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Day 1 HERE WE GO !

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Toprale, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. Toprale

    Toprale New Member

    Hi Everyone!

    DAY 1 !!!
    A little background perhaps? or a lot of it, depending on how therapeutic this will become once i start writing---

    I live in Brooklyn but i am Originally from Italy, Male age 33, Musician and Photographer.
    Last Christmas i travelled back home to visit family, landed in Milan on the 23rd of dec.
    slept and woke up on the 24th, took a few steps away from my bed when "pop" something popped in my back
    and almost immediately paralized my left leg....
    In my mind i know i attributed this event to something"serious" like a disc herniation, although i would get an MRI until a couple of months after the event, regardless of the pain.
    My stay in Italy was rather miserable, laying down most of the time.
    After one week ended up in emergency room where a lady gave me shots and told me that i needed to actually walk as much as i could.
    Went to a chinese massage therapist that helped me make my flight back to new york in a couple of sessions ( placebo) oh well does it really matter?? haha .

    Once in Brooklyn, i went to my doctor, he sent me to get MRI's and they found all the "Normal Abnormalities"
    a large disc herniation with nerve impingment and spinal stenosis. The doc sent me to a "Pain management clinic" ( don't you all hate that name" pain management"??, it enrages me) , not thrilled and having nowhere else to turn i went ahead and made an appointment.
    Needless to say nothing they had suggested worked.
    Even tried the steroid shots out of desperation attempting to go on a pain free vacation... no no, no bueno.

    The amount of frustration i have experienced by the main stream medical establishment is of inordinate proportions, i could not rap my head around the fact that people where not really treated but simply medicated!!!! and the absurdity of the situation was there for everyone to see!!!

    Let's fast forward a bit.

    A friend gave me doctor Sarno's book at around month 3 of my pain journey.
    I kept it in the bathroom ( that says it all doesn't it?)
    I started reading it but i was dismissing every paragraph ( diagnosis and pain where so strong and bright that i could't let them go so easy).

    Somehow i started trying to see what effect my thoughts had on pain and experimented with that a bit but the results where inconsistent although i did notice that something in my brain was able to really turn off the pain, even for just brief moments; i just didn't know how to pilot the ship so i kept drifting into space for around 5 more months.
    Pain was constant with spikes in intensity, couldn't sit couldn't stand too long either. For a period of time i walked obsessively because it was the only thing that would lessen the pain.
    Living in my own recording studio made me even more reclused and isolated, my social life pretty much disintegrated, I quickly became surrounded by delivery food bags.

    Started physical therapy and went through a good number of incompetent people before finding someone that i trusted. I would do the exercises 1 hour a day every day. At some point the pain started subsiding and pretty much disappeared for about a week. Still kept going on exercises and also died changes, lots of juicing and all... but the pain persisted, needless to say that : IT DIDN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!!!! how could the pain be completely gone one day and come back another if the cause was structural?!?!?!

    As most of you i started the charade of chiropractors acupuncture and all that, guess what ?
    didn't work. I could have used that money to go on a vacation...

    Fast forward a few more months.

    I am Hopeless,

    As i am about to approach my bed in order to achieve horizontal orientation of my body...
    I see Sarno's book laying on the carpet. At this point i have nothing to loose... i pick up the book
    read it straight through that same night. As i finish i stand up to go to the bathroom and mention to my girlfriend that i had no pain!! ( which is normal to most people but not us right?) . I din't take it too seriously and went back to bed. Woke up the next day with virtually no pain!!???!?!?!
    Decided to go out and get some lunch, took the subway and brought the book with me.
    I was walking like a normal person I was the happiest i've been in almost a year. i kept reinforcing images of healing and blood flowing in my hips and lower back and spent the day walking around.

    I was confident Sarno's book and diagnosis worked swiftly as it dids in the luckiest documented cases.
    I resumed physical activities it wasn't hard because i had no pain and i thought i needed to reinforce my new beliefs about TMS. I spent the next few days lifting weights and moving with no restrictions.
    I had the ability of "suppressing" the surfacing pain, yes it took constant monitoring but it worked like a charm i would visualize or dismiss the attack as a desperate attempt of my brain to get attention.

    May be I felt too safe too soon... but TMS started creeping in again and very slowly settled itself in me again... almost like a newly trained horse that hasn't quite learned...
    At that point I started reading everything i could find: of Sarno's books Steve's book and others, watching countless videos, reading articles.
    Also I noticed the less i moved the more pain i would feel, and as many of you know to force on self to move while in pain is not intuitive nor easy...

    I am confident i've been effective at destroying beliefs on my diagnosis from previous doctors...
    In my bag of tricks i had a: Good NLP knowledge - Transcendental meditation and some EFT knowledge.

    At this point i contacted DOC. Ira Rashbaum and got an appointment at a distance of 3 months... which seems ridiculous to me since every day is a pain day hehe...
    Pondering to go see the NJ TMS doctor since i am not too far.

    That was my story in short.
    Stressors that i 've identified as playing a role in my life are :

    At time on onset of TMS and before

    Just started my own business and opened my own studio, lots of pressure from myself to do well.
    Difficulties in love relationships, Rejections and feeling of abandonment.
    Big and unexpected disappointment from a close friend.
    Worries about parents getting older and being far away from them.
    Worries about my own mortality and years passing.
    After performing some searching in my childhood i've realized that my mother's role was very very unstable and caused me a lot of problems that i probably suppressed back then.

    Right now:
    I believe i've lessened most of the reasons above.
    Although i started a relationship 3/4 months into the tms and is now really getting in the way of the relationship therefore making it really hard for me to take care/feel responsible for someone else's feelings.

    Well, if you made it this far and leave in Brooklyn I promise I'll buy you a beer or two!

    Thanks for reading!

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Alessio, and welcome! If I was anywhere near Brooklyn I'd take you up on that offer of a beer. Or two :D

    You've made a great start, and now you've found the SEP, which will give you the structure you need to make progress. As you work the program, be easy on yourself, take your time and don't push to do everything perfectly. When you start doing the writing and journaling exercises, listen to your brain - because it will try to prevent you from writing things down. Remember that it thinks its job is to repress things that are dangerous for you to acknowledge, so it will try to convince you that something or other is not important, or that it's too embarrassing. Those are the things you need to write down - and it's a good first step for learning how to talk back to your brain.

    Finally, as you're doing the work, think about incorporating mindfulness meditation and self-acceptance into your process - if you stick around here long enough, you'll figure out that those things seem to be an important part of recovery.

    Enjoy your time on the forum, and keep posting!
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Alessio. Jan has given you great advice and encouragement, and is right about mindfulness meditation and self-acceptance.

    There are some excellent mindfulness videos on Youtube.

    Here are some thoughts on mindfulness...

    Relaxation technique: Mindful meditation for stress relief

    Mindfulness is the ability to remain aware of how you’re feeling right now, your “moment-to-moment” experience—both internal and external. Thinking about the past—blaming and judging yourself—or worrying about the future can generate stress. But by staying calm and focused in the present moment, you can bring your nervous system back into balance. Mindfulness can be applied to activities such as walking, exercising, eating, or meditation.

    Meditations that cultivate mindfulnesshave long been used to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions. Some of these meditations bring you into the present by focusing your attention on a single repetitive action, such as your breathing, a few repeated words, or the flickering light of a candle. Other forms of mindfulness meditation encourage you to follow and then release internal thoughts or sensations.

    Practicing mindfulness meditation
    To practice mindfulness meditation, you’ll need:

    • A quiet environment. Choose a secluded place in your home, office, or outdoors where you can relax without distractions or interruptions.
    • A comfortable position. Get comfortable, but avoid lying down as this may lead to you falling asleep. Sit up with your spine straight, either in a chair or on the floor. You can also try a cross-legged or lotus position.
    • A point of focus. You can meditate with your eyes closed or open so this point can be internal—a feeling or imaginary scene—or external—a flame, an object in your surroundings, or a meaningful word or phrase that you repeat throughout the meditation.
    • An observant, noncritical attitude. Don’t worry about distracting thoughts that go through your mind or about how well you’re doing. If thoughts intrude during your relaxation session, don’t fight them, just gently turn your attention back to your point of focus.
    Mindfulness techniques

    There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This allows the mind to refocus on the present moment. All mindfulness techniques are a form of meditation.

    Basic mindfulness meditation – Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra.

    Body sensations – Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.

    Sensory – Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. Name them “sight,” “sound,” “smell,” “taste,” or “touch” without judgment and let them go.

    Emotions – Allow emotions to be present without judgment. Practice a steady and relaxed naming of emotions: “joy,” “anger,” “frustration.”

    Accept the presence of the emotions without judgment and let them go.

    Urge surfing – Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviors) and allow them to pass. Notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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