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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Mermaid, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Hi Everyone

    I'm new here so I just wanted to check in and say hello. Long story short(ish) my main TMS sympton, migraines started 9 years ago, following an prolonged extremely stressful and traumatic period of my life.

    I sought medical help, but was overmedicated by a neurologist and suffered a lot of side effects, which scared the life out of me, so making the TMS way worse. I ended up in a real mess not knowing what was "me" and what were genuine side effects (Tip, try not to dwell on the side effects of any medication, your TMS will get some real good ideas of what to distract you with next !), so I decided to get all the medication out of my body before it killed me. Over a period of three years I was on Neurontin, Lyrica, Topomax, Zonegran, Verapamil, Carbemazapine, Valium, Xyprexa, Prednisone, Morphine, Coedeine and some others I can't now recall and I was just getting worse and worse. I had a permanent headache, vision and hearing problems, insomia, severe nerve, joint and muscle pain, bladder control problems and anxiety. It took me a year to get off everything, that's now 19 months ago.

    I stumbled on Dr.Sarno et al last year and recognised myself immediately, and tried to apply the principles. I read almost all the other TMS related book as well just to be sure, typical of me ! I had some success and felt really well over the summer, however I had a bad spell on the run up to and during Christmas, no prizes for guessing why!

    I realised I was resisting going all the way because I was too scared of what I might find if I started soul searching. Anyway, something (God, the Universe, Fate ??) brought a new book to my attention that has really given me the final push, I've started journaling like a demon and it's really helping. If you're stuck get yourselves a copy of Nicole J. Sachs "The meaning of Truth" it's fantastic. She's walked this way herself and with Dr.Sarno's help has fully recovered.

    I've think I'm probably about half way healed, I just need some support to go all the way. I've really got the pain on the run at the moment, it moves practically every day and some days it hardly bothers me at all, which is a miracle compared to 4 years ago.

    The thing I'm most stuck with is visulisation of what it will be like to be pain free, I've been terrified and in agony for so long I've forgotten what it's like to feel truly well, and I'm having a hard time believing that I can successfully beat it 100%. Does anyone have any tips please ?

    Love to all XX
    Birdie likes this.
  2. AndrewMillerMFT

    AndrewMillerMFT Well known member

    Hi Mermaid,

    So glad to hear about your journey and how far you've come. Visualizations can be an amazing tool for this work. They're also completely unique in what everyone uses. One helpful tip is to find a picture of yourself before your migraines started and use that picture as a jumping off point for a visualization that represents you. Were you smiling in that picture, did you look happy, were your life circumstances different? Another way into visualizations is to imagine a completely safe space. It could be real, it could be imaginary but when you imagine this space, place yourself there. Perhaps it's on top of a mountain or by a serene lake. There should be a sense of relief or peace when you visualize this space. You can then visualize yourself in this space and allow your imagination to let you free. See what it is that you do in this space, how you act, who you may invite to be there with you in this space. These all can give you ideas of what you might like to do once you feel safe. For some TMS clients, safety can be tantamount to feeling pain free. Instead of focusing on a pain-free visualization, try focusing on a visualization of what life would feel like if you felt safe and supported.


    Ellen and Becca like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mermaid, wow. Doctors sure put you on a bunch of medication for your pain. None of it got rid of it for good,
    so it seems to me you are a perfect candidate for TMS. Andrew's suggestions on visualization are terrific.
    Try them but also other techniques you will find in posts on TMSWiki.
    You've read the books on TMS including Dr. Sarno's, so now you just have to drop any doubt that your pain
    is anything other than from repressed emotions. Fear is getting in the way of believing. You have to believe
    in TMS healing 100 percent or the unconscious mind will keep the pain there.
    Keep positive thoughts in your mind, tell yourself often each day that you are already healed. That's how
    positive you must be. Andrew's last sentence in his post is terrific.

    I visualize I am on a sun-filled island I've been on in the Minnesota-Canada northwoods wilderness canoe
    country. I've taken my best and most peaceful vacations there. I visualize I'm back on that island,
    hearing the lake water lapping against rocks on the shore, loons calling to each other out on the lake,
    the gentle breeze in the pine trees, feeling the warmth of the sun shining down on my whole body.

    You may know about such a place or can imagine one. Go there in your mind and feel the pain go away.
    Becca likes this.
  4. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    Mermaid, I feel you. If there was a hug emoticon I would totally use it right now! But here's the thing, you CAN beat it. It's totally natural to doubt it but you really, really can! Just look at all the progress you've made so far. Progress isn't linear, unfortunately. But that's why we're all here: to help each other through the plateaus and dips and remind each other there's still an upward trend! :happy:

    I think visualization could help a lot -- but not just visualizing what it would be like to pain-free. I absolutely love what Andrew wrote here:
    In a way, visualizing a life that feels safe/secure/insert-your-preferred-adjective-here takes the focus away from pain/symptoms. Reading your post (apologies in advance if I totally misinterpreted this...) I get the feeling that visualizing a pain-free life still ironically has some focus on pain/symptoms. It's just focused on the absence of it, rather than the presence. A life without TMS pain, literally, is a wonderful wonderful thing. But life shouldn't be dictated or defined by whether we have or don't have a symptom, or a diagnosis, or whether we don't have those. That's (partially) where stigma comes from. But I digress. My point is, perhaps the best way to visualize a pain-free life is to follow Andrew's advice and focus on something like feeling safe, or smaller situations that perhaps influenced your TMS -- but having the focus be on being able to accomplish those things, and not on the absence of pain.

    I hope that all made sense. Apologies if not. I tend to ramble sometimes... :rolleyes:

    Take care,
    Ellen likes this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Not much to add to the great advice written above. I'd just suggest visualizing yourself doing something you used to do and loved before you had TMS. Did you like to ride a bike, snorkel, take long hikes, garden?....those are some of the things I stopped doing when my TMS became too much. Now I'm getting back to some of them and can visualize myself doing the others. And I don't have to be completely pain free to do these things---just free of the fear and limitations TMS had put on me. Wishing you that freedom....

    And welcome to the forum!
    Anne Walker and Becca like this.
  6. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Thanks for your ideas, the "safety" element is the thing that might help me the most. I developed TMS symptons after I left an abusive marriage, even though my present husband is great and very supportive, my subconscious has perhaps not "unlearned" all my old unconscious reactions. It will be fun to explore this.
  7. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Thanks Walt, your ideas and good wishes are greatly appreciated.
  8. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Hi Becca

    I get where you're coming from, I think I've just gotten frightened and demoralised after doing so well over the summer, then having such a bad spell. I need to dust myself down and keep at it don't I. I've been fortunate enough to keep my job and try not to let the symptoms rule me, perhaps I've tried too hard.

    Thanks for your advice and support it means lot to me. I just need reminding than I can definitely beat it.
  9. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member


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