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

need a little reassurance

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by eskimoeskimo, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Hi All,

    Being vertical, and sitting especially, bring on my neck pain. For a few days now, I've been combatting this condition more aggressively. For years, I think I've subtly avoided true commitment on this point... I break up my 'vertical' time with little 'horizontal' breaks on the couch or bed, or take walks (which I'm less anxious about than sitting still for extended periods). So, it hurts. A lot. And, as you all know... the pain sensation is just a small portion of the horror of the pain experience. But this is what I need to do right? It's normal for a person to go about their day mostly vertical eh? Sitting for a few hours here, walking there, etc? I think I associate every vertical moment with added weight on my 'degenerating' discs and therefore future pain. Avoidance has not worked. I'm just going to push through. It sucks. But so what? This is part of TMS treatment right?
  2. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    The pain scares me every time. I think the two strongest fears are: 1.) this is permanent 2.) this is having a huge effect on my brain and my personality
  3. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    And I guess it's no surprise that it feels exactly how I don't want it to feel. That's the point. My job is not to enjoy it, it's just to 'under react' and sally forth ?
  4. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Resisting giving into the pain makes me feel guilty, because it's like I'm ignoring a warning sign from my body that something is wrong. But it's a faulty signal right? I can't believe how hard it is.
  5. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Is it that I need to go through the worst of it to get to the better? Like exposure therapy? It just seems like I keep upping the ante. Am I fooling myself that this is going to lead to some breakthrough? Am I just torturing myself by subjecting myself to the pain all day, or is this how to heal?
    Tassie Devil likes this.
  6. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    For me recovering from TMS has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I had to go through the pain to show my brain that I knew there was nothing wrong with my back and that the pain could be ignored/accepted.

    When I first started, I paced my sitting with a stopwatch starting at 5 minutes, increasing 10% a week. After sometime (about six months) I gained confidence from the pacing and then one day I went for a 6 hour car journey to really challenge myself. I reached about 4 peaks of pain, went through as calmly as I could, knowing it would not kill me. Also there was no way out of the car journey at that point, so I had to face it. It was a turning point because I could see that the extreme pain had a limit - it helped me cope.

    Since then I can do much more before any peaks of pain, progressing all the time. When I got the peaks I found it helped to connect with my breath to slow it down, kindly reassure myself about the nature of the pain, do a body scan and try to relax all the tense muscles. Also I got in touch with the emotions at the time which was fear of the pain itself. Claire Weekes's book Peace from Nervous suffering helped a lot with the fear of the pain, helping me to accept any symptoms that came along while I was challenging myself. Now I don't fear the pain as much, it still hurts but I accept it and know that eventually I will overcome it.

    Facing the pain will lead to a breakthrough because you will realise there is nothing physically wrong with you. The pain will subside and you will still be sitting. This is what helped me strengthen my belief in TMS, and it will strengthen yours too.
    Tassie Devil likes this.
  7. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Thank you birdsetfree. It actually makes me feel better when you say 'hardest thing I have ever done'.... not bc I'm want it to be hard for you too, but because it helps assure me that I'm on the right track. The pain and anxiety and disorientation get so bad that I'm tempted to say 'this can't be right, this is just torture.' But as long as it's the way forward/through, I can face the challenge of the 'hardest thing I have ever done.'

    How did you bolster your confidence in the toughest times? Were you able to still say 'I will get better' even when it was at its worst? And how did you nurture patience? It's difficult to not ask for relief 'now!', proof 'now!'

    Also, where are you in your recovery? Your success story mentions improved acceptance... but also reduced pain?
    Tassie Devil likes this.
  8. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    When I realised that my disappointment/devastation with setbacks was feeding my symptoms/TMS (after reading Claire Weekes on this topic) I made a decision to accept the pain as part of recovery and to not linger on disappointment for too long. I really started to become aware that the pain correlated very strongly with situations where I was not speaking up for myself when I needed to, and conditioned responses, for example sitting etc.

    I would look back at my progress and tell myself to just keep going and also to repeat the activity that had been associated with the pain but approach it more mindfully. I would then find that the next time around was less painful. In the beginning I would also use meditation to calm down my nervous system and yoga helps with this too.

    I would also go and do some vigorous exercise (Tracey Anderson, Cathe Freidrich Dvd) or yoga and this would quite rapidly bring down the pain too. This is definitely building my confidence daily, and yes, acceptance is leading to a life with much reduction in pain! It is so worth it, and after 15 years of excruciating, disabling pain I am free!

    I watched a two and a half hour movie with my daughter recently, go out to dinner regularly, went out the house for six hours to pick up a kitten, but mostly my preoccupation with pain is gone. Do I get pain with these activities? sometime, yes but I don't care. It doesn't frighten me anymore.

    As long as I can see I am moving forward I don't feel the need to rush my recovery because I had no life before at all. Even when the pain is at its worst I refuse to doubt TMS because I know that its working from my evidence that I kept track of.

    The patience came with the hope being offered by Dr Sarno and the success stories of people similar to me that were cured.
    Tassie Devil likes this.
  9. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Thank you birdsetfree, your post is inspiring and brought me a lot of comfort. So, do you apply Claire Weekes' protocol to the pain, or just to the anxiety about pain?
  10. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Claire Weekes' method has helped me with the acceptance of symptoms (pain, fear, fight or flight response) when challenging myself and seeing it through to "the other side" i.e. staying in the activity thats bringing on the symptoms but "facing, accepting, floating (not fighting), and letting time pass". Also another quote from the book "understanding must stand beside acceptance. I know this sounds simpler than it is in practice, but I assure you once again that it will not fail if you persevere with it."
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a really good exchange of postings about TMS pain and progress toward healing.
    I think we can apply Claire Weekes' techniques to any situation. If we do what we fear, we win. We conquer our fear and it gives us courage and strength to live happier and healthier.

    Here are a few famous people's thoughts on fear. Even the rich and famous know fear and how to handle it:

    Oprah Winfrey: “The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power.”

    Jake Gyllenhaal: “Do you know what fear stands for? False Evidence Appearing Real.”
  12. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    E.E, you've been here a while now so I assume you've been checked out by the medical machine for anything serious like "cancer, fracture, or infection", things that should be treated. If they didn't find anything (or did they?), then you are free to think TMS is the cause. Dr. Sarno says you can't hurt yourself, sitting, standing, lying in bed or in a car seat. Dr. Sarno writes much about DDD and says it's NOT the cause of pain except in VERY rare cases. Dr. Sarno says the body is MUCH stronger then we as a culture give it credit for because most of us sit at a desk or do very little that requires using our bodies anywhere near their potential. You need to believe ALL this to have the confidence and the courage to test your boundaries. Where is the hang-up?
  13. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    T.T., I have been through the mainstream medical machine. They never found anything notable. One doctor out of 20 said something about DDD, and one said something about arthritis. I think they were both 'reaching' as I had gone so long without anybody pointing either of those things out. Albeit, it's been a while since I've been 'inspected' and it might do some good to have another look-see for the serious stuff. Also, I've never been looked at by a TMS doctor, which is something I'm thinking about now (and would do more immediately if it weren't for some insurance issues. Damn California).

    I'm trying hard to embrace the 'sitting is harmless.' I thought that was something I'd already embraced, but I'm realizing I still have a lot of hang-ups. I think about posture a lot, and worry that I'm doing damage that will cause me more problems down the line. I know both of these ideas are unfounded. I'm not doing anything unusual and my posture is fine. I look around the coffee shop and see that nobody is diligent about posture... in fact they're all sitting in ways that I would be anxious about if I were doing the same. Now, to get message --> brain. Come in, brain.

    Thanks as always TT,
  14. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    If you've been checked out by 20 docs and they didn't find anything that's a modern miracle! Why do you think there's something physical wrong with you then? I would not recommend getting anymore physicals unless there's a new condition. I saw a TMS doc and it was about $500 out of pocket, it's a pittance compared to what TMS costs in loss of life and lively-hood. Why leave your health in the hands of Jerry Brown for a few hundred bucks? All the issues you've brought up are boiler-plate TMS in all the books, just keep reading and start believing. Bad posture is BS and once again you can't hurt yourself, sitting, standing, lying or in a car seat unless your racing at Indy and hit the catch-fence. Watch some X-games and MMA boxing and see how much abuse the body can withstand.
  15. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    That's a great point. How did I get to this point where I think sitting is dangerous and everything's achey. The answer must be anxiety, depression, anger, and obsession. Nothing has happened, there's been no injury. Kids don't think about this stuff. They bounce off the walls. I have so much de-programming to do. The tough part, obviously, is that the fear response is so automatic. I sit to do homework, the aches start, and after few hours I'm a mess... confused, upset, frustrated. Y'all know
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  16. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    De-conditioning is what you have to do--challenge and break the old patterns.
  17. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I think I have to remember that de-condition isn't going to feel nice. It's going to suck until it doesn't. I get stuck thinking that every minute of pain is another minute that my brain is solidifying the pain experience. But, it's about how I react to the pain right? I can make progress while it sucks?
    Tennis Tom likes this.

Share This Page