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I'm new, and would love some support

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by opaline, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. opaline

    opaline Newcomer


    I'm glad to have joined and become a part of this supportive community.
    I have recently been introduced to Dr Sarno's work, and I now believe that my 3 years of RSI and 15 years of upper back pain are, in fact, TMS. Doctors have never been able to find a cause for the back soreness, they usually tell me it's due to weak muscles and postural problems. I have been diagnosed with Tendinitis by physiotherapists.

    My goal is to eliminate my pain as quickly as possible, because I am starting a course of study this year that will be typing, note taking and research intensive. I also want to write a fiction novel, and that involves a fair bit of writing I hear ;)

    My boyfriend is semi-onboard with the mind body theory, and has suffered RSI in the past from playing an instrument. However he's still operating on the assumptions of structural damage. He suggests physical solutions, like exercise, when my pain gets bad. Which is great, because exercise keeps me healthy, it does offer temporary pain relief, and he's trying to help. What bothers me is that he didn't like my suggestion that I have repressed emotions, or that I should see a counsellor / psychologist to work through them. He's quite 'no nonsense' about that stuff, thinks depression is a scam used to sell medication, etc.

    Thing is, I'm definitely a person who has stored all their tensions in their body, well, forever. I feel things deeply, I worry a lot, and I frequently experience feelings of shame and inadequacy - I also put a lot of pressure on myself to perform academically, to achieve success.

    My RSI first developed in the final stages of completing a project for my photography degree. I was using photoshop heavily, and one of my classmates developed RSI. Two days later, after hearing about this, guess what I get? RSI. I had a bit of a meltdown, but managed to finish my course, albeit burnt out and sick of photography. All my favourite activities make use of my hands, and so I started feeling very angry, frustrated and helpless. Drawing, writing, journaling, reading books, using the computer, using my phone; these all caused a hot tingling and burning sensation, and achy pains.

    Since then I've managed the RSI with varying degrees of success. Sometimes it seems to almost completely disappear. When I get stressed, or work in jobs that I don't enjoy, it comes back with a vengeance. I want to kill it off before term starts in a month.

    Does the community have any suggestions for me? I am considering seeing a local TMS psych, and am wondering if it's worth the money or if I should work through this myself.

    Thanks for reading and I look forward to collaborating with you all on our recoveries.
  2. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    I'm sure that many people will be able to chime in and offer you some great advice but I just wanted to advise caution on the part of your post I have highlighted.

    From my experience and also from reading testimonies of those who have recovered setting deadlines and the like is one of the worse things to do really...time and time again you see that healing happens for people in various timescales but it is something that can not be hurried. For many people it is ironically actually the hurry hurry and quick fix mindset that actually leads to the development of TMS in the first place.

    I notice that you state you have had your back pain for 15 years which would indicate that this pain response is pretty well established. I'm not saying you can't or won't recover in your desired timescale I'm just saying not to fall into the trap of trying to force a recovery.

    On the upside it is actually good to be in the frame of mind when you do actually want to take action and recover...it is very easy to just fall into a state of limbo when you don't fully commit to anything and the weeks become months which become years etc. The key is to find the balancing point of moving forward in a confident, assured and consistent manner without applying undue pressure and unrealistic expectations. Good luck. :)
  3. opaline

    opaline Newcomer

    Ha! Touché, and I suppose that kind of thinking goes right in hand with TMS. Thanks for pointing that out. I guess I just need to chill out and let the healing happen.
    Here's to realistic expectations and forgiving oneself.
    Melody and David88 like this.
  4. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi opaline,

    Welcome! You guys both touch on an important point in TMS recovery which is...self compassion and forgiveness! And being "non-striving" about the whole thing (to borrow a concept from mindfulness meditation), which is much easier said than done. Everyone is here because they want to decrease their chronic pain, that's a given. But it truly is a different process for everyone. Some people read Sarno and get rid of their pain in a day, some take months or years. It's so individual because our brains are all wired differently from our lives and experiences. Know that it's exciting you're here, working on your TMS recovery and know the pain relief will come, try not to have any timeline on it. The less attention you give to the pain the easier it will be to go away.

    Regarding seeing a psychologist, it seems that some people do well without it if their journaling efforts are successful and they have enough support in their lives/people to talk to about this. If you realize some of your issues are a little trickier and you want more support a therapist might be helpful. Maybe try working through the SEP and recovery programs yourself first to save some money.
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    It all depends on how fast you want to start doing the things you can't do because of TMS. It shouldn't take many sessions with a TMS savvy therapist to convince you of Dr. Sarno's theory. It's not about un-earthing, doing psych-archeology to unearth "the traumatic event that caused this all!" It's about getting clear on the concept--that the pain is psychosomtic/TMS, emanating from the mind and that it's not of structural origin.

    It's up to you, your finances and time, if you want a guide, or don't mind taking the scenic route and wander around without a map--TMS can be a good neighborhood to get lost in if you don't mind getting lost in the dark on occasion. There's a long list of TMS Practitioners at this site, most charge about $150 an hour the going rate for therapy and most will do phone or skype which has been found to be as good as in person.
  6. opaline

    opaline Newcomer

    Thanks for your thoughts, guys, the 'non-striving' is a nice way to describe it, and easy to hold in mind!
    As the first replier said, the back pain has been around for a long time, so it might be a little while un-learning.

    I think I might trade some finances for time in this case, and am in the process of making an appointment with a local TMS practitioner.
    There's too much I want to do! :)

    Tennis Tom, thanks for the clarification on the process. I was wondering if there was some 'archeology' involved and am kind of relieved that there isn't.

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