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Hitting a Wall

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Alibumbayay, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Alibumbayay

    Alibumbayay New Member

    I'm losing faith in this treatment for the first time since I became a total believer four months ago. Since last week my pain has increased to the point where I can barely walk. I've been enthusiastically reading, accepting, and believing in Dr. Sarno's books since last fall and I've been participating in this program since January 1, and none of the advice is working. I try everything: humor, inner dialogues, journaling, daily mediation, thinking psychologically, and focusing on emotions. I take days off to relax and enjoy life. I read success stories and adopt those techniques and tips, and the pain still flares up. (Today for the first time I skipped the success story because I couldn't stand to read another miraculous recovery while mine gets worse.)

    Journaling is certainly enlightening, but I can no longer see how writing about past traumas, stressors, triggers, anxieties, and sadness will make the pain go away. I now think about my past--something I had come to peace with a long, long time ago--more than I have in years! So in some ways, I feel worse off than when I started and like I'm a glutton for punishment. Not only is my pain worse, but I am also torturing myself with bad memories I had worked through, forgiven and put to rest decades ago. (It's like every day: "OK, time to rehash my past again! Yay!") Last night I told my husband I had doubts about TMS and he was shocked, because I've been such a cheerleader and so positive about this treatment. Even now, I feel like I'm letting people on this site down by admitting all this, because we're all supposed to be positive and not bring up ugly things or events.

    Can anyone else relate to feeling like this treatment is more damaging to the soul than helpful? At some point, isn't this just about pretending? I'm still out of work, I'm still in pain, I still have my past, the Thing We Cannot Name On This Site is still in power and legislating the freedoms of me, my friends and neighbors, and I'm supposed to not let it all bother me?

    *And please, if you're going to mock me or belittle me for writing any of this, please refrain. It's not helping my recovery or happiness.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ali, this might be the key right here.

    I believe that the concept of "positive thinking" is widely misinterpreted. Dr. Sarno's whole theory depends upon our ability to acknowledge our negative emotions, to accept them as normal, and to find constructive (not necessarily positive) messages to counter the negative messages that your brain is bombarding you with. Negative messages like "I'm letting people down" and "we're supposed to be positive" !

    No, we are not "supposed" to be positive! On this forum, we are supposed to be supportive if we are talking to others. There's a difference. This is easily misinterpreted to mean that we should remain positive when talking to ourselves - the fact is, it's imperative that we be realistic, and sometimes that means facing, acknowledging, and accepting the negative.

    Putting on a false happy face and only saying and thinking positive things means that you are still repressing the dangerous negative emotions!

    Does this make sense?

    I think that a lot of people who get stuck are doing all the right things, but they still aren't hearing the constant barrage of negative messages coming from their unconscious primitive fearful brains. Before we can counter the messages, we really have to hear the messages.

    Our brains are still living in a very primitive world, constantly scanning the horizon for danger, convinced that a sabre-tooth tiger is right around the corner waiting to eat us. In other words, we are wired to think negatively, and to always assume there is danger all around.

    This wiring worked fine when all we had to do was survive long enough to breed and raise the next generation. It seriously does not work at all in our modern world, so we have to create a different mindset, and keep working on it until it becomes natural and takes the place of the old primitive one.

    Dr. Sarno really didn't get deeply into this. I've got some resources that really helped me to calm and start rewiring my primitive brain - take a look at the list on my profile page, let me know if you want me to choose some favorites. Or, back on that other page we were on - Plum mentioned Rick Hanson, who is a great resource for brain retraining stuff (his CD with Richard Mendius, MD was one of my favorites).

    MindBodyPT and Alibumbayay like this.
  3. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    Hi Alibumbayay, I'm only on Day 3 so pretty green with this TMS stuff so I feel like I'm probably the last person to be giving advice, but I think it was great that you're being so honest about it - I don't feel like you're letting me down in any way. If everyone had only positive stories at every stage I would be very suspicious. You've kept it real and what it tells me is I know I'm going to have days like that and it's going to be a long slog. I'm sure you'll punch a hole in that wall in no time, maybe you just need a bit of time out? As Jan says above, being falsely positive may perpetuate the TMS cycle. All the best.
    Alibumbayay and JanAtheCPA like this.
  4. RozieHolland

    RozieHolland Peer Supporter

    Your mind is going to distract you from what is behind the wall.
    Your brain is trying to distract you from an emotion that it doesn't want to face.
    Maybe you must really have to punch the wall to see what is coming up.
    Alibumbayay and JanAtheCPA like this.
  5. Lydia

    Lydia Peer Supporter

    Thank you for sharing. I relate to your story. The first time in 2010 I knew had TMS it took me more than a year writing to experience more permanent relief. Often I was desperate. Always the same old childhood issues, that made me angry. It looked as if there were even more than less problems over time. And definitely I was all the time measuring the progress. Not very obviously, but just under the surface was a lot of stress and wanting. Now I see that this measuring was what kept the pain stuck and controlled my life.

    Now since a couple of months I deal with a frozen shoulder, of course TMS, and I can't write at all. So I use a memo recorder (or I dictate to a laptop like now). And that works so great for me, much better than writing. I express myself so much more spontaneously and authentically. I see that talking into the recorder with my eyes closed, the mind has much less control about what I write and much less comments and judgments. In a couple of days talking into the memo recorder on a safe and quiet place in the house, I touched so many emotions that I was not aware of, unbelievable. And I see how much the pain reacts, moves around and changes, which is a great indicator.

    Hope you will insist on this process, keep on trying may be some more unexpected ways of working on this program, and have a lot of support to stay inspired and motivated!
    Alibumbayay likes this.

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