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Day 7 Focusing too much on your progress

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by yikes0118, May 8, 2014.

  1. yikes0118

    yikes0118 New Member

    ...."Personally I think tracking pain intensity can make you focus too much on your progress. This can be disheartening if you are having a slow or difficult recovery. The most important thing is to ignore the pain and focus on living your life. Don't obsess over your treatment, or how much progress you have or have not made. Investigate your triggers and then move on."
    So my question is this....How do I wake up and THINK something different? Meaning not waking up and immediately finding the pain site, giving it an intensity number and start figuring out what I can or can't do today. Seriously! I am trying not to focus...but trying no to focus still feels like pressure. I do this every single morning. Think groundhog day. As the watcher of "me" I notice that I am doing it and try to interrupt immediately, but I feel angry, sad and afraid the moment I see the pattern continuing. I do recover some later in the morning as I am fortified to remind myself that these stressful thoughts are because I am human, I practice self love and reread Dr. Sarno's reminders. I want to create new neuropathways and experience new morning thoughts. Suggestions please?
  2. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    One thing that has worked for me on many occasions is to first tell my SubC that this behavior is not acceptable. Then I challenge it to "do it's best!", since I'm not afraid of it. Then I let go, and focus on other things, and often the pain just fades away.
    This is a combination of Dr. Sarno's suggestions and Alan Gordon's sequence of 1. observe, 2. assess, 3.demand more, and 4. trust.
  3. debbi1955

    debbi1955 Peer Supporter

    I've just started myself, but the mornings have been my best time, I think because of something I lucked into my first night. My issue has been debilitating back pain, and after reading Dr. Sarno's book 'Healing Back Pain', I connected when reading about the 'structural' issues that supposedly cause back pain, but really don't. I have scoliosis, arthritis, and herniated discs, but my back pain would come and go, and it never made sense to me that the physical issues I had would cause the pain - but only sometimes. So it really clicked with me that these issues were not the cause at all. I realized that while I might have those things, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong. And that night, I fell asleep repeating to myself 'there is nothing wrong with my back' (kind of in amazement - I've had these things for 30 years, and the idea that there was nothing wrong with that was mind-boggling). I woke the next morning, got out of bed - then realized that not only was my back not hurting, but I had stood right up without pushing off of the bed rail. I think repeating that to myself as I fell asleep helped me get the message to my SubC. So I did this again last night, and any time during the day when I felt the pain start to creep up, and I've had 2 days with no pain in the morning when I awakened, which to me seems like an absolute miracle.

    I've changed my mantra to 'there is nothing wrong with ME'. May as well think big! This is a tricky thing though. Trying not to focus on the pain - it's like trying not to think of a pink elephant - suddenly it's all you can think about. I am also using a trick I learned when learning to meditate. When I think of the pain, I picture the thoughts as water at the top of a waterfall, and I watch them go over the edge and let them be replaced with fresh ones. If they pop up again, I just watch them go over the edge again. It makes them seem like they flow through my mind - not like they are popping up and occupying it.

    Good luck with your journey!
  4. yikes0118

    yikes0118 New Member

    Thank you Gigi...I read your reply before I headed off for bed last night and this morning I used your exact phrasing "do your best, I'm not afraid of it!". It feels very empowering just saying those words:) Curiously enough no back pain...it moved to my left shoulder. Crazy entertaining, eh? I shall continue the mantra.
  5. yikes0118

    yikes0118 New Member

    Hi Debbi, thank you for sharing a bit of your story and your new mantra. I really think it does take a village/tribe to navigate through TMS, and the support from others experiencing similar things helps me immensely. I am rereading Dr. Sarno's book "Mind Body Prescription" -- a chapter at a time to integrate it fully -- as well as doing the SEP. I do "think" I have accepted the TMS philosophy completely....but still grasp and notice when I have attachments to the outcome of the pain minimizing. In the past two months my pain has moved from my back to my hip and now from the hip to my left shoulder and right heel. I have been diagnosed recently with fibromyalgia and my PCM says this is the pathology of the disease (to move around) ...I've decided I don't want that label and chose to recognize it as TMS. For now I will continue on with Gigi's mantra and try on yours for size:) (edited a tad) "There is nothing structurally wrong with my body -- the pain is a reminder to ask myself -- What am I feeling in this moment?" Thank you again for sharing. So much healing with your journey back to restored good health:)

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