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My Healing Journey Begins - Anxiety, Tension Headaches, Back Pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Purist, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Purist

    Purist New Member

    Finished Dr. Sarno's book last week, and was convinced.

    So happy to learn about what I have and to hear about the success stories. I felt excited and hopeful for the first time in years. Started my journaling, and will pace myself towards getting my life back.

    For almost 20 years I've suffered with anxiety/tension headaches. Feels like a rubber band around my head 24/7. I've tried therapy and drugs but it never goes away. But I knew where it came from even before I read Sarno's work. He helped to validate my theory. His impact, and the success stories on YouTube and forums like this one, pointed me to ways to relieve it.

    3 years ago I hurt my back lifting some BBQ equipment in the backyard. I thought I would recover like I had in the past, but the burning tingling pain in my lower back remains, along with pain in my foot. As is typical of TMS, the pain shifts from my left foot to right, and it doesn't worsen when I'm actively running, when you would think the most stress is on the spine.

    What might make my story a bit unique is that the anxiety stems from a faulty Christian belief system in my mind. The tension headaches started when I was introduced to a church that had an enormous pressure on its members. Besides their works (required tithes, required study groups, mandatory services, imposed living arrangements, exclusive salvation qualifications) I was also raised as a perfectionist, and thought I had to regulate sinful thoughts at all moments so that they were perfect before God.

    They also taught that if you weren't part of their church, you were bound to hell. The emotional stress this has caused me cannot even be put into words.

    But, now I'm on the road to recovery. I wanted to share to show are not alone. I look forward to resolving my issues, and to a life without chronic pain. We deserve to be happy. God loves you, and wants you to be anxiety free. It is not a coincidence that we have many TMS resources to help us.

    Anyway, thanks for reading. Keep up the encouraging support for one another. I'm still new at this, but hope to stick around and learn as much as I can to get better.
    Sonic likes this.
  2. BinLA

    BinLA Peer Supporter

    Hey Purist,

    Glad you're starting your path to being "you" again. We are all at some juncture in that path.

    Fellow anxiety (stress disorder) sufferer here, and what you mentioned about your church was interesting. I don't think I need to explain this to you... as you're probably much furure into Christian understanding than I am, but most Christians don't believe those things. The majority in fact. In fact, growing up in a Catholic family I alaways looked at Christains as being "lucky" that their faith was so much more relaxed, and not as rigid. That left me kind of without a place spiritually, and so Im just a believer now... and I'm just expecting God will help me along towards the right path, without pressure or fear.

    Anyway, I have a few other thoughts on that but maybe best off the board, you can PM me if you want.

    Other than that... keep at it. I love how you wrapped up your post, and that atittude will deliver the life you deserve. We have to exercise maximum patience with this I've found.
    And bumps in the road are inevitable. Best wishes.
    Purist likes this.
  3. untangledweb

    untangledweb Peer Supporter

    Hi Purist,
    With all that pressure in your spiritual life to behave a certain way, it’s amazing you didn’t snap a long time ago. When you’re beliefs are shoved into a box a loaf of bread could fit in, and God is nothing but an endless sea.
    The pressure and the pain of someone else’s beliefs, that if I didn’t believe a certain way I would be damned for all eternity, would cause such a rage in me. When I was able to actually “feel” again.
    My feelings were buried deep in physical pain. Sometimes still are. Be gentle with yourself, this is a journey.
    I have had close relationships with different faiths such as LDS and fundamental Christians. I have no judgment on either. People are happy doing what they’re doing until it doesn’t work for them anymore. Until they see more of what “choice” has to offer.
    Message me if you want to talk more.
    You’re on a healing path now.
    readytoheal and Purist like this.
  4. Purist

    Purist New Member

    The healing continues.

    Many sufferers of TMS, like myself, are perfectionistic. This pressure is at the root of what causes chronic pain, at least in my case, as it relates to being a Christian. I worried a lot about measuring up to God, fearful of punishment. Just using "worried" as a past tense brings me some encouragement, as things are starting to turn around thought-wise.

    Here's the thing though.

    Our standing with God has nothing to do with our own performance. We can never measure up, even on our best day. Salvation is a gift. Our response to the gift (gratitude, peace, love) stems from it being given when we don't deserve it, or even cared for it.

    1 John 4:10 "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

    Another thing, the sacrifice of Jesus covers all our sins. All of them, even the ones we're doing now, and the ones we will commit in the future.

    Heb 10:14 "For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."

    It comes down to not relying on our perfectionistic selves for God's favor. Or thinking we need to maintain perfection in order to keep the salvation that was already earned by Jesus on the cross, and our faith in Him.

    I sometimes have a hard time trusting in that, because like most of you, I trusted only in myself. And we don't like to be told that we're helpless and can't do things on our own, and maybe we've had hard upbringings, where a parent was unusually harsh or abusing. God is love, and nothing we do will separate us from that. He wants you. He has provided a way for you to be with Him, and he's done it in advance, for free!

    Whether you love Him back or not, it's still done for you, nothing is expected in return.

    Any church that teaches you are saved by how much money you give, how many prayers you do, or how many friends you bring in, how well you behave, is teaching works-based salvation.

    Ephesians 2:8-9: "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast."

    I'm still working on getting the pains off, but this understanding is key to removing a lot of the anxieties and pressures I feel. In my head I kind of knew these things, but in my heart, I just didn't feel safe. My spirit and body didn't feel at peace. I'll still keep journaling, there's still lots of anger and anxiety in there, but I'm growing as a person and headed in the right direction still. I know surgery, PT, and drugs are not the answer.

    Thanks for reading!
    BinLA and untangledweb like this.
  5. untangledweb

    untangledweb Peer Supporter

    We become the best aspects of ourselves as we continue to grow and evolve. Jesus wants us to be happy. God wants us to be happy. Being perfect is not a requirement. It’s an unrealistic expectation of the church that sets you up for failure.
    I had to unlearn a lot of guilt, shame and other beliefs that were (in my humble opinion) sabotaging my real happiness. Being perfect is not a requirement of being a good christian, buddhist, or atheist. Being kind and compassionate to yourself is key. Being gentle with yourself is key.
    A sense of humor is paramount :)
    We take ourselves so seriously. Our physical bodies pay the price of it.
    You’re a good person. Loving yourself first is loving God first. Relax and breathe into that knowing.
    The healing (loving) adventure continues.
    Be at peace,
    TG957, BinLA and readytoheal like this.
  6. ClintK

    ClintK New Member

    Damn no follow up .....

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