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Is it ok to take a break from the SEP?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by angelic333, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. angelic333

    angelic333 Peer Supporter

    After over a month of working this program I am getting tired of hearing myself complain. In the beginning I found the journaling so helpful and for a while I felt a bit better.
    Now, each time I sit to work on it, I start to feel nauseous again. Is it really serving me to go over this stuff time and time again? This is why I left counseling several years ago. I was considering going back because I feel stuck. I feel depression creeping back. Today I am not do sure it's a good idea to go back to counseling.
    I find going back to past pain every day is not helping anymore. Is this fear? Am I being weak? I must be doing something wrong. I have less and less tolerance for people who have hurt me in the past.
    My children are now both away in college and I am so lonely.
    I feel like I need a break from this. Or maybe I should only work on it once per week. Does that make sense? Any thoughts?
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    It sounds like you are stuck in your journaling, and so I think it is a good idea to take a break. I believe that to be effective, journaling must result in some "ah-ha" moments of self-discovery, where you start to make connections between your emotions and your TMS, see areas of inner conflict, and see some larger patterns in your life. This then leads you to see where you need to change your thinking and behavior. Otherwise it's just wallowing in pain and can result in feeling depressed.

    But you can continue with other types of TMS healing techniques, like mindfulness, deep breathing, visualization, etc. Don't give up entirely. You are on the right path. It just takes time and persistence.
    Seraphina, angelic333 and Forest like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Angelic, sure take a break from the SEP program.
    You may be trying too hard. Relax and believe in TMS, that's the most important thing.

    You might like this post today from Jacfoti:

    Hello I am in the day 4 of the SEP program. I was a dr.Sarno patient 8 years ago. I met him because of back pain, sciatica could not walk properly, Sarno gave me back my confidence and told me I was stressed and feeling guilty. He also said I am a "goodist".
    Back from Italy a month ago I started to feel pain in my back and leg. I also experienced "foot drop"
    I totally forgot about Sarno this time.. I dont know why.
    I felt like "this time is seriuos".
    So I restarted a journey a chiro, osteopath and acupuncture.
    Mri came in and showed the same 2 herniations I had 8 years ago.
    I said "wait" and re-think everything. Docs wanted me to start cortisone shots, and said "you may lose use of your foot!"
    I re-read the book of Sarno and here I am.
    Yesterday I went HIKING for 3 hours!
    I only have a little numbness in my left foot but it's mostly gone.
    angelic333 likes this.
  4. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi there,

    I'm not sure if this will help, but here goes.

    About a week ago, I had a really bleak day. I was feeling raw from the journaling, my neck pain was really high, I was confused, stuck and just feeling depressed. So I went for a walk in a beautiful park. I would like to be able to tell you that my mood lifted, my pain diminished and I got clarity. But no, I walked in a beautiful setting, my body was heavy and my mood stayed low. But eventually, two things did change. First, I accepted that this is just how it was right now; then I felt a sense of pride for getting out of the house and at least trying to stop the downward spiral. So no miraculous happy ending, but taking the pressure off and patting myself on the back did really help me.

    About taking a break from the sep, I do that when I feel the need to. since I'm a perfectionist, I usually put so much pressure on myself. At first, that's how I was with the program. Now I just go with my gut. Sometimes, I take a step back and use distraction, other times I dive head first into it. In my case, I really can't see doing it any other way.
    angelic333 likes this.
  5. angelic333

    angelic333 Peer Supporter

    Thank you all, beautiful words from everyone.
    I am remembering something I read somewhere recently that we spend so much time and energy analyzing our negative emotions and so little analyzing when we feel good and where that comes from, so try going with that when feeling stuck.
    Thank for saying it's ok to take a break but continue with good habits. I will do that.
  6. Batman

    Batman Newcomer

    Hi Angelic,

    I face the same issue. I have journalled about old injuries and past traumas and revived past guilty and obsessive thoughts, beating myself up. My pain has worsened significantly. I am torn between persisting or taking a break and let things settle down.

    Good luck
  7. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    I agree with Ellen's post above, taking a break can be beneficial. Journaling techniques may work for one person and not the next person. Keep trying different techniques as Ellen said above and stick with what works for you. I used to journal a lot and I found the same problem. I felt like it was causing more pain and anxiety. I do journal every now and then. For me meditation, prayer, mindfulness, and being in the present help the most. Just keep at it and you will get better, best of luck.

    Forest and Seraphina like this.
  8. Nmiller

    Nmiller New Member

    Hi there! I'm glad I found this post. I am only on day 10 of the program but had felt similar to this after I tried to follow the suggestions in Dr. Sarno's book. I am typically an optimist (which is probably why I hold in all of my feelings and try to replace them with positive ones), so, of course, wallowing and thinking of my problems and issues every day have really started to drag me down. In a way, they have also inspired me to think about the things that I need to do in order to relieve some of those negative emotions. So while I'm journaling all of these emotions out, I still find it important to think about the things that I'm grateful for everyday. Because I can only take sadness for so long. I find that going for a walk Or a jog outside and then thinking about the things I'm grateful for instantly improves my mood. I can't say that this process has significantly improved my pain, but it has made me become aware of things that I've been keeping in, and has given me an outlet to express them. So make sure to try and do things that make you happy everyday, because honestly, living in a constant state of depression as we revisit our emotional pains (in my opinion), isn't going to add value to our life right now, today, and in this present moment. Feel these feelings, set them free, and replace them with happy ones today.

    Ellen likes this.

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