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Day 1 I'm here with Optimism!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Timberman, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Timberman

    Timberman Newcomer

    Greetings TMS Community !

    Thank you so much for having me and I look forward to interacting with you as I walk the path of accepting and employing TMS in my daily life.

    I ran across Dr. Sarno's work while listening to a recent Howard Stern episode where he was interviewing Alec Baldwin. Alec was talking about his full hip replacement surgery where Howard asked whether Alec had read "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. Sarno.. Howard went on to explain how Dr Sarno had changed his life. I made a note to look up Sarno's work when I got in front of a computer and here I am.

    I've read "Healing Back Pain" as well as "Mind over Back Pain" and I am sold.. I exhibit all of the personality traits noted in his writing and completely subscribe to the mind/body connection, but I am having a bit of difficulty accepting it in totality.

    So... Here's my back story (no pun intended): I consider to have had a very "normal" childhood where I cannot seem to locate any repressed emotions or traumatic events. Yes, we all do things as children that aren't always good, but I do not feel that there is anything sitting in my subconscious (neither does my Therapist thus far) that would be tramatic.

    I injured my back in 2007 (Fragment L4, slight bulge L5 and S-1 w/ Sciatica) and was in absolute agony for several weeks until meeting a great physical therapist. I have been relatively pain free up until about six months ago where work, home, and relationships were beginning to become "Heavy." I wouldn't say painful to the point of being a deterrent to my daily activities, but just heavier than normal. The emotions began to increase in strength along with persistent hip pain that reached a climax this Monday morning (sciatica/low back/tingling in left foot)..

    Fast forward to today; I know full well that the pain is real, but I am having a very difficult time selling and subscribing to all the Sarno's teachings.. And I am in sales.. Ironic..

    Thank you for taking the time and reading my post. I very much look forward to sharing and experiencing with all of you.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I hear you, Timberman, but I am also here to tell you that this is me, as well. And that you don't need childhood abuse or trauma to have TMS.

    When I read The Divided Mind in 2011, I was on board immediately, I accepted the TMS theory of repression 100%, I did the SEP, and I was absolutely amazed at the stupid little shameful things that my brain wanted to repress! Not only that, I came to understand that my lifelong anxiety was TMS, but that anxiety also acts as a huge trigger for those of us who are more prone to TMS than others. And finally, I had to accept the fact that one of my biggest current issues had to do with aging and mortality, and that my brain was definitely repressing my rage over that. For others, it might be repressed rage about current issues in their relationships, be those family, intimate, or career. But I can assure you, that current issues have a basis in childhood relationships and interactions.

    Here's my best advice for doing the SEP: When you start doing the writing exercises, be aware of the little voice in your head that says "Oh, don't write THAT down - that's not important". or "... that's too embarrassing, there's no need to look at that, let's think of something else". Pay attention to this - this is the part of your brain that is repressing what it thinks is the scary stuff - and even if the thing it doesn't want you to write down seems trivial, you have to force yourself to write it down anyway - and that's the first thing you have to look at during the next part of the exercise.

    I swear to you, this is what worked for me. It wasn't easy, but I did force myself to write those things down. And guess what - they were trivial, from my adult point of view - but they were also episodes of guilt or shame or embarrassment, and my childish brain didn't want me to dwell on them, and that kind of repression just builds up over the years.

    I do this type of free-writing exercise to this day when I'm going through a relapse, and each time, I come up with some little thing, thought, or incident, that felt like a threat to my brain, and it repressed it. Freeing those thoughts, and examining them rationally, brings relief. It's truly miraculous.
  3. Timberman

    Timberman Newcomer

    I couldn't agree with you more JanAtheCPA. My current issues are career as well as family oriented as they are tied together. There are other stressors, but are minimal at best. I am hopeful that the family/career issue is over next week and I can finally put some closure there. Also, a visit with my therapist yesterday helped me identify how cruel I am to myself, so I have something I can work. I never realized how hard I am on myself which has created this inner rage that comes out in mysterious ways. I have always thought that I have a very shallow mind in that I just do not harbor bad feelings... Well, I watched most of "all the rage saved by Sarno" last night and was holding back tears throughout a lot of the documentary (holding back tears is also something I have to work on). It is very interesting to me on how we hold things in our subconscious whether good or bad and whether we know it or not.. I am very curious as to what I am able to unearth in my subconscious through this experience.

    My therapist touched on this too.. I explained to her that I have been trying my darndest to journal every day, but I am just not good at it.. She responded with "scribble some thoughts down; trust me, it will help."

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