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

Day 1 My Story

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by mouse, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. mouse

    mouse New Member

    I wasn't going to make an account and post here - I was just going to go through the days by myself, but something in my gut said I should do it so here I am.

    I'm a young woman who just graduated from a 4-year college. I'm a cartoonist, and like many visual artists I suffer from debilitating wrist pain. I recently moved across the country to explore opportunities in the animation industry in the LA area, and since I got here my wrist has been aching like nuts. I've been stretching like crazy, keeping hydrated, even downloaded one of those programs that make you take breaks from the computer (99% of my work is digital.) but so far none of that helped. I don't have a doctor in my new town yet, and I'm not in a hurry to find one - my other problem is that I suffer from something like IBS - which doctors have never been able to help me with. The most help I ever got was from my college's campus clinic, where the doctor there prescribed me an SSRI to help with the anxiety that I thought was related to my stomach problems - I was basically afraid to leave the house, couldn't hang out with friends or even be in a car too long, because I was SO scared of getting a stomachache and embarrassing myself.

    For a while, I was doing really well on that medication. I almost had a normal life. I was exploring my college's city for the first time in my senior year and it was so exciting, and I sort of even had a social life. Interestingly enough, the idea that I was dependent on around that time is that my anxiety and my stomach problems were linked, so if I could think "it's all in my head" they would be lessened - sounds familiar, right?

    But after graduating and going back home this summer, things took a turn for the worse. I felt so isolated without my friends, and I missed the apartment I lived in for my 4 years of school. Even though I was working freelance and doing very well, I felt that it wasn't enough, and I was somehow a disappointment or just generally 'not good enough'... when I was finally able to move (something I had been planning to do since before school was over) it was also marked by trouble and disappointment - the apartment company wouldn't take me without my mom cosigning, and I felt like a little kid again! They're also just a really bad company and it felt like months in limbo because they would refuse to call back, take forever doing things... Only now in October have a finally turned in the last paperwork to really let me feel secure here. And I find myself with the worst wrist pain I've ever had, and having an IBS episode basically every single day. I'm scared to leave my apartment again.

    Jeez, for somebody who wasn't gonna post I sure wrote a lot already... Anyway, long story short: my wrist was getting to be so painful that I googled "SRI relief" and a post by a computer programmer led me to MBP, and TMS.

    I'm interested to think that my wrist and stomach problems could be related... to be honest, I haven't totally accepted the "diagnosis", but when I did some completely unstructured writing about things that could be bothering me just now, my wrist started to feel a lot better. I think I've accepted it for my wrist, but I've had my stomach problems for so long (basically since I was a kid) that I don't know if there's still possibly a physical explanation. Looking into going to a special IBS Treatment Center they have here in LA. Don't know if my insurance will work with them though, so I might as well assume it's related to TMS as well for now!

    Sorry for writing so much. Thanks if you read this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi mouse, Welcome! And please don't be sorry! After all, the SEP and the forum here invite you to write down your story, right? That's the first thing. Second, if you were to read all of the Day 1 postings on the forum, you'll see plenty of long stories! Third, and most importantly, one of the things you (and everyone here) needs to do is to learn how to forgive yourself, appreciate yourself, and above all love yourself. Only by loving yourself can you recognize that you deserve to recover.

    Here's one thing - feel free to appreciate the fact that you write really well, so it's a pleasure to read your post! :)

    The interesting thing about this work is how different everyone is, but there are many things universal to TMS. One is anxiety, which Dr. Sarno and all of the other TMS/MBS/PPD practitioners now say is a "TMS equivalent". Another is the fact that many of us with TMS end up recognizing that we've had symptoms on and off all our lives.

    Another TMS equivalent is IBS, and just about any other digestive complaint, such as heartburn/acid reflux and ulcers. I was never diagnosed with IBS, but I think my symptoms were heading in that direction, before I discovered TMS four years ago. Those symptoms disappeared right after I read The Divided Mind by Dr. Sarno, and the next time I felt like I was about to have an indigestion incident, I was able to talk my brain out of it - which I've done ever since. The power of our brains is awesome, as you will find out doing this work.

    However, we all have symptoms that are harder to banish than others. In my case, it's kind of a dizziness or sense of imbalance, that comes and goes with my stress and anxiety level. It used to scare me, but now I just step back, calm down, and examine what's going on.

    In other words, just because your wrist pain eased up (yay!) and your IBS did not, do not assume that means that the IBS isn't TMS. (Geez, can anyone parse that sentence?:confused:) If you've been living with the IBS for a long time, you might ask if it's urgent to visit a new clinic or whether you can give it some time to give TMS a chance? Hopefully @Ellen will respond to this post - she had IBS, which is completely gone thanks to TMS knowledge and "doing the work".

    If you haven't read one of Dr. Sarno's books, that's the first thing you should do. My favorite is The Divided Mind. For your anxiety, I recommend Hope & Help For Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes. Both of these books are easy to find (my library has both but I ended up buying them) and easy to read.

    There's a ton of great information about doing this work, many different ways to do it, and a lot of great people on this forum to share their experiences and offer advice. I'm glad you joined the forum, so keep posting, and keep us posted, because we are all in this together.

    (well-known for wordy responses, no matter how short the original post :p)
    mouse and Grateful17 like this.
  3. mouse

    mouse New Member

    Jan! Thank you so much for your kind reply, I felt really excited after reading it. Thank you for the book recommendations, too - I had been putting Sarno's books in my Amazon wishlist, but you reminded me I totally need to check out my new local library.

    I'm definitely going to give TMS a chance for my IBS - I should note that even though I focused on how my writing alleviated my wrist pain, I haven't really had stomach problems today after writing either! :)

    Anyway, thanks especially for your kind words about my writing and about the fact that I deserve to recover...it's a simple thing that I easily forget all the time! Hopefully you will see me posting again tomorrow.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    Just to say I recovered from IBS when I accepted it was TMS. I had it since a teenager, took medication for many years. I have a happy, calm gut now. No meds. To balance things though, it took me a while, but everyone is different, and you are younger than me.
    I wish you the best for your healing journey.
    mouse and JanAtheCPA like this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, mouse. Jan and Zumbafan gave you excellent advice and encouragement.

    I do urge you to read Dr. Sarno's HEALING BACK PAIN, which covers all pain and symptoms.
    Until then, he wrote about 12 Daily Reminders. Another who healed from TMS, Herbie, wrote these expanded versions that explain TMS.

    Try not to associate your wrist pain with drawing. You don't want it to become a conditioned reflect. Draw a little, relax, practice deep breathing, get up and stretch, think positive and live in the present moment, then draw again.

    Stomach aches are another symptom of TMS, repressed emotions and/or a perfectionist or "goodist" personality, trying to please everyone all the time.

    Welcome to this web forum. We are all here to help each other.

    Herbie’s Extended Version of Dr. Sarno’s 12 DAILY REMINDERS

    1. The pain is due to TMS. This is real pain or anxiety but its caused by subconscious tensions and triggers, stressors and traits to your reactions and fears and also when at boiling point your conscious tension can and does cause real pain too.
    2. The main reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation. This means that when you get in pain or in anxiety then the the blood is restricted from going to your lower back for instance. The blood being restricted causes oxygen deprivation which causes the pain - remember, where theirs no oxygen then there is pain in the body. Also, The pain stays because of fear and focus to physical organic symptoms and repressions.
    3. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my REPRESSED EMOTIONS so even though you think you can harm yourself from the years of pain you have felt and how you feel in general -- so far no reports have been heard from tms healing knowledge causing damage to anyone, it only helps.
    4. The principle emotion is your repressed ANGER -- this means under your consciousness lies something that happens automatically to everyone. Tmsers have repressions that are stored because of our personality traits,traumas, stressors, fears, strain, etc... When these stored repressions build and build then eventually they cause the brain to send pain into your body to keep you from having an emotional crises. The mind-body thinks its helping you.
    5. TMS exists to DISTRACT your attentions from the emotions, stressors, tensions and strains of your personality traits because if you can get distraction then you wont have to be in emotional turmoil. When you don't face and feel your emotions and they get repressed cause you didn't want to deal with something -- they are just adding up in this beaker, ready to pour over and create real pain and anxiety in your body.
    6. Since my body is perfectly normal, there is nothing to fear. So in reality when I fear the pain or anxiety I just cause myself undo strain and tension adding to the beaker of pain. If I fear then I feed the pain, If I fear Its impossible to recondition. Fear keeps the pain and anxiety alive in the body through focus.
    7. Therefore, physical activity is harmless.If I want to work against the pain I could but its better to lose some of the pain so when I start my life over I=t have to be in pain trying to heal cause facing the repressions and all the other activities that cause the pain and reversing my fear and focus to them then I can heal.
    8. I am resuming all normal physical activity. I don't fear moving anymore. I believe in my bodies ability to heal now. I can move how I want. I will not fear moving with a bent back anymore. I will also practice going out and acting normal again, not in fear of what pain might do to me.
    9. The pain is unimportant and powerless. Its only power is how its hidden -- its illusion, Its fear.
    10. I will keep my attention on the emotional issues. I will think about my emotions and feel my emotions throughout the day. I will not judge, criticize or fear my emotions. I will not run from my emotional issues but face everyone of them. I will feel my emotions fully and cry if I need to. Then I will release the emotion and get my mind and thoughts back to my life and living in the present, in flow.
    11. I am in control of all of this. This is how I recover.
    12. I will be thinking PSYCHOLOGICALLY AT ALL TIMES. This means I will keep my thoughts on psychological issues like happiness, fear and anger -- traits and triggers, conditioning and journaling. The science behind mind-body/tms healing, etc.... This way I will not feed my thoughts to the body -- that is a trick of tms. Tms will always try to get me to focus on the body caused by the pain until I break its show and flair. When I get my attention off psychical symptoms and on emotional issues and psychological issues then I will not feed the fear of the physical issues anymore thus making the tms of no effect. This will in return, give us the cure.
    mouse likes this.
  6. mouse

    mouse New Member

    Thank you Zumba & Walt!! Zumba, it's great to hear you made it through! That's amazing!

    And Walt, those daily reminders are definitely helpful. Also it's funny, because even though my wrist pain isn't related to drawing in a repetitive-injury way, they're definitely related psychologically - as an artist, a lot of that perfectionism/goodism flies up when I'm trying to make good work, it always seems to reflect on me personally and that's always at the back of my mind. There can be a lot of fear in creation - I just need to feel it out and stop letting it end up in my poor wrist!

    I'm feeling more confident in the IBS-TMS connection today. While doing the Day 2 Program Commitment, I couldn't really think of anything my wrist pain has prevented me from doing... but jeez my IBS has sure ruined my life. When I was trying to think of dates to try and do my favorite things that now scare me, I felt such fear in the pit of my stomach! I'm definitely more ready to accept TMS today.

    Thanks for the kind welcome, everybody! :shy:
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. Grateful17

    Grateful17 Well known member

    Mouse, I am happy that you are able to accept your G.I. issues as TMS. From what I have read, stomach issues are very common with TMS and are present as TMS Equivalents, thus serving the same purpose of Pain (to distract us and keep us in fear and preoccupation).
    JanAtheCPA and mouse like this.
  8. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Mouse,
    Welcome to the Forum! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    I think you would benefit from reading the posts by one of our members "Waterbear". She is a young computer artist who had RSI symptoms. She hasn't posted in awhile because she was able to recover using TMS knowledge and techniques.

    IBS is a common TMS symptom. Put it in the search box in the top right corner, and you will find many threads about this topic. I had IBS along with fibromyalgia and migraines, and have neither anymore due to treating it as TMS.

    You are in the right place. Keep reading about TMS and working the SEP. You will find relief soon. Keep us posted on how you're doing.
    mouse and JanAtheCPA like this.
  9. MikeG

    MikeG New Member


    I had IBS for 35 years, never officially diagnosed, but I was pretty miserable from it. I had every conceivable lab test -- upper and lower GI exams, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, barium enema, swallow study, X-rays, MRI, blood tests for celiac disease -- you name it. Everything came back "normal," but my intestinal function sure wasn't normal. Over the years I developed a (long, restrictive) list of foods to avoid, which helped, but avoiding them left me eating a pretty unhealthy diet. I knew what I should eat -- I taught college nutrition for 22 years -- but my body wouldn't allow it. I now know it wasn't my body -- it was my mind!

    I arrived at the TMS Wiki because of lower back pain for the last 9 years. I loved long-distance running, and my lumbar spine (or so I thought) wouldn't allow me to continue running. Tried a lot of different approaches to treating that, too, and my primary care doc recently suggested I talk to a spinal surgeon. But fortunately I read Healing Back Pain, which led me to some of Sarno's other books and to this website.

    I'm now on Day 15 of the Structured Education Program. My back pain is reduced a little, which, in itself, would be a major win, but I also haven't had a flare-up of IBS for the last two weeks, either! While I'm gingerly taking a few running steps as my back pain goes away, I'm also cautiously adding one food at a time back into my diet. So far, so good.

    All this to say, YES, IBS can be (and maybe always is) amenable to TMS treatment. Good luck to you!

    Grateful17, mouse and JanAtheCPA like this.
  10. mouse

    mouse New Member

    Mike - it's really good to hear from somebody a few weeks ahead in the program - really gives me motivation to carry on!! It's awesome that you haven't had a flare-up for two weeks. It's only been 3 days in the program for me, but I haven't either! :) It's interesting that we both ended up here for different reasons (my wrist pain, your back pain) but ended up helping our IBS as well. (ps - boy do I know the "off-limits food list" rigmarole!!! thankfully for me when I started to take the SSRI's I mentioned and my anxiety was dulled I just started to eat whatever and I was mostly fine, and have been since. I hope you can trash your list eventually, too!! I believe in you!)

    Ellen - thank you for linking me to Waterbear! It was nice for me to read her stories. I'll have to search up IBS here like you suggested soon to read others!
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's really interesting how many people discover TMS for reasons other than IBS, but then discover that it addresses their IBS as well. That seems to be a very common experience.

    I think that part of the problem is that the doctors put a name to it. But I've said this before, and I'm saying it again: If the words "Syndrome" or "Disorder" appear in the name of the condition, it's 99.99999% likely to be TMS!
    Grateful17 and mouse like this.

Share This Page