1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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on the brink, last try

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by eskimoeskimo, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Bingo. Amen. Hallelujah. With a cherry on top (an actual cherry, not that dimetapp-soaked maraschino crap).

    eskimoeskimo and TG957 like this.
  2. lazydaisy

    lazydaisy Peer Supporter

    Have you made an evidence sheet? This really helps me when I doubt TMS as a diagnosis, because, like you, I'm sceptical by nature. But what Steve said above would be TOP OF MY LIST.

    You have got rid of the pain once, even if it just moved.

    I had about 5 glorious pain-free minutes after discovering TMS. I have yet to recreate them (my pain is much reduced, but it only totally disappeared that one time), but in 17 years of unremitting pain, I never once had a reprieve (except on morphine, which is another story). So I KNOW it's TMS, because it's the only thing that has ever worked, even temporarily.

    The fact my symptoms get so much worse when I see family - proof.

    I don't have my sheet with me, but once I sat down and thought about it, I had lots of proof it was TMS. I wonder if this approach could help you too. Good luck.
  3. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Eskimo has been around the block--my assumption is that he has done many, if not all, of the recommended journaling/evidence compilation strategies. Keeping a sheet is definitely a good idea, but in the end, it is just another compulsion if used the wrong way. Just my two cents.
  4. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Great post TG. It does feel sometimes like the TMS treatment protocol is: "Do what you can't do." And I try, doggedly. But maybe doggedly is the problem. It needs tact. Balance. A backpacking trip here, a swim there, a day of nothing here, a journal entry there. My brain's too stubborn, it knows just how to turn 'working on TMS' into making TMS more entrenched. I've got to nudge it along, trick it even, into working with me.

    Really pleased to hear about your happy day. The way you describe it makes it clear what's going on, I think.
  5. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    You know, this might be one I haven't done enough actually. I'll drive it around the block again. I'll just have to keep an eye out for all signs of progress-killing obsession/compulsion. So to both of you, lazydaisy and Steve J, thank you.
    Steve J. likes this.
  6. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    That's HUGE! Sure you had a relapse, but you essentially had the book cure!
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Eskimo, my guess is that if your brain is stubborn, you must be stubborn, too! Just don't give in to this TMS stuff, don't, keep trying! Another thought I have is that you may not be giving enough time and attention to the emotions: how you feel, what you feel. Pains and emotions are connected, more than we think. What really helped me to move the needle is the concept of somatic psychology. There are many sites on this subject, I am reading this book and it helps:


    Best of luck to you!!!
  8. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    And to you, TG! Let's give it hell right back.
  9. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Loving the attitude today, man.
    eskimoeskimo likes this.
  10. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    After the encouragement of this thread, I went out and socialized last night. At times, I even forgot about the pain. And for me, that essentially means that the pain wasn't there. Sometimes I'd 'remember' it and it would jump right back... but sometimes it wouldn't. Sure enough, today I'm back in the weeds. I've got reading to do, essays to write and I'm sitting at the computer, alone. IE, back in trigger-opolis. And the pain is building, my fear is building. But jeez, last night sure as hell beat the previous night. The previous 100 nights. It's amazing how obvious the whole thing can seem when you're in a healthier mindset. I don't even feel that way at this moment... I am confused again. But I remember thinking last night that it's obvious. Anyone follow?
    Mad and Steve J. like this.
  11. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Eskimo, it is that simple: the power of your mind is such that it can turn the pain on and off. The trick is how to get your mind do the right thing. The proof is here: your pain went away for one night and it could go away for longer times.
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  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Such great responses for Eskimo - what a caring community we have!

    Eskimo - the fact is that this journey is different for everyone. I'll tell you my story of less-than-100% recovery, in case there's anything that resonates for you. The main thing is, that like many others here, I also accept that the TMS mechanism is a part of how our brains our wired, and it's therefore not a disease that can be "cured".

    Five years ago I was in serious danger of becoming housebound with increasing symptoms, including digestive symptoms where I was down to a very limited diet and I was still losing weight at an alarming rate - never mind the many pain and neuro symptoms I was also having. I was afraid to go out, afraid to travel, and suffering from panic attacks and emerging depression. I was a mess.

    Learning about TMS from Dr. Sarno, overcoming my panic attacks and depression with Claire Weekes, and learning about the personal power I have to change my health from Dr. Gabor Mate, totally gave me my life back. And my love of food, because in reality there isn't a single thing in the world that I can't eat or drink, and feel fine with.

    Today, when I experience symptoms, I have a completely different relationship with them. I don't fear them, I don't take them seriously, I don't run to the doctor, and I definitely don't obsess about them. I know that I don't always love myself as much as I could for optimum health. I know that I allow negative self-talk to creep in on a regular basis (also part of being human, because we are WIRED to be negative). I definitely don't exercise as much as I could, even though I know that I always feel better after exercising. I still procrastinate, which causes stress, which then causes symptoms. And I know that if I took meditation seriously as a regular practice, I would be a lot closer to 100%, but it seems that my personality just ain't really into it.

    I'm as much of a perfectionist as the next TMSer, but I decided a long time ago that I don't need to have a perfect recovery from TMS. If I'm at 80% or more most of the time, 100% some of the time, and less than, say, 50% very very occasionally, that's fine. And if I decide it's not fine, I get out the pen and paper and I journal, and I get out the mindfulness audio and I meditate, and I get better again. It's part of the ups and downs of life, after all. There is no such thing as 100% happiness and health 100% of the time. I doubt that even the most mindful of Tibetan monks could say that. My life is SO much better than where I was five years ago, and I can't think of anything related to TMS that has hindered my ability to get on with my life in the time since then.

    I continue to stick around here because I am dedicated to helping to spread the word to whoever resonates with my advice, and because I always learn something by being here, and because I'm fascinated by the many different forms that TMS takes and the many ways in which people heal, and because I really really love the connections we make here with each other.

    I hope you find your own unique way to do this work for yourself. As Honeybear said early on in this thread, once the experts have told you there's nothing wrong physiologically, what else is there? YOU are the one with the power to change your experience, by changing your mind.
  13. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    I am thoroughly touched by the outpouring of support. Thank you everyone.

    Black and white thinking is a stumbling block for me. I am - unwisely - tied to the idea that I'm either going to break through to 100% relief in some miraculous instant or be doomed to wallow in pain and misery until I jump off a cliff. Certainly massaging my brain back towards health would be better than waiting for a miracle moment.
    westb, Steve J. and TG957 like this.
  14. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yep. And one thing I know for sure: throwing money at it and hoping that rescue would come from outside does not work :=(. We own our recovery.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
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  15. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    The saddest thing I ever heard was from someone in my life who said "I want them to figure out what's wrong so they can fix it". Suffice it to say that the outcome was not good.

    An excellent book on this topic is The Anatomy of Hope, by Jerome Groopman, MD (who writes often for the New Yorker). The first third of the book was a tough read, although he's a marvelous and compassionate writer - and ultimately the book offers an empowering message for self-healing if you are willing to embrace it. The middle section is about Dr. Groopman's own back pain journey including a failed surgery, eventually finding recovery in mind-over-body methods; and I forget a lot of the specifics of the third section, but it touches on mind-body alternatives to traditional practices, and I think that's where Dr. Sarno is mentioned (if not, he's mentioned along with the back pain episode). He even touches on early research being done (at the time of publication) on the power of the placebo effect and how to harness it - this is something I believe in, quite fervently - but of course there's no money in it for Big Medicine/Big Pharma.
  16. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    I have almost no pain now but when I do, nothing works as well as working on my yard. Not sure why. I have never enjoyed yard work, in fact, most of my life I hated it. It's a little like meditating-- quiet and not much thinking going on, fresh air and exercise.

    I don't struggle with believing it's TMS. I knew from the first time I opened the book and started reading. I had trouble with the idea that my pain was too severe to do what I needed to do to get through it. But as it subsided somewhat I was able to try different things. It's hard to say which things worked but I am doing well.

    A friend of mine who is currently having some success treating her rosacea says she started getting pains in all different places. She would say, "Thank you for that pain! You just reminded me that I need to stop and think about .... Bring it on!" She's an inspiration.
    eskimoeskimo, TG957 and Steve J. like this.
  17. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    What have you tried?

    Things I tried:
    -I read the book over and over (about 6-8 times) underlining and highlighting.
    -Journaling - I hated this part and did not do it very often, about 2 weeks. Too painful emotionally.
    -Talking to my inner child. This took a few days to become effective.
    -Rewarding my inner child. From Steve Ozanich's book. If I walked up a steep hill, reward with music, ice coffee, good book in the hammock, etc.
    -Listening/reading success stories
    -Affirmations "I have a healthy body" "I'm fine, thank you"
    -Imagining I am confronting a problem person from my past. Screaming at them, cursing , throwing things, etc.
    - Yardwork
    -Also, behave like a healthy person. Be active, no therapies, no meds, no whining about your pain (Your inner child loves when you do that). If you don't do this you are sabotaging your success.

    Everyone is different. You need to figure out what works for you.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  18. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    I had a very similar experience, Eskimo, both on Wednesday and yesterday for a handful of hours. Now back in the shit as well.

    "It's amazing how obvious the whole thing can seem when you're in a healthier mindset."

    Abso. Lutely.
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  19. Steve J.

    Steve J. Well known member

    Glad to hear you're doing so well, Phoenix! Keep it up.
  20. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's exactly what the Good Doctor says to do, when you feel the TMS pain, switch your thoughts to the psychological. Dr. Sarno's great contribution to psychosomatic medicine science was that TMS pain is a PROTECTOR and not a punisher. It's there to protect us from emotional thoughts that the sub-c decides for us are more painful to deal with.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
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