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Day 6 I just want to draw again

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Sacha O., May 13, 2016.

  1. Sacha O.

    Sacha O. Peer Supporter

    Today I’m supposed to write about some of my fears. It’s the first time I’m posting on the forum so I think I will have a lot to write about :)

    But first I want to apologize for my English, my first language is French !

    I’m scared I will be in pain forever, but more importantly that I will never be able to draw like I used to (I’m a comic book artist and an illustrator). I don’t understand my pain, how it change place, how it comes and go… I love my job, it brings me joy. I don’t want to let it go. My editor has the same problems : back, arms, and wrists pain. He can’t draw anymore. He told me that maybe our bodies weren’t made for this job. It depressed me a lot. I’m only 24, I still have a lot I want to do. Now I think he may have TMS too. He’s always under a lot of stress, and never talks about it. He always want to do a perfect job, and never complains. I actually know a lot of artist who are in pain for a long time. When I started to work as a comic book artist, I feared I would also hurt myself by « drawing too much »… And now, it happened.

    I’m scared I’m never going to make enough money to live while doing what I love. My mother is pretty stressed to see I don’t have a « real » job. I’m presently studying in Sexology, because I would really like to work in that field, but also because I don’t want my parents to worry to much about me.

    I’m still (a little ?) scared my pain could be structural. All the doc I saw told me it was because of my posture, of how I sit when I draw or when I’m in front of a computer. My physio told me it was because my muscles weren’t strong enough, so I’ve done a lot of sport, a lot of exercises : I’m stronger than ever. I have muscles, for the first time in my life (and I actually like it :p). I sit straight as hell. But the pain always comes back. When I first read Dr Sarno’s book, I was sure I had TMS. I was painfree for two days. Now it’s back : I have some good days and some bad days. Today is a bad day. The program helps a lot. But it’s hard to let go of this fear.

    I’m scared that, if the pain goes away, it will come back in some form. When I was 19, I had a huge pain in the chest for months. I thought I was dying. Turns out it was anxiety. I feel that the pain I have in my arms, back and neck is the same pain I had in the chest. It came back, but transformed. I’m presently working on a small book where I talk about the different form my anxiety took during my life. It helps me understand how I work, and why I keep hurting myself this way.

    I was wondering : does your pain often switch places ? For example, yesterday I went for a walk. My right hand started to hurt, so I told my brain to fuck off. The pain disappeared, then went in my left arm. I did the same thing, it disappeared, then went in my shoulders, etc, etc…
  2. Janine28

    Janine28 Peer Supporter

    Hi Sacha,
    I relate so much to your experiences. When I was in my twenties, I had to do a lot of typing for graduate school. Just before a gigantic 4-day comprehensive exam the pain in my arms was so excruciating that my mom had to drive 4 hours to come help me type my exam. There's been a lot of fear of loosing functionality as various physical symptoms have taken over over the years. Now that I'm finishing up this structured education program, I can say with such conviction, it's TMS not structural. The fact that you had a couple of days of pain free when you identified TMS says so much. I've also watched the pain switch places, my latest issue has been 2 years of being unable to walk, and as I've recognized the TMS and connected with my emotions, I've been able to walk again. I suspect that you will regain use of your hands again. The pain switched this week to a massive 5-day headache. Once I realized it was TMS and did some simple affirmations, it disappeared! I never thought much of affirmations, but they have been little miracle workers, enabling me to talk directly to my subconscious. I recommend checking out Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life. Another key for me, and perhaps this will be helpful to you, was to stop medicalizing my pain. I stopped seeing all PTs and doctors. This has enabled me to work directly with my psychology and go into my heart while not getting caught up in the fear of pain. More than anything, this program is so well developed and offers such a great community of support.
    Wishing you all the best in your healing process,
  3. Sacha O.

    Sacha O. Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much for your answer, Janine :)
    I don't see doctors anymore. I realized, after 3 months of treatments, that they were only treating the symptoms, but the pain would always come back. So no more of that for me.
    It's been 2 weeks since my last appointment with my physio, and I feel better than ever. And it's not because of her !!
    But I guess I still have to work on my belief that my problems aren't structural. It's hard when everyone around you tells you that if you don't sit straight, you will have back problems, if your chair isn't perfect, you will have back problems, etc... I said the same things to people around me, and now I feel guilty for that. I was scared that anyone would go through the same pain I did because of a bad posture, so I tried to protect them with the informations I had back then.
    When I will be healed, I will probably make a small comic explaning my journey with Dr Sarno and psychological pain.
    Your message is really encouraging. I'm wishing you the best too
    Janine28 likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Sacha. I am a writer in Chicago. It's nice to meet an artist in France. I was in Paris for a week some years ago and loved it. I saw for many hours in outdoor cafes along the Champs Elyseese drinking wine and watching lovely girls walk by. I wonder if your symptoms are maybe from some fear, because of the recent terrorist attack on Paris and threats of more. Did your pain begin about then? Even if not, something emotional is probably causing the pain.

    You have probably walked and sat the same way all your life, so why should pain begin now from your posture? Physical treatment has only given yo temporary relief, so it looks like the pain is not caused by anything structural. And even if it is from some structural abnormality, I believe what Dr. Sarno writes, that the pain still can be caused some the emotions.

    I urge you to continue in the SEProgram and work more on believing in TMS 100 percent. That's what it took for me tio heal from severe back pain. I journaled in the SEP to discover I had been repressing anger since I was seven years of and my parents divorced. I was able to understand them better and forgive them. The pain went away.
  5. Janine28

    Janine28 Peer Supporter

    Hi Sacha, I also meant to respond to this question of posture. For an entire year a physical therapist tried to "correct" my posture, claiming that because I was so improperly aligned, strain was placing pressure on my knees. I was convinced that if I could only adjust my posture and walk correctly and with better alignment, my pain would disappear or at least be reduced. The pain only continued full force. Since I've begun the SEProgram, I've returned to the posture that is normal for me, and I've had a 100% reduction in knee pain. What Walt says is so wise (he has a ton of wisdom to share). Once I believed in TMS 100% and began fully entering my heart (instead of my alignment, knee pain, back pain, etc.) I began the path of recovery. I do notice that with sitting, everything seems to stiffen up for me. So I make it a priority to get outside and walk and stretch throughout the day.

    Continued good wishes to you on your journey.
    Sacha O. likes this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Sacha,

    We had an active member on the Forum a year or so ago who had a very similar story to yours. She was a young computer artist who had the same symptoms you describe and the same fears that she wouldn't be able to work. She had great success by treating her symptoms as TMS. You can look up her story and posts under her user name: Waterbear

    Hopefully, you will find some hope and inspiration, as well as practical tips, by reading about her journey and success.
  7. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sasha, this is Walt Oleksy in Chicago. I'd like you to email me about your work as a comic book artist.

  8. Sacha O.

    Sacha O. Peer Supporter

    Thank you for your kind words. I'm motivated to continue the SEP, it helps me a lot ! Yesterday was a very good day. Today, not so much, but I know why (I had a conversation with my boyfriend about RSI that got me worried- he doesn't seems to believe in TMS-, I did a bunch of googling on the subject, and then I was convinced what I had was RSI so BAM the pain was back !! URGH). Tonight I'm fine, I'm trying not to focus on the pain. I'm slowly getting better a it. I even finished a little book on my anxiety,with some drawings in it. It's not much, but I'm very proud I've done it !
    However, I am not from France :p I am a french Canadian. But I have a lot of very close French and Belgian friends so this indeed as been a rough year.
  9. Sacha O.

    Sacha O. Peer Supporter

    Thank you ! I've read some, it indeed feel like my own story. It's very inspiring and it gives me hope !
  10. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sacha, it looks like you are making good progress in healing. Don't let it trouble you if your boyfriend doesn't believe in MindBody healing or TMS, so long as you do. I'm glad you did a book with drawings. I am a freelance author of some books for children. See them at www.walterokeksybooks.com and CreateSpace eBooks. I was going to suggest you consider doing a graphic novel for children. That's a popular new genre for children and teenagers. You could get it published free in paperback and Kindle from CreateSpace. I've had my last six books published by them and it didn't cost me a dime.
  11. Sacha O.

    Sacha O. Peer Supporter

    Thank you Walt, I am indeed interested in doing books for children !
  12. lina82

    lina82 Peer Supporter

    Hello Sacha! I'm an artist just like you, but I do music, writing and theatre. I just want to tell you that I have a strong feeling, intuition, that you will overcome your pain problem and that your TMS yesterday for example was because of worrying about the pain. Since you're an artist I wonder: Have you thought about drawing about your pain? I draw quite much with crayons, using myt abdominal hand and just following my instinct/intuition. That brings out a great deal of images / feelings from my subconsious. Using your abdominal hand makes it easier for the images from your subconsious to reach the surface. Maybe worth a try! I don't think you should stop drawing, but maybe let your emotions out through drawing - instead of drawing out of pressure or the need to succeed. For me different kind of art has been my biggest interest my whole life, but I have noticed that that doesn't mean that I always do it in a relaxed, playful way - the way I did it as a child. If you can relate to that, maybe what you would need now is to get to play freely. I know that is what my inner child longs for. Good luck with your journey, I'm sure you will find your way through it!
    Balsa11 likes this.
  13. Sacha O.

    Sacha O. Peer Supporter

    Hi Lina !
    I hope your intuition is right :)
    What do you mean by abdominal hand ?
    Lately, most of my drawings were made for contracts $$$, so it's true it hasn't been emotion driven. Mostly stress and pressure.
  14. lina82

    lina82 Peer Supporter

    If you're righthanded you should draw with your left hand! :) And it's also possible that you need to have a break from drawing and get back to it when you have found true inspiration. But if you lack inspiration for the moment it doesn't mean you've lost it forever. I can also warmley recommend the book The Artist Way by Julia Cameron if you haven't read it!
  15. Sacha O.

    Sacha O. Peer Supporter

    This is a good advice, thank you ! Also : yesterday I was drawing and everything went well, yay ! Still some pain, but it was bearable.

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