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I just want to draw again;

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JustWantToDraw, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. JustWantToDraw

    JustWantToDraw Newcomer

    On July 16th, after a bout of typing, I devolped some pain in my wrists. Said pain would appear while drawing as well, and gradually I came to realize if I kept this up it would get far, far worse. So I stopped.
    Stopped doing the thing I love most, for fear of this turning chronic.

    I can say it's gotten better as of today, but I'm still unable to draw for long bouts before feeling that awful, dull ache in my wrist. My forearms are bruised from attempting to massage trigger points, but I can't say for certain if that helped. Wearing wrist bandages and taking pills didn't help much either, it seems that exercising the wrist with light weights was my best bet to recovery, so far. I won't stop doing that.

    But now I'm starting to worry. My best idea is that this is Tendinosis, a chronic degeneration of tendons, which can take up to three months of full rest and exercise to recover. At least I've gone through almost 2, but college starts soon and I'll have to be using my hands a lot. Even typing this is giving me some (verrrrry dull) pain, but how much of that is mental? I've developed this fear of typing and holding a pencil, which is horrible, because I'm a very creative person and drawing and writing are my favorite things to do. I haven't been able to do either of those, and it's just been awful.

    So my question to those on this board is, could this be TMS? The symptoms only occur whenever I do those things, and washing dishes hurt too (Not an activity I enjoy, could this be evidence for something physical?). I'm afraid to try TMS treatments because I don't want to stop my regiment of physical therapy and rest, since it could make this all the worse.

    If I must wait three more months before drawing again, then so be it. But what if this never goes away?

    Has anyone here gone through a similar situation?
    riv44 likes this.
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, JustWantToDraw. You are doing what many others do, allow your mind to believe that your pain comes from drawing or other use of your hands and wrists. You are conditioning your mind to expect pain when you do those things. I'm glad you notice that your pain is lessened by exercising your wrists with light weights. I suggest you continue doing that while going ahead in the SEP. You will not hurt yourself with the exercises. Just remember, the main reason you are in pain is because of emotional reasons, not physical or structural. The SEP will help you to discover those emotional causes.

    Don't play the Dr. Google game of surfing the web in search of maladies that may be causing your pain. That can lead to a whole lot of misconceptions.
    Your symptoms appear to be caused by some repressed emotions you need to discover, and/or a perfectionist and "goodist" personality.

    Keep drawing, keep writing. They bring you joy, and they will heal you.

    Here is a recent report on how the SEP helped one of thousands:

    Kevin healed 95 % from SEP

    Welcome to the SEP and to the path of recovery. I am on my final two days of the program and I can say with complete confidence that I am a changed man. I started after 6 months of nasty low-back/butt/leg pain, could hardly walk, stand, etc. was in physical therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, pain medications, etc.. the usual. My MRI showed 3 disk bulges/herniations touching nerves, so that is what I believe it to be....that is until I read Dr. Sarno and found this site.

    I encourage you to really get involved, follow the instructions, do the journaling, take time to read all the suggested readings, and watch the videos. I'd say I'm 95% cured. There is still some very light lingering "annoyance", but I still have some work to do. I've been walking miles with hardly any pain these last few weeks. But even more, if the pain comes on now, it just doesn't bother me like it used to, I sorta just see it, acknowledge it, and go about my business. It took working the program to get to that point, but 6 weeks compared to 6 months is nothing! I made more progress in the first week than I did from two months of PT!!! It's going to challenge you and your "beliefs" in medicine, but you have nothing to lose. We generally wind up here when all else fails.

    So give it a shot, especially before considering anything invasive like surgery. If you put the work in, you will get better. Have you read Dr. Sarno yet? I assume you have since you're here, but in case you haven't, definitely readHealing Back Pain. Again, it will challenge everything you've believed about your pain, and backs in general. You'll be encouraged to resume life as normal, i.e. stop ALL "therapies" (PT, chiro, etc.), stop taking medications, and most importantly, stop thinking STRUCTURAL problems are the cause of your pain and shift to psychological as the reason.....again, this can be difficult and takes some time to sink in, so be patient and kind to yourself.

    It was a process for me. A few of the bigger moves in my case were: I ripped up and threw out my MRI test results (I found myself obsessively reading over them and comparing them to other results I could find on the web and even here on the TMSwiki site...); I got back to the gym and stopped using a weight belt; and I even cancelled an appointment I had made with aTMS doctorbecause it was more than a month away and it was hindering my recovery (that is, my 100% belief in TMS was lagging because I had this pending appointment, but as soon as I cancelled it, my recovery sped up significantly). Everyone's journey is unique to their situation, but I've found that really committing to the program and brining what I learn from it into my daily life has had profound results. Also, sharing along the way here in these forums has been extremely helpful - there's something about knowing that you're not alone in your TMS recovery that really helps. I encourage you to look through my past posts for some insight into my experience with SEP. Like I said, I'm just now finishing, tomorrow is my final day, and I feel like a changed person. It's amazing. And I feel as though it is something that one carries on with, not just like a one time 6 week thing and that's that...it has helped me to get to know myself and taught me tools to "deal" with my emotions. Learning and accepting TMS is a life changer for sure.
  3. David88

    David88 Well known member


    I second Walt's advice. These symptoms sound very much like TMS. Wrist and hand are common pain locations. I've had severe hand pain that turned out to be TMS.

    You didn't mention checking the symptoms with a doctor. It may help to rule out an obvious structural problem. But if the doctor says tendonitis or something similar, that is TMS.

    Stop massaging your wrists. That's not helping.

    What comes across most is your fear. You probably aren't injured at all, just afraid that you are. Fear can create pain.

    It may be most helpful for you to contact one of the TMS practitioners listed on this site. Seeing Dr. Gwozdz was a turning point for me.

    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi JW, and welcome.

    The thing to remember about your brain is that it is in charge of creating pain, and is quite capable of doing just to distract you and keep you on edge, rather than letting you acknowledge what it thinks are "dangerous" negative emotions. It's a weird and primitive evolutionary process that does not serve us well in the modern world.

    The other thing that your brain will do is create a symptom that is just different enough that it won't be exactly the same as anyone else's. Which is why we don't focus on detailed symptom descriptions here!

    You'll want to read wrist/hand/arm Success Stories on the wiki and on the subforum here. You'll see that you are NOT alone.
    There is no such thing as TMS "treatments" unless you're talking about psychotherapy. Some sufferers do indeed need to advance to psychotherapy because their emotional pain is too deep and too scary to access on their own.

    To recover from TMS all you have to do is believe that what you have is TMS, and that there is nothing wrong with your body.
    It's that easy. Heho_O

    And, for some people, it's incredibly hard, because a lifetime of conditioning is difficult to let go of. I was 60 years old when I read The Divided Mind, and I guess I was really ready (and desperate enough) to buy into Dr. Sarno's theories, because I changed my mind pretty rapidly and experienced significant relief from a number of symptoms (including more than 15 years of chronic neck pain and spasms) within days. I had to work harder to get to the 90% relief that I'm mostly at these days, and I still have flare-ups and setbacks. But even if I'm sometimes at 80%, that's absolute bliss compared to where I was four years ago, with at least a dozen symptoms that ranged from pain to neuro to digestive.

    The thing is, embracing the TMS diagnosis (self-diagnosis for many of us) can't actually hurt - because all you're doing is changing your mind and deciding to have a different experience. At this point, you have nothing to lose. But you do have to let go of your reliance on special therapy and special exercises and special devices. Ask your PT if there could in fact be any permanent danger or damage from taking a break from the special focused treatments and replacing them with general body-wide muscle strengthening. You should ALWAYS keep exercising, along with anything else that helps you feel good about yourself, because self-acceptance is an important part of the recovery process.

    You don't say whether you've read one of Dr. Sarno's books or if you're doing the Structured Educational Program on the wiki. The Divided Mind is my recommendation, because he goes over his theories in four chapters and turns the book over to six other professionals (five MDs and a therapist). And the SEP is a great, structured, one-day-at-a-time program that will guide you on the road to recovery. Also, if anxiety and fear are big issues for you, we always recommend Hope and Help For Your Nerves by Claire Weekes. This was the second book I read after TDM, and the two of them together literally saved my life.

    Good luck!
  5. Bunneh

    Bunneh Peer Supporter


    I'd like to tell you that I'm in the same boat. I also like to draw and now this activity is restricted due to TMS. I always get a dull pain in my shoulder and upper back. I think you should try to gently push through the pain by...coloring. You could try free coloring pages from this site:


    This may sound stupid, but drawing puts a certain amount of pressure and tension on you, especially if you're a perfectionist (and most TMSers are ;) ) because you always want your works to be perfect. No surprise here.
    Coloring is different bacause you don't have to be overly focused and learn to let go of all the stress and tension. Besides, it has been scietifically proven that it puts you in a meditative state, which is very important if you're prone to TMS.

    Try to let go of all the fear of physical activity and have some fun. You'll find yourself being able to use your hand more and more each day.
    Good luck! :)
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Look up the posts by the member Waterbear. She had similar issues, and was able to resolve them and draw again without pain.

    Best wishes,
    JanAtheCPA and Forest like this.
  7. kaczuurs

    kaczuurs Newcomer

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