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Day 1 I want my life back!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by danielhg, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. danielhg

    danielhg New Member

    Hi, I'm Daniel from the UK. I came across Dr Sarno's work while reading an article on back pain (for someone else) & thought "I wonder if that could work for my problems?".

    So here's the short version: I used to be a very sociable, confident & adventurous person, however I started having GI problems mid 2000 that just got worse & worse. As a consequence of all the hospital visits, intrusive examinations & various procedures I began to suffer with depression & anxiety. I've also been diagnosed with OCD & am receiving cognitive behavioural therapy. I am currently unable to work, which upsets me very much as I worked very hard to get to where I did in my career. I hope to be able to return to my previous job when things turn around.

    There isn't a lot that I haven't tried in my search for an answer to my ills. I am very open-minded about new approaches, even though so many times I have been sure (or assured by someone else) that I have found a cure, just to be disappointed.

    I have just finished listening to Dr Sarno's audiobook "The Divided Mind" which sounded like it could have been written about me, haha! Those personality traits describe me very well. I think I've always believed the theory behind Dr Sarno's work but now it has been explained to me. I now have names for all those things I have been feeling but couldn't describe.

    I have a lot of faith in this process & will give it everything I've got. I've tried to explain it to a couple of people close to me & found them to be quite dismissive, but I won't let it deter me. Even during the course of listening to the audiobook I saw evidence of the symptom imperative doing its thing.

    I would love to hear from others who have had positive results, particularly anyone who has been made housebound (or close to) by GI problems.

    Thanks for reading & thank you to the folks that provide us with this forum.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Daniel,

    Welcome to the forum sweetheart. You'll find much support and kindness from the people here. Though not new, I have just commited to this program so we are fellow travellers. I have made tremendous progress and am at the tail-end of my healing journey so take my hand and we'll blaze fearlessly. You really can have your life back. Hugs x.
    Stella likes this.
  3. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Daniel, I don't know what GI is - forgive my ignorance. But I am on day 17 of the structured educational programme - and after 22 years of pain I am feeling so much better! It really does work. If you are self-aware enough to see yourself in Sarno's book/audio you should be able to ignore the doubters and carry on with the programme. It is only 42 days out of a lifetime after all! I've spent many more days than that just in Doctors waiting rooms! So - go for it - what have you got to lose??
  4. danielhg

    danielhg New Member

    Hi Plum & Jo... Thank you for the much needed words of encouragement. Day 2 & counting. I hope you both continue with your great progress in recovery!

    Jo, apologies for the unclear abbreviation... I probably subconsciously chose to write GI instead of gastro intestinal because it's a tricky subject for me to discuss. There's something I need to work on right there!

    The more I think about TMS the more I see how it has affected me over the last few years. Something I hadn't mentioned above was that I went to see the doctor as I was experiencing a frequent need to urinate & difficulty stopping (itself a symptom of TMS I have read about) & I was sent for blood tests. My blood platelet count was quite low & I was sent to see a haematologist. The best answer they could give me was that it was probably an immune response getting out of control & that "sometimes the body gets confused". Since I now know a bit about TMS & have read many examples of how it can cause auto-immune diseases I would have to guess that my problems are associated too. The plot thickens :confused:
  5. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Daniel. I am on Day 6 of this Structured Program. I had severe bladder spasms off and on for several years. It was so painful and distracting! I had numerous tests, sonograms etc. I got to where I believed accupuncture helped me control it. The other day my terrible neck/head pain was less and suddenly the bladder spasms popped up(feels like a bad Urinary Tract Infection). For about 4 hours I kept telling it, "no way, you are not going to get me. I know this is TMS and there is nothing wrong." I was actually much more confident about it then I have been able to be with the head pain because I suffered from the bladder pain coming and going so many times and I had all the testing, so it is not hard for me to believe that there really isn't anything wrong. Fortunately, it just went away. Now the neck/head pain is back worse than ever, testing me. I did not have the low blood platelet count that I know of(not sure if I was tested for that) but I truly believe all that bladder stuff could be TMS. And now that I think of it, I had a bad GI problem in college. I thought is was from some bad antibiotics I had received while traveling overseas. I ate a lot of bananas and rice for 6-8 months(white food). Wow, the more I look back the more things I add to the list that could have been TMS. I completely understand what you were saying about searching for answers, feeling hopeful that this or that therapy will work and then being disappointed. You would be amazed at all the things I have tried. I even read Dr Sarno's book 20 years ago and tried to uncover the big emotional trauma that was the cause of my pain. I think I went about it the wrong way though, trying too intensely to fix it and not really doing the hard work to change my chronic thought patterns and to find a way to ease the stress, anxiety and worry which is how I have mostly been in this world. Good luck with everything. Be patient and kind to yourself. I am sure you will be able to get back to your career. This is such important work and if you figure it out now, it will really improve the rest of your life.
  6. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perhaps there's something 'pissing' you off - or something you feel is running away out of your control? I am getting symptoms that are very related to stuff I have been working on. Lots of anger at my Mum has come up from childhood, but as I don't want to be angry at her now, I have developed chronic neck ache - all night before I go to visit her! I also found that I was snapping at her over current things - far worse than it warranted. So I need to find a way to deal with that anger ...
  7. danielhg

    danielhg New Member

    Hi Anne... For me the urinary & bowel issues are the worst because they make it so difficult to get on with my day, everything seems to revolve around it & it takes up so much time. I seem to be constantly anxious that I need to go to the bathroom. I too will occasionally get a burning pain similar to a UTI. It's always at its worst either before bed or before I leave the house. Particularly if I am attending an appointment or going somewhere in the car. I've always thought it was an anxiety thing but is most probably TMS. Now I keep saying to myself "I'm on to you now, you can't hurt me!".
  8. danielhg

    danielhg New Member

    That's a really interesting point about the word association. A lot of things do "piss" me of although I'd never show it. I like to be thought of as the calm, non-judgemental one, a definate trait of TMS sufferers.

    When you say you don't want to be angry at your mum now, did you ever resolve your issues with her or did you just make the decision that it wasn't worth holding on to the anger? I have a great relationship with my dad now but it wasn't always that way, i've often wondered if it's something I should address.
  9. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Daniel. I think that TMS is an anxiety thing so it is great you have made that connection already. Whatever pain I am experiencing always feels like the worst but the bladder thing really is stressful. I think it is because it is calling you to do something, something that normally brings relief, and so it is so frustrating and incredibly distracting! I completely relate to the distress with appointments and going in the car etc. Sometimes I would challenge it by drinking lots and lots of water. I know that is incredibly painful but it is also a way to tell it that you are not afraid of it. I think how that strategy actually developed for me was when I went in to get a sonogram for my bladder. They made me drink lots and lots of water and it was sooooooooo painful and they kept postponing the test. That was one of the longest 90 minutes of my life. But a few hours afterwards I started to have some relief and so I started to make that connection and do that once in a while. I didn't realize I had TMS at the time, but looking back I now see that I stumbled on some of the techniques that are actually recommended for TMS. After much testing and fixation I finally came to believe that there wasn't really anything physically wrong with me. I started to think it was some random neurological thing or something unexplicable. And then I slowly discovered that certain things that I might have thought would aggravate it would actually help sometimes. For instance, one day I went to a yoga class and distracted myself from the pain and then I felt better. Eventually I realized that the more I found a way to put it out of my mind and trust that it wouldn't be there for forever, the better it got. Wow, I am just now realizing that I did effectively treat my TMS symptoms without realizing I had TMS. I want so much to be able to do that with my current neck pain/anxiety. It has really been challenging. Everytime I read that you have to believe 100% in order to get control of this I feel so defeated and then I am discouraged and hard on myself for being defeated. Well, at least I realize I am doing it! My mind is just so good at coming up with physical symptoms to scare me. But I keep gathering evidence that TMS is really what is going on and hopefully soon I will convince myself. I really do believe you will get out of this bladder thing. It is only temporary!

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