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Pre-Wedding Support Needed

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Hopeful_Alexandra, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Hopeful_Alexandra

    Hopeful_Alexandra New Member

    Hi everyone,
    It has been a long time since I have posted on here (and I had to get myself a new username since I appear to have forgotten my old one!) I first found Sarno years ago and was able to find relief from the back pain and widespread tendinitis that I had and had seemed to keep spreading. I also met with Dr. Schubiner who confirmed the source of my pain.

    For about the past eight months I have had great success getting into regular yoga and jogging, aerobics and swimming and hiking. I have been loving it! It is the most active I have been since my teen years, when I began to experience the inklings of the above-outlined problems (I am in my early thirties now).

    After nearly a year with no back pain (still with rotating knee/shoulder pain, but at manageable levels to do the above activities), this past month I have had two bouts of back pain. The first was at the beginning of my school year, the last year of my PhD- which could make sense that the stress of entering that final stage could be getting to me.

    Two days ago, my back started to hurt again. I tried to persevere doing my usual activities (I did yoga yesterday and the day before) but unfortunately it has gotten worse. I had forgotten how much it can HURT! Usually when my knee acts up, it is more discomfort/tightness that I experience, but this is some wince-worthy pain going on here.

    As the title suggests, I suspect this latest bout is related to my wedding next week. This week I don't feel that stressed consciously, but surely there is a lot going on below my level of awareness... at least, I would assume so. I guess I just don't remember how to do this- how to trust that it will eventually go away again. I have been catastrophizing a lot- worrying that this is the beginning of a lifetime of pain, that I won't be able to exercise again and will gain a bunch of weight, what if the past few years have only been a placebo and this is my new norm, etc. I can't remember how to overcome the fear. I do remember from past experiences that when I am able to detach from the pain and focus on other things in my life is when it goes away. I just can't seem to NOT focus on it right now.

    I knew that I was really "losing it" when my fiance and I discovered mould covering some of our shoes in my closet. Normally, I would have really been upset by it (we have had mould worries since moving into this place) but I was very detached from the whole thing. I just put the mouldy shoes in the foyer and went about my business. When he got home he expressed surprise that I hadn't told him about it or looked for more evidence of mould. In fact, he said, "I figured you would have been really upset by this."

    I am already in the habit of doing daily meditation and see a therapist regularly. I also just started a new group therapy program called "Managing Powerful Emotions," so maybe some of that work has been stirring things up a little bit.

    Anyway, if anyone could offer some support/suggestions/reassurance, it would be much appreciated. Hello from chilly Canada!

  2. SunnyinFL

    SunnyinFL Well known member

    Hi Alexandra,

    It seems you already made a great choice for yourself by reaching back out to this forum as you've been experiencing many emotions and symptoms. First, please know that - because you've already tackled TMS once - you can do it again. Please keep reminding yourself of that to decrease your fears and to increase your confidence and help you trust you will recover again.

    It's great that you recognize you are catastrophizing. It sounds like most of your worries concern the future, not today. The future may or may not play out as you think it might - nobody knows because we're not born with crystal balls. If you can see that your worries are about the future, it may help you let it go and focus on what is really important: enjoying your wedding. If I fall back into worry, I say things to myself like, "that may not even be true - I can't predict the future - I'm not going to lose my present joy over something that may or may not happen at a later date." So you might also find some self talk like that helpful.

    About the fear - this is one of my favorites - a short blog written by Dr. Schubiner with practical tips about addressing fear at http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/understanding-and-overcoming-fear.8574/.

    I agree with your insights about your life stressors (PhD, wedding next week). Yes, these are things that tend to get emotions swirling in many directions. Getting married is a big life transition - and carries with it many new stressors and many benefits. Given the timing of your wedding - next week! - I would encourage you to focus on your current feelings, listen to any messages that they are telling you, consciously decide if you need to act on any of them, then take any necessary actions and try to use your meditation to let go of the rest. Most importantly, please make sure to take some time to pamper yourself and treat yourself kindly.

    I hope I've given you some of the support and suggestions you're looking for. Feel free to follow up if you have any questions.
    JanAtheCPA and mike2014 like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Alexandra. Good luck relaxing in the week before your wedding. Keep focused on how happy you are going to be.

    I will take a look at Dr. Schubiner's blog on fear. Thanks, Sunny, for posting about it.
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  4. armchairlinguist

    armchairlinguist Peer Supporter

    Hey Alexandra! I don't know if you took note at the time you first read them, but there are quite a few descriptions in Dr. Sarno's work of people having bouts of pain during "positive" changes in their lives, like marriage, graduation, or new babies. Marriage is a big change - even thought it is usually very positive in most regards, there are often worries about how your relationship might change, social role expectations, loss of self, or other concerns. They might be quite unconscious since consciously as a society we are "supposed to" be happy about getting married and mixed emotions are not necessarily acknowledged or supported. And wedding planning is usually stressful too, so it could easily be a perfect storm for you, especially with school and the knowledge that since this is your last year, there is a big transition coming there too.

    Your pain is serving the function of distracting you from all that by generating a different and more acceptable or familiar fear, the fear of pain. So don't let it serve that purpose; pain is a diversion from the real things going on for you. Be kind to yourself and try to be present in the moment and acknowledge all the change you are experiencing. Are there some small things you can do to be kind to yourself this week?
    Forest, Ellen and SunnyinFL like this.

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