1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

More of the Same

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by JackG, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. JackG

    JackG New Member

    Hey guys,

    Looking for some support or words or something. I just happened to notice that today marks my 1-year since first injuring my back (thanks, Facebook "on this day!"), and then probably about 6-months since I began treating it as TMS. Compared to how I was when I went from the mindset of physical- to mental-based-pain, it's a huge difference. I can now sit through my 3-hour classes with relative ease, whereas I used to have to stand through them.

    ... but I haven't really seen much progress since then. Yes, I can sit through the classes, but it's more than I make myself do so because I know it's not hurting me to do it. It's still not comfortable. I still am in pain most of the day.

    For the past 4-5 months, I've been going through a cycle. I have 1 or 2 days where I'm in little pain (or sometimes even no pain), and then another ~7 where I'm back in varying levels of pain. I'm not seeing more pain free days... I'm seeing about the same as I have since I began treating this as TMS. In fact, I'm seeing about the same number of pain-free days as when I first injured my back in Nov-17. I went through a period back then where I refused to look at forums about "herniated discs" or do any research, during which I made a bit of a recovery and had up-and-down days. That all changed after seeing another doctor that scared me and ruined it all.

    I don't know what to do to break this pattern. I have no idea what sets me back into these painful days, I can't draw any conclusions. I'm fine for some of my most stressful and emotional days, but not others; I'm in pain on some calm, relaxing days, but not on others. I'm working with a psychotherapist AND with Alan Gordon's Pain Psychology Center, both for around 4-5 months now. I've seen some improvements, but not anything that stays, not anything overly drastic, and not anything recently.

    I don't know how to keep up hope when I just feel like I'm going in circles... I'm so tired of spending my days in pain and having to work on this. I don't know how to keep this up.
    Free of Fear likes this.
  2. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perhaps you could consider adding other things to your mind/body therapy regimen and/or replacing some of them in order to try and break the pattern...For instance, have you tried affirmations, visualizations and/or meditation (in addition to thinking 'psychologically' rather than 'physically', journaling and carrying on with life's activities as best you can)? Changing the neuroplasticity of the brain does unfortunately take time. Perhaps this article might interest you regarding Dr Michael Moskowitz, who cured himself of back pain by altering his brain through neuroplasticity https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/training-the-brain-to-beat-pain/news-story/45ad7b7daaaf3c4bbbab6c76b0190ac7 (Nocookies). He also has a website: http://www.neuroplastix.com (Home | Neuroplastix).
    Time2be likes this.
  3. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    JackG, where do YOU think your recovery is lagging? I don't mean symptom recovery, but the mental strain, the lifestyle choices, the psychological work, etc. Recovery is like building a puzzle, sometimes we need to figure out which pieces are missing.

    Glad you're here.
  4. JackG

    JackG New Member

    Honestly, I think that it's lagging most in the "outcome independence" area. I am always so content when there's no pain, but quickly fall into a state of depression when it returns. It's tough for me to become truly independent when I don't feel like I have control over the pain. I think I might need to read some more around the science behind the pain... I'm, unfortunately, a very skeptical person by nature, and it's very tough for me to grasp the idea of trusting Freudian theories that Sarno presented. But I know there's a growing area of research around this stuff, as Howard Schubiner and Lorimer Moseley have been publishing. I think I might not understand the science quite enough.

    But it always comes back to my own fear of the pain (I hope to someday match your name!). I can conquer it sometimes and then pain tends to go away... but when it comes back, it's just so hard to not be afraid and to not catastrophize. That leads to mental strain... I'm a depressive person by nature, and the pain always spirals me back into depression. It's hard to crawl out of it; makes me feel like I'm living in a world of gray.

    I also probably suck at the psychological side. I've stopped journaling after a few months of doing it pretty consistently. I saw no improvement while journaling, my moments of relief always came regardless of whether I journaled or not. In fact, most of my pain free moments come only when I'm completely distracted (leading a meeting, lost in a video, working with 100% of my attention [e.g. taking an exam], or playing a video game).

    I'm stuck at overcoming this fear and trying to understand it. I need to understand things to believe in it, and I just feel like I'm not there yet. My skepticism is ruining me.
  5. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    This is great, a lot to work with here!

    The Freudian stuff.... if it works for you, use it; if it doesn't, ditch it. I almost never think about repressed rage, and always instead about stress and anxiety. The key is to find whatever is increasing mental strain and nip it in the bud.

    If you think reading the science will help you increase your confidence in it being TMS (and, I'm assuming, confidence that you're not hurting yourself further), then do it! I am also skeptical and had to read a lot of articles and books to believe it, so I hear you. I learned that there is total agreement that pain does not equal damage, and that anxiety and depression drive pain.
    'Explain Pain' is great. www.pain-ed.com is also very good. There's also this large group of science-heavy pain researchers who came up with a shared theory of pain (here).

    There are people on this site who've recovered completely without journaling, so that's not a necessity. I think what matters is finding a way to spot stressors beforehand, before they lead to increased mental and physical strain. For me, it's journaling, but everyone should find what works best for them.

    And it's good to know that immersion in activities is what works best for you. It sounds like a big part of your recovery will be learning to stay immersed even when you're in heightened pain, rather than fall back into depressive thinking. This could be a great time to develop and use moment-to-moment affirmations to keep yourself engaged and your head above water. ACE1's tips are fantastic here, really going over the nuts and bolts of moment-to-moment success: link.

    I would type more but I am about to skip town (I'm in Northern California) and go to Reno to get out of this smoke (it's the worst in the world here, right now).

    Hang in there! Stop thinking pain, and target the anxiety.
  6. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    "The day I injured my Back". Not to play semantics, but words can matter in communications. If you believe there is such a thing as "The day I injured my back" (which you mention a few times) than YOU HAVE MISSED a fundamental point of recovery that is definitely psychological and Imperative for recovery. "The day I began having symptoms"... "When the pain first began to occupy my attention".... that is where TMS started.

    You've given the date and an event a big place... like a birthday or something. Is it tied into your identity? "I am sufferer of {blank} "

    The more I read posts on this and other forums, I wonder if these 'TMS' doctors or therapists are really that effective. All we had in the 90's was the book and a prayer...so I read the book over and over and over and over until every single therapeutic concept of Sarno's was tattooed in my head. And I was totally , completely OVER the system, Drs. and all of their combined -for-profit-could-learn-it-on-the-internet-in-15-minute-diagnoses.

    Your Job. Your Family. Your Partner(s). Your parents. Your mortality. Your RAGE... that is where all of the healing is hidden. ... and having the right Questions is way more important than having the right answers. Here... I'll share..

    In 99 when my symptoms had become so intrusive that I was in agony around the clock and obsessed with the pain til I could hardly think of anything else I was;

    married to someone I did not want to even hang out with...had vastly different idea's of what is important...and walked away from a relationship with someone with whom I WAS infatuated

    working a job in an industry that I personally think is downright EVIL however it was really good money and I needed it to satisfy the needs of that wife I didn't really want

    was responsible for the well being of two children and the only source of income with NO support emotionally from anybody related to me (NEVER got a break... had zero personal time)

    Had to turn down opportunities to do what I had worked my whole life to do because it didn't bring in enough money to satisfy 'the daily hunger'

    and then there was some stuff that I was REALLY pissed about.

    and I hadn't even thought or given a moments attention to any of these... I was paing attention to my body and seeing lots of doctors.

    I did not have to change those things... what I had to do was keep digging and dig some more.... and I looked up and the symptoms were gone.

    But I couldn't tell you when
    Rainstorm B, HattieNC and BloodMoon like this.
  7. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've been watching about the fires and smoke on the news - absolutely awful...Look after yourself and keep safe @Free of Fear!

Share This Page