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 JohnnySpy, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. JohnnySpy

    JohnnySpy New Member

    Hello to whoever reads this, my story is as follows.

    In the last 4 years I've gradually developed Alopecia Universalis, that is total baldness all over the body. In my case it's not such a terrible look, save for the missing eyebrowse.

    This strangely coincides with the timing of meeting and eventually marrying my now wife. Seems the romantic relationships I have had, have caused the strangest of maladies..

    For instance after my first ever breakup, at the age of 18, I was struck with a debilitating lower back problem... Unable to walk for serveral days and using walls to help me hobble from one room to the next. Probably the most painful thing I've ever had to face.

    At 26 I broke up with a long-time girlfriend. This was a strange one... I developed something that optomologist were entirely unsure of (probably both ampy and iritis... Something autoimmune none the less). Net result, i was unable see properly for months, unable to read the text on a book in front of me because my entire vision was obscured my some floggy cloud... My recovery from this left me with permenent diplopia (that's double-vision for the layfolks). Still I'm pretty functional now, I can read and drive and do just about anything else I need to with my eyes.

    Now at 31, I have begun to realize that I am an incredibly anxious person. My job, in IT sales, demands that I don't show this so I have learned how to be confident..

    I had zero intention of writing this much text but what the hey, it's pretty cathartic so, I'll leave it all there.

    I have a few New Years resolutions and they all seem to revolve around this "get rid of anxiety" thing. I want my hair back, my piece of mind and have the body that I used to have... Fit and without 'little injuries' I always seem to sustain.

    I have been doing a number of "Alternative" treatments for years now for my alopecia. I've seen 8 dermatologists, no help there, I've seen a dietitian, acupuncturist/herbalists. Now I'm seeing a new-agey mental therapist... He also practices reiki energy healing... Strangely I do feel the tingling and spamming on various areas of my body when he does his thing. This guy was recommended by one of the best IT sales guys/martial artists/all round good guys... I have ever met, so the credibility for this type of treatment comes from him.

    It seems I'm a natural contrarian, I want to shake the traditional medical practitioners by the shoulders and get them to wake up to the alternative practices. By the same token, I like to write-off hippy, new age stuff and alternative practices as fraudulent. No wonder I'm not getting better!

    John Sarno's message resonates. Months ago I bought a book on Quantum Healing (D. Munich, PhD)... Same basic idea that maladies are mostly mental, the book also reconciles over 100 ailments with allergies, provides affirmations, suggests nutritional guidelines and also talks about chakras and 'power animals'. Okay, so nutrition I can understand but everything else seems like rubbish... Still I'm in two minds...

    Sarno's message is more susinct but still... That said, he is undermining so much in medical science.. And by faith we are healed!? How obscure is that... Comming from Jesus, I can understand, or from a new age crack-pot.. but from a medical professor with seemingly no affiliation to religion or esoteric spiritualism?

    I do belive alopecia is stress-related and my anxiety, frankly, sucks. So I am willing to take the leap of faith and somehow communicate with the 4 year-old (my sub-concious) running my machinery.

    And finally, I would like to thank those who have come up with this forum. I've only used it a couple of minutes but, I can tell that this IS the way to effect change (for me at least)... Not self-help books, Not hypnosis, Not self reflection exercises, Not meditation... I have far too little concentration to integrate any of that stuff. But reading people's stories and a support framework of people who have experienced and genuinely care and dont charge fees seems like something I want to be apart of.

    John (Johnny)
  2. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Hi Johnny,
    i really liked reading your note. You have a delightful way of writing. I can tell you have lots of insight into yourself and are open to almost anything to find something to help you.

    You have come to the right place. It will be an incredible journey.
  3. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Hi Johny, welcome to the forum. You are a good read! I agree with SandyRae, it will be an incredible journey. If you haven't already, you might have a look at the Structured Educational Program on the main page of the wiki. It's a day by day program, and very easy to follow. You can heal, and there is a lot of support here.
  4. JohnnySpy

    JohnnySpy New Member


    Thank you both for replying.

    I appreciate the praise. In Sandy's case especially, as I have read how hash a book critic she can be :D

    You are both further down the track than I am, so I'd be interested to know how you are both going? The last few updates you have written have definitely been informative but they generally discuss the psychology. I can't seem to get a recent update on the pain itself?

    I note you both mentioned an 'experience' comming for me. Well Im not really sure if any of us are ever really 'ready' but I guess in the case of TMS. that's kind of the point.

    I'm hoping this will be the 'thing' to solve the annoying state of affairs I'm in. I don't say this in a particulary sad way, I guess I'm looking for the 'answer' (a eureka moment, in a mad scientist kind of way).

    Pretty sure this trait has always been apart of me and it has occurred to me more than once that I am 'creating' my Alopecial Universalis (complete baldness) just to have something to solve. Kind of strange and I wonder if anyone else feels in this way about their ailments?

    Finally I just wanted to mention (at least for my future reference). That I just blasted my earphones and did shadow boxing as very intense cardio for 6 minutes. All day I had knee twinges and I smoked a cigarette moments before. ALL my body and my cardio work just fine. I realize now, I have NO physical excuses to not workout.

    FYI, i was playng the song, 46&2, by Tool. Fans will understand the connection :)

  5. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Welcome, Johnny!

    I had TMS symptoms throughout most of my life (I'm 39) and for 8 years I had headaches that interfered with my life. I was skeptical of Sarno's approach at first but after reading The Mindbody Prescription I felt a little better...I knew there was something there so I kept working at it and now I'm mostly pain free. When I do have pain I'm usually able to think psychologically and the pain goes away or is not as intense as it used to be.

    Interesting you mention Reiki--I'm a Reiki teacher and practitioner. I found Sarno's theory to be very much in line with Reiki--that repressed feelings and energy can cause disturbances in the physical body.

    You'll find a lot of great stuff on the wiki. Journaling has also helped a lot of us too.

    :) Veronica
  6. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Johnny, I remember when I saw alopecia for the first time, I've studied the JFK assassination all my life and David Ferrie had alopecia areata.

    Several females contacted me this past year about their thinning hair; yet another reason why females have such higher anxiety in things like the man-made fibromyalgia catastrophe. It's much easier for men to go without hair. But easier for men to wear mustaches. Females have a ton of eyes on them piling up societal pressures to be this and be that... Abigail Steidley has it right, "love yourself love yourself love yourself." Either she was stuttering or she was trying to drive home a point. We alone conquer ourselves through self imposed pressures. Eleanor Roosevelt said, " no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

    I wanted to also make a point. Dr. Sarno never said "have faith and you will heal," in fact, he went out of his way to say it was not blind faith. He proved that it was full belief that healed people. Belief is not faith. Belief is an opinion usually based in an observation. Dr. Sarno is telling people to believe what he has seen occur in his practice of 50 years. He's not saying to "trust me blindly." He said in the CDM interview that "there's not one armchair quarterback decision here." He meant that everything he reported on, regarding healing, had happened, and that here was no conjecture.

    Jesus was the ultimate quantum mechanic and "fully awakened." He spoke of faith for those who couldn't bear witness to what He had done. Faith takes a great leap, but the belief is normally based in what has been proven and witnessed. Belief is a subset of faith.

    You're also further proof that these pain problems are the result of relationship separation anxiety, from relationship that never formed or was destroyed, leaving a hole in the heart. I never kept stats because I think they are part of our health problems (to be discussed soon), but it's statistically out of this world in the number of pain cases and the connection to some type of relationship error.

    Numbers are limiters, they define what can and cannot be done based in skewed observations. People form beliefs from these numbers which is a disaster--as everyone who has TMS already knows. Medical science and its numbers crippled many of us. Belief that you are ok is paramount in healing the divided mind, faith is another thing. Faith is not seeing, and still believing.

    We are held back by our beliefs, but we rise even above our belief with faith.


    “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” — Unknown
  7. Jilly

    Jilly Well known member

    Welcome aboard ! Your'e going to learn so much that in reality is quite simple, so simple I wonder how it was ever lost in the first place. Just from what you wrote, you sound like the classic TMS model and will benefit from the teachings. ;)
  8. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Hi Johnny,
    My physical therapist suggested I read The Divided Mind. Like Veronica, I, too, felt a slight relief in pain. I thought this is really weird to feel better reading a book. It took me awhile to find the wiki so I started reading it again and continued to feel slightly better.

    I tried to journal but got stuck but continued to read. Then found the wiki... yeah. I started the program continuing to find slight relief in pain. I felt the need to start going off all medications. I started and continued very slowly cutting back and found no increase in pain.

    As i have continued the program the pain continued to decline. While meditating the pain at times can completely disappear. But can return when challenged in situations involving conflict, disagreement or disappointing others which happens all the time. Journaling everyday is the key.

    When the pain returns which is of a minor nature. It is a warning bell to think emotionally and start journaling .
  9. JohnnySpy

    JohnnySpy New Member

    Thank you all for your responses :)

    This journey is looking good for me so far... It's a very different outlook to life to feel honest and express it. I realize the problems I have had, have not all been necessary but I thought they were. Feels strange to let go...

    I'm about to start the exersizes for Day 4, it's a lot of work but its really stuff I love to do anyway!
    veronica73 likes this.
  10. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    i started walking last January very slowly, always in grass (shin splints) for short periods of time. This was before Sarno. I was abolutely driven to walk even though others discouraged it based on my health. But i kept it up finding other neighbors friends to walk.

    I started reading Sarno and it absoutely clicked with me. i continued to walk more, faster, farther, harder. Then i started having problems; bad shin splints, inner thigh tightness, heel pain, foot pain, tightness back of thighs, etc. Everyone discouraged me from walking. But i was absolutely driven to walk. I felt so good. Then i realized the shin splints were tms.

    Today i walk 4-6 miles each day. I still periodically get heel pain, thigh pain, tightness, a wobble knee or ankle... i just keep on truckin. And talk to my mind to just get out of my body...now...usually takes a little while.
    tarala likes this.
  11. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Sandy you are really an inspiration to me. I've had a flare up in the last couple of days after being 90% pain free for a while, and I can feel the fear coming back-- fear of sitting, fear of walking. At least I know (I think) the triggers this time :)

    You remind me of Steve O. When I was first starting, I used to imagine him limping past me, crawling, limping, off in to the distance!
  12. Bernard

    Bernard Peer Supporter

    Hi Johnny

    Your post has really struck a chord with me.

    My back pain started 17+ years back and has been the defining feature of my life since

    Around the time it started up I split up with my 1st long term partner. We were together from childhood and grew together into young adults. She was beautiful, my 1st love and I was so comfortable with her and confident of her love and adoration.

    At 20/21 i decided, as much as anything, that i needed to branch out, to explore new horizons. That i didn't want to settle down into my 1st ever real relationship and so I ended things abruptly - without much explanation, without much thought really. I just left.

    I don't remember feeling anything much.

    Looking back, however, and with insight I can really relate to Steven's relationship separation anxiety.....

    I fell immediately into another really serious relationship. I mean within a week. So much for branching out - I fell hopelessly in love, madly.
    But I struggled with self confidence in this new relationship. I didn't think I was good enough. The new girl was stunning - beautiful in mind, body and spirit. Way too good for me - i remember thinking. A Goddess to my troll. I was confused she seemed to like me and increasingly scared of rejection.

    I tried to be someone different, someone perfect, someone she could love.

    Meanwhile my back was in agony. I used to windsurf and had a slight pain from this around the time of the break up
    My mother has had years of back pain - since i was born - so immediately talked me into seeing her crack addict chiropractor.
    In no time at all I was told I had Bertolotti's syndrome and that I was 'deformed' around my L5. That this was my pain source & that I would have to get used to the pain.
    I was utterly paralysed by fear. The pain got worse. I removed all pleasures from my life. I stopped dancing, i stopped windsurfing. I almost stopped walking.

    I fell into what I can only describe as a breakdown, a disintegration of my self.
    I have been tail spinning ever since. Pushing pushing pushing myself towards some form of unattainable perfection as a means of distraction form the inner turmoil and physical pain. Assuming that hard work and money might set me free, provide some form of stability, security and sense of self that has vanished.

    Only now - through reading Steven O's book am i starting to think in terms of relationship separation anxiety.

    I have 2 young children and I am beginning to understand how difficult separation is for children as they toddle into the world and how my relationship separation anxiety has been with me since my childhood and how I have been stuffing it into my body shadows.....

    I feel it is time to reconnect with inner myself and start the healing journey.
    A much longer and more honest post than i had intended.... but thank you for staying with it.
    I'm finding the structured programme and the warmth and genuine care of the healing group around it so very helpful.

  13. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Bernard and Johnny,
    I say this to you too...There is great value in role playing in private the scenes from your past with the person who has caused you great anguish, and letting the person who hurt you the most know every last feeling from your heart. Hold nothing back.

Share This Page