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In a weird place

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Hen, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Hen

    Hen Peer Supporter

    So I finished the SEP and as of last Wednesday have had much higher levels of pain. I did some pretty intense stretches that make me think I irritated the nerves in my back? Does TMS get irritated by stretches?

    I am deeply doubting TMS right now. I am very depressed. I can't seem to get to a place where I'm physically comfortable. And that makes me sad and depressed. I am seriously considering calling a doctor or a chiropractor tomorrow morning.

    I went off the rails yesterday researching bulging discs and annular tears (both of which I have according to an MRI done in Nov. After all of my googling I felt even more scared. Annular tears may or may not heal much like any disc problem but some of the things I was finding really sounded like my pain. I don't want to turn my back on TMS but I don't want to stay in chronic pain either because it seems the longer that goes on the harder it becomes to break free of it. And I don't want "hard" right now. Everything already seems hard enough.

    I took the longest walk I've been able to yesterday (since Oct.) I was in a lot of pain by the end but I made it through. I have started smoking again and its one of the few things I have right now that seems to comfort me.

    Sigh......what to do?
  2. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Hen, I have had no sleep for 3 nights because of my back and arm pain. Last night, I sat up journaling…the best I could. Like you, I've been depressed.
    This morning, after journaling, I actually had about 50% less pain. Then, I decided to go to an acupuncturist to see if she could cure it once and for all.
    Not a wise choice. I came home worse.
    I know why. Because I'm looking for the magic pill instead of asking my inner self, why are you in pain. I'm looking for someone to have the answer that makes it go away NOW.
    Googling about cervical stuff and nerves made me feel hopeless.

    So, I want to encourage us both. I think we are both grasping for this to be over. Instead of accepting 100% that it's TMS.
    From what long time members and TMS guides have been saying on here…in essence…we can't walk with one foot in each world, it's either TMS and Belief in Structural Pain.
    Not giving advice, but if my trip to the acupuncturist makes you think twice, then…probably your true self knowing you want to do 100% belief.

    My thoughts,

  3. Hen

    Hen Peer Supporter

    Hi Marcia,

    I want to thank you for sharing your depression and your ongoing pain. While I dislike that you're in pain there is something much more real about your reply that speaks to me. Sometimes I get tired of hearing cheery advice and "chin up" type cliches. It really makes me frustrated. Its like people are brushing it off. I know I need to be positive but I need to be real too. I'm not good at ignoring my pain. I've tried screaming at it and even challenging it. To no avail.

    I've been asking myself why I'm in physical pain and have been seeing a psychotherapist (which I recently stopped because while I liked her-no she's not a TMS therapist, but there was something about sessions which just kept me in the past) anyway I feel that I have issues from the past with my parents, and there is residual "stuff" there but also I'm pissed at myself for having quit a very good job with great benefits in order to do something more "real" which has been kicking my ass in every way since I started it. No benefits, high stress, bad director, low pay. I feel like I can't stop beating myself up for this. Like I made a grave mistake and now I can't get out of it.

    I'm struggling to find a job that I like and cannot seem to do so. I really don't know....the pain is making me bitter. I am better at feeling my feelings and expressing them! There have been successes but this pain! Ugh!

    I do want a quick fix. I'm so like that. I want it to stop. I'm increasingly pissed and frustrated and depressed and I'm engaging in worst case scenarios such as "this will not get better" and I'm having some self harm thoughts as well. Which I know I will not act on but they are frightening to me anyway.

    I need to stop the constant online searching. It is so dreadful and makes everything so much worse.

    Back to the drawing board?
  4. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hen, I totally know what you mean about regrets of employment. Ugh. Yes, it hurts like crazy.

    But, I'm only hurting myself every single day by living in an anger about past choices.
    I've got bushel baskets of resentment. No one would guess that in my day to day life, but I do.

    This has been my most challenging, because the pain is 24/7 for the last 4 days. It can make you feel crazy when someone suggests to ignore the symptoms and jump back in. But, they're right. What's the option???

    Here's what I'm going to start doing, which I did in the past and it helped. Just live a couple hours at a time. Don't think future. Just say to yourself, "for the next two hours I'm going to….." and then do those things. Then when two hours are up, plan out the next two hours.
    Or, do even less if you have to…like "for the next 30 minutes."

    I don't know why that helps me, but maybe it will help you, too.

    Sending peace,

    Forest and Hen like this.
  5. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    The worse thing you can do to fuel your fear is to go on google all that does is pour gas on the fire .
    I feel what you are going threw ..you know I am going threw the same pain you are . The sep is a good start it's gets you digging up emotions but it's not the magic pill it just bring you out of your emotional cloud .

    When your tms pushes you push it back by ignoring it going for a walk a run you need to show your SC who is in charge.
    Yes this might spike your levels because it knows you are on to it.

    Our journey is not easy....we must go threw a dark hallway of shit...( excuse the language ). To get out the other side .
    Loose the fear ....and you will start to feel better. I would recommend Fred Amir book
    Forest and MWsunin12 like this.
  6. Hen

    Hen Peer Supporter

    Dark hallway of shit! Yep. That's it. But shit is a great fertilizer no?
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  7. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Yes it is ....it will fertilize the belief of TMS
    Hen and MWsunin12 like this.
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Hen,

    I think Marcia hit the nail on the head:
    It's clear that with everything going on, you've got a lot of emotions flying around, particularly relating to your progress. However, with all of those emotions flying around, I think that that will make it harder to make progress with your symptoms. If I were you, finding peace with those emotions would be the first thing that I worked on. I think that you can definitely turn things around, but I think you are going to have to take control of how you think about things.

    For someone with TMS, step one is accepting the diagnosis. While I've seen people get better without doing this, you've got so much going on emotionally that you don't need the fear and tension that can come from doubt. Making an evidence sheet and working it hard could help. Possibly a set of affirmations (link1, link2) as well. Rereading your TMS books and look for yourself on every page can help, too.

    You are going through a major emotional upheaval and you've even had a doctor say that there is no reason for you to be in pain. Obviously you need to see an MD for a diagnosis, but that sounds pretty much a textbook case of "must be TMS" to me. As you know four months is nothing to worry about when it comes to healing times. Once you get to six times as long, then you have grounds for concern. :)

    Next, don't forget to think psychologically. You've had high levels of stress that haven't gone away and high levels of pain that haven't gone away. Similarly, you're having a big increase in stress and an a big increase in pain at the same time. This is terrific news because it shows the power of the mindbody connection and points out that if you can beat the stress, your body will get better.

    It may seem like an impossible thing to do, but I've seen it done many times before by people in worse situations. I know that you are just having a bad week, but, once this bad week ends, I think that that would be a good thing to work on. You've got to find a way to find genuine joy and satisfaction in your life, as it is right now.

    You might think that that is impossible, but I bet you are stronger than you think. You may have absolutely no idea how you're going to do it, but I've seen too many people do it before to not believe that you can't do it, too. As Marcia points out, there really is not other option. I'm constantly amazed by the positivity and progress that I see by people on these forums.

    Another thing to work on is outcome independence.

    I'm sorry to put so much on your plate, but I want you to get better, and unless you fully commit, I think that you will unnecessarily be slowing yourself down. Every time you are tempted to make a post where you describe your symptoms, stop yourself. Ask yourself if you are being outcome dependent.

    I know that this may seem like a lot, but I think it's time for a reset and you can always take it one step at a time, working with a therapist. If you're willing to commit to this fully, I have no doubt that you can get better.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
    Hen and yb44 like this.
  9. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Hen,

    I've never read a more vehement post by Forest.

    I would add this piece to what others are saying. You are under tremendous inner stress with the superego/id, as you write here:

    That is, plain and simple, a repetitive beating of the Inner Child. It may feel correct to doubt yourself this way --especially given the suffering you are enduring-- but you are noticing the painful emotional feelings around it, and so you have an indication of how the recipient of the bullying feels.

    Just appreciating this level of self-rejection, and how this relates to Dr. Sarno's work ---the Inner Child feels what _________ in relationship to how it is being treated by the Inner Bully--- can help you undo the TMS. This may take therapeutic support to change your relationship with the Inner Bully, but alternatively, you can simply see this painful inner activity and "think psychological" every time a symptom arises. For working with the Inner Critic I highly recommend Byron Brown's A Soul Without Shame.

    This is part of the method I used. I know how vicious my superego is, and when I felt pain, I simply knew, according to Dr. Sarno, that my "normal" level of rejection of the Inner Child's feelings and needs causes difficult emotions that don't want to be felt. My Inner Child can feel neglected, enraged, hurt, sad. These are some of the deep feelings that Dr. Sarno has identified. This part of your report is central to my path of self-understanding, so this jumps out at me.

    I wish you the best, and for heaven's sake call someone when you are feeling really low. This concerns me:
    In my experience, these feelings can be directly related to beating yourself up, but you would know this better than I.

    Andy B
    Hen and yb44 like this.
  10. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, I hope I didn't overdo it Andy. In the end it's just my opinion. Everyone needs to find their own way.

    If the idea of Self-Compassion feels right to you Hen, maybe that's a tool that could help. The thing that jumps out for me is that if your symptoms are caused by inner tension (which is how I see TMS), then it is that inner tension that you need to work on first.
    I feel the same way. I've had a lot of low times myself in the last 30 years, and they certainly aren't fun. Please do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.
    Hen likes this.
  11. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hen likes this.
  12. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Hen

    You've already been given some wonder responses and food for thought. I hope there is something in there that resonates with you, a starting point that takes you in a better direction. Here are my own thoughts:

    I happened to glance at the news headlines this morning. There was a piece about a 3 star Michelin chef from Switzerland who took his own life at the age of 44. He was said to have been at the top of his game. Who knows what drove him to that action but the comments about him may very well hold a clue. "He was a brilliant man...Such talent, and an amazing capacity for work. He was so kind with so many qualities. He gave the impression of being perfect." It was the mention of perfection that stood out for me. No one in the world, including 3 star Michelin chefs can ever measure up to their own perceptions of perfection.

    It sounds like we both need to cut ourselves some slack. We make decisions that at the time we think are right for us but later prove otherwise. Or in my case, something truly devastating happens and these decisions become so trivial yet because my minds is so geared toward this perpetual flogging, I find something else to ruminate on and beat myself up over.

    Good advice for me too. Thanks, Forest.

    It sounds to me like you are really hurting emotionally and you feel like people who give you these messages are not empathetic. This is as valid a feeling as any other, a natural and honest reaction and I appreciate your honesty. You have needs and they are not being met. That leaves a huge gap, a sink hole that we fill with all sorts of stuff, fear and obsession over our health for starters. That, rather than the pain or other symptoms, tempts us into online searches and self-diagnoses.

    I've struggled with symptoms for a very long time and I've been around on this forum (and the one that preceded it) for a number of years. I'm not going to count them because I really don't care to know. What has changed for me? I have lost the fear of my symptoms. I have to admit that I wasn't ever particularly health obsessed to the point where I feared I would die young of some horrible disease but I used to think I was going to be in pain forever. I changed that thought over time. I'm working on my other thoughts now. Reading the forum posts from some of the Grand Eagles, the regular supporters and some of the newbies too encourages me and keeps me going.

    I'm reading an interesting book about neuroplasticity at the moment - not really a TMS book. However there's one section where a psychiatrist describes how he rid himself of chronic pain by focusing on images of the brain, fired up and shooting off signals when the body is in chronic pain and then shifting his focus to images of the brain in no pain whatsoever. The author frequently uses the term 'relentless' to note how one must go about this activity in order to achieve results. I flinched at that word because to me it signifies stress and strain. Calming, soothing compassion is my aim. So in other words, I try and keep at it minus the strain.

    If you'd like to read up more on strain as a factor in TMS, check out Ace1's Keys to Healing - but only if you feel you want more input. No pressure. I believe the author of these Keys to Healing was pretty "relentless" in his own non-strained way to rid himself of his symptoms and he succeeded.

    Sorry for the rambling and hope you have a better day today.
    Hen likes this.
  13. Hen

    Hen Peer Supporter

    I wanted to reply quickly before leaving for work! Thank you all for the thoughts and links. I have decided to re-embrace TMS.

    Forest-I appreciate your comments and there's no need to feel that you took it too far. I'm OK. I needed to read these things. I do not yet fully believe I have TMS. I need to dig deeper into what's hurting me and how I can heal that. I zipped through reading several books and then the SEP and thought "I should be magically better by then". Of course it doesn't work that way.

    I have to say that having bad PMS always exacerbates my symptoms and thats a pattern I'm beginning to look out for. Forest something you mentioned really got to me "you have to find joy and purpose in your life right now". Wow. I don't particularly have either of those things. That really hit me. And that's good.

    I will come back to this later and make notes and print out the evidence sheet and look at the videos as well.

    Thank you all for reading, sharing and supporting.
  14. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Keep the faith
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