1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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New guy - the journey begins (albeit without any rudder)

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by sinky2, Apr 30, 2023.

  1. sinky2

    sinky2 Newcomer

    Anyway, you don' t have to read this. I wish I could express myself better, but it's all just a mess.

    man, I'm sitting here trying to figure out what to wrtie to relate and it just goes in circles. I try to tell myself "start at the beginning" but like Scotch tape left in a hot car, I can't find the start of the strip.

    There were a few events before.."the slide" but the fall started right at the beginning of covid - not because of Covid. Lost my best friend, Franklin, a Corgi/Alsatian mix. then covid, and all the stuff we all deal with
    and that tweak that may happen once every 2-3 years for a weekend became this vortex of constant pain where only spike of severe pain kept it from being a complete uniform grey.
    It sucks b/c I've always been one to suffer through in various activities...I suppose that's where a lot of my internalized value for the team was, there are stronger or faster or more skilled at whatever...but I could keep going...regardless
    but this time I can't and I feel gone
    I realized the last 2-3 years, I can't remember them well - just this haze

    I read the books, but I'm not sure where to start there either.
    and I feel like an ass b/c the books also talk about people looking for a quick "do this" fix.
    but then I try to forgive myself going "yeah, but maybe that, itself, it part of the process"

    and that just vibrates back and forth and I still can't figure out how to start...just like the beginning of this message

    so here I am with Newman, a 2 year old corgi, who just broke a toe and is in a split and cone for 6 weeks -- he hobbled out when we went for potties and he limped over to his ball...I feel for that, I feel like that

    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @sinky2 and welcome. And - you have nothing to apologize for! In fact, this is actually a terrific introduction, and believe me, I've seen a lot of intros over the years. The first thing I really like about your story is that it is emotionally so honest. The second is that you have almost no detail about your physical symptoms, and Bravo for that! This is actually a fantastic start, believe it or not. You are already several steps ahead.

    And we have a program for you! It's the Structured Educational Program (on the main tmswiki.org site), it's free, and it doesn't even require any kind of registration. It's organized into "Days" that are easy to incorporate into your daily life, giving you time to also discover new resources and practice new techniques as you come across them. One resource is to go to our Success Stories subforum and read a story or two every day for inspiration. The stories will also illustrate how this journey is different for everyone - in other words, there is no one way, there is no perfect path, and there is no known outcome.

    Learning to accept uncertainty is an important component of emotional growth and developing equanimity. You mentioned the pandemic - so let's acknowledge that probably the most overwhelming experience for ALL people, even if they were not personally touched by the illness, was massive world-wide uncertainty, right? Which is why we have been experiencing a massive world-wide mental health crisis ever since. And unfortunately, uncertainty about the future continues, encompassing a lot more than COVID. The world isn't going to change - but we can totally change our response.

    Anyway, the SEP is the place to start. I've got my own advice on how to most effectively do the program, which I have posted so often I finally got smart and saved it in my notes app.

    First learn to calm yourself and listen to your negative brain, which I wrote about just yesterday:
    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/day1-knee-and-leg-pain-thigh-pain-weak-arm.26936/#post-140140 (Day1 - knee and leg pain, thigh pain, weak arm)

    And on doing the SEP, I've written the following:
    The most important advice I can give you about doing the SEP is to take it slowly, and do not let your brain urge you to race through it. One or maybe two sessions per day, along with some time to read posts here on the forum, is enough. Three or four "days" per week is fine. Trying to get through the SEP quickly will NOT result in faster healing, I can assure you. Take it seriously and give the information time to sink in.

    Above all, when you get to the writing exercises, do them with a commitment to be 100% honest with yourself. Your fearful TMS brain will try to convince you that you can ignore things that come up - do not let it do that, and write them down anyway, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. You'll keep your "lists" for a short while so that you can write about the topics, but you don't need to keep anything after that. They call it "journaling" but it's not actually keeping a journal. By throwing it away, you can give yourself the freedom to write whatever comes up from your unconscious repressed emotions and memories, without editing it.

    As I personally experienced when doing the SEP, it's important that you do not skip over something as "not important", because even small things from our childhoods have significance for various reasons. Finding those things and relating them to your role in the adult world, especially your current stress, is the goal. Once I got over my brain's resistance to writing down certain things, I did not uncover anything shocking or horrifying from my childhood - but I did figure out how my lifelong anxiety developed, and I was able to identify times when I felt isolated due to the way my childish protective brain interpreted childhood experiences and family dynamics. Isolation and abandonment are big issues when we were small, and they still are to the small child that still exists inside of us. Even if we weren't at all neglected as children, we experience that fear under the most benign circumstances, because that's how we are wired as humans.

    At a certain point, often about a week or so into the program, your brain is quite likely to start throwing new symptoms at you, or revive old ones, or make your current symptoms worse. This is good news, so do not be discouraged! Take a short break from the program, but double down on self-calming and affirmative techniques to talk back to your brain and assure it that you are perfectly safe and it's okay to be doing this.

    Practice self-compassion, look into mindfulness practices, and feel free to check in with this community at any time. That's what we're here for!​

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