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Getting Motivated to Write

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Livvygurl, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Livvygurl

    Livvygurl Well known member

    I am curious if doing journal writing is really one of the main keys to healing. I am trying to 'think writing' but would rather meditate or hang out on the message boards, read articles, watch the Sarno DVD. Somehow the journaling seems like a big step, that I would like to take eventually. I guess I need more patience, I have only been on this site for over a week. I feel like a new puppy just so excited to be here and know about TMS, be a part of this wonderful community, and feel the healing unfold. At the moment, I cannot seem to focus on the idea of doing a structured program. Any thoughts?

    Livvy <3
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Livvy,

    When I first started working on TMS I made a lot of lists of pressures in my life and then I'd sometimes pick one and write for a while on it. I did the Structured Program on here for about 11 days and then moved into just journaling when I felt draw to. I haven't written in a few weeks.

    Just don't let journaling be another thing that your TMS personality uses to abuse or intimidate yourself with. You don't have to journal if you don't want to, or you can start it later, or just do a little writing, like 10 minutes here and there.

    :) Veronica
  3. Livvygurl

    Livvygurl Well known member

    Hi Veronica73,

    Good idea, I will go at my own pace and try small bits of writing here and there. I am just a recent graduate and am burnt out on writing. I love reading the TMS material because I am fascinated with psychology and the workings of the human mind. I watched Sarno's DVD yesterday and I woke up today and I can move both of my shoulder blades freely. It has been over 10 years! That is something to journal about ;) Yeah!!!

    Livvy ~
  4. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    That's amazing, Livvy!
    Livvygurl likes this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Livvy, that's exciting, all right!

    I had about 80% relief from lower back pain and a new shoulder pain after finishing the Divided Mind last September, and I never got shaky legs again. Pretty miraculous! But it turned out that my chronic neck pain and constant dizziness were harder to beat, and anxiety was a big issue. I started the Structured Ed program, and, like Veronica, I didn't get all the way through (and each "day" took me several days), but it really helped me discover some stuff from my childhood that I didn't know was there. Unsent letters, lists of past events, current stresses, free-flow writing and letting even the smallest things come out - these were all really valuable, and I suddenly realized one day that I hadn't felt foggy in several days, and I decided at the same time that my neck wasn't really stiff, and I didn't have to baby it. Which turned out to be true, in fact!

    For the anxiety, I read Claire Weekes "Hope and Help for Your Nerves" which was fabulous.

    Do I have relapses? Yes, I've been relapsing now for about a month due to high stress (dizziness and anxiety). I'm going to go back to the Ed Program, but this week I've been listening to the Alan Gordon talk and I just did some free writing on my inner terrorist after today's online chat. I've also got a couple of books arriving this week - Steve O's book (that's the current hot read right now, it seems) and Neil Fiore's book on procrastination (oh, my inner bully LOVES to beat me up about that! )

    All this is by way of telling you that it's a journey, for sure - and as you and Veronica discussed above, one that you will take at your own pace. It's probably a life-long journey, by the way.

    If you start to feel stuck, that may be a good time to start writing :)

    And welcome to the community! We're all here to help each other, which is a beautiful thing.

    nadia and Livvygurl like this.
  6. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great news, Livvygurl. So you now see it isn't essential to journal in order to progress. I found early on I just couldn't get stuck into the journalling. One of my TMS issues was pain when handwriting. I did try journalling by typing but it just wasn't the same. I wanted to write, scribble, draw pictures, dig my pen into the paper, etc. I assume it was my brain's way of keeping me focused on the physical thus preventing me from writing and uncovering all sorts of buried treasures. I decided to let the journalling go for the time being because I was feeling very stressed and self-critical for not being able to write. I noticed recently my ability to write has improved. At work when it's my turn to minute a meeting I used to type up the draft on my laptop during the meeting. The other week I managed to take minutes by hand, proving to myself that there are no physical impediments to writing and there never were.
    Livvygurl likes this.
  7. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    YB44, something similar happened to me...when I first started journaling and the headaches were getting better I started getting this new intense ache in my shoulders when I would start to write in my journal (but it wasn't as bad when I was writing something at work). I knew it was just more TMS and it went away after 2 weeks.
    Livvygurl likes this.
  8. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter

    Hi Jan,

    I am new to the TMS Forum. I just want to thank you for sharing your story. I am on Day 4 of the Structured Program (and have been for almost a week, lol) and have realized that anxiety is a factor for me as well. I see now that even as a small child I had HUGE anxiety. I haven't yet journalled on it, but I think I got this from my dad. He had a lot of anxiety, was a perfectionist, had anger issues and suffered chronic health issues. I was very close to my Dad. I am highly intuitive and as a child I 'felt his pain'. I desperately wanted to make his pain go away. AND I have had dizziness for 17 years, it has been one of the few 'constant' symptoms related to the FMS diagnosis. Your story fills me with hope.

    ~ Nadia
  9. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member


    This is fantastic news! I am reading the "Great Pain Deception" and in it the author Steve Ozanich talks about how he read "Healing Back Pain" dozens of times with no results. But once he got the audio tapes, and he could hear Dr. Sarno's words - he began to get better.

    I love to write so I did a lot of journaling. But I think we all learn differently so I say: whatever works. Keep watching the DVD. Maybe someday you will want to write. But sounds like you don't need that right now. Just keep on with the next right step. And only you know what that is!

    WOO HOO! No pain.

    Livvygurl and nadia like this.
  10. nadia

    nadia Peer Supporter


    So glad you posted this. I've been wondering the same thing myself. Regarding journalling I have not been able to decided where I should write. I was journalling on my computer, but found that because of the spell-check and auto-correct, I'd get distracted. So i think for me that writing in a notebook will be more effective. I feel better after reading others commenting here that I don't need to obsessive over this but rather trust myself and the process. I did make long lists of pressures in my life (past and current) and with that some key issues have come to light. Just being aware of these is very significant. It seems this process is highly unique and that is such a consolation!

    This is amazing! So happy for you. I just got the DVD and hope to watch it later this week. I am reading the Mindbody Prescription right now and have noticed that in the past few days the constant acid reflux I've had for several years is gone. Each little improvement is huge encouragement to me that so many of my health 'issues' are actually TMS.

    I am deeply grateful for Dr Sarno and this community.

    :) ~ Nadia
    Livvygurl and Beach-Girl like this.
  11. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Livvygurl - It is terrific to hear that your shoulder pain is going away!

    The main thing to keep in mind is that everyone is different. I didn't journal at all when I recovered. I simply read a whole bunch of success stories and started to be active again. This really helped me accept the diagnosis and helped me learn about TMS. With that said, I do think it can be helpful to at least write down a list of stressors. You don't have to journal in depth about every one of them, but it may be helpful to simply understand what areas in your life produce past or present stress. You really just need to keep in mind how you are doing. If you are struggling in a couple months, then you may want to rethink your approach and see if you are avoiding anything. But, if posting on this forum works, then keep doing it. Personally, I find that forum posts can be just as therapuetic as journaling, and you can learn a lot by reading other people's posts. Interacting with people online worked for me, so I really encourage other people to do it.

    Another idea would be that you could go through the program and just skip the journaling activities. There is a whole bunch of terrific articles and tips in it that will help educate you on TMS. I think the program can be really adaptable, and you don't have to do everything in it. Simply reading all of the terrific article will be a huge help in overcoming TMS.
    Livvygurl likes this.
  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yaaay Nadia! Isn't that exciting? I can totally relate! A year ago I thought I was developing food intolerances. The list of foods giving me trouble kept getting longer. That became a non-issue after discovering TMS, and I eat everything again, and I have pretty good luck talking myself out of digestive discomfort, too (not sure why that's easier than the dizziness).

    The only intolerance I have now is for people who won't give up their food intolerances, LOL!

    Good work!

  13. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I can say that journaling was very helpful to me. But it needs to be deeper than think journaling; it needs to be FEELINGS journaling. I put a topic with maybe one sentence at the top of the page, then "sit" with it a little to allow feelings to come. Then I write. Many past events came to mind as I started writing about things and "delayering the artichoke".

    I do believe journaling is helpful in releasing emotions and past events, and addressing everyday events as well. If I really need to, I talk things out loud while I'm driving too.

    Jan: very cool you were able to overcome the food intolerance!

    Best wishes!
    JanAtheCPA and Livvygurl like this.

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