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Day 1 My TMS Story

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Connak, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Connak

    Connak New Member

    I’m going to try the TMS Wiki program here. For Day 1, we are supposed to post our story to the forum. Being the aspiring journalist that I am, my story is probably longer. I’m trying to tell my story of my pain from the beginning to now. Below is something I’ve written for some TMS doctors to read but have reformatted it for this forum.

    My name is Aaron, I'm 24 years old and I'm from Sicklerville, NJ. I first heard of TMS and Dr. John Sarno's work a while ago while looking on YouTube for videos on chronic back pain and yoga.

    I started having pain in early January 2014, shortly before my last semester in college. I had experienced back pain before then but the pain was so bad that it was just staying there. I figured it was from all the time I spent sitting at the computer. I tried using ice and my mom took me to see an acupuncturist. When I got back to college and started the semester, I kept going to the health center there. My mom finally arranged for me to see a chiropractor close to where I went to college towards the end of that month. After seeing him, I felt much better and my muscles didn't feel as tight. However sometime after, the pain was coming back but it wasn't as bad as before. So for all of my last semester, I kept seeing the chiropractor.

    After I graduated in May 2014, I went to see another chiropractor. After doing some X-Rays, it turned out I had a small scoliosis curve. He had me seeing him for a while and saw that the curve had gotten better. Meanwhile, I tried to do any kind of exercises the doctor gave me. I also started seeing an orthopedist, who gave me a series of trigger point injections. Over the summer, my mom bought me a gym subscription to HealthTrax in place of the chiropractor and orthopedist. I had tried physical therapy before but it wasn't doing anything and I found the place itself to be a little depressing, seeing people that were older than me struggling. Before getting the injections, I had gotten a job as a cashier at a pharmacy in their front store (not mentioning the name of the store just to be safe). It wasn't a job I wanted but to keep a long story short, I was stuck in this job. Even though they had me working four hours a week, I felt I was getting worse. The job was also stressing me out, having to deal with different customers. My psychiatrist was able to write a letter for me to leave the job. I had the job from February to September of 2015.

    For almost my entire life, I've had social anxiety and anxiety in general. I've also struggled with ADHD and was an IEP student in school (I also used the special education services in college). I get anxious often. Over the years, I've seen that anything having to do with change is what makes me most anxious. I mentioned before I started getting my pains in my last semester in college. All the time I was having the pain, I thought it was possible that my anxiety of leaving college and my friends was involved in any way. I've also mentioned I had a stressful job that I would dread going to. I've been reading one of Dr. Sarno's books and I really think I may have TMS. After reading some of his work, I've been feeling a little bit better. I'm still going to HealthTrax but not as much.

    What I want to get out of this program is relief from my pain. It’s unfortunate for me to not live in an area where there aren’t too many TMS doctors. I’m going to try this program. I’m also thinking about doing this is less than 42 days. Most of what Day 1 consists of are things I’ve already done so I’m going to move onto Day 2 and maybe Day 3. Given that I don’t have a job, I have a lot of free time so I could devote it to this program. Any suggestions?
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Connak. You got some medical treatment but the pain hasn't gone away, so I think it is from TMS, repressed emotions and/or a perfectionist and goodist personality, wanting to please everyone for everything. I also think your pain came on fro anxiety about leaving college, since you say you have always had a problem with change. I think most of us can relate to that.

    A job that you hated also causes TMS. I know all about that, from a job I hated for three years and it gave me the shakes. I finally left it and got great relief.

    You say you are an aspiring journalist. I ahve spent most of my life as a journalist and author. I am a former Chicago Tribune reporter and feature writer. I then was editor of several magazines. Forty-some years ago I became a freelance writer of magazine articles and books. I wouldn't recommend fulltime freelance as a writer today because the newspaper, magazine, and book industry has changed so much. I would freelance in my spare time.

    Your pain may very well come from anxiety you've had over the years. The SEP program encourages journaling to discover the emotions causing TMS pain. I journaled because of severe back pain and it led me to discover I was repressing feelings from my parents divorcing when I was seven. Journaling helped me to understand my parents better and why they divorced, which led me to forgive them. Forgiveness led to my back pain going away.

    You mention your mother who has been very loving and supportive. You don't mention a father. Perhaps that relationship needs exploring... journaling.

    I can sense you are eager to heal and quickly, but that can put pressure on your healing. Doing more than one or two SEP steps in a day also may be spending too much time on TMS thinking. Don't move from one day's step in the program to another too fast. And try to find time to think of other things, things that you enjoy.

    And be confident about healing through TMS knowledge.

    Here is one post from a TMSer about healing through the SEProgram. He later posted that he is 100 percent healed.

    Kevin healed 95 % from SEP

    Welcome to the SEP and to the path of recovery. I am on my final two days of the program and I can say with complete confidence that I am a changed man. I started after 6 months of nasty low-back/butt/leg pain, could hardly walk, stand, etc. was in physical therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, pain medications, etc.. the usual. My MRI showed 3 disk bulges/herniations touching nerves, so that is what I believe it to be....that is until I read Dr. Sarno and found this site.

    I encourage you to really get involved, follow the instructions, do the journaling, take time to read all the suggested readings, and watch the videos. I'd say I'm 95% cured. There is still some very light lingering "annoyance", but I still have some work to do. I've been walking miles with hardly any pain these last few weeks. But even more, if the pain comes on now, it just doesn't bother me like it used to, I sorta just see it, acknowledge it, and go about my business. It took working the program to get to that point, but 6 weeks compared to 6 months is nothing! I made more progress in the first week than I did from two months of PT!!! It's going to challenge you and your "beliefs" in medicine, but you have nothing to lose. We generally wind up here when all else fails.

    So give it a shot, especially before considering anything invasive like surgery. If you put the work in, you will get better. Have you read Dr. Sarno yet? I assume you have since you're here, but in case you haven't, definitely readHealing Back Pain. Again, it will challenge everything you've believed about your pain, and backs in general. You'll be encouraged to resume life as normal, i.e. stop ALL "therapies" (PT, chiro, etc.), stop taking medications, and most importantly, stop thinking STRUCTURAL problems are the cause of your pain and shift to psychological as the reason.....again, this can be difficult and takes some time to sink in, so be patient and kind to yourself.

    It was a process for me. A few of the bigger moves in my case were: I ripped up and threw out my MRI test results (I found myself obsessively reading over them and comparing them to other results I could find on the web and even here on the TMSwiki site...); I got back to the gym and stopped using a weight belt; and I even cancelled an appointment I had made with aTMS doctorbecause it was more than a month away and it was hindering my recovery (that is, my 100% belief in TMS was lagging because I had this pending appointment, but as soon as I cancelled it, my recovery sped up significantly). Everyone's journey is unique to their situation, but I've found that really committing to the program and brining what I learn from it into my daily life has had profound results. Also, sharing along the way here in these forums has been extremely helpful - there's something about knowing that you're not alone in your TMS recovery that really helps. I encourage you to look through my past posts for some insight into my experience with SEP. Like I said, I'm just now finishing, tomorrow is my final day, and I feel like a changed person. It's amazing. And I feel as though it is something that one carries on with, not just like a one time 6 week thing and that's that...it has helped me to get to know myself and taught me tools to "deal" with my emotions. Learning and accepting TMS is a life changer for sure.
    Laughalot likes this.
  3. Connak

    Connak New Member

    Had to stop reading there for the time being. I will read the rest of your post after I reply to this.

    I should have mentioned it in the post: my father passed in 2001 when I was 9. I was very close with him. He was a great man. As for the cause of death, no one knows. He just got sick during one week, felt better during the weekend, and then died on a Tuesday. It's hard to imagine what life would've been had he not passed. In conversations, I find myself mentioning my mom a lot. You're right about my mom: she's been supportive and she's the reason why I was put in special education services. My parents helped me both but even when my dad was around, it was more so my mom helping me with school work than my dad (from what I'm to understand, he was pretty OCD).

    But yeah I should have mentioned that my dad passed. Some people ask me if I became anxious after he passed. Nope. I remember getting anxious before he passed. His passing might've made it a little worse.
  4. Connak

    Connak New Member

    Yep. I'm still reading that book right now on my iPad. I also watched a 2 hour video that was recently uploaded on YouTube of the same name, which was of some help.
  5. Connak

    Connak New Member

    Okay, I see. I already did the journals for the first three days and only skimmed the readings attached. I'll just repeat Day 2 and 3 when they happen. I'll look over the journals entries I wrote when it comes to the journal part.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Connak,

    Welcome to this Forum and the SEP work. I read your story, and it sure sounds like you have TMS to me. I appreciated Walt's response on many levels. To take it slow, use your awareness, see how the pieces fit in your life.

    Everyone here understands the core of your pain journey. We've been through it, or are going through it. I hope you ask questions and get support when you need it.

    Andy B.

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