank you for taking the time to respond to me. I really appreciated what you said. I have been reading Steve's book on and off all day and then coming back here!!

    I listened to the podcast this afternoon and I loved it. One thing that I have done is faced my own death. I follow a bit of the 'Stoics' tradition. Now it sounds like these people don't have any feelings, but that is not the case at all. They are just very realistic about life. I am also a realist. I am trying to live everyday the best I can (even with all the frustrations). I wrote my own obituary. I am not a believer of a personal god, but I do have hope to go back into the universe after death and find some new adventures! It was hard facing my own mortality. I did a jounal and balled my head off saying goodbye to me!! :(

    Another life long best friend dropped dead of a heart attack 3 weeks ago. I have been grieved his death, but I feel as if I have accepted it.....I don't like it - I just accept it.

    I know for me, the meaning of my life is what I make it to be. I was making it horrible with my angry personality. And now, I want to make it good again!!

    Thank you my friend for wise words and the links. I really appreciated that.
  20. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Bruce, thanks! I already feel more hope right now than I have in 5 years!! I can't believe how Dr. Sarno came back into my life again after all these years. I think I may just keep popping in here to tell you all how the progress is going.

    The last couple of days, I did not wake up in the morning wishing I hadn't woke up. That's progress for me!! I'll keep at it and I thank you for the encouragement to take my life back again!!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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