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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by walllc643, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. walllc643

    walllc643 New Member

    For the past 3-4 years, I have struggled with chronic pain throughout the muscles on the right side of my body. No clear structural cause has been identified by any of my doctors. I pass every medical exam, and my MRI/CT scans are normal.

    After endless medical exams, procedures and medications, I finally began to open up to the psychological side of my pain. Unfortunately I was unable to fully accept that my pain is likely psychosomatic, and so I gave up trying some months ago.

    I want so badly to believe that my pain is psychosomatic, but I'm just having so much trouble letting go and simply trusting that my pain has no physical cause. I have read endless material in an effort to bludgeon myself into believing, but it just didn't stick.

    Even though I'm not yet able to accept the diagnosis fully on an emotional level, I do believe that my pain is directly tied to my psychological state AND THAT'S A START. Right now it's the best I can do, and so I will work from there.

    I have so much emotional and psychological pain in addition to the physical, and soon I will begin working with a therapist to address some of those issues. I'm so hopeful that psychotherapy will improve my state of mind, which will then improve my pain, WHICH WILL HELP ME START TO BELIEVE THE DIAGNOSIS!

    I just need some help guys...
  2. Dahlia

    Dahlia Well known member

    Hello Walllc643:
    It seems to me that this is a HUGE start for you. If you already believe that your psychological state directly effects your pain I think you're in the door. From there it is not a huge leap to realize that most of our psychological state is unconscious, not conscious. In fact, very little of our minds are conscious. So we are a aware of a small percentage (tip-of-the-iceburg size) of what goes on in our minds. Meanwhile, the rest is very busy working under water or under our conscious awareness.

    So what makes us believe that we would be aware of everything going on in our minds? We most definitely are not! Therefore, there is a whole lotta mind available that can be effecting your pain.

    How am I doing on convincing you?

    Step-by-step you will get there! Look at how many of us are here and who have traveled down the same road as the one you are. We are more "evidence" to help convince you that this can be the case for you as well.

    Hang in there and keep us posted on how you are doing. (And yay for you that you are beginning work with a therapist. Your bravery will pay you back with big rewards!)
    walllc643 likes this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle


    First, I want to recommend Anne Walker's addressing doubt and progress, on this thread here at the Forum. I think this is a wonderful write-up. Scroll down till you find her long entry... I found this very good.


    What was extremely helpful for me was to inquire, get real with what in me was causing the doubts about Dr. Sarno's approach applying to me. When I did that, I could see the rejection, super ego activity, beliefs I already knew more than Dr. Sarno, was too enlightened to have such a heinous mind-body affliction, etc. This allowed me more space to disengage from these doubts. Not by talking myself into something I didn't believe, but rather to witness and not fully believe the doubts.

    You could do this with the therapist. Or could have a friend ask you a repeating question: "Tell me why you doubt the TMS diagnosis." and "What's right about not believing you have TMS?" Rather than forcing yourself to belief (which may well have validity), you can gently be with the parts of you that doubt. Then you will know more, and see more. Compassion for your struggle ---and the stances you have taken about what is causing your pain--- may help to loosen the doubts....

    Meantime: Encouragement Encouragement Encouragement from me. It works. It will work. You are on your way, especially if you proceed without feeling you have to eliminate all doubts. The Dr. Sarno process will still work, in my experience, even with some doubt.

    Remember that for most folks here, it starts with just a few exceptions to the pain patterns, which are seen and celebrated, and confidence grows slowly, but surely.

    I hope this helps.

    walllc643, Dahlia and Barb M. like this.
  4. walllc643

    walllc643 New Member

    Thanks Andy. I really struggle with black and white thinking, so I have a hard time moving forward in the presence of doubt. I get so hung up on trying to decide whether I entirely believe/disbelieve that my pain is 0%/100% psychologically rooted. I live my life in terms of absolutes, even though I know the world is mostly one giant gray area. I do find encouragement in your words, so thank you!

    Really fantastic contribution from Anne - she articulates so much of the angst and frustration I feel in my constant and fruitless efforts to "figure out" the nature of my pain, and to decide whether I really believe that it is psychologically rooted. There is something very therapeutic about seeing your own very specific fears and doubts expressed by someone else, especially a person who has managed to overcome them.
  5. walllc643

    walllc643 New Member

    Thanks, Dahlia. I definitely struggle with accepting that my conscious awareness is only a small piece of what makes me the person I am. Believing in something I can't see, even if I KNOW it's there, is a tall order for someone like me who is so very prone to fear and doubt.

    What is most perplexing is that I have no trouble accepting that this is true for others. By extension I can also readily accept that other peoples' physical pain can be due to subconscious emotions. But not me. I'm special, I'm unique, I'm the one person that none of this applies to. I ALONE CANNOT BE HELPED. I wish I could just let go of my irrational doubt and allow myself to believe, to hope, to have faith that things can improve. I want that for myself and I hope to get there eventually.

    I do find encouragement in your words, so thank you. Maybe with enough encouragement I can start to make my way out of this.
    Dahlia likes this.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Walll,
    This seems to be a very clear insight. How strange that "I am not like everyone else that I see." And that I ALONE CANNOT BE HELPED. It is cool to begin to question the assumptions that are driving our beliefs, and anxiety.

    I think the challenge for many of us, when we have such new insights (or questions ---the dawning of new information about our inner life) is to not get lost in Inner Critic reactions to our burgeoning understanding. In other words: Is it OK to see how stuck and identified we have become, and not pile onto ourselves because we have been confused or attached to certain beliefs. I hope you can hold your growing awareness with compassion, and trust that old beliefs will loosen, when they are seen clearly. Just as pain will reduce when the real sources are appreciated.

    As Dahlia says: "you're in the door." Keep up the good work!!

    Barb M., Dahlia and Ellen like this.

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