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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Hello. Time for personal work and change...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by spiralgirl1, May 17, 2012.

  1. spiralgirl1

    spiralgirl1 Peer Supporter

    Hello ... I have posted a few times mainly on the old style wiki and have returned to browsing for a while. This new site is really great and thank you to all involved in creating and maintaining it!
    Briefly I have experienced pain for at least 12 years combined with anxiety and periods of low mood. I have moved on massively and know my symptoms are completely linked to emotional states. I work full time which is necessary for income but that is I think also a way of avoiding change as I am usually 'too tired' to do or fit in many activities that would be positive for me. The last year has seen change for me in that I have moved and broken from a long and co-dependent relationship.
    I feel that I am drifting at the moment.. not in a bad way but that I need to move forward in my journey. So I plan to embark on the Structured Programme on the Wiki as it has developed into such an amazing resource. And I hope sharing more with others will motivate me to keep on the path. I tend to be very 'private' about my TMS and often not very confident about the way I express my opinions or feelings.

    As I write I feel that my stuck areas are-
    1) Fear of energetic physical activity
    Believing that I am so unfit and out of condition that I am really weak and likely to injure myself. However I am reluctant to see a 'professional' to get fit as I fear they will tell me to be 'careful' with my back and my fear cycle will activate
    2)Procrastination particularly around writing things down
    3)Allowing myself to be sidelined/ distracted from facing feelings by fiddling on laptop
    4) I am a perfectionist and very self critical (surprise surprise!! :eek:) )

    I could continue but that will do for now.. I am already judging this post as not good enough!!!!

    I look forward to some adventures, change and mutual support on here.. positive wishes to all. :eek:)
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    The paradox with this line of thinking is that while I'm in shape - lifting weights and riding my bike everyday - my TMS (sciatica and lower back pain on the left side) still hurts as the symptoms move around from my back back to my hip to my knee etc. etc. Obviously, being in or out of shape is not the real problem behind TMS. IOWs: If you fix the mind-body problem, you shouldn't have any fear about exercising and getting in shape because that isn't the real root cause of your pain problem. Does seem when I really push myself physically, it does contribute to deprogramming the conditioned pain pathways in my central nervous system. So . . . don't be afraid of exercise, but just return to it gradually and pull back and start over whenever you experience pain symptoms that are too debilitating. Like Aesop said about the tortoise: "Slow but steady wins the race!"

    Maybe you should just try a half-hour everyday of riding a stationary bike? That's real easy on you and shouldn't activate or "trigger" any TMS reaction I'd guess (but don't know since I'm neither a personal trainer or an M.D.)
  3. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    Welcome back, Spiralgirl. I hope the Structured Program helps you get out of your current drifting stage in life. It's a great motivator. :)

    You don't need to see a professional to get fit. I lost 20kg without ever stepping foot inside a gym or paying a dollar. All you need to do is start a habit of exercise and you'll find you increase the level of activity naturally. I was inspired by Stephen Fry, who lost almost 40kg by changing his diet and going for walks while listening to audio books. I decided the only time I'd listen to podcasts is out walking, which was incentive to get out the door. Pretty quickly the actual exercise became the incentive and I started walking faster and longer to get that exercise "buzz".

    And all this from someone who refused to do PE in high school! If I can get fit anyone can. :)
  4. spiralgirl1

    spiralgirl1 Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the response MorComm and Justina .. I guess the physical fitness issue and looking for the 'perfect' professional / class is for me just another way of procrastinating and focusing on my fear of not doing it right..
    which links of course with fearing that I am structurally weak and will cause a relapse of back pain.
    Sadly the bike idea is a no go as have no space to keep one but I do love to walk (which links with my love of nature) and I can plan to increase my walking. Sounds good Justina! I will build up slowly and surely.
    And I have started this week doing stretching each day.. not getting caught up in the 'right way' to do movement but just doing a variety of stretches that feel good and constructive..

    Best wishes :)
  5. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi Spiralgirl:

    I too have a tough time getting out there and exercising. I love to be outdoors as well, and have struggled with this issue. But time and time again I read here on the forum and wiki success stories, tales of those who began physical activity and viola! It works! Is there a place near where you live where you could take short walks in the woods? This might inspire you once you have a positive experience.

    I'm to the point where I ask myself "what's bugging me?" when my back hurts rather than "what did I do to myself?" Once you get to this point, the next is that big step in moving about. Good luck to us both!

  6. spiralgirl1

    spiralgirl1 Peer Supporter

    Hello BG.. thanks for your response..
    I am lucky that I do have some lovely walk / outdoor options to choose from ... woods/ hills and beach front (though it's promenade and not sandy wild sort of beach).
    Moving freely is a major step I need to make.. I am less fearful than I was but still very limited. But I did do a 25 minute walk yesterday!! Positive :)
    Have just been working on Day 3 of the programme and pondering the questions regarding Physical activity.. I will do a post on the SEP forum later ...

    Lots of good luck and thoughts to you .. there is nothing better than moving about in nature to inspire.
    - Spiralgirl
  7. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    That's fantastic, Spiralgirl! The first step is always the hardest and you did it! Looking forward to seeing how you progress with the program. :)
  8. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    From personal experience, that prom sounds perfect. Nice and flat. I love the hard sand vs the soft. I know I'm going to ache (naturally) from walking in the soft sand. My doc used to tell me it was "bad" for me to walk the soft sand. I no longer believe him.

    This is excellent! Hope you felt OK afterward and are feeling good now. Don't over do it, just a little at a time. I'm super proud of you for taking that first step. I have YET to do this, so you are doing super well. I suggest this to many and now it's time I took my own advice. You've reminded me of a prom we have in the next town. Would be perfect for me to try and walk for awhile sans pain medication.

    Congrats and keep going!!!

  9. spiralgirl1

    spiralgirl1 Peer Supporter

    Hi BG,
    many thanks for your really positive comments... I am pleased to report that I have done a 25 minute walk for 3 days in a row.. interestingly day 2 was harder and I felt achy and anxious. Day 3 I felt really rather good!
    I just have to keep it up and find the time now I am back at work this week. Did not do one today... It has to be a priority for me time around work...

    BTW I once was told walking in soft sand was not good for me also... I don't have the luxury of sand at all on the beach where I live (its' all good old British large pebbles) but if I do have access to soft sand now I will try to think of it as good exercise :)

    I think you should have a go on your local prom.. take that step!!
    Lots of good luck and positive wishes for your lovely seaside prom walk...
    and thanks for the support.. much appreciated.

  10. spiralgirl1

    spiralgirl1 Peer Supporter

    Thankyou Justina.. I will update re my progress.. hope your bushwalks are going well?? Do you have Bellbirds where you walk.. I remember that wonderful sound whilst doing some walks
    in Oz years ago!
    Lots of good wishes to you.. :)
  11. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    Thanks Spiralgirl, my walks are going well. :) I did an 8km walk on Saturday and it was great. Sadly no bellbirds around here, it's too far inland, but I used to hear them occasionally where I grew up. I did see a Dusky Woodswallow on Saturday though, a first for me!

    I find it hard to walk during the work week too. I try and get home early some afternoons and go for a walk, it's a great way to wind down.
  12. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    This has got to be one of those unfounded things that people say to keep them thinking phsycial. It is just like, I can't sit in that chair it is too soft. It is so great to hear that all of you are increasing your activity levels. As Morcomm said, being active does really help in accepting the diagnosis and reprogramming our minds. The key thing to remember when returning to activity is to do it at your own pace. For some you can go from being inactive to running a half marathon like Enrique, but you don't have to. One of my biggest issues was simply walking, so simply walking places really boosted my confidence.

    The best part about TMS treatment is that it is all about us. If you want to become a long distance runner you can, or you can simply work on the computer more, play a musical instrument more or do anything else that requires your hands. The idea is to identify what things we have been avoiding (exercise, typing, even cooking) and start doing those things. It is all about challenging the idea that we are disabled and can't do something. It is great to see all of you becoming active again and challenge the TMS by doing the things you love to do. If you continue to be active, you will continue to remove doubt and fear.
    Livvygurl likes this.
  13. Annie

    Annie New Member

    I have back pain and am afraid I will hurt myself more if I exercise. It's one of the things Dr. Sarno suggests and I simply don't want to do it. Plus I run around enough as it is. I am running from place to place. I see this as a stumbling block for me. I would like to exercise, but am still too nervous about hurting myself.
  14. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Annie, exercise per se may cause you to feel "more pain", but, as Dr. Sarno points out, it won't "hurt" you physically. That is, presuming you've been examined by an M.D. who's determined there's no underlying medical condition causing your back pain. Thus, if you ride a stationary exercise bike for 15 minutes, your pain level may rise afterwards, but only temporarily. In the long run, challenging the programmed pain nerve pathways will begin to deprogram you. A small beginning, but a real start nonetheless.
  15. Annie

    Annie New Member

    Hi MorComm:

    We don't have a stationary bike, but maybe I can find a gym that won't cost much to try this out. I think walking sounds good. I wish I would just get out there and try it.
  16. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Annie: Bet most gyms are supplied with a full range of stationary bikes and stair-climbers. Best of luck!
  17. Annie

    Annie New Member

    Thank you.

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