1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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My Introduction

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by EricG, Nov 30, 2022.

  1. EricG

    EricG Newcomer

    Hi everyone,

    My name is Eric and I've been dealing with chronic pain coupled with chronic insomnia as a result for years now. I've read a couple of Dr. Sarno's books a couple of times each now and while I believe my pain is TMS, I haven't gotten any significant results yet.

    Here's an outline of my story that I think is relevant in developing TMS.
    Parents divorced before I was 1 years old. Lived with my mom, dad moved away. Mom suffered from mental illness and alcoholism. She was very abusive both mentally and physically.

    Started smoking cigarettes and Marijuana around 12 years old. Started drinking (instant heavily) at 13 years old. Started using other drugs at 14.

    Ran away from home at 15, got shipped to my dad's. We were basically roommates and he had no rules for me which did not help my drinking or drug use.

    Started feeling low level chronic pain that exacerbated with exercise.
    All drugs besides Marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes fell by the way side naturally in mid 20s. Marijuana became sparsely used. Quit smoking cigarettes a few years later.

    Lived with low level chronic pain since I was a teenager. Marijuana started to make it worse, so basically quit smoking.

    A few years ago I was in a car accident, we were rear ended by someone doing 70 while we were at a stop. Immediately felt it in my back.

    MRI revealed degenerative disc disease and advanced arthritis in lower back.

    Ever since then I've had back pain. Sometimes severe and debilitating and I developed insomnia because of it.

    I wake up with back, hip, and shoulder pain. I've tried 4 different mattresses in a little over a year. I cannot sleep as the pain gets worse at night. In top of the other pains, I sometimes feel like my body is on fire. It's not excruciating, but it's enough. I also have tinnitus.

    I recently have found the book "The Way Out". The Curable app, and just recently Nicole Sach's Journaling book.

    I also quit drinking 20+ months ago.
    I've made improvements since then as walking was about my ceiling of activity due to the pain. I now take martial arts and will be testing for my fourth belt soon.

    But I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I joined here.

    Thank you for reading,

    JanAtheCPA and Baseball65 like this.
  2. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome. I thought i was reading my own story up until about age 20. I also am sober (just passed 8 years) and actually doing the 4th and 10th step from the big book of AA is a very effective way to keep our rage in check.

  3. EricG

    EricG Newcomer

    Congrats on 8 years free. I quit from reading some books on the subject.

    So have you found any relief from chronic pain through any of the programs?
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes. I have been pain free for over 20something years (since '99). Before that I was in constant pain for about 18 months, and before that much of my life . In fact, my drug and alcohol abuse and TMS are married somewhere down 'there'. Many times the tumult and drama of my life served as a distraction , and during those times I had little pain...it was every time I got 'normal' and started doing 'the right thing' that the pain became unbearable.

    I got better in 3-5 weeks reading "Healing Back Pain" over and over and using the text as prompts for investigation into what might be down 'there' (unconscious). I have had a couple relapses (days) over that period (decades) but they always got resolved by going back to page one, day one and re-doing 'the work'. I have never officially done the structured treatment plan on this wiki, BUT I have gone over it and it is essentially the same questions I had to ask myself...just in an orderly fashion.

    I still troll this forum because I was so overjoyed at finding a solution when I was so desperate that I think it's important to help others...Just like AA
    backhand likes this.
  5. EricG

    EricG Newcomer

    That's great to hear and that's great that you stick around to help others out like me.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome, @EricG . I did the SEP (Structured Educational Program, on the main www.tmswiki.org site) which was developed by volunteers at the time the forum was founded sometime before 2011, which is when I joined and did "the work". Alan Gordon donated his free Pain Recovery Program some years later, which of course is here on the forum. There's no registration or signup needed for either one, you just start doing them.

    The first "Day" or so of the SEP goes over Dr Sarno's basic theories, and moves on to therapeutic writing techniques to access repressed emotions and childhood dynamics, and most days have links to outside resources - a few of which are, unfortunately, obsolete. But people are much more comfortable now finding things online, so I don't worry about those links much.

    Alan's program is a little more in-depth, and I don't think it includes outside links. Having been developed by him personally, it's probably more cohesive than the SEP, and more emotionally-focused from the start.

    I actually never finished the entire 42 days of the SEP back then. I was active on the forum and started learning about lots of other ways to learn and recover. My list of favorite resources is at the end of my profile story - feel free to take a look. You can also see BB's original threads by going to his profile page (just click around until you find Postings, then "All threads by" at the bottom of anyone's history of postings - the postings themselves are probably far too numerous to effectively peruse).

    I personally recommend starting with the SEP in order to learn about the writing techniques, because expressive free-writing (not really formal "journaling") is usually a powerful activity in the TMS recovery toolkit.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  7. EricG

    EricG Newcomer

    Thank you for all the info and directions on where to go and navigate this forum.

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