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Need some help!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Natalie Kovak, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Hello all,
    I am new to this forum. I just started the "Unlearn Your Pain" program. I have chronic daily facial pain, head/skull pain, and ear pain. My pain level changes throughout the day, but it is always there. I am wondering if people can give me advice. I am having trouble with keeping the negative thoughts away, that my pain will never go away. That I will be one of the people dealing with TMS that takes forever to get better, or never will. I can't help but have those thoughts when I am doing my TMS work. I think because I have had SO MANY things fail already that I've tried. I have been reading Dr. Sarno's book for the last few weeks. And I am on DAY 4 of Unlearn your pain. I think I am having very high expectations that I should start feeling a difference. When I try to use the self-talk methods when my pain flares up, I am hoping to see it go down some and it doesn't. This does not help my faith. Can you tell me how you dealt with these issues? Any success stories? Thank you very much!
  2. CMA

    CMA Peer Supporter

    Hi Natalie
    Welcome here. I think many of us have gone through and are going through what you are experiencing. Take it slowly. Take some time to do the daily program that Dr Sarno recommends. There is a whole section of success stories and Thank You Dr. Sarno project that you should look into as its very encouraging. The healing will be gradual but your pain will surely go away. This is a great support group so post here when you have a question or just to float some thoughts. Good luck in your healing journey.
  3. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Thank you for responding! I have Dr. Sarno's "Divided Mind" book, his most recent. Have you read that one? Is there a daily program in all of his books? I know Dr. Schubiner's book guides you through daily activities to work on. I just want to make sure I can do as much as I can and I am doing it right! Thanks again for the advice. My pain is terrible today and am hoping to feel some relief.
  4. CMA

    CMA Peer Supporter

    Hi NAtalie
    Have you read the mind body, I believe that lists a program. HAve you looked into the structured education program here on the wiki. That may be a good thing to start too.
  5. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    No I haven't read the Mind Body. Is that by Sarno? I will look into the structured education program today! Thank you again. Trying to stay positive.
  6. CMA

    CMA Peer Supporter

    Yes it is by Sarno. Do read the success stories also.
  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Natalie,

    Like you I experience facial pain, which has constellated in my jaw. It also fluctuates and is pretty much always there BUT I have found it worsens when my life is stressful and eases when all is calm. It's moved around a bit. Sarno addresses these factors.

    I believe women are more vulnerable to facial pain and tmj, most likely because of the social pressure and value placed on our looks. Undeniably harsh but unconsciously we internalise so much it makes perverse sense. While we can't address social ills we can face the emotions that lie beneath for us personally.

    My best advice is to be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself time to read Sarno, and to let the wisdom settle and deepen. If fear and/or anxiety are playing a huge role then please look at the work of Claire Weekes. Countless people are indebted to her for her compassionate wisdom. She explains a lot about the normal workings of the nervous system that can freak you out if you don't realise what it is.

    The beautiful thing is you are here and while I only joined this forum a few days ago, I feel myself to be amongst friends. It's early days for you. Give yourself time to fully acquaint yourself with the information, soothe yourself and relax all time frames. There are so many people here who will support you.

    All the best sweetheart.
    Karen likes this.
  8. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Wow, plum thank you for responding. I actually started to cry when I read your post, because I have been think a lot of my past and present and all the childhood experiences that may be responsible for the emotions that I have suppressed. But last night for some reason I started to think about my personality, and how I am an extremely self-conscious, low self esteem person. A lot of this probably has to do with how I grew up. But, your sentence regarding social pressure on our looks and the development of facial pain, it really stuck me. Thank you for reaching out and reminding me that I am amongst friends and support. I hope you are doing well today.
  9. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bless you Natalie.
    You're a sensitive soul and your love of animals demonstrates a large heart and someone who cares. You remind me of my beloved aunt. She was beautiful and a natural healer whose home was ever a refuge for the broken-winged bird or cantankerous goat or stray cat. They gravitated to her.

    You must cherish this about yourself. Work through your emotional pain. I am doing this too, and know that while it feels like it is breaking you, it is in truth widening your potential, seasoning your gifts, strengthening your courage.

    My angel, Eric Watson who posts here, sometimes calls us his warriors, and we are. Warriors of the heart, Warriors of the Soul.

    It will work out.
    The pain will pass.
    And consider what an amazing healer you will be for walking through the fire.
    Leslie likes this.
  10. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Hi Natalie
    You are truly among friends here. As you look through the various posts in the forum you will very happily and sadly discover many people here who feel as you do about many, many things.

    The quote above from one of your earlier posts in this message jumped right out at me as the "standard" perfectionist approach to everything we (yes, myself very much included) attempt. This was exactly my attitude when I found TMS and this website. I truly felt I had finally found my answer (and I had) so I was going to give it everything I had to give. The trouble with that, which took me quite a while to realize, is that "doing as much as I can and doing it right" is EXACTLY what got me into this mess to begin with. I thought that reading and researching and journaling as much as I possibly could would end the pain so the more and faster I did it, the quicker the pain would stop. Such is not the case with TMS. All that self-imposed pressure (and corresponding guilt/shame when we don't meet the extraordinary expectations we set for ourselves) will actually perpetuate the pain.

    This is one area where you will be best served by doing the exact opposite of whatever your "natural instinct" approach is to a "task" or 'to do' list. Definitely read, but read the way you would if you were on vacation, not the way you would a textbook assignment for a class. Same goes with the SEP, I highly recommend it, it's very effective but again, do it as time permits, not as a ritual, it's not like a daily medication that must be taken every 24 hours to be effective, much healing happens in between the lessons. Approach this as a vacation, a relaxing journey of discovering a new and fascinating person (YOU). No pressure, no schedule, no deadlines, no clock-watching. Just sun, sand, warm breezes and laughter!
    Happy Healing. Remember, pain and laughter cannot exist simultaneously!
    CMA and Karen like this.
  11. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Hi, Natalie,
    I hope this will encourage you. In November and December, I had terrible pain in my buttock, sciatica, and back then my neck became stiff.
    I was a mess. I kept thinking I am going to have to leave work and am I ever going to walk again without having to sit after two minutes.

    I was really getting depressed and very disillusioned. Then I found this sight and started corresponding with various members. This really

    The turning point for me was in Dec. when I read Fred Amir's book Rapid Recovery from Neck and Back Pain and also Dr. Brady's
    book, I think it is called Pain Free Living. I read Fred's detailed account of his healing over and over again. I started doing a lot of
    visualization. I would imagine myself fighting with my subconscious and winning. I would be really fighting with the subconscious.
    I even thought this is ridiculous but it worked. I started to catch every negative thought and said no that not true. I would not allow
    myself to think anything negative about the pain. It was hard work to catch every thought. This seemed to really help also.

    Then, instead of asking my daughter to get my computer or carry something to the second floor. I stopped asking her and started
    doing it myself believing there was nothing structurally wrong with me. Doing things for myself and acting like I was well definitely
    eased the pain.

    Then, I stopped paying so much attention to the pain. It use to take up every waking moment, that is all I would think about. I
    forced myself to get back into life and not to fear the pain. The less attention I gave the pain, the pain decreased. When I was using
    hot water bottle, sleeping flat, and doing all these things to try to ease the pain The pain only got worse. I still get pain but it is
    significantly less and I never thought it would be less. I can walk without sitting. Stand in the shower without pain. I still have a
    ways to go but it does not interfere with my life anymore. So, please be encouraged. If my pain decreased, so can yours.

    I also did a lot of self talk like I am safe and I love my life. I am still working on journaling which I think is very helpful.
    And I still use visualization, seeing myself in my imagination doing activities I have pain doing, seeing myself doing them
    without pain. I do this over and over again. This was extraordinary helpful. Fred Amir in his book really teaches you how to
    do this.

    I hope some of these things really encourage you. I assure you, your pain will decrease and you will get back your life.
    Enjoy all the wonderful people on this site.
    Karen likes this.
  12. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Hi Natalie! I am new also. I can relate so much to what you wrote. The people here are so considerate. The posts and advise are awesome. There is so much information that it can all spin your head even worse when we try to hurry. I want my pain gone NOW. I don't want to wait. I want to cry and write out a few negative things on paper and be totally healed...tonight!!! Lol .....but I know I have got to do the work, and it's going to take time.

    I am just so glad you're here with us. Keep reading and listening to these wonderful TMS guru's!! Best wishes to you! Hug!
  13. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Wow- I feel so much compassion and support! I actually was not expecting my thread to be followed up so strongly, I guess I wasn't sure what to expect. Thank you everyone for the encouragement! I really appreciate the advice, Leslie you are right this is exactly my personality and I'm sure all of yours too- do as much as possible and perfectly, a "list" to check off. I will work on Not looking at it that way and instead looking at it as a slow work in progress, and try put less pressure on myself. That is something I need to work a lot on, less pressure, not such high expectations.
    G.R. thank you for sharing your story. I am going to try to do some self visualization. Dr. Shubiner's mediation C.D. also has you think about visualizing yourself doing things without pain! I get emotional just thinking about it. I am so happy to hear that you are improving! And I hope the process continues for you. Can I ask how long it took to see your pain start to decrease? I know this is different for everyone.
    Karen I am so glad you are here as well! We are on our way right? Thank you for your words of encouragement as well.
    I've only been a part of this site for a couple days, and I already feel so comfortable. It is so unbelievably reassuring and nice to know there are people out there who can understand chronic pain and who support this theory. I am grateful.
  14. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    I had pain a little last summer but very little then in Sept. and Oct. the pain increased a little but Nov. and Dec., it was at its worse.
    By January of 2013, it was definitely getting better. I use to have these electric currents going through my legs. I do not have that at all.
    I also use to have pain throughout the night. I do not have that at all. That is pretty recent maybe a month and a half since that has
    totally gone. I don't have sciatica pain any more but I have some lower back pain that I am working on, especially when I get up from
    a chair. I also need to work on when I am in a store usually clothes shopping I get pain. I think that is more conditional because I
    am expecting it. I try not to get discouraged but so some self talk and keep going with the pain.

    May I ask you what exactly have you used of Dr. Shubiner's. Is the meditation CD online or did you purchase it with his book.
    Also, did you do Dr. Shubiner's program online? Or did anyone do it online? I would love some feedback about this.

    Thanks and Enjoy Your Life,
  15. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Hi G.R.,
    Thanks for responding. I first started reading Dr. Sarno's "Divided Mind" book a few weeks ago, maybe a month, actually my boyfriend was reading it too me because it was difficult for me to read with my pain. As I started to believe in it and see myself in the words, I did some online research and found Dr. Schubiner's website, listened to some of his posted videos. My dad then ordered me his book, "Unlearn Your Pain," which includes the meditation C.D. I already had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Strack's in Chicago, who is a TMS practitioner. When I went to see him he invited me to join his 4 week class, once a week, that actually uses Dr. Schubiner's book in conjunction. So it was lucky I had the book already. I just had my first class on Tuesday night, and I'm only on day 5. There is reading and then workbook stuff to do daily. But again, you are not suppose to put pressure on yourself, if you don't get it all done that day that's ok, "Be kind to yourself!" Sometimes my personality gets the best of me and I start to worry that I should be doing other things too on top of the book and C.D. like some other things you all mention. I try to remind myself throughout the day the 12 things Dr. Sarno states. Maybe as the book continues I will run into more things that I can work on, like self-visualizations and other methods. Let me know what you think! Hope this helps!
  16. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are in good hands with Dr. Stracks. He really knows his stuff, and it is great to hear that you are going to his lectures.

    This is an amazing thread! Leslie's advice about taking things at your own pace is some of the best advice out there. Remember, there is no perfect way to go about TMS recovery, only a way that works best for you. As you continue to recovery you will figure out what things really resonate with you. Whatever approach you go with, the most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself. This is something that has taken me a while to do, but has had a very positive effect on my overall health. Read G.R.'s story over and over again. There is really something to what he says about identifying when we are having negative thoughts and turning them into positive ones. Doing this will really help you reduce the amount of tension you have.
  17. Sheree

    Sheree Well known member

    Leslie - its always good to read your posts. You have such an insight to all things TMS and a great understanding of yourself. I know you don't like to think of yourself as a TMS guru - but you are to me! Its also lovely to hear from G.R. I can totally relate to what you said about thinking about the pain every waking moment, and to think you have got so much better is wonderful to hear.
  18. Natalie Kovak

    Natalie Kovak Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much Forest! I really appreciate the encouragement and advice. This is still very new to me, but it really helps when there are people out there willing to lend an ear and support. I felt alone for a long time with my pain, because most of my family and friends are extremely supportive and concerned, but know one truly understands chronic pain unless they have it. Forest did you go to see Dr. Stracks? I really like him.
  19. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I did not actually see Dr. Stracks. I actually never saw a TMS practitioner. I really just interacted with people on the forums. Of course, I had been going to various doctors all me life.

    I met Dr. Stracks at the TMS conferences, and have worked with him with the PPDA. He has also helped us out with the Q&A with an Expert program. As someone who has had TMS before, he really understands what it is like to have chronic pain. I am glad you are having success with him.

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