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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by joe12stories, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. joe12stories

    joe12stories Peer Supporter

    Hello. I hope I am posting in the right place. I just read Dr. Sarno's book and feel this is the answer I have been looking for for my chronic back pain. I have been applying his principles for 4 days now, and while I can already do things I wasn't able to do before without more pain (it's incredible!), I'm also finding it very painful still to do other things (i.e., sit for long periods without depending on my memory foam cushion for my sensitive tailbone, trying not to use the ice pack though I had to last night when the pain was simply too intense). I am very disciplined and ready to stare down the pain, but I don't know if I am supposed to be going cold turkey with regard to ice packs and seat cushions. I know not to get off of my medication cold turkey, and I plan to wean off of these, but I don't know what to do about things like the ice pack / heat packs / seat cushions. I've been able to sit at restaurants for the first time in years without my cushion, but last night I tried sitting on a hard chair for a while and I paid for it! I don't want to overdo it (I think I already did), but I also don't want to hold back on doing it right, and I have faith in this! Please help and thank you, everyone!
  2. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi joe,

    Welcome to the forum! Glad you've found Sarno and are beginning your healing journey! In terms of ice packs and seat cushions, thats very individual. Some do better weaning off, some do better going cold turkey. I went cold turkey because i wasn't in so much discomfort without them and it helped me re-condition myself, but others like to use them for a little relief as they're working through TMS healing. I like to think of these things as taking Tylenol for a fever...it won't solve the problem but can give some temporary relief if needed while you heal.
  3. joe12stories

    joe12stories Peer Supporter

    Thanks for a great and comforting answer! I almost always find that the truth is in the middle, but being a minimalist, I love the idea of cold turkey, tried it, and my back quickly informed me "not so fast!". (It's only been 4 days, and patience is not one of my virtues).

    One more area of confusion: shifting my attention from physical pain to an emotional issue (one of the 12 daily reminders) seems to be a catch 22, since thinking of an emotional issue brings the very stress that triggers and/or amplifies the back pain. I'm wondering how to break that vicious circle. Any thoughts? (And thank you so much for the quick response! I feel like I'm "home".)
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    One more area of confusion: shifting my attention from physical pain to an emotional issue (one of the 12 daily reminders) seems to be a catch 22, since thinking of an emotional issue brings the very stress that triggers and/or amplifies the back pain. I'm wondering how to break that vicious circle. Any thoughts? (And thank you so much for the quick response! I feel like I'm "home".)

    No... that's not quite correct. If we had fully processed all of our emotional issues (acted out on them, fought, f-kd,kicked and screamed) than we would have never needed TMS. It's because our brain has collectively told us 'you can't handle the truth' that we get the 'Help-a-long" of symptoms...to distract us from a perceived overload OR something really painful, embarassing, etc.

    I can assure you, having had a particularly rapid and thorough recovery that the advice to turn your thoughts to an unsavory topic when finding your attention is focused on the symptoms, is one of THE MOST important of the daily reminders.

    e.g. I had the great good fortune (sic) of being ripped off in a music business deal right as I began reading Sarno. Every time the pain came I fantasized about beating that man to a pulp. Now...was he the reason I had back pain? Of course not. I had a lifetime of anger,anxiety,resentment that had built up to a head and manifested in symptoms.....but the 'turn your thoughts' advice is about Reconditioning the Brain...letting it know you KNOW what it's up to and negating the need for a symptom....it's our way of telling it 'Thanks...I don't need your help...goodbye'

    Our 'goodist' 'adult' behavior is what got us here... the realization that we ignore a lot of stuff that pisses us off is part of the recovery.

    ...and I agree with mindbodyPT... you can Toss the ice,belts,etc as your confidence grows.

    congratulations. You're almost home free
    Gigalos and MindBodyPT like this.
  5. joe12stories

    joe12stories Peer Supporter

    Wow. I probably don't have to tell you how inspiring it is to hear someone who "gets you". I too am a musician (10 years of gigging came to an abrupt end with this back relapse) and your response has me pumped! I WILL gig again, so help me God!

    About the other night: I know turning the mind to an unsavory topic is exactly the point, but the accompanying anxiety (in this case the thought of being behind on my bills), got to the point that if I didn't take my nightly valium and lay on the ice for 15 minutes, my back would have gone into spasm, which is not an option. I got paralyzed with back spasms 19 months ago, it landed me in the emergency room, and I've been sidelined ever since. I will push myself through the pain but will not chance landing in the hospital again.

    So I did what I had to do (the valium and ice pack) and the next morning woke up ready to try again. And I will try again and again until my brain gets the point that I'm not giving up until the pain goes away, or until I die. I'm tired of this @#$%. I started returning to normal activity, but I see I cannot do it all at once.

    Like many with TMS, I overthink things. And I have trouble knowing when to push it, and when to stop and wait for the subconscious to catch up. I'm assuming that's what this is, as it's been less than a week, though I have for the first time hopes that this will subside... and quickly.
  6. joe12stories

    joe12stories Peer Supporter

    UPDATE! Baseball65 was right! I kept my mind focused on the unsavory topic, took the anxiety that came with it, and after 4 days of absolute agony, forcing myself to sit up in my chair and walk upright, lying down only when I felt I might spasm. And sure enough, days 5 through 9 saw the pain reside to the point where it is now (I haven't lied down all day for the first time in 19 months!!!) which is still painful, but definitely not as painful as last week. I'm definitely on my way back to you, world. Get ready. It's been 19 months... and I'm piiiiiiiiiiissed!
    Aziz and MindBodyPT like this.
  7. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yeah... that stuff can get pretty piled up.

    The more 'mature' we act , not responding to other people's stuff, the more we tend to repress. I have talked myself into liking Jobs I hated, putting up with people I can't stand and being inert in situations where I really want to take bold action to stop DUMBness. In fact, that last one causes anxiety.... sometimes I do act or say the bold thing and then I get mad at myself.

    Once again, the awareness is the key.

    Scribbling down their offenses both real and perceived is important... it might make you a bit of a churl for a minute, but in the long run you're actually helping those people by becoming healthy and more effective.

    Also, if you go through your life (significant others, co-workers, neighbors, the govt , family, finances) and make a list of all of the ways they Piss you off you can start to get an Idea of how much stuff you have been holding in. Every time I have had a little relapse, it is because that list was growing while I was unaware being a "nice guyTM"
    Aziz and DaveBrad like this.
  8. Aziz

    Aziz Peer Supporter

    That is awesome to hear! Well done Joe12stories! I acknowledge the bravery it takes to face the fear of the physical pain. And to go into uncomfortable or scary emotions.

    I love what you're sharing Baseball65.

    If I notice a twinge of pain in my body, and my mind goes, "have I been lifting too much? Is it my bed?" I smile at that conditioned response.

    And I know I need to go to my journal (a locked file on my computer) and sit down and rant at everyone close to me in my life.

    I write about my children, my wife, my clients, my family. I express all the stuff I suppress/repress on a daily basis to be a loving, patient father, etc.

    It sure does get backed up. In order to be healing my first TMS symptoms (which started back when I was 15), I am finding I need to go back and write out/reflect on all the pain and anger I was repressing back then as a teenager.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  9. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    DUDE! That is awesome! You and I must be living parallel lives.

    Except for being a little hyper and childlike in my excitement about small things like guitars, skateboards and Hamsters... I am generally considered 'the stable one' in the environs of Family, Friends. People call ME for counseling type stuff about business, family and sobriety issues. I find it a bit amusing because In spite of my calmed down exterior I feel like a torrent of emotion sometimes.... BUT Writing it down and staying aware of it has kept me from acting out on it for a number of years. I go to that 'secret file' and use the 4th step format (from the 12 steps) and let it fly, so to speak....It also keeps TMS at bay.

    I list who I am angry with, irked with, raging at..sometimes it is just an idea....

    I list what it affects in me (Self esteem, security, Pride, personal/sexual relations, ambitions, money)

    THEN I know what it is I am really angry/irked about. LATER I come back to it and see where I have been selfish,self seeking,dishonest,fearful and also where I am to blame.

    If I have caused any harm THEN I apologize, repair, amend.

    The longer I have kept up this practice, the milder the 'results' of my anger/rage have been. It is usually just me believing in some blue pill or red herring falsehood. I "forgot who I am' is a common truth. Also "That person treats everyone like crap...who am I to think I was immune?"

    When I notice the twinge in my body, it usually means I have NOT been regular or honest in the 'secret file' and it is time to hit some paper! Many times when the twinge comes I Laugh out loud because it is soooo obvious what is irking me.


    Last night I was moving boxes into our new House with the GF(twinge...'responsibility') . My ex-wife had called earlier to offer her help (twinge...'go away') while I was moving in the boxes, my GF walked the property and started enumerating things I needed to do to upgrade the exterior (twinge... 'give it a F-ing rest'). I unloaded all of the boxes myself (Twinge... 'grab a box princess'). Later, my GF found out of my ex-wives magnanimous offer of help and got pissed (Twinge... "I can't control her")
    I have spent the last few days looking for a new vehicle for my GF (without her knowledge) and trying to wrangle the finances (General twinge). As I left last night the GF told me she needed money to get her hair done for a huge business meeting on Wednesday (Twinge... "you always look the same after your haircuts.... I am saving money to buy an F-ing Car for you!!!"

    Then My son calls and needs new shoes. My client doesn't want to pay for a job done properly. My business partner keeps promising people completion dates we are not staffed to make (Lying).My Mom is moving in with us and needs to be looked after..... I just want to go home and play guitar by myself....maybe read "lord of the rings" for the 57th time?

    THAT is what TMS is made of... and all those twinge's were God tickling me to remind me to check in.

    Ewok likes this.

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