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Day 1 Here I go! An ex-addict's journey to wellness

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by LadyLazarus, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. LadyLazarus

    LadyLazarus Newcomer

    Hi everyone! I'm glad to have the opportunity to post here and share my journey with others.

    I'm 27, and a recovered alcoholic/drug addict/anorexic. I was the healthiest, happiest person until my mom got stomach cancer when I was 15. I started starving myself and drinking all day every day, and gradually my stomach began to act up. I assumed it was because of my unhealthy habits, so I didn't think much of it.

    As my addictions got worse, so did my overall health. I got sober at 24 and recovered from my eating disorder at 25, and was so looking forward to my stomach feeling better!

    But... it didn't, and it hasn't for the past 3 years. In fact I developed much worse symptoms after recovering. And because I'm not drowning it out with alcohol, it means I am in excruciating discomfort every second of every day. I don't feel human anymore!

    My symptoms are like nothing I've ever heard before. The main one is constant tightness, like my whole digestive system is in a cramp. There is bloating and dull pain, but the discomfort is what's excruciating. I can't breathe properly, and have had to quit my singing career. I also have acne, fatigue, and frequent urination.

    I went to doctors and naturopaths and got tests for a year, but they can't find a thing wrong with me. And since I don't have IBS symptoms, I have no diagnosis whatsoever.

    I've read Dr Sarno's work, and also Dr David Clarke's book They Can't Find Anything Wrong! The latter has inspired me to sort out some current stressors in my life. For one, I wasn't happy with the direction my music career was going, and in a way I was happy I could escape it by being sick. I still haven't cut ties with my label, and have been using my sickness as a way of avoiding that. But now I think I need to address the issue. Of course there may be many past issues that need addressing too.

    What would life without TMS mean to me? The thought brings tears to my eyes. In a way this suffering has been a gift, because it's made me realise what's important in life. I was attached to many things (a successful career, money, a perfect relationship), but honestly all I want now is to be free of pain. I can't imagine doing anything else other than walking around and feeling how amazing it is to be free! Well, actually I can - I want to help people who have been through similar things. I don't care what I get from life anymore, I want to give. And without pain I will really be able to appreciate how divine each moment of life is.

    Thank you for reading!

    Laughalot and mike2014 like this.
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome to the Forum, that's quite a story. I'm sorry for your loss and all that you've had to go through since. Have you read Dr Gabor Mates book regarding addiction? I watched a clip on youtube a few days ago and it was fascinating.

    It's great your Dr's have ruled out any deep rooted physical problems, that should give you enough confidence to pursue the TMS approach.

    I think with most of us Tmsers, need to turn inwards and reflect on our very being to bring about positive changes. It's great that you've recognised this and are making the necessary steps to take control of your well being.

    I think the main factor in recovery is overcoming fear, once you've overcome this hurdle your belief will be cemented and recovery will be possible.

    It seems like you've experienced a range of symptoms, if I were you I'd create an evidence sheet which will allow you to enforce your belief further.

    Finally, these forum has a wealth of knowledge with many supportive individuals who will help you in your journey. Please also remember to be kind, compassionate and loving to yourself as worry, fear etc are the very reason for TMS's existence.

    Good luck
    LadyLazarus likes this.
  3. LadyLazarus

    LadyLazarus Newcomer

    Thanks so much! No I hadn't heard of Gabor Mates before, it looks extremely interesting!

    That is so true about fear. Logically I know there's nothing wrong with me, but of course since my mother died of stomach cancer, a part of me is scared I have some kind of undetectable tumour! (Even though I have none of the other symptoms you would expect with cancer.) But I've heard it's normal with TMS, to appear in the one area that would freak you out the most.

    I'll definitely return with any updates!
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Lazy Lazarus. It is good that you got medical tests and they show nothing structurally wrong. Then your pain must be TMS
    Your childhood has some reasons for that. The SEP will help you to discover and deal with them.

    Here is a quote from Gabor Mate on addictions that may help you:

    It is impossible to understand addiction without asking what relief the addict finds, or hopes to find, in the drug or the addictive behavior.

    There is a purpose to all behavior and feelings. We just need to look a little deeper to find it. On the surface, addictive or self-destructive behavior seems illogical but if we focus its benefits, few though they may be, we will be able to unlock the mystery of the behavior and put ourselves in a position to change it.
    LadyLazarus likes this.
  5. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    A heartfelt welcome.
    LadyLazarus likes this.
  6. LadyLazarus

    LadyLazarus Newcomer

    Thanks so much Walt! I completely agree :)
  7. AnnaSchweitzer

    AnnaSchweitzer Peer Supporter

    LadyLazarus! I feel like you completely described me. I had an eating disorder and ONCE I finally was over that (by over I mean I stopped throwing up but never dealt with my emotions) is when my back/neck started hurting and then it moved to my feet. I know that there is a connection. What is your personality like? HOw do you react to stress? DO you tend to get angry at yourself when you have symtoms and do you turn your angry inward at yourself when life isn't going the way you want it to? I tend to get angry at myself that I'm in pain. That I can't handle it. That I'm not strong enough to get rid of it. I know that having a prior eating disorder was based around never being good enough, worry, internal self hatred. SO great to be able to go through this program with you! I'm starting day 1 today and am getting ready to post my story. Praying for you girl. I would also like to be on the other side of this and be able to help others!
    LadyLazarus likes this.
  8. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Anna, welcome to the Forum and best of luck on your journey. I think the yeast intollerance is very likely to be yet another TMS manifestation. I'm still working through my own journey and have found this network very useful for support and insight.

    Best of luck
    AnnaSchweitzer likes this.
  9. LadyLazarus

    LadyLazarus Newcomer

    Hi AnnaSchweitzer, well done on overcoming your ED! My symptoms also got so bad when I recovered. I figured it was normal after restricting and bingeing. But here I am 3 years later with no improvement! As if recovering wasn’t hard enough, I now feel worse than I ever did.

    I actually don’t have an (outwardly) angry personality, but I am extremely hard on myself to the point where I hate myself and can’t look at myself in the mirror. I had a lot of high expectations placed on me as a child, and I often feel disgusted with myself for not having achieved anything at this age. Being sick makes it ten times harder to deal with, because I physically can’t do anything about it!

    Praying for you too, glad we have both taken the first step! :)
  10. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've posted a loving-kindness meditation that you may find useful and want to incorporate into your daily practice.
    LadyLazarus likes this.
  11. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    That part about how you are never outwardly angry says a lot about your personality. You internalize andvrepress your anger because your scared to let it out. Superego will not allow you because you were maybe taught at a young age to always be nice.

    I'm no doctor but it seems to me you are having the symptom imparitive. Addiction serve as a obsession, once you stopped them (drinking and ed) your mind had to shift to another symptom to hide your anger.

    That's OK I was where you were and you can still heal. You are a special person , we all are the same human being inside. We are just altered by our experience (ego). Connect with your self and try getting off your own back. No one is perfect and you are great person just the way you are.

    I know where you are and what your going through, keep at it and you will heal. It may take time so hang on for the ride. Your true self is pushing you to be where you should be. Tmsers are great people, almost to great at coping with life. Wishing you the best of luck. Be forgiving of yourself and loving towards yourself. Look at life from a different lens, we are what we believe.

    LadyLazarus, Laughalot and Simplicity like this.
  12. AnnaSchweitzer

    AnnaSchweitzer Peer Supporter

    Seriously great advice Ryan! Really enjoyed reading this! Sounds like you know where we've been. It's that first leap of faith and the hope that you could truly be painfree. And then dealing with your self getting in the way . I was also raised in a super strict "Christian" house hold where it was wrong to show anger, be upset etc. you always had to be nice and act like things were good and you were always happy and perfect.
    LadyLazarus likes this.
  13. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Natasha,
    Welcome to this SEP and the community here. I have heard of belly tension being a TMS thing, reported to be very painful, so you're not alone. Your awareness of the theory of TMS, and your self-awareness will get you through! Yes, and you will be learning a lot more about yourself, probably, which will always be a gift to those in your life.
    Good Luck!
    Andy B.
    LadyLazarus likes this.
  14. AnnaSchweitzer

    AnnaSchweitzer Peer Supporter

    Lady! How are you doing?? ARe you still doing the SEP? I took a couple days off (I have/had a nasty sinus infection/bronchitis and hope to be on the mend). I'm not going to lie. I have been pretty down while Ive been sick. JUST sick of pain and being sick ya know. SO I picked myself up off the couch and got on the computer to do day 4. And just writing about my emotions I feel so much better. Its amazing what journaling does for me! Please let me know where you are at on your journey! (good or bad) I'm on day four and posted today about my thoughts. I haven't noticed any change in my pain and at times I feel completely overwhelmed by all the things I feel that I need to change to get over TMS but then I try to reel my mind back in and remember that if my mind started the pain it can END it too!!!! Hope to hear from you!
  15. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    For the ladies with stomach issues are you cooking the old fashion way? Have you dropped all the sugars and white grains? Are you buying fresh produce, are you loving yourself and expressing it in the care you take for your food?

    If there are any with constipation issues the watercure was a miracle for me and my son. Between antibiotics and life stresses my gut was a mess so I went real food, made some progress but still not there. then I started the 8 glasses of water with an 1/8 tea spoon of salt per each glass and my everlasting constipation just disappeared. Also for my son and as soon as I get his gut working well he becomes a happy child again with energy and humor.

    While TMS is real, I realized I had a lot of issues regarding my mum..... so is nutrition. If in doubt read the book of Weston Price Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. He was a dentist that travelled the work searching for people with health teeth and analyzing what they were eating this discover the secret of their health!
    plum likes this.
  16. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    Good suggestion. I had a colonoscopy and learned that I have a "redundant. capacious" colon. First time I ever heard of a colon with a personality disorder.
    plum likes this.
  17. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Does this only work for ladies, or can it work for men too? I must admit to cooking the old fashioned way--if it can't be cooked in a microwave, I don't eat it. I do have a toaster oven if I'm going gourmet.:D
    plum likes this.
  18. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I endorse Weston Price 100%. I had my six monthly dental check-up today and all is perfect.

    Price truly was a canary in a mineshaft. Fascinating and essential reading. I also cook and eat the old-fashioned way and it has transformed my health.
    Maribel likes this.
  19. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    I don't cook, my husband does. We are vegetarians and have a healthful diet.
  20. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    The old fashion way / high in nutrition cooking hold true also for men Tennis Tom. You will never get to 100% if you don't get this part also sorted out.

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