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New to Forum Seeking Help and Healing

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Eliz65, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Eliz65

    Eliz65 Newcomer

    I am 54 and have struggled with what I believe is TMS/MBS since my early 30s. I have purchased several "self-help" books, but self-sabotage seems to be ingrained somehow as a barrier to making progress.

    In my early 30s I was told by a rheumatologist that I had "fibromyalgia." My first symptom had be unusual exhaustion. I would do an activity for example go to a horse clinic on the weekend and then feel like it took me an abnormal time to recover my energy. This happened more than once. I told my family dr. and he referred me to the rheumatologist. I did not know about trigger points, but I did have them when the rheumatologist pressed the "sore spots."

    I am a registered nurse and to make a long story short, I did not embrace or accept this diagnosis. At one point I was reduced to resting in bed. I was put on an anti-depressant etc. Because I worked in healthcare, I knew the medical community thought fibromyalgia was a bogus diagnosis for "crazy" women (I even sat at a dinner once next to a rheumatologist and had to listen to him talk about how he hated fibromyalgia patients...sigh).

    I did a lot of reading then, but did not find any information on TMS/MBS until about 2 or 3 years ago.
    I have managed my energy by not scheduling too much activity and knowing that if i did do something strenuous, I would "pay for it" and need rest days after.

    Fast forward to my recent life. I have been unable to get through a TMS book/program. I believe the root of my issues is emotional. Last year I became ill with an actual cytomegalovirus which gave me a pneumonia like illness and a "mono" syndrome. I was out of work on leave for about 2 months to recover. While on FMLA I decided that my nursing work was too stressful and the illness was a "warning sign" (most people when exposed to CMV would not get sick like I did unless they had an underlying immune problem which i did not).

    We decide to sell our home, I have not worked in about a year. My depression has returned, and I am back on wellbutrin (the only anti depressant that has worked for me).

    I have both of Dr. Schubner's books on ending pain and ending depression/anxiety, but something is "blocking"my healing. I live almost like someone with agoraphobia. So, I am seeking help. I realize I may need a psychotherapist. This led me to come here to see if I can find someone to see me over the internet/skype, etc.

    I still get the exhaustion and have depression/anxiety, other symptoms appear like wrist pain, back pain, muscle stiffness, etc. I try and ignore it and tell myself and my brain it is TMS/MBS and not an actual disease or deformity. That helps, but not as much as I want it to. Every time I think about going back to nursing, I feel such anxiety and panic, I decide it is impossible to go back. My last work place was pretty rough (we know healthcare is stressful work). But, I need to get healthy enough to engage with life again. I could go on. I know if you are on this forum too, you understand.

    This is my first post, I just want to introduce myself. I live in Texas have 3 grown children, 2 grands, and have been married to my husband for 34 years this December. I would love to hear particularly from anyone who has been successful with long-distance psychotherapy. I feel like I need a practitioner that specialized in TMS/MBS so they will "get me" and help me dig into why I can't seem to move forward with healing.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Eliz, and welcome. I believe - actually, I know - that this could be the right place for you, so I'm glad you found us.

    I can't answer your question about long-distance therapy, but hopefully someone will do so. I do have some thoughts, however.

    You are right to connect fibromyalgia with what we call TMS. Dr Sarno believed this. Dr Nancy Selfridge, MD, wrote "Freedom From Fibromyalgia" after she was healed, following Dr Sarno.

    And you correctly see that self-sabotage is inherent in this journey. It's not your conscious self doing this, of course - it's your still-primitive fearful brain, petrified that you might uncover the deep dark emotional stuff that it thinks it has successfully hidden from your conscious awareness all these decades. This is the biggest stumbling block for everyone on this journey. It's just matter of degree.

    You say you've never yet finished a program or even a book. So I'm going to ask you something, and for yourself, you need to answer this completely honestly: is it at all possible that each book or program was abandoned by you as soon as the topic of childhood issues were raised?

    Because I gotta take a big risk here, and be honest with you. There is a well-known link between fibromyalgia and childhood abuse.

    Finally, you are quite right to seek psychotherapy, because the level of resistance your brain is putting up is quite significant, so self-help is unlikely to be enough.

    That being said, you are already well-started on this journey in terms of self-awareness, PLUS you have taken a huge risk and shown a lot of courage right here today, PLUS asking for help is a good sign that know you deserve to heal.

    You can do this.
  3. Eliz65

    Eliz65 Newcomer

    Thank you so much for your reply. I am cautiously (ha) hopeful. It took me a long time to get online and look for a psychotherapist. So it is definitely progress.
    I don't recall any childhood physical abuse, but I do remember being bullied having a significant effect and my mother is for sure quite "exacting" in her approach to things. She was a reader of Dr Spock (as were many moms), and I do feel that my emotional needs were not met or validated. I don't know how to process them. I have found some relief with iRest meditation and am currently listening to Dr. Schubiners meditations on emotions etc.
    Just taking action also gives some hope and relief.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Childhood isolation is HUGE, because isolation and abandonment are KEY human issues. They are at the root of a lot of repressed emotions, because our brains need to protect us from them, since community is so essential to our survival. And bullying? Second time today I've addressed this, but I suddenly just made the connection between bullying and isolation! So there you are: if you were to only look at your experience of being bullied as a child (never mind emotional coldness from your mother), you've got both issues: the goal of the bully is to isolate the one being bullied, and that's bad enough, but what's worse is being abandoned instead of protected by your parents. Every child has the right to expect to be loved, nurtured, and protected, and when those essential elements are missing, the child will inevitably suffer a traumatic loss, which will have to be repressed by the brain as a matter of pure survival.
  5. Eliz65

    Eliz65 Newcomer

    That makes a lot of sense
  6. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

    I’m seeing this several days after you posted it, but I wanted to respond because it definitely resonates with me. I’m also 54 and while not diagnosed with fibro, I have been diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome by a physical medicine and rehab doctor (and co-diagnosed by me with TMS). :)

    I was fraught with terribly painful trigger points years ago. I still have them causing me discomfort and pain but they are far less painful and prevalent than they were. Overall my pain is far less but it still limits me. I stopped working after 4 years of pain. Even though my pain had already come down a lot by then (actually through Mindbody-based bodywork), I still found I couldn’t keep up with work (as an environmental consultant).

    I definitely went up and down with being depressed over my situation. It’s been 10 years now since I stopped working. My younger child went off to college this fall, so as empty nester I wondered if I’d be able to work. But every time I do a few things I realize I still am not up for it. I know people who say they just keep pushing through and don’t think about the pain when they know it’s TMS, and they’re able to function fully, and I get that, but I’m still blocked somewhere I think. Instead I do things I can manage on my own schedule (I’m almost done with my memoir about this whole journey— been working on it for almost 12 years!).

    Anyway, I seem to have difficulty digging deep into my own issues, too. I can’t tell you about long-distance therapy but I do know that the bodywork I got really helped me tap into the buried emotions that I otherwise couldn’t seem to access.

    If you want more info about my journey, I describe it in my personal website (https://healingfromchronicpain.com).

    Reading Sarno, Brady, Ozanich, Schubiner, etc. have definitely helped me, but I feel like I needed the bodywork to tap into my deeply buried repressed emotions (and there was definitely childhood stuff for me).

    Also, I know Sarno denounces physical therapy but this Mindbody-based approach really worked for me even though it works on the body. It taps into the fascial system that literally holds emotions in our bodies. I say this with confidence because I’ve experienced it myself.

    This doesn’t mean it’s not TMS. It’s just that I’ve found there are different ways to tap into the hidden emotions.

    Best of luck and feel free to contact me. Since I gave up my career job, my hope is that at least maybe I can help others by sharing my experience.

    Take care!
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I recently referenced an article about a book which contains the following - the book is by someone who does not reference TMS or Dr. Sarno, but it seems to me that it is entirely relevant for a number of people with TMS. The book is "The Body Keeps The Score" and the thread where I mention it is here: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/the-body-keeps-the-score.21864/ ("The Body Keeps The Score")

    "Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.

    "A secure attachment combined with the cultivation of competency builds an internal locus of control, the key factor in healthy coping throughout life. Securely attached children learn what makes them feel good; they discover what makes them (and others) feel bad, and they acquire a sense of agency: that their actions can change how they feel and how others respond. Securely attached kids learn the difference between situations they can control and situations where they need help. They learn that they can play an active role when faced with difficult situations. In contrast, children with histories of abuse and neglect learn that their terror, pleading, and crying do not register with their caregiver. Nothing they can do or say stops the beating or brings attention and help. In effect they’re being conditioned to give up when they face challenges later in life."

    (that last sentence is my emphasis)​
  8. healingfromchronicpain

    healingfromchronicpain Well known member

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