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Road to recovery, 5 months since discovering TMS

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Linnea, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone!

    It has been 4 month since my last visit here and about 5 month since “discovering” TMS as a theory. Why the absence? Well, I felt that my way forward was slowing down reading about people who struggled and that it made me afraid that it wasn´t gonna work for me either. But now I feel it´s time to make an update and talk to people who understand what a TMS recovery is all about!

    Changes I´ve made since discovering TMS:

    - Stopped talking my “nerve pain medication”, cold turkey. Almost the first thing I did.
    · Got read of all my ergonomical devices, quit doing the rehabilitation exercises designed by different doctors and therapists.
    · Start working out double the time or sometimes triple the time I used to before. From 10-15 minutes of swimming, to 40-25 minutes. I can take walks for about an hour, I´ve even been climbing on an indoor wall once!
    · The hesitation about doing physical things has decreased a bit, my first reaction is still “no, I can’t do that”, but many times I change my mind and does it anyway, like carrying a heavy table or a baby, window cleaning etc.
    · I´ve been travelling once (my biggest fear last 2 years), 4 days abroad with less control, less possibility to rest etc. Went OK, but had a lot of pain, did break down once out of pain and disappointment.
    · I work longer hours, before TMS about 4-5 hours a day, now sometimes even up to 6-8 hours.
    · I understand that my pain is psychological and not physical. But mostly on an intellectual level, than on an emotional level. Huge struggle here!
    · Have told my therapist a bit about TMS and she´s kind of buying it, since she´s into mindfulness, but of course it would be better with a trained TMS psychiatrist.
    · I´ve started confronting some of my biggest emotional traumas.
    · I allow myself to cry and be angry much more than before and I write about it and try to find the reasons behind the feelings.
    · And a few more…

    Now, about the pain: it hasn´t gone away. It´s moving around, some types of pain are less common, some areas are almost gone, but it has found new ways and is pretty consistent. I feel I have pain almost every waking minute, unless I´ve just finished a good exercise, with the blood pumping.

    In the beginning I felt I had better days and I was really positive, but my biggest flaw is my impatience. I keep hammering myself with “it´s been almost half a year now, I´m never going to make this, I´m a hopeless case” and so on… You might know the feeling: you´re tired of trying, you just want to be normal, you feel it’s unfair and thoughts like that. I feel I live half a life, managing to work, but is too sad and vulnerable to be able to keep my social life going. Mostly the sadness has increased last couple of months, and it´s not easy to be social when you´re sad.

    I still believe that the TMS theory/method is the key, but I have a really hard time believing it will work for me.

    Well, that´s it for me right now, feels like I will be more active here again since I´ve been losing a bit of the TMS focus lately! Overall - on the positive side, it IS better than before, but I need MORE! And I need to feel positive again, I´m so fricking tired of this body!

    There, feel a bit better now, hope you´re all doing well in your recovery!

    :) Linnea, the Swede
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Linnea,

    Welcome back!

    I understand about the pressure to get better soon...I had a month of almost zero pain and then one day had a headache again and thought oh, no it's back, how come I'm not better yet?

    What I'm learning is it takes as long as it takes. But it can be hard to be patient sometimes :)
  3. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I know for a long, long time I didn't think I was getting any better. But when I compare three years ago with today, it's like night and day. Just persevere and don't give up. Especially, don't get distracted by your mind's attempts to discourage you and reinforce the structural diagnosis. I tried for a long time to keep my feet planted in both camps at the same time, the structural and the psychological, by continuing to go to PT and Pilates. However, I noticed a great leap forward when I abandoned all the old physical modalities: no back stretches, no PT, no Pilates, no, no, no. Seems that you had greater courage abandoning those things right from the start. That's one way to get better faster I think.

    Glad to hear from you again here. Didn't think it had been that long!
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Getting rid of the ergonomic devices is a great move. I had quite a few of these devices and I always thought they just kept me focusing on what I can't do. All in all it sounds like you are going about it in the right away. You are increasing your activity, exercising, working, and going on trips. All of this will help you tell your unconscious that you are strong and do not have a structural problem.

    I do think you are on the right path. How do I know this? Because your symptoms are moving around. Your unconscious mind knows you are onto it's trick, so it is trying to create a new symptom to grab your attention again and make you focus on the physical and not your emotions. Remember, your unconscious believes it is doing you a favor by creating pain and distracting you from your emotions. If your symptoms start to move around or increase, then you are almost there.

    As Veronica stated, recovery takes as long as it takes. It is very common for it to take 6 months - 18 months to recover. Our believe that pain is a structural problem is deeply ingrained into our psyche. Reading and rereading one of Sarno's books can really help this information sink in. Recovery can be slow, because it can take a while for the message to fully sink into your unconscious. I just read a terrific post about this at http://tmswiki.org/forum/threads/how-long-did-it-take-you-to-recover.93/#post-587 .

    You mentioned, "I understand that my pain is psychological and not physical. But mostly on an intellectual level, than on an emotional level." What do you mean by that? When we intellectualize our emotions or the reasons for our TMS, we are, in actuality, repressing our emotions. You don't need to identify the exact emotions or thing you are repressing. Simply allowing the emotions to be present and feel them is enough to recover.

    Having a slow recovery can be difficult, but you will become pain free. If you continue following the TMS process and think psychological you will become pain free.
    Susan likes this.
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Hi Linnea. I can understand your not coming on the board regularly--that's quite ok! I think if I were struggling I would be spending my time "doing TMS work".

    It took me awhile to get back into a physical workout routine, but then it happened suddenly--one day I said to myself THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR BACK NOW JUST DO IT and I did it, and I now look back and chuckle at my own fear.

    This takes time. We are undoing a lifetime of physical thinking and it won't happen overnight.

    I believe you will recover--now you need to believe that.


    Susan likes this.
  6. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    Hi Linnea,

    Welcome back! :)

    I know just how your feel. I can SO relate to your saying that, "I still believe that the TMS theory/method is the key, but I have a really hard time believing it will work for me. " It's been about 6 months for me since finding Dr. Sarno's books. I, too, have become somewhat discouraged by not being "fixed" by now, but I am determined to feel good. My brain has been trying to seriously trip me up to keep me focused on the physical and it's taking everything I've got to fight it. I need to remember that I didn't get here overnight. I am in the "impatience boat" right there with you.

    Hang in there. I'm sure when we both beat this, it will be more than worth the wait!

  7. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter

    Thanks guys, (and sorry for being worthless at answering quickly..) it feels so much better knowing your support is out there! I´ve read everything, taking all advices to heart. Seeing that many of you struggle or have struggled in similar ways makes me feel less lonely and a bit more hopeful.

    Doing a bit better now comparing to the day I started this thread, maybe because I´m reading a lot about positive visualisation and tries to practise that as often as possible. When I go to bed I imagine how I wake up in the morning, with a smile on my face, and how the day goes brilliant and effortless, with no pain.I especially have a picture of myself climbing, using every muscle in my back, feeling strong and in control, (works as a monotonous sleeping pill as well :))

    Again, THANK YOU for supporting and I´ll try to write more and be more active further on.

    Linnea :)
    JanAtheCPA and MorComm like this.
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

  9. Linnea

    Linnea Peer Supporter

    Thank you Jan, I'll read it! :)
  10. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, Jan and Linnea, that piece by Alan Gordon on "outcome independence" is just great and gave me all kinds of insights into how TMS actually works through the OCD symptoms so common in T-type personalities (as Steve O. would define them). Good advice, Jan!

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