Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by BloodMoon, Jun 26, 2020.
I removed my posting due to lack of response.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to post again. I hope you don't take it personally that no one answered.
I actually wanted to respond because it interested me a great deal but I needed to give it a lot more though before responding. Could you repost please? I am quite curious to see everyone's comments!
@BloodMoon , sometimes you need to give your question time to be out there, especially if it is not trivial and it takes some thinking to answer.
Yes so true! On the weekend not too many people are online and certain questions I need to mull over for awhile before I respond. The wiki moves slower but very well lol!
Thanks @Andy Bayliss, @miffybunny and @TG957.
Here's what I wrote before, amended a little bit and with a new final paragraph:
I've been reading 'The Divided Mind' and would appreciate your thoughts and understanding about the 'reservoir of rage', which is mentioned in the book.
I'm told that (at some point) Dr Sarno referred to the 'reservoir of rage' as being like a prison with lots of unsavoury characters trying to break out, but if they did they would be too dangerous to one's conscious mind, so they are kept far back in our unconscious mind. If we didn't repress the emotion we could risk 'losing it' with a loved one or someone else, so we repress the emotion to safeguard ourselves from hurting people (and/or from doing something else that might be socially unacceptable, jeopardising our jobs and/or relationships or whatever).
I believe that Dr Sarno also said that we don't actually have to know what our rage is about in order to recover.
Some people who have recovered from TMS have said that they haven't had to do anything about their 'reservoir of rage' to recover, other than understand that it's there and 'just get on with life'. Others have said they've journaled (raged on paper) and/or shot at tin cans, beaten the living daylights out their pillows with a tennis racket etc., and then recovered.
None of this has worked for me (so I moved on to other techniques, essentially involving working on neuroplasticity, which have improved things a bit, but haven't led to the elimination of my TMS either, not so far, anyway, but time will tell).
So, my questions are:
What does the brain do with all those unsavoury characters threatening to break out from the 'reservoir of rage' when the 'game's up' and we actually know what's going on, especially in the case of those who only have to know about the 'reservoir of rage' to recover?...
Does the brain change its mind (pun intended) for some inexplicable reason and say, 'okay, well, those unsavoury characters aren't so threatening and dangerous after all, so it's okay if they do spill over the edge of the reservoir, so I'll stop producing physical pain and other symptoms'?...
Or does the brain still believe/fear that the rage in the reservoir is dangerous, but realises that you're not going to believe anymore that your symptoms are structural, and so it gives up and says 'so be it' if the rage spills over the reservoir and you do something inadvisable (presumably purely because it's got nothing else that it can do to prevent you expressing the rage)?...
If so, why doesn't recovery happen with everyone who truly believes what Dr Sarno says, like I do?
I wonder whether some of us continue to have symptoms - even though we do truly believe that the brain is creating symptoms because it's trying to protect and distract us from what it considers to be dangerous 'prisoners' in the reservoir - and the brain just overrides that understanding and carries on creating symptoms regardless. When some people have posted that they believe in the Sarno model, but their symptoms haven't gone, they are often advised (in a nice way, so I'm not complaining!) that essentially the fault must be with them, i.e. that they think they believe and understand what's going on, but don't really - or that it actually can't have 'sunk in deep enough' (for some inexplicable reason)...But I wonder whether something else is going. Sarno said that some people need psychotherapy to recover; why is that, when it's supposed to be as straightforward as understanding what's going on, getting on with life and the brain will stop causing symptoms?
Thanks for reposting! 100 percent belief in Dr. Sarno's model is not enough, because certain things must be put into practice. Several bases need to be covered imo. People get stuck along the way for different reasons. Emotions must be allowed and felt so one switches out of repression mode. Then there is the area of thoughts. Chronic, negative thought habits need to be made aware of and changed. This takes a lot of practice and consistency. Thirdly, day to day stressors must be addressed. Many times practical, life changes are needed. The fourth issue is maintaining calm and indifference in the face of symptoms....not making such a big deal out of them or fearing them, or focusing on them.
Sometimes people get stuck in the fear response and they have difficulty calming their brain down (so danger signals go down). Others get stuck in the focus part where they may be ruminating or monitoring or checking etc (hypervigilance) and others find the concept of outcome independence and an attitude of indifference challenging to implement.
I hope that helps a little but I'm sure others will have great insights!
Many thanks for your reply. I think all the bases that you mention are covered in my case except for 'chronic negative thought habits' which I'm currently working on. Your postings on the forum have been instrumental in me realising this and are extremely helpful and encouraging.
I'm still at a loss though regarding how it is that some people read a Sarno book and voilà - cured! Or they read a Sarno book, take their rage out on inanimate objects or rage on paper in a journal and, once again, voilà - cured! I've read widely on this forum and haven't seen this explained really.
There are couple important points that I would like to add to what @miffybunny said.
My quest for the source of rage in me never delivered results I was chasing. After about 3 months of journaling and digging into the possible abuse in my childhood I gave up.
Instead, I focused on healing my anxiety and learning how to deal with emotions - and eventually succeeded. I do believe that chronic anxiety is the key to healing for many of us.
I fully sympathise with this point: "some people read a Sarno book and voilà - cured". I was so jealous for months - until I accepted that it was not meant to be for me. Maybe that is your rage that you cannot get over?
And now the final point: how do you know that you fully believe in Sarno's theory? Our beliefs can be deceptive. Maybe once you do what I have done - stop questioning why healing is not happening in the time that I determined was reasonable and accept that it would happen some day in the future - you will in fact truly beleive in Sarno's theory?
The first man who ever told me about Sarno's theories was my downstairs neighbor. I was limping up the staircase and he told me about the 'repressed rage' as he saw me struggling. I immediately wanted to kick him in the face... like fire roaring up into me..
I also was terrified because in the recent past, I had been involved in a very painful, very shameful, en RAGING affair, the outcome of which equaled; Returning to my life of mediocre, wage earning, good guy middle class , role playing 'Husband' rather than Hob knob with celebrities, live in a mansion and partner up with a famous model.
But, I had 'done the right thing' and was paying for it.... sciatica, hip and back agony.
The situation is so funny now with 20 years of retrospection...so obvious... It was right under my nose, but I had to exhaust every single possibility to NOT have to deal with it before I was willing to look at my own selfishness, childishness, bad marriage for the wrong reasons, fears about being self supporting, and other stuff I can't remember right now...
The point I am getting to is; sometimes, for whatever reasons unknown, the prisoners can be f-ing RIOTING and we just can't look there. There is no virtue in my having looked there... I had nowhere else to go and had lost all faith in the medical system. I had nothing to lose by opening up the prison...or so I thought
Some people have stuff so painful and perceived as destructive in their unconscious, that for reasons of SAFETY, the prison will not open. That's the 5% who need to get a good therapist.
I ended up being in the 5%.... Oh, my symptoms went away with the therapy of writing about rage, reconditioning myself and relearning what things in my life symbolized, BUT I was on a path of New destruction because I was rapidly becoming violent.
In retrospect I am CERTAIN the pain was there to prevent that , and it had good reason to do so... ya see? If the pain hadn't come I would have been at the mercy of my emotions, so nature, 'shut them off and locked the door'....lest I went to the pen or worse.
I don't only do this work to avoid pain... I scare the HELL out of me... Any place but here.....
After I got ok with the help of a shrink, I have built pretty gardens all around the prison grounds. I have found much beauty and magic in the garden, but FIRST I had to open it up, burn it down and start over.
That's the 'short' version. There was a lot of true standing up to myself that had to take place to get pain free AND be OK inside my skin. This is a spiritual as well as psychological journey. It is not intellectual... there is only a little bit of that in the front end... the rest is down and dirty bloodsport with your own ego.
I have read lots of your posts. You don't need any better understanding, BUT you might want to subject yourself to some sort of other excavating process to help you break open the jail. Shrink (get a good one, and not some modern feelgood millenial bullshit...oldschool) 12 step program... Wilderness survival camp...Pscilocybin or LSD... something...anything. As long as you do it with the correct intent, you will not fail to make a change.
"...the rest is down and dirty bloodsport with your own ego."
Yes. That's it for me too. Actually this is the essence, all of it. In this short sentence/quote.
(I'm also in the 5% group).
Thank you, Baseball; this answers my question! And I greatly appreciate the rest of your reply, which I know I will keep re-reading to let it sink in.
I'm definitely taking this advice.
Thank you, @BloodMoon ! I am sorry that what I said enrages and hurts you, but 'maybe' is the key here. We never know with certainty whether we truly dug out our buried nightmares or whether we truly beleive in something. With the therapist or without - we need to continue examining our lives in order to get better.
Both of these probably happen. More important than the analysis is the practice of gently feeling what is occurring, moment-to-moment. And simply connect this to your experience of symptoms. Their existence, their coming and going, their function to distract. I hope this helps, because to me it is more direct: feeling/connect to theory.
Hi, Bloodmoon (and Everybody in this thread),
I'm so with you on what I hear you describing. I beginning to wonder if I'm in that 5%. I've spent months now learning about TMS and how to relate to my brain (such as it is) in order to calm things down and turn off the pain. I've made a huge amount of progress in seeing what's going on in the reservoir, but I haven't yet learned how use insight to close down the pain. Miffy's comments about practice helps. The skill of applying awareness efficaciously. I have to work hard to scrape up patience and faith. And maybe, as Baseball says, I need an apt "shrink." Dr. Hanscom's book is my latest read (Back in Control). He provides a means to practicing what we need to do to get out of pain once we accept the TMS diagnosis. He also turned me onto to David Burns' book, Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy; the book has a ton of information that identifies categories of "stinking thinking," which most of us on this site are working through on the way to dispatching our pain. I'm finding it helpful to have my own depressive thinking clearly labeled and explained. And then to get some advice about how to take it on. The concept of neuroplastisity makes good sense to me. How to visualize it with Dr. Sarno's theory, how to put it all together in a way that makes sense and works--that is my current challenge. I've got a lot of pieces on the table (including this wiki), just I haven't figured out how to put them all together yet. Bad days are bad. But I'm accumulating insights and strategies to work with. Trying to balance intensity with steadiness and calm spirit (hah!). I appreciate your post (glad you re-posted). I see my own experience in what you described and take heart in that,thank you. My hope is that bit by bit we'll accumulate enough insights to put together a "means," an application of awareness, that will produce some healing. Best to you.
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