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I will give you $20 if you can prove it's not TMS.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by fifthsuite, Jan 8, 2022.

  1. fifthsuite

    fifthsuite Peer Supporter

    You say you can't handle more than 5 minutes doing _____.

    Get a calendar. There are free ones you can print out online. Tape it to your wall where you'll see it every day.

    Set a timer for 5 minutes. Log into your computer. Do whatever you want - play a game, type a Facebook message, write a story. Type gibberish. Stop when the timer goes off.

    Maybe there's something besides typing that causes you pain or dysfunction. Whatever it is - talking, running, shaving, I don't care - as long as it's physical and trackable (amount of time, repetitions, etc.), fair game.

    Do your timed activity for 5 min a day for a week. Every day you do it, mark an X on your calendar. It's not a big deal if you miss a day, but never miss more than one in a row.

    Next week, set the timer for 6 minutes. Mark the calendar every day.

    Next week, set the timer for 7 minutes. Mark the calendar every day.

    Next week, set the timer for 8 minutes. Mark the calendar every day.

    Next week, set the timer for 9 minutes. Mark the calendar every day.

    Next week, set the timer for 10 minutes. Mark the calendar every day.


    If you realize that you're experiencing a psychosomatic disorder, congratulations. You don't owe me a dime. Go help someone else.

    If your symptoms haven't changed and you still believe what you're going through isn't in your head - even though you've just proven you can do it daily for six weeks or more - I'll admit I was wrong and send you $20 via Venmo. You can go on believing you're irreparably broken. Just like everyone else on here before they broke through.

    But something tells me I'm going to keep my $20.

    * * *

    I was once a skeptic. Here's my success story. Because I work a full-time office job and spend three to four hours a day playing cello and lifting weights, I don't have time to read these forums every day. So I'm going to limit my bet to five people, because I don't just want to challenge you, I want to listen to your story and help you. I'll take the first five people to respond to this thread. You can private message me if you're not comfortable sharing your story publicly, but post something to the thread to save your spot. If your condition requires a different sort of set up than I posted - maybe you only start getting pain at 10 min, maybe it's 3 min, or whatever - we'll figure out a different challenge. "Win" or "lose", you must post your final result to this thread: picture of your calendar(s) plus report of symptoms and whether you still believe you have a psychosomatic disorder. And of course, post to this thread any time with progress reports or thoughts.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2022
    Mala and plum like this.
  2. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Great idea but I do think that doing it publically has far more advantages & would make for a very interesting thread. There is as much to be learned from setbacks & other experiences as there is from successes. Just a thought any way.
  3. fifthsuite

    fifthsuite Peer Supporter

    Absolutely! I want everyone who participates to share their story and progress publicly. Just wanted to give folks who might not be comfortable yet a way to get started, but I am requiring everyone who takes me up to post their final results to the thread. I lurked with no account for years. I am reaching out to those who are skeptical, who may not feel like they belong in this community, so I have to imagine some will want to start quietly.
    Mala likes this.
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have never met a person in pain who read "Healing Back Pain" cover to cover who did NOT get better. Period...100% success rate among the people I know personally. I used to tell people that if they read it and didn't get better I would pay them for the book. But many people in my life very close to me still suffer from chronic pain.

    I have to remember that people have lots of their ego tied up in their image of themselves as suffering from one thing or another. I think of those people so close to me who watched me get better.... but did they really? Or was my suffering and surgeries and so forth just another buzzing in their ear and all of us are so solipsistic that we only notice our own world?

    I know this is true because occasionally one will ask me "Hey, did that surgery work for you..??." "Hey...can I borrow your back brace" "Hey...can I have some of those custom ice packs" . That shit is two decades ago, but to their ego, it was yesterday...and they clearly never heard a word I said about how I got well. How I still play baseball and work construction (I am 56)

    I have made attempts to explain what saved me , but they won't even let me finish a sentence before "Yeah... but I got (blank) diagnosis and my stuff is REAL".

    When I look close, I see a couple of common denominators in all people who don't get this.
    A. They have an in-their-face (usually parents or bad marriage/relationship) that would be so painful to address that their whole world would collapse and the pain is actually doing what Sarno said it was for...protecting them.
    B. Their 'story' is so tied up in the pain and they have reinforced the injury narrative for so long, they have no chance to ever reverse the story. Sarno mentioned one in the book.

    I no longer do much proselytizing ... I have found a way to get the message to a hand full of people, mostly younger ones not fully invested in their 'story' yet.

    I am going through an artist program that it is a lot like the TMS program..except I am examining what the 'pay off' is for NOT doing what I do...and there is always a pay off for remaining stuck, frustrated or in pain. It's just hard to see without a little help and guidance from a higher source.

    I hope I always stay as open minded as I was when I read Sarno... but then again, I was in an F-ton of pain. Maybe theirs isn't that bad yet? Or they still have options?

    Most people have to be pretty mangled to get this.
    Mr Hip Guy, Ellen, fifthsuite and 4 others like this.
  5. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can’t help but wonder about the artist’s dates you choose. I followed this almost 20 years ago and I never granted myself a full and true date…no wonder TMS entered the equation. I did The Morning Pages faithfully for over a decade though.

    I’m delighted that you do this. You are a great writer and soul and the world needs to hear your voice. God Bless You Marc.
    Ellen, Baseball65 and hawaii_five0 like this.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here’s to those that take you up on this.
  7. fifthsuite

    fifthsuite Peer Supporter

    Who wants $20?

    @Baseball65 What's this artist program? @plum Thanks for mentioning the Morning Pages, I've started doing that. I've been journaling for a few years but this is a great easy way to make it regular
    plum likes this.
  8. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's called 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron.
    So far, I have gone to different parks, though I have 'cheated' and taken My dog with me.... we walk aimlessly and in no particular way....a couple of days ago we walked around in the snow across a giant baseball complex. She chased squirrels and I chased her and laughed a lot. I do plan to do one shopping for clothes as soon as it is a bit warmer (haven't done that in YEARS)...It's hard to pick with all of the 'closed' places, but as I keep doing the work and unlearning a lot of foolish things I thought, the creative side is opening up so effortlessly it's scary. Been a monstrously huge blessing.

    My TMS came right after I stopped writing inventories...funny how that works, huh?
    plum likes this.
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    So true, and being stuck comes in many forms besides TMS. It is always a choice, though not a conscious one. Changing our unconscious choices requires openness and a commitment to exploring other ways of being. Not many people are willing and ready for this. My own readiness and willingness fluctuates wildly. I've moved past TMS, except for occasional short relapses, but still have many other ways of being stuck to move beyond.

    I no longer proselytize about TMS anymore either. I think when people are ready to move forward, they find a way. Mostly it's about being open and not caught in your story, as you say. I love Byron Katie's question: Who would you be without your story? When my internal dialogue is filled with analyzing and explaining my story, I know I am caught in a closed loop, and no new wisdom can come into my mind. And it will continue that way until I choose differently.
    plum likes this.
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you Ellen, for I’m in something of a closed loop right now and appreciate the nudge. (In assimilating this past year I seem to have become a tad stuck in my story. *sighs* And so it goes.)

    Hope life is treating you kindly sweetheart xxx
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  11. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I got caught up in my own story recently too. I knew it, too, a few times, but sometimes our stories are comforting in a way, even when they are ghastly, because they seem to have an internal logic and familiarity that is less scary that just being with our not-knowing. Letting go requires a level of trust that I can't always muster up.

    Sometimes we are the one doing the nudging and sometimes we are the one nudged. That is the beauty of this Forum and friendship itself. My thanks to you and all who keep showing up.
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