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

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by elektrobank, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. elektrobank

    elektrobank Newcomer

    Hi, I'm brand new to TMS, I have never even heard the term before a couple days ago, but for everything I’ve read I sound like the poster boy for this condition. I’ve always been the ‘sickly’ kid, the perfectionist, the worrier, the people pleaser, ect. I’ve had every problem you can imagine, from stomach issues, anxiety, eczema, asthma, GERD, body pain, ect. Yet every time I went to the doctor I was always told I was in perfect health, so why did I have all these health issues?! I gave up on the medical community over a decade ago when I realized they had no idea how to treat any of this (yet they certainly kept trying at my expense) and began down my own path of self healing. I have made great strides through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes over the years to remedy a lot of these issues, with a lot of success. I felt like I was in much more control of my health these days and thought that many of these issues were going to be a thing of the past.

    I always thought my 40s are when I'd really start feeling old, yet I entered them in the best shape of my life. Physically I was performing better than I have in my entire life. My stamina, strength, and abilities were better than any other time in my life. My social life was great. My mood has been great, I’m always positive, rarely feel anxious, depressed or worry as much anymore. People still tell me I look like I’m in my early 30s. Contrast to how I felt in my 20s, and it was like I got a whole new body and a whole new shot at life.

    Then one day it all went sideways on me practically overnight. Now I finally felt I was reaching the old age people had been telling me about where everything starts getting harder, body pains start popping up, performance and mental clarify decline, ect. My stomach problems resurfaced, my mental clearly felt like it had sharply declined, and I started to develop severe back pain, which was new to me. I went to gastroenterologist for my stomach, did some basic testing and they couldn’t find anything wrong. They wanted to go into more invasive testing, but I feel like I’ve been down this path before and decided against it. I went to a spine doctor, got an MRI, and was told I had degenerative disc disease. At first I didn’t let it get to me and continued my normal activities, but was always met with extreme pain to the point I finally gave up on being active and then shifted to a rest and recovery mode of stretching, core strengthening, ect. As I went down this path, I also tightened up my diet even more, but between it all, things were only getting worse. As the months went by I got to the point where I felt this was my new life and would probably looking at a lifetime of pain management, instead of recovery. As I was looking for new back programs to try, I found “Mind Over Back Pain” and started with that, not even knowing what it was about. After that I moved onto The Divided Mind, Mindbody Prescription, ect.

    Even before reading these books, I’ve always felt strongly there was a mental component to a lot of my issues, especially the stomach issues, but never imagined my back could be affected too. And after all my improvements I though this was all a thing of the past. So why now?!? Everything is seeming great in my life. I haven’t had anxiety issues in so long and I never had anger issues. But when I started to really examine myself after reading these books, I do find things that do occupy my thoughts and cause me worry and anger, as well as things in my past I just can't seem to let go of. I think my coping skills have almost become second nature over the years that things don't seem to bother me enough anymore to cause anxiety, panic attacks, or anger. But I do see these things still linger in my thoughts and are probably affecting me in ways I don’t even realize. Now I see the idea that my body could be expressing these in new ways that I didn't think was even possible.

    I’m writing this partially to have a starting point to reflect on later, but also to ask for suggestions on how to get started. As someone who has wasted tons of hours and money on doing the wrong things over the years to find the right things, I hope to not go down the path again of piling up books, supplements, and paying “experts” for things that don’t help. I know there is no magic pill for this or a 1 fits all solution, but in getting started I’m overwhelmed with the information out there. Can anyone suggest some simple first steps and resources to get started? I’ve ready the books that explain the 'why', but now I need to know the 'how'. Is it beneficial to see someone? Or should I try the self help route first?

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi there @elektrobank, and welcome!

    That's a great intro - I love how little time you spend on the physical details (because the details do not matter!) and instead concentrate on the overview of revelations that led you to what is probably the right conclusion that everyone here has also come to, thanks to the brilliant Dr. Sarno - which is TMS! And that's great news!

    Here are my immediate suggestions:

    1. Take some time each day to read one or two (depending on length) Success Stories on that subforum.
    2. Start doing our free Structured Educational Program (the SEP). Don't rush - one day of the program per day is fine, and skipping days is fine, too! The only thing that I strongly recommend is to do it with complete self-honesty. Pay attention to how your brain might try to sabotage you - for example, by convincing you that you don't need to write down certain things that come into your mind during the writing exercises. Fight back against those inclinations, and force yourself to write them down anyway. You will be rewarded in multiple ways for learning that you can do this.
    3. There are lots of other resources out there, many of them free. I have a long list of favorites on my profile page. I found a number of the books at my local library, and even the audio program I recommend ("Meditations to Change Your Brain") is available at my library.

    Again - welcome, and good luck! I'm pretty sure you are in the right place!


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