1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Our TMS drop-in chat is tomorrow (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern (now US Daylight Time) . It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support, with Enrique as your host. Look for the red Chat flag on top of the menu bar!

Day 2 On to a new Life!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Marek, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. Marek

    Marek Newcomer

    *The most recent daily Journal updates are gonna be at the bottom of the thread!*

    Hey guys!

    I'm so glad I've found Dr. Sarno's book and this forum. I've had a patella tendonitis caused by too much Badminton pretty much four years ago. Since I was not able anymore to do any sports that were paired with running or jumping, I switched to bodyweight strength training. Due to my excessive need to prove myself to others and to gain external gratification I did way too much in that area aswell and was left with golfer's and tennis elbow on both arms.
    After that, I did not do any sport at all for about a year because I was in constant fear that I might get injured and wouldn't be able to do anything again. During that time I had symptoms in my knee and my elbows from time to time, they were bearable but they always made me think "I'm still injured", because I thought if my joints and tendons were fine I wouldn't have any pain.
    A year and a half ago I severely hurt my back and this one has actually been the most depressing, since now even sitting hurt.
    To build up my back muscles I tried out swimming, which actually worked fine, even though I had anxiety about knee and elbow pain. Although they did sometimes reoccur, I already had the feeling that the pain was somewhat psychosomatic. Still, this epiphany didn't change much, because all the stuff such as rehabilitative excercise, ESPECIALLY trigger point therapy, (which I'm probably an expert on now, since I always thought those were the cause of my pain armscrosseddenial) relieved the symptoms but didn't remove them.

    Yesterday, after an exhausting semester in medicine, with the summer holidays in front of me, I woke up again with bad back pain again. I felt really depressed, typed in some random stuff on youtube about back pain cure and stumbled upon a video that featured a guy promoting Dr. Sarno's book. Upon reading it I could see myself in so many sentences, especially the extreme perfectionism and the wandering of the pain to other body parts (the symptoms I described above are only the really bad ones, I've had recurring "tendonitis" in other parts of my body for no real reason).
    I actually had to cry during some passages because I felt like finally someone understood my pain. I immediately went slacklining (for those who don't know: it's a balancing line you attach to two trees or poles) after finishing the book and it didn't cause any back pain! Usually, I've always been getting back pain from doing that. I feel like TMS is finally the correct diagnosis and it feels amazing to have something that I can work on independently from any doctors! dancea

    So, what would a life without TMS mean to me?

    I think if it was just the pain that went away with the psychological symptoms and causes still being left I'd probably find something to preoccupy myself with rather quickly. So for me a life without TMS would mean less perfectionism, being able to accept mediocrity in some areas in my life, care less about the approval from others (most likely caused by me being bullied during school) and have a more laid back attitude towards life.
    Couple this with being able to finally pump all the energy out of my body with running and I'm gonna be as happy as I've never been before!
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Marek. Sounds like you have a good handle on the emotions that cause you pain. Perfectionism and expecting too much of yourself are major reasons for TMS pain. You're fortunate in having learned about Dr. Sarno and TMS and starting the SEP. There are some excellent videos on YouTube about TMS and also in the subforums on this web site.

    Pain can move around until your subconscious gets the message that you know your pains are emotional and not structural. This may take a while but it happens. Good luck and keep active. Keep doing things that make you happy. Enjoy every day and distract your pain with laughing at it.
  3. Marek

    Marek Newcomer

    Thanks for your positive input, Walt!

    I've noticed that during the last two days I've been more stressed out, I think that's because I put so much faith into this that I'm scared I might get disappointed again in case it doesn't work out as I hope it will.

    Three things that make me feel angry:

    - when I can't live up to my potential while being watched by others: this one really makes me angry because I know that I can perform a certain activity proficiently but due to feeling the need to prove my self-worth to others in letting them see how good I am at certain things (let's say Foosball/Table Soccer) I get stressed out and tend to underperform sometimes.

    - being in a discussion/fight and the other person resorts to arrogance and tries to appear as the whole thing doesn't bother him/her anymore and laughs me down: this one probably triggers me the most of them all, as it puts me into a situation where I feel like I'm totally helpless and treated like some inferior being. This has sometimes lead me to snap and actually beating other people. Especially in my childhood at day care center, where there was a guy who was a year older than me who always did this to get me into full rage.

    - being jealous of others' abilities makes me feel angry at myself: when I see people doing things I would like to be able to do and especially things I once tried but gave up on, I sometimes get jealous. It gets worse when they are getting praise from other people, especially girls. One example would be street performers, since I tried that a few years ago with classical guitar and I was semi-successful, meaning I would earn between 10-30€ an hour. Seeing performers attract a massive crowd, notably when they aren't even that good (often the case with street dancers in my city) then makes me:
    -> mad for not having been able to do that myself
    -> mad because I think I could achieve the same thing with effort but won't give it a try because of fear of failure
    -> mad at myself for actually getting jealous about such an unimportant thing

    Three things that make me feel sad:

    - being in pain and thinking this will last forever: this sometimes actually creates suicidal thoughts. Of course none of them are to be taken extremely seriously, but it's that thought of not living up to my full potential (which I could until I was 19, I ran a marathon and played Badminton on a semi-professional level) and never feeling that joy of being totally exhausted after a good run that really gets me depressed.

    - leaving situations in which I feel sheltered and cared for. Especially the ski holidays, where we're a collection of a few families and there's constant entertainment with sports, playing board games in the afternoon and cooking together. Those situations make me forget about the rut of everyday life and especially make me forget about feeling incapable of doing sports, since Skiing works totally fine for whatever reason. Maybe it's because I'm being put into that situation and when I'm on the piste I can't say "sorry guys, I gotta stop because my back hurts a bit.". I just go through the pain and that seems to work.

    - talking with other people about sportive activities/camping and constantly thinking "I can't do the stuff you are talking about because of my pain"
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Marek, I think you need to stop stressing about performance, in your work or leisure. Do what you can and try to get back into taking ski holidays and being with those you enjoy being with. Don't fear that it will bring on pain. Fearing pain is what brings on the pain. The more pleasant distractions, the better.

    Don't be afraid that TMS will not work. Keep positive and tell yourself a positive mantra like "TMS belief is helping me heal. I believe my pain is emotional and not structural."

    I keep my mind distracted from pain by thinking and doing things that give me pleasure. I write books and am always working on a new one. I don't consider myself to be another Fitzgerald or Hemingway. I just enjoy writing, even though I don't make much money at it. I am rich, anyway.

Share This Page