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I had surgery and now realise it was for nothing (sadness, regret and worry)

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by astronom, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. astronom

    astronom New Member

    Hi there. I discovered Dr. Sarno's work about four years ago and have gotten a lot better than before. I had chronic head and backache for ten years. I still causes me some problems, but I am now aware of their phycological root.

    During some of those years - about five-six years ago - I also had a lot of foot pain, which I was told was plantar fasciitis. After years of trying other treatments I was offered surgery. They told me there was a 50% succes rate of people who got better, so the odds weren't great but I was desperate and didn't know what else to do. It didn't really help, but the problem eventually went away anyway.

    After that I had problems with my knees, but after discovering Sarno's work I managed to pull through it and am know running, biking and playing football.

    For some reason the pain in the foot has now come back. Or maybe it's not actual pain, but more of an awareness of that area.

    This has caused me to suddenly think about the surgery, that I otherwise had not thought about for years. I'm afraid that the little of the tendon they have cut away will have done harm. Although I am not doing any long distance running, this is something I think about that might be harder for me now, although I have no idea if it's true.

    I'm finding it hard to accept the fact that I went ahead and did the surgery. Although I know that I didn't know any better at the time, I find it very hard to forgive myself.
    I'm also very surprised by how this has suddenly risen to my attention, since I haven't thought about it for years. It is as if it's some trauma now reaching the surface.

    I am filled with sadness and regret when I think about the fact that some of my tendon has been removed and I worry that I have done harm to myself.
    I know that TMS also plays a part here, since I notice myself feeling and "checking in" more on that area the more I worry about it. Also, I don't feel anything when I'm playing football or running, only when I actually have time to think about it.

    I know that this might seem like a small problem and I myself am overwhelmed with how sad it actually makes me and how much an impact it has on me at the moment. I have made an appointment at the doctor's to hear about this type of surgery and if any complications might follow.
    I guess I'm just looking for some kind of support or to know if anyone has had any similar experiences.

    I'd be very grateful.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @astronom !

    This is an extremely common issue and you definitely should not beat yourself up about it!! Millions of people have unnecessary surgeries but all surgeries heal. You did your best with the knowledge you were given at the time by medical experts. Often our brains interpret surgery as an "assault" so that trauma gets stored in the brain and body in a sense. Your danger center was activated that's all. At this time, it's far more important to look at what is going on in your day to day life that may be causing you stress, tension and activation of the danger center. All of this unconscious guilt you have (for having tremendous rage towards the doctors and yourself )for causing this trauma is actually displaced. It was not anyone's fault and forgiving yourself and letting go of the guilt is a powerful way to calm down the brain. You are actually not broken or damaged and you need to believe that.

    Maybe others can give their feedback because this is a common theme and almost all back surgeries for example are no better than doing nothing. This has been shown in the research. So think about the millions of people who have had back surgery. Would you tell them they should feel bad or guilty about it? What would you say to them? The same holds true for you!
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi astronom,

    I second miffybunny's thoughts, and want you to know that it is common to regret surgery and have similar feelings:
    You know physically you're able and not in pain, except perhaps when you focus on it. This is very TMSishy. Believing you did something wrong only fuels the symptoms. My advice is forget all about the surgery and know that you're body is healed.

    I find it very hard to forgive myself, and I am filled with sadness and regret.
    This is can be a very tender place of learning for you then. My guess is that these feelings come up for you around other things in your life. Or that right now they are arising with poignancy for reasons you may not even know. So now you see the suffering involved and have an invitation to grow from here. These are common feelings with we TMSers. I suggest you learn to work with the Inner Critic. Learn not to believe it.

    Then explore the difficult feelings of sadness or regret without attaching them to the surgery. These feelings are to be felt and explored. Ultimately the part of you who feels like you did something wrong needs love. In a way, the whole of this lately is here to pull you toward healing in your life. I wish you strength and tenderness in this.

    Lainey likes this.

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