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My truly crazy healing journey adventure with John Sarno

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Michael Coutts, Jan 16, 2024.

  1. Michael Coutts

    Michael Coutts Peer Supporter

    Hello all, here's my story. It is quite long and is really quite extraordinary. I have had quite a healing journey and John Sarno has helped me through it. Bear with me....

    Prior to 2020, I suffered for many years from a wide variety of horrible symptoms.

    I was absolutely debilitated from crippling pounding migraine headaches, often accompanied by vomiting all through the night, and days afterwards were filled with weakness.

    These migraines increased in intensity and frequency as years went on. I had thought for a long time that they were everything from food poisoning from restaurant foods, heat stroke from working in the heat, or some sickness from working too hard.

    I eventually learned that these were migraines and tried all sorts of unsuccessful remedies- herbal tinctures and teas from our own homegrown medicinal herbs, changing my diet to avoid nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers), avoiding coffee, avoiding wheat, limited alcohol to one glass of homebrewed mead in the evening, making sure to neither wake up too early or stay up too late. I could only safely eat food that my family had grown and prepared ourselves- any food that I ate in a restaurant or at a community function would give me diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and migraines. Migraines controlled my life, and affected my family's life as well.

    At the height of my migraines when I would experience low level headaches several times each week with a big whopper as often as every month I was connecting the occurrences of my migraines in relation to the phases of the moon and the location of constellations and other sorts of madness like this. For many years on our farm we planted and harvested according the phases of the moon and such. We always had a 'biodynamic planting calendar' posted in our bathroom which literally has every hour of every day of the year and where the moon and constellations are and supposedly improve your crops. Staring at this calendar every time my head hurt easily led me to come up with some totally crazy theories. We no longer use this calendar which has been a relief and still our crops thrive.

    I was basically conditioning myself to get a migraine any time some crazy cosmic thing was happening or anything was out of sorts.... I was perpetually terrified of the next migraine, and they kept coming in some form or another.

    I eventually read of a recommendation to smoke copious amounts of marijuana, hourly throughout the day... I would indeed start feeling my head hurt and would experience absurd levels of anxiety around making sure I would smoke a joint or suffer my pounding head.... It is very unfortunate that there are migraine clinics that recommend this, but they do this and publish books about it! They just don't grasp what is really causing these migraines.

    Along with these migraines, I experienced a wide variety of other painful symptoms, especially throughout my thirties including: an agonizing knee where I could barely lift up my leg for long stretches of time (I blamed it on my heavy rubber boots); I experienced horrible tennis elbow with electric shocks going up my arm with a tight knot 'golf ball' inside the elbow- this I blamed on the grain scoop we would use for measuring chicken grain- eventually an ergonomic grain scoop swapped that symptom for another.

    One time I experienced intense neck pain and stiffness for a month where I could barely move my head from side to side. I had unloaded 90 pallets from a truck while I had a migraine, which made my migraine worse. That evening I opened a book on Qi Gong that had some neck excercises. I did them incorrectly, read the fine print saying that you can damage your neck if you do this incorrectly, and then suffered for a month (its always easy for your brain to latch onto some sort of symptom that you read about and then give you this symptom! I used to pour over books describing every symptom out there and what forms of alternative healing can treat these symptoms. This is a bad idea for people with TMS to read about symptoms that they don't have. It gives an opportunity for your brain to give you this symptom as a mighty convincing distraction that can plague you!

    I was experiencing tons of food intolerances which caused all sorts of digestive problems and stomach pain and such.

    I had suffered from crazy tooth pain and degrading teeth for many years. Two autumns in a row I had to go into emergency dental to have teeth pulled. I had four teeth pulled in my thirties from excruciating tooth pain and tooth decay. Using Sarno's techniques have stopped all tooth pain (I can even eat frozen food and swish cold water through my teeth!). My old dental work is still sadly cracking apart from a lifetime of fillings, braces, root canals and such. I realize now that it was all likely due to tooth grinding and jaw clenching which I regularly order my brain not to do, and this has stopped. Some clues to the fake terrible tooth pain (which honestly had me for a whole month several times with rolled up cotton plugged in my nose and ears with a scarf wrapped around my face and pharmaceutical grade oregano oil being poured into my poor teeth) were when, during the teeth surgery, the dentist said 'are you sure that this tooth is giving you pain? This tooth is completely dead (due to a previous root canal) and shouldn't cause any pain. But if you want it pulled, we'll pull it (or more accurately cut them out). Early on to using Sarno's techniques, I would experience 'phantom pain' where these teeth had been pulled. I would tell my brain 'Ha, Brain, you can't fool me. There aren't any teeth there to hurt!' and the pain would cease immediately.

    My symptoms reached their peak in the winter of 2019 where I experienced extraordinarily agonizing tailbone pain that left me in tears over the whole winter. It felt like I was sitting on a burning hot poker anytime I sat down. I blamed my chair. I blamed chopping firewood. I was in so much incredible pain. I would lay down on the floor with tennis balls under my buttocks and fight the tears as I thought this would help.

    It got to its worst when I watched my eight year old daughter and wife move a stack of firewood to clean up a space, and I was in tears because I was in too much pain to help.

    I was fearing how I could continue farming for the rest of my life which I expected (and expect) to do. My body was a wreck, and I wasn't even 40 years old.

    Finally, out of total desperation, I literally crawled on my hands and knees to our bookshelf where we had a copy of 'Healing Back Pain' by John Sarno, that had sat there for ten years. We had picked up from a thrift store after reading Andrew Weill's book Spontaneous Healing recommended it . It had helped my wife overcome terrible shoulder pain way back then. I hadn't really had much pain at the time and so didn't ever give it a glance.

    My mind was blown and my life was changed.

    I had read the book for my terrible tail bone pain and here I discovered the cure for my migraines and every other horrible symptom, and even silly symptoms that I hadn't really considered (like getting up in the night to pee).

    Since then I have been able to accomplish wonderful things. I can eat whatever I want (which is still our amazing homegrown veggies, fruits, dairy, meat, and eggs from our farm)- even food at local functions, cheeseburgers in restaurants once in a blue moon, and whatever else- with no ill effect.

    I can drink alcohol without getting sick and ill through the night and into the following days. Although drinking isn't necessarily beneficial to your health, its a real relief to not suffer crazy illness from imbibing too much. It's more sensible to moderate drinking when you brew your own mead because it is totally inconvenient to drink too much because it creates too much work in brewing labour and cost! Plus it is good to be responsible

    I can do whatever intense task life requires of me here on our farm- plenty of heavy lifting and busy stuff which I was so afraid of before.

    I can get in the truck with my family and head out to nearby towns to do whatever needs doing without coming home and barfing my guts out with a pounding head for days afterwards.

    I talk to my brain all the time. In the beginning I talked extensively about all of the buried rage that I was experiencing that dated back to my childhood- with my mom dying of a brain tumor when I was three and a half, and being raised by an abusive step mother who dealt mountains of emotional trips on me, broke a wooden spoon over my bare ass, left horrible mean notes for me, and on and on....

    I talk regularly about all sorts of things that enrage me- mostly little things these days like interruptions in daily farm life- necessary telephone calls, early morning or late in the day visitors, bad weather, dirty dishes, chores, etc. etc.....

    I talked a lot early on about the buried rage I experienced living with in laws with health problems who I didn't really connect with. This definitely causes huge amounts of buried rage.

    I have found that the best success from using Sarno's methods have come from reading his books over and over and talking to your brain anytime and any day- even (and especially if) there's somebody you have to talk to who drives you so crazy that you can feel your brain boil and steam coming out of your ears.....

    Over the course of a few years I have read his books 20 times, in the beginning finishing one book and immediately reading the next, and rereading them over and over. I read books in his bibliography (The Rage Within, Edward Shorter's book), and Marc Sopher's excellent and Howard Schubiner's great books (especially his sections on rewriting your terrible memories where you were the victim, instead turning the tables on the oppressors, often violently, and becoming the victor.... This can be daytime slapstick fun mind games- such as turning a memory where I was forced to stay at the table for hours as a kid with liver in front of me which I loathed and would eat bite by bite reading a stack of archie comics.... My new memory transformed with my step mother sitting at the table while I heaped pitchfork loaded piles of liver into her mouth until she exploded... and on it went)

    I was feeling (and am feeling) so good that I opened a 'Healing Pain Library' that I stocked with John Sarno books purchased with $400 of my dollars, plus donations from the public and Joe Christie who donated 4 books (plus a couple of Howard Schubiner books that Howard kindly donated). This library has been a quasi success- all the books have been loaned out and not returned. Still, there is a big writeup for all to read about John Sarno and his techniques and my own healing journey. I have heard that several of the folks who borrowed his books have had healing success, and I hope that many more have as well, and will eventually return the books (for more people to borrow).

    This story has been going on and on, and it doesn't really end here.

    After Sarno's methods healed and have continued to heal me (life began at 40 for me!), and life was going quite well for my family and our farm (despite COVID, which hadn't really affected us as we are such home bodies anyways, and our honour stand market stand was having its best year ever in 2020), we experienced some crazy stuff.

    In late June 2021, our neighbour town of Lytton burned to the ground on the hottest day on record (our farm registered 56.5 degrees celsius on a log in the sun). This rip roaring forest fire that burned this town to the ground continued ripping and roaring for a month (and longer) when it suddenly threatened our beautiful farm. The whole mountain across from our farm was on fire. We had plenty of sprinklers, plenty of green vegetation, pumps and were well prepared.

    Unfortunately, just as we were at our most ready, the police showed up to our farm, and told us that our daughter and my wife's mother had to leave despite all of our preparedness and safety (confirmed by veteran firefighters who were helping us prepare- they said we were totally safe and probably wouldn't have to fight a single fire). The police didn't just tell us, they yelled at us (four police), called for backup, told us that we were going to die, threatened to take my wife and I away in handcuffs and send our daughter off to child and family services if we didn't comply.

    This all started when I was just collecting a basket of eggs, and said that we had already signed a paper the day prior with a conservation officer who knew that our whole family lived here, and never mentioned any problems.

    Needless to say, our daughter left the farm with grandma and uncle to stay with nearby relatives- the first time we had been away from our daughter since she was born in our living room eleven years prior. Actually, my wife drove the lot of them 1.5 hour round trip, then ripped back zipping the car around a police road block to get back and help me fight fire!

    Between everyone going and Brandie coming back, the fire department showed up and told us that actually we had a bunch of fire hazardous stuff on the farm. We proceeded to throw all of our outdoor furniture over our banks, put sprinklers on thousands of dollars of hay (completely ruining it), and watering the heck out of our farm and buildings and gardens and orchards for a 12 day evacuation order where we would be arrested if we stepped foot off our property!

    The point of this story (and it gets crazier) is that both my wife and I were suddenly facing absolutely extraordinary push you to the limits insanity that I know that I only survived because of John Sarno's amazing techniques. Just a couple of years prior I would get a pounding migraine if I missed one hour of sleep (as in, didn't get 8 hours of sleep every night minimum). We had to tag team with napping so that we could walk our farm (about 10 acres or so where the main farm was) to put out any potential flare ups that might have leapt across the Nicola River to our place.

    The first night we got 1 hour of sleep, the next night 3 hours of sleep, the next night 4 hours of sleep- a total of 7 hours of sleep over three nights.
    During this time we were like zombies, still eating, drinking mead from the bottle (it felt like the end of the world- that would come later), thinking that we were going to lose our farm and that our life was wrecked and so incredible enraged at how we had been treated.

    The fire eventually calmed, our power never went out, we ate steak every day (because we were worried our freezers would fail and we'd lose all the good stuff!) the evacuation order was over, and everybody came home.

    The rest of the season was exhausting and emotional and the farm was a mess and there was worse to come.

    November 15th of 2021 our calm Nicola River went insane and completely destroyed our valley, removing homes and land and animals and people and sending them out between here and the ocean! It was called the biggest recorded natural disaster in Canadian history and our farm was smack in the middle of the greatest carnage. Our neighbour on one side died when her house and property were engulfed and taken away. Our neighbours on the other side lost their house and every structure and all of their land leaving a 20 foot wide strip of unusable land beside the highway. Our neighbours across the river from us had the road destroyed and lost 17 acres and plenty of stuff and there is still no access beyond crossing the river. The highway was completely destroyed in all directions- one spot in front of our property became a 70 foot broken jagged cliff with the asphalt fallen to the bottom.

    We lost 5.2 acres of land, 175 fruit trees, 7 coops and barns, our well and wellhouse, shop, greenhouse, big compost rich gardens, 100 chickens and heritage turkeys, and our bull and buck who had to be shot as they threatened a helicopter rescue of our milk cow Tina and our milk goats (check out Tina the Flying Cow on you tube).

    Our house was safe, though, as seventh day adventists had originally built it on solid bedrock. Our farm was a wreck.

    We had to turf all of our freezers of food and hundreds of pounds of fresh produce so it wouldn't rot in our house. We had to helicopter away and leave our home, despite plenty of firewood, food, milk animals, beef on the hoof, and a few dozen chickens (who didn't go down with the ship, but later became coyote food) because the roads and power were all destroyed.

    We spent a solid 5 months of winter depressingly staying elsewhere. After winter we split the time from a friend's property and hiking or helicoptering in (12 free rides!) to our farm, bringing all of our everything on our backs for another many months until we could drive in the following August and live full time again without power and water. We flew in a solar pump for our remaining 75 fruit trees and started rebuilding. Eventually a well was drilled, water and power returned in January '23 (14 months after the disaster)

    Since then, through incredible amounts of financial support from friends and strangers, government assistance, Red Cross, and more, we have built our farm back to an incredible point. We rebuilt 10 buildings on our property between September 2022 and December '23, have fenced a huge bunch of the land, created new big gardens, hatched out dozens of birds, saw the return of Brandie's mom (blind immediately after the flood), the return of the milk cow Tina and her new baby and the goats..... And here we are now in the middle of a crazy winter freeze (which has given me an excuse to write on this great page).

    So what is the point of this last long lengthy bunch of catastrophic business- that using Sarno's methods have completely saved me from curling up on the couch and dying from debilitating migraines and pain that would absolutely have overtaken me and killed me with all of these crazy situations that were thrown at me and my family!

    During these trials and tribulations I have had to talk to my brain about more than just everyday stuff- there has been crooked contractors, catastrophic end of the world type disasters, military helicopters, police, a bull and billy goat at our kitchen door, fires, floods, insane paperwork, manic government rebuild projects, mean people (very few- most people are so incredible, kind, caring and sharing, however there has been some mean people surrounding crazy disasters) permitting and on and on and on and on.....

    Decision making overload has definitely been experienced this past year.

    And I feel fine. I smile and laugh and love life and dance to music and cook and eat good food and love my wife and daughter so much and feel great doing all sorts of farm work. Even if life isn't perfect, its still wonderful. What a blessing to be Alive!

    So there you go. There's my story. My family has an excellent facebook page: MichaelBrandieCouttsMacArthur and Monkeyinthegarden worth checking out.
    And if you're ever out in the Nicola Valley, highway 8 outside Spences Bridge, BC, Canada, stop out and check out our market stand for amazing fruits and veggie, eggs, plants and more!

    Happy Healing!
    Michael Coutts
    JanAtheCPA, lucieG and Cap'n Spanky like this.
  2. lucieG

    lucieG Peer Supporter

    Just wow. So amazed by you and what you experienced. From a fellow farmer who also ditched the biodynamic calendar years ago for sanity reasons!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's hysterical! I thought the millerites think the world is ending momentarily? Why go to all of that hassle to makew sure your buildings gonna last???(LOL)

    Great story. Very few people live as close to the 'real' world as you. I have a feeling if more people did, we would have less TMS... I am really jealous of your lifestyle and fantasize about running away from society to live alone, or at least away from the very rage inducing 'civilization' we have made. Sarno never spoke about this, but my own theory is that the industrial revolution has alienated a lot of people from the very basic things that kept our forefathers sane, healthy, happy...even if they didn't know it. Sure, you could die in a natural disaster, but the time up to that moment your life at least had a connection to real world...most city problems would go away if the city went away, not the people.

    That was awesome and inspiring
  4. Michael Coutts

    Michael Coutts Peer Supporter

    There is so much accumulated rage through farming that people have no idea. And farmers need to learn about this methods- there are so many suffering farmers!
    I used to agonize for months in advance of something as ridiculous and the cosmically appropriate time to harvest onions for best curing and storing and would spin my mind around in circles around anything that could possibly screw up onion planting or harvesting on the 'ideal' dates!

    Somewhere I read about the term 'Anticipatory Anxiety' and that pretty much summed up what was going on with me with all of my farming plans- crazy!

    I love farming and producing food so much! I love it a thousand times more when it is more casual and has nothing to do with the cosmos. I mean, really, farming is all about the Earth- right? You obviously need the sun's heat and light and we all love the moon and stars- but should we really give it so much power when poking seeds in the ground?

    I hope that you are finding success with Sarno's methods and are sharing them with all sorts of folks. I have sadly met people recently who have told me that they had to give up farming decades prior, and whose lives and marriages fell apart because of pain that really sounded like strait up psychosomatic pain symptoms....So sad.

    Sarno can safe Farmers! Doesn't that sound great?
    JanAtheCPA, Baseball65 and lucieG like this.
  5. lucieG

    lucieG Peer Supporter

    Oh boy, we had crazy « anticipatory anxiety » like you say for the blackout days in the calendar. Everything went so wrong on those days!

    Your testimony is a huge breakthrough for me. I have been dealing with electric sciatica pains for 6 months. I can’t sit, I can’t lie down. Just have to keep moving. I have been feeling some relief since starting to read one of Sarno’s books a week ago. And I had my first decent night last night. There’s no plan B for us. We’ve been farming long enough that that’s what we got to keep doing. 20 years to go to our 70s!

    Thank you for giving me hope.

    I hope you’re doing what you love again. I can’t imagine trying to restart from the destruction of flooding. May 2024 be a string year for you, your fam, your farm!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. Michael Coutts

    Michael Coutts Peer Supporter

    I just made another post titled FARMER RAGE which you should check out. I have compiled a huge list (which is probably the tip of the iceberg) of extra crap that farmers and homesteaders have to deal with on the farm... You'll get the idea, and will find plenty more things to talk to your brain about. I really find that talking to my brain about any buried rage that I have while I'm going about my chores or in the garden or with the animals is an easy way to do all of the necessary mental work.

    And yes, my family and myself are all totally doing again what we love and it is totally awesome. That doesn't mean you don't get driven crazy by this lifestyle. Who on earth doesn't get driven crazy by the choices they've made in life and the nonsense that life delivers them.

    We've done major farm rebuilding since the disaster. 50 more fruit trees will be going into compost ridge beds in the spring. We have opened up new areas of our property that we never before envisioned farming. Our newly built buildings are honestly better than the ones that lost in the flood. The mites that our chickens and turkeys had went away with the flood (and the dead birds). We're only hatching our own flock and not bringing any live birds to our farm again.

    Every season is a new adventure and you just need to keep improving and creating and fulfilling your dreams and ideas.

    Keep with Sarno's methods and you'll be feeling a lot better. Put his book in the bathroom as it really is a great place to read it- and reread it again and again and again, and anytime in the future that you're having fresh symptoms. It all gets easier as time goes on- at least this is how it has been with me.
    JanAtheCPA and lucieG like this.
  7. lucieG

    lucieG Peer Supporter

    I am going to check out your new post! Yes, we farmers/ranchers/homesteaders carry so much, we are too close to the elemental action.

    Thank you for your tips to keep the book in the bathroom and talk to my brain during chores.

    So glad you are back at it and stronger than before. Hurrah!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. Michael Coutts

    Michael Coutts Peer Supporter

    Reading that you're experiencing sciatica pain totally sucks and I am so sorry for all of your pain.

    If you think about what TMS stands for (it has had several names)- Tension Myoneural Syndrome. Some of the key words there are Tension and Myo (which means muscle). (neural means nerve)

    If you think about what that means for your leg muscles to be in a totally tense highly taught like super tightly strung guitar strings and how anything that puts any extra tension upon that already extra tenseness will cause even more tenseness- more pain.... You can see how TMS is likely the cause of this.

    How to make those highly tightened muscles relax? That is the quandary. Easier said than done- though if Sarno's methods start working for you- as in if you can get the message down into your subconscious that you understand that it is all of your buried rage and you can REALLY GET THAT MESSAGE DOWN INTO YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS (really through doing the hard/easy work of 'knowledge is medicine'- as in reading why this is likely the cause of your pain and following his program.) then the work actually becomes quite simple. It is especially much simpler (in my opinion), than making appointments with doctors for tests and such (easy for me to say as we live nowhere really near a hospital or doctors and I would still be very sceptical as is my nature). Those (doctors and tests) are good for your peace of mind I suppose (?).

    If your doctors actually jumped up and said 'I know exactly what is wrong and how to solve it' Then you could go 'hooray!' and get back home and get on with your life.

    Likely that isn't happening, and you are instead generating more rage at the whole doctor/patient program, and how inconvenient and worrying it all is.....

    So again, back to that tension and muscle thing. Sarno explains the simple scientific explanation of pain in the muscles as this word :ISCHEMIA. Ischemia is a situation where oxygen isn't getting to somewhere in your body because there is a lack of blood flow to this spot. This is the actual scientific reason for the pain, so says Sarno and so says the internet when you look it up (in medical jargon).

    So as Sarno explains in his books, it is very easy for our brains to cut off blood flow to anywhere in our bodies thus decreasing blood flow to that spot and causing pain. If you can think of the constricting of our blood vessels (thus limiting blood flow) as them tightening and basically seizing up parts of our bodies, pulling us inwards by the narrowing of our vessels and yikes! Tightness! Pain! Constriction!

    That is why we love to relax so much and why it feels so good. Hot baths, massages, intoxicants, sleeping in, summer heat, hot beaches in tropical climes.... This is why yoga and meditation are likely so good feeling, because they get us to breathe deeper, to get the oxygen with the blood to these points in our body, and to relieve pain.

    But again, what keeps causing us to tighten up causing so much darn pain in the first place. Likely shallow breathing is involved (since deep breathing is so relieving). So why are we shallow breathing? Subconsciously obsessing over all of the traumas that have and keep happening in our lives I guess.

    I don't seem to have any deep breathing problems. I experience limited amounts of these extreme tightness anymore (there were many many months when I couldn't sit down anywhere as I was in total agonizing pain- and no doubt that tense and guitar strings would have made sense to me then)...

    I hope that you can keep with John Sarno's books and that they can help you out as they have helped out so many thousands of others. I hope that the best of your farm chores (like when its nice and warm out and you're really loving it) and sitting down on the couch, can feel as good as a hot bath. Because really, that was how dramatic it was for me- sitting on a soft couch was even unbearable with all of my pain and tension. And it has evolved to the point of where sitting on a hard wooden box can truly feel as luxurious as sinking into a hot bath- because all of that painful tension is gone. Sitting pain free is an incredible gift, and I truly have to thank John Sarno with tears in my eyes for having unlocked this mystery and sharing it to all of us sufferers who can overcome pain.

    And really, ultimately, this work is between you and your brain alone, and is nobody else's business- (unless you want to share it with the world). I read in a book about healing that when you talk about this kind of mindbody medicine with most people, they'll look at you like you have two heads! Oh well! Even if there are naysayers and doubters and scoffers out there, it is really all between you and your brain.

    Keep with it! And keep supplying the good food to your customers. And take time to enjoy your own good food and your own wonderful farming experience and all the reasons why you have chosen your lifestyle and the people you surround yourself with. And if they also totally enrage you (your customers, your farm, and the people you have chosen to surround yourself with) be sure to tell your brain that they all totally enrage you for all of the reasons that they do, and that you're big and strong and can handle all of that rage, and that you don't need any pain whatsover anytime no f'ing way and stop right now! Remember- this is totally between you and your brain. The less pain you experience, and the more you can vent to your brain about everything and everyone that drives you nuts, the more you will actually start to again enjoy everything that has driven you nuts- simply because you will feel better physically. Even a gray miserable nasty day is no problem if you're feeling great. Any chore is fine if you don't hurt!

    Anyways- stay strong and happy healing
    lucieG likes this.
  9. lucieG

    lucieG Peer Supporter

    ALRIGHT! I hear you! So so helpful. I am going to keep talking to my brain and use much more forceful language like you suggest. Haha, should be fun! [Long pause, I had a good look at couple of annoying things and relabeled them enraging things — the way you are not shy to say rage is a revelation for me. No, I am not just sad we lost heritage trees in the great freeze we just had, I am enraged! No, I am not just sad I can’t make use of the medical insurance we pay, I am enraged the co-pays are out of sight! Oxygen, Now!] I really have a long ways to go to be more honest with myself. I’ll let you know in a bit how that goes. Thanks a mil for taking the time to give me explanations and a true flavor.
  10. Michael Coutts

    Michael Coutts Peer Supporter

    Sorry for your trees. All of the money that you poured into expensive heirloom fruit trees (or time spent grafting, or paying people to graft). All of the dead to the world trees young or old that don't get to gift you with blossoms and greenery and fruit for your home or cash for your farm. Total loss of all future income that you might have gotten from those fruit trees! TOTALLY F'ING ENRAGING!!!!

    In the grand scheme of things, we are talking about the smaller of the things that really deeply wound us. Everything that I wrote on the FARMER RAGE enraging list is totally truly enraging. These things are enraging in the way that, 'From Little Things, Big Things Grow'. We normally think of that meaning little bitty seeds growing into big plants or trees that might give fruits or roots.

    This is also how we can think of all of the accumulative rage that we gather up in our day to day year to year existence. These are things like somebody leaving you dirty dishes to wash, or standing you up for an appointment, or blabbing away at you while you wish them to go away, or what seems like a never ending workload of stuff laid out before you until you drop dead from exhaustion, and on and on.

    This kind of rage that we generate about normal daily nonsense is very real and very accumulative. We need to keep talking to our brains that we are totally enraged about all of this stuff and that we're big and strong and don't need horrible pain symptoms to distract us from these very real, enraging situations that us pathetic humans seem to keep encountering. Any small squabble or difference of opinions with people we love and people we can't stand is enraging in this way. Every person who cuts you off in traffic or tailgates you, every stupid weather incident that wrecks your plans, and anybody anytime who wrecks any of your plans, hopes, or dreams- these definitely contribute to the filling of our 'Reservoir of Rage'.

    And of course when our Reservoir of Rage gets filled to bursting, that's when our brains start blasting us with all of our horrible uncomfortable life altering agonizing never ending dropped from the sky painful and irritating symptoms.

    This is all of the 'small' stuff that fills up our reservoirs of rage- something like sand in with boulders....

    Many of these sand sized enraging situations (very real and very enraging and very in need of talking to your brain about) are often quite laughable or pathetic- like well meaning friends who's company you enjoy so much but who keep you up late in the night with the wine they brought and the excellent conversation and fine spirits. Come morning if they've stayed over they're there to interrupt your morning rituals and you have to cook them breakfast which you love to do anyways and you enjoy their company and are relieved when they go yet miss them and wish they'd visit more often....

    This is all of the light stuff in the grand schemes of things, though very real.

    The heavy stuff is what really bores deep into our realms of crazy rage. This is the major stuff that we have usually been subjected to as children, or major assaults from people or situations through our lives. Sadly, it seems that most people alive today have experienced some form of abuse when they were kids- physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

    It is absolutely heartbreaking (AND INCREDIBLY ENRAGING THAT THE HUMAN SPECIES IS SO ABUSIVE TOWARDS CHILDREN AND EVERYBODY ELSE) that this is the reality of the world. This is how it seems to be, unfortunately.

    Sadly, most people have been victimized in some way. I know for myself, for pretty much my whole life until I read 'Healing Back Pain', I was on some level defined by the traumas that I had suffered as a child. I enjoy and have always enjoyed an adventurous and entertaining adult life, completely different from how I grew up, but still I would feel at my core that I was this kid who's mom died when he was three and a half and had a step-mother who treated him horribly until he finally fled and barely looked back.

    I never really thought of myself as a victim (and I definitely don't anymore), but still, before doing all of this great Sarno work I seem to have transformed from victim to victor.

    Now this is kind of crazy sounding, but along with genuinely aggressively talking to your brain that you are UNFORGIVINGLY TOTALLY 100% ENRAGED GUILT-FREE TOWARDS THE HORRIBLE PEOPLE WHO DID THESE ATROCITIES TO YOU, you may also need to transform these memories of abuse in your mind and create new ones, where you were once the victim, you genuinely become the victor. I think that this is the best extra addition that Howard Schubiner's books have to offer to the Sarno Method.

    In Howard Schubiner's books, these recreating of terribly enraging situations are quite gruesome and graphic, and I have shared one in my story already and really don't want to share too many more of these because, even though they are somewhat hilarious, I have my real name on this post and don't want somebody reading about themselves.....

    Anyways, we really need to in a big way talk about the BIG STUFF. And this is truly between US AND OUR OWN BRAINS ALONE!!! Nobody else's business unless you feel like sharing it all around.

    In regards to anytime that this work seems like HARD WORK? I have experienced this. I have felt my head hurting and have thought this is so much hard work talking to my brain.... REALLY? Hard work is pounding metal posts into bone dry rock hard rock soil- same goes for digging potatoes in this same type of soil. Hard work is rushing around making appointments and meeting everybody else's needs (while neglecting your own) until you collapse from exhaustion. Hard work is digging in dry rocky soil and taking rusty bolts off of a tire in 40 degree celsius weather and chasing wayward bulls for hours and digging outhouse holes and showing up at work 8-4, 5 days a week, commuting through any hellish traffic, for decades on end until you drop dead from exhaustion! That is HARD WORK.

    Talking to your brain about all of the shit in your life (or writing it out in a journal) isn't really actually hard work. If it really is, then maybe that is our brains trying to sabotage all of our efforts. Because really, with all of the hours in the days and weeks and months and years, what the heck else are we talking to our brains about? May as well do this work.

    Happy Healing
  11. Michael Coutts

    Michael Coutts Peer Supporter

    I just wrote this line in regards to people who have delivered us major abuses through our lives that we are 'UNFORGIVINGLY TOTALLY 100% ENRAGED GUILT-FREE TOWARDS THE HORRIBLE PEOPLE WHO DID THESE ATROCITIES TO YOU'.

    This is a rather harsh and big statement. It is pretty much a big admission of heaps of buried rage.... Think that as children , it is a very very very long haul of being small and powerless through crazy adult trips between home and school.... we are talking seeming never-ending hours/days/years through the long challenging gruel before we maybe have some sort of liberation- at least hopefully from the grips of anybody who has done us wrong.

    And of course we have all of the love from anybody who has given it to us and good times and maybe mostly excellent childhoods and school times. Sometimes it is a mix of good and bad, or mostly good and hopefully not too much bad.

    Sarno's methods of course, are not about focussing on the high points in life, but acknowlodging the existence of the low and very low points of life, and letting on that you know that they exist and you don't need any symptoms or pain whatsoever to distract you from knowing they are there.

    It is kind of like vanquishing demons.

    And with success with Sarno's methods comes feeling great physically which totally helps in way more enjoyment of life on earth- this great gift that really, only the bunch of us alive today, get to enjoy at this point in time. SO LUCKY TO BE ALIVE. and also SO FORTUNATE THAT JOHN SARNO DISCOVERED THESE INCREDIBLE HEALING METHODS TO HELP FOLKS FEEL SO MUCH BETTER DURING THIS LIMITED LIFE ON EARTH- HOORAY!!!!

    Now when I talk about total unforgiveness, I am talking completely and utterly about our SUBCONSCIOUS MIND. More specifically I'm talking about our ID, or our child self. As far as this whole thing goes, we are accepting that there exists within us a subconscious where things are brewing that we are not consciously aware (big surprise as this is not consciousness, it is subconsciousness).

    In our subconscious, we are not forgiving of people who have done us wrong. We have the potential to carry these abusive hurts with us to our graves.

    Our consciousness, on the other hand, can be totally forgiving and this is a good thing. Amazingly, I have found, that when I have totally and utterly talked my way through all of my buried rage about all of the abuses I have endured in life, I have found myself more forgiving and seeing people who have abused me in the past as not those same people. That doesn't mean that I want to hang out with them and hold hands. I have however found myself able to be in their presence without boiling over with barely controllable anger and sweat and shakes and head pounding. Things have been easier with these people- not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the power that I subconsciously thought they held over me is old news.

    In the subconscious, there is no sense of time. Something terrible that happens to us when we are seven or twelve years old is with us as fresh as day in our subconscious. At any moment any day any time we can flash back on some terrible traumatic thing that happened in our lives, and we can be experiencing it as it if it is happening right now.

    A few years back, a local rancher lady Mary Curnew invited us over to her place to pick up some rocks that she thought we might like. She was 92 at the time. The day she had invited us to her farm she walked down our driveway in the stinking hot plus 30's celsius summer heat, leaving her big diesel truck idling in the driveway and walking her tiny self down the driveway. After shooting the breeze for half an hour she had to go home to jump start her tractor to cut the mustard that was growing in her hay fields before moving the cows in from one field to another.... She said she'd prefer a nap (at 92!).

    Anyways, when we over at her place a few days later again shooting the breeze, there were shouts across the river of kids screaming and shouting while playing around. Mary said 'kids shouldn't shout'. I said, 'Oh really- why is that?' She said 'Because that's what my ma says' 'Well, maybe your ma was wrong' I said. And she looked a little bit and said 'Do you think so?'

    Maybe this isn't a mind-blowing scene but what I saw was this incredible lady who was once a rodeo champion in BC, who had raised who knows how many beef cattle at her historic ranch in Spences Bridge, totally acting out, in front of me, a scene from when she was a little girl. As she said her 'ma said kids shouldn't shout' she even looked like she was looking up at her mom from countless decades prior, totally reliving that scene right there. And for her, I'll bet it was as real and raw of a memory as the moment her mom was there- totally timeless.

    Sadly, Mary passed away in the past couple of years- in what is really quite a crazy whacky situation. In early 2021 she fell and hit her head and ended up in the hospital. She had been at her ranch for many decades. During the year that she sadly spent in the hospital, the local town of Lytton burned to the ground. This same fire kept riproaring until it hit our Nicola Valley one month later, causing plenty of damage up the valley. On November 15, 2021, the same flood that trashed our farm also totally trashed Mary Curnew's farm. Her home and farm house and many acres of her land got totally ripped from the earth, swallowed into the river and blasted away to the ocean or buried under earth. She sadly died in the hospital after this. As far as I know she didn't know what had happened to her farm.

    It is true that as wonderful as life is it is also totally heartbreaking. And Mother Nature can be one mean lady.

    So basically, we're talking about a sort of 'Divided Mind' situation. Even though we may consciously forgive somebody for their trespasses, we likely don't forgive them their trespasses in our subconscious. Once we can talk about the horrible rage that we imagine that our poor child selves are still experiencing, and talking to our brains that 'WE GET IT- WE ARE TOTALLY ENRAGED AT ALL OF THE TERRIBLE HORRIBLE ABUSES THAT WE HAVE ENDURED- IN CHILDHOOD AND BEYOND (be specific to each bad memory), DON'T GIVE US THESE SYMPTOMS.

    Our ID, our child self, obviously just wants to be acknowledged that they have endured some shitty situations and it was all wrong and there is no guilt or shame attached to feeling that the perpetrators were miserable S.O.Bs who did you wrong.

    It is obviously some heavy stuff. Again, it is only between a person and their brain. The conversation can completely end there.

    And you can indeed love and like people who have done you wrong on any level. And you often do. And of course anybody is forgivable. We can all learn to understand and empathize with what people were going through when they were cruel.

    This still doesn't change that fact that when a wrong was done to you, that memory exists in your subconscious, and it is still pissed off. Sad but true. We are strangely wired creatures. Anybody who doubts this just has to look around at every other person that they know.

    So can we both be unforgiving and forgiving? YES! And some folks believe in higher powers of forgiveness so there indeed is hope for everybody.
    BloodMoon and JanAtheCPA like this.
  12. lucieG

    lucieG Peer Supporter

    Thanks for all your thoughts. I can't tell you how helpful they are that you untangled this for yourself in the farming context. So relatable for me. I have been quiet but pondering your words.

    I had big pain flare-ups the last few days. I don't know whether it's because I overdid it outside trying to clear the trees and limbs that came down in the ice storm. Or my mind is playing tricks and just trying to prove to me I am confused about the source of the pain. In part because I feel imposter syndrome maybe? I had a good childhood (I keep digging there but I don't see much) and I can't identify any major trauma there. Growing up, I always marveled at how lucky I was. When you describe losing your Mom and how terrible it was to be around your step-mom for a little child, I can see how you need to talk to your child self so you look at the pain--and your strength-- squarely in the eye.

    I think my adult life has been much tougher than my childhood. But will working on "just" that help alleviate the symptoms? That's what I am questioning at this point. And it is not your issue to respond to. In fact I will post this in another forum so others might chime in with thoughts about this kind of emotional situation.

    I just wanted you to know the words you write had been read and valued. :)
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  13. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Heh, @Michael Coutts, I started this quote several days ago but didn't follow through and then I started responding on one of your other threads and never got back to this one! Not sure what I was going to say, I just really enjoyed your insight.

    Indeed, this is a powerful revelation for those who suffered from abuse.
    There is a whole body of work about forgiveness, and the primary theme seems to be that you can (if you want to) forgive the people who hurt you, because they didn't know any better and were themselves mentally and emotionally damaged. However, you do not ever have to forgive their behavior.
  14. Michael Coutts

    Michael Coutts Peer Supporter

    Just because your childhood wasn't as bad as others doesn't mean that you haven't accumulated buried rage throughout it.

    As bad as much of my childhood was there was plenty of positive stuff going on- people I loved and liked and summertime at my grandparents' farm and all of the good food I liked (aside from the lousy food). Childhood was actually mostly mountains of mundaneness through trudging off to school and back with all of the in betweens.

    It is very easy to find childhoods and adult lives that are far more hellish, and others far more ideal than your own- you just need to look around.

    By not living amidst war or famine it can be very easy to be thankful of the good fortune to not be experiencing that.

    Your subconscious brain, however, doesn't really give a shit if there are people who have it worse off than you. Your subconscious definitely can harbour plenty of buried rage for people who have it better than you, though.

    Even a good childhood still has plenty of enraging things about it. A kid with siblings that catches of whiff of their brother or sister getting any better treatment, however subtle, than them will definitely be burying rage. Especially if that sibling, or visitor, or neighbour, gets a bigger slice of the pie than them.

    Even any little pressures put upon kids is enraging- expecting them to keep a tidy bedroom or what to where or where to go- this is all enraging. Nobody ever at any time ever likes it when somebody is telling them what to do, and making plans and decisions for them. We may not be consciously aware of this, but you can bet that we are subconsciously aware of this. This all adds up to plenty of accumulative rage.

    Still, if your childhood was good- that is awesome! I am so thankful of all of the good childhoods out there- we are all so deserving of them. The best bet is to go forwards supporting all of the kids out there in the world and their parents in helping make childhood and adulthood a good, enjoyable time- something that all of us humans today truly deserve. Easier said than done.....

    If you're not finding much rage in your childhood right now to talk to your brain about, then move along from there (you can always get back there later). Remember, we have lifetimes of accumulated rage to talk to our brains about- that is a lot of hours and days and years worth of rage burying.

    If you have had (and keep having) plenty of challenges in your adult life, then by all means do your digging there. Probably a good place to start is what was going on in your life at the time that you started experiencing pain. Was there any dramatic or expensive decisions made in your life? Did somebody in your life get sick? Have new people moved into your life, and interrupted your routines? Have you bitten off more than you can chew?

    ALL FAMILY SITUATIONS ARE EMOTIONALLY LOADED. This is a Sarno quote that I wrote on our bathroom wall (really!) Family is probably the first place to start digging, because they're the ones whose lives we are most intertwined with. Family knows how to push all of our buttons (and us theirs!)

    Our partners in life can cause all sorts of buried rage - the people we love and choose to spend our time with. Our kids who we cherish so much and will do any sort of sacrifice for- they can (and do) drive us totally bonkers! It just happens. It is totally natural, and the only thing that you can do about it is TALK TO YOUR BRAIN. You can't change other people, it is hard enough to change yourself.

    I can only imagine how much buried rage I cause for my wife and daughter. I definitely encourage them to talk to their brains about me regularly, especially when I go off on rants (I have been guilty of this my whole life).

    Even though it is good to support your kids and partners in life to talk to their brains about you and you them, it isn't a good idea to ever share that you are actually doing this or tell them what about them you are enraged about or them about you. No matter how much you would agree with them that what you have done is enraging, or vice versa, nobody actually wants to hear what the other person thinks about them that drives them nuts.

    If you are cleaning up after a big storm that broke trees or flooded your house or whatever, no matter how physically exerting this work is, there is no doubt that you will be experiencing mountains of buried rage about this. This is definitely an easy chance for your brain to give you pain. Who the heck, without understanding about buried rage causing pain, wouldn't think that a bunch of hard work causes pain because of the sheer physical exertion? It is definitely no wonder that most everybody talks about their aches and pains and tears and twists in relation to some physical activity they did. This is very easy trickery from our sneaky brains.

    No matter how much you enjoy exercise or manual labour, it is best when it is totally on your terms. If you're digging a new garden in a spot where nothing was before and you were feeling inspired on a sunny day to dig this garden and can't wait to see the crops growing there, even if it is a bunch of work to make it happen, you will probably experience less symptoms than some crappy pile of work that nature or other people tossed down in your path (though it is still good to talk to your brain about digging this garden, especially when you find it is more work that you anticipated and it has started biting into your down time- like sitting around doing nothing with a bottomless cup of tea).

    Life is enraging. Having to earn money is enraging. Having to put others before yourself is enraging. Filling boxes of food for CSA customers is enraging (even if it makes us feel so good and proud). Getting out of bed is enraging (when it is so nice and cozy and outside is grey and cold). Holidays are enraging. Parties are enraging. Gatherings are enraging. (even if we like parties and holidays and gatherings, it is still enraging to do all of the work to make them happen, or to fit them into your already full life). Preparing delicious meals every day is enraging (even if we love it and pursue it as a life passion- sometimes you wonder why somebody hasn't in that moment put a pile of food in front of you instead of you cooking for them).

    If there is somebody close to you in your life who is in poor health- this is highly enraging- especially if extra demands are put on you (no matter how much you love that person). Caretaking is major rage creating.

    'The Mortgage it worked the hardest, it worked all week and sundays, it worked each holiday, it settled in among us, and it never went away'- a line from a truly heartbreaking song about when the farmer comes to town with his wagon broken down that Ry Cooder sings.

    John Sarno has printed a top notch list of 50 things that are super enraging to anyone, and it is a very good idea to study this list and think about which ones fit your situation.

    Keep talking to your brain and don't give up. Pay attention to anytime that your pain isn't there so you can catch it and say- SEE, Brain, you can't fool me, if there was actually something wrong with me now, then I would be feeling that pain. And I'm not.

    Just keep with it.
    BloodMoon and lucieG like this.
  15. lucieG

    lucieG Peer Supporter

    Who are you, where are you, @Michael Coutts ? Lightyears ahead for sure. What a coach! Everything you say speaks to me so vividly.

    = 100, makes sense.

    Thanks for the warning! LOL and love the bathroom quote! :))
    BloodMoon likes this.

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