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Day 1 Hoping for relief and answers

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by JSBinSLC, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. JSBinSLC

    JSBinSLC Newcomer

    I've been struggling with shortness of breath, chest pains, and other breathing difficulties for almost nine months. I've been to several doctors (generalists, ENT, and most recently, a pulmonologist) as well as a ton of alternative therapies. They all tell me that my lungs are fine. Which should be a relief, but in fact it's frustrating, because I haven't known what to do.

    I've tried relaxation exercises, but they all have you focus on your breath. And that just makes me more anxious!

    Even though a symptom search didn't show up anything about my particular symptoms having anything to to with TMS, I still think this could describe my situation. I've had an incredibly public and stressful year, experiences a ton of hate and rejection and failure. I have also had for a much longer time a number of other symptoms that have connections to TMS, at least according to the folks here. These include:
    --tinnitis, since about a year ago. Audiologist says hearing is normal (actually worse in the ear I usually don't have it)
    -gastric reflux and esosinophilic esophagitus, GERD. I have had scopes done, the most recent one said my symptoms have recovered. I am on omeprazole in the morning and ranitidine at night. I've had these symptoms for about 15 years now.
    -allergies. I had these as a child, but they came back with a vengeance when I moved for Virginia, about my third year there. I did allergy shots, and these helped somewhat, but I am on zyrtec daily, even in the "off" season. When I returned to the west, they symptoms followed, and the past two years they have been worse than ever. I have been reading Shubiner's book (Unlearn Your Pain) and he says in there that allergies are different from MBS (his version of TMS), but I wonder... I had asthma and allergies as a child, but they went away when I became a teenager, only to come back.
    -generalized anxiety/panic disorder. These have come in result of the breathing problems aforementioned, but I dealt with anxiety a lot after moving away from home at 19. Those went into remission without any medication or therapy, just kind of forcing myself through it. All that to say I know I am prone to anxiety. For the most part, I haven't taken any medications for it, though my doctor has written prescriptions to both Xanax and Lexapro, but I haven't started taking it. I think that's a last resort, as I know those drugs are powerful and can change your brain, possibly.

    I am thankful to everyone who has been posting on here. I realize that my symptoms, as distressing as they have been to me, could be far, far worse. I am amazed what some of you have been through, and survived, and even recovered from. Bravo to you all!
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, JSBin. I've spent a lot of time reading about overcoming anxiety, or pain of any sort and they all say a major answer it deep breathing. I believe it because whenever I feel pain or am stressed out, deep breathing calms me.

    Try not to take any medication for your anxiety. Breathing problems including asthma are typical of our subconscious sending us symptoms so we recognize and deal with our repressed emotions.

    I've been active in the TMSWiki community for more than two years and notice that many people have anxiety problems, me included. One of the best books on anxiety healing is Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes. I'm going to post a new thread on anxiety maybe today. It explains more about her treatment suggestions.

    In fact, I'll post it now.

    Good luck healing and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
  3. JSBinSLC

    JSBinSLC Newcomer

    Thanks for your kind thoughts Walt. I'll read what you posted.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi JSBinSLC,
    Welcome to this program and forum.

    I used to have "childhood asthma" which finally went away when I began smoking (!) at about 13 years of age. When I look back, I realize it was a form of TMS. I think, reading your post that you are in the right place for treatment. You've been through a lot lately, and you see a history of TMS, and TMS equivalents.

    If breathing is just too hard to use as a relaxation or soothing technique, you might also try some other things:

    Gentle movement to music noticing the sense of your body in space, perhaps with eyes closed.

    Self-touch. Set a timer for 5 minutes and just stroke your face, hands, scalp, following, allowing the sensations, and pleasure. Use light touch or more heavy...

    Humming, or gentle singing or chanting.

    Watch the movement of something in nature like the boughs of a tree in the wind, or weeds moving. Watch an animal like a house pet.

    With any of these, notice how you feel after a short practice. Find something that works a little and stick with it. You deserve to find a way to soothe yourself, and not let the anxiety run you (any more than possible ;0 )

    Good luck with the SEP work, and finding ways to enjoy your life a little more, as you do it.

    Andy B.
  5. JSBinSLC

    JSBinSLC Newcomer

    Thank you Andy for the kind comments! Those are some wonderful suggestions, I have already tried a few of them today. I went to your website and read about your foot problems, my goodness, you have been through the wringer! They are really helpful. I am working the program (today is day 5) and they encourage me to keep posting my thoughts. Rather than start a new thread, I thought it's just add it along here.

    A few days ago they had me start working the TMS lists, and it's been an eye-opener. I realized how much I have pushed this away. In many ways, I am high functioning; I feel like my problems are insignificant compared to most of the people here. I don't think I've missed a day of work (though I've been late) or stayed away from something I wanted to do (though I've had extreme anxiety about it) because of my TMS, if that is indeed what I have, though I have continually pushed it away. The TMS lists have shown me how much my suppressed conscious anxieties have been about emotions and my body. And the interesting thing is, as I have opened the door, to listening to both my body and my emotions, and taking them seriously, is that other things have come to me, and I have written them down too. I wonder if this is part of the process? I hope so, and I hope it will help me get to the bottom of those unacknowledged emotions that Sarno, Schubiner, etc. talk about. So far I haven't seen much change, but I also recognize that it's very early days for me, so I'm okay with that.

    What is overwhelming is all the other stuff I could/should be doing. Should I read this book, or that book, listen to these audiobooks, do these meditations, or those other meditations? My morning routine is so full of possibilities to start out my day, that if I did all of them it would take me all day! So it's all so new to me, and kind of hard to know what to prioritize and what not to. For now, I'm trying to do the daily TMS SEP program and slip whatever else in I can. And just trying to be less frantic, and more accepting, and trusting that I can find the help I need, when I need it and am ready for it. I found an abridged audiobook of the Claire Weekes book Walt recommended. Her approach to anxiety (and I know I am prone to that) is deceptively simple!
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi JSBinSLC,

    The instructions are just do a half an hour a day of "Sarno stuff" and find ways to "not think about it the rest of the time." The SEP is all you need, and maybe a little Sarno reading, or Claire Weeks. It is a process as you say. When we push ourselves to do more, faster, this is a form of pressure. It is natural to pressure ourselves, but we can see it, and not go along. Try to cultivate a sense of patience and not knowing. You may notice both of these pieces go against the grain of your personality, are not easy. That is instructive.

    As you educate yourself, more of your TMS work becomes internalized, so the "practices" continue more of the day. That's fine. Observing your thoughts, disengaging from the Inner Critic, being here for yourself more. noticing exceptions to your pain patterns --all work together. Everyone here recommends ways to "check out and self-soothe" as needed.

    To me, this sounds very good and healthy. You are following the flow of understanding in your life, and a lot of what we learn is simply to "be more ourselves" than we are used to. To align what we are feeling on the surface with what we are feeling down deep, or noticing the differences and the ways we kid ourselves.

    Best to You,

    Andy B.

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