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S.E.P Day 1 - Nov. 6 2019

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Jodie86, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. Jodie86

    Jodie86 New Member

    Hello everyone. I've been learning about TMS now since March of this year following a excruciating 2 year long daily headache and multiple other symptoms throughout my body. After reading Sarno's books, and my favorite, The Great Pain Deception by Steve Ozanich I'm convinced this is why I'm in chronic pain all the time. Since March my headache has decreased by about 98%! (It still flares up a bit here and there but doesn't get nowhere near as bad as it used to and it goes away fairly quickly as well.) I've had some strange and scary symptom alternatives as it's called but they normally go away within a month. (Which is just more proof that it's TMS) I've also been following Nicole Sachs' Journal Speak and been journaling almost daily. What seems to be lingering though is very tight muscles all in my upper back/neck area and in my hips. It's very frustrating going to bed with it and waking up with it even though I'm reading the books and doing the work. I'm a single Mom of a 7 year old. I have no family and no car. So to say I have a full plate is an understatement. I know that my daily stresses, anxiety and my full work load with no help is causing the constant tight burning muscles throughout my body but I don't know how to get rid of it considering my day to day can't change so I feel stuck. Also, most nights for about 2 years now I have to get up around a dozen times throughout the night to urinate! But I don't have frequent urination during the day. It's so frustrating to always feel like i have a full bladder when I'm trying to sleep. I've read that this too is a TMS symptom but am looking for answers as to what i can do to make it go away? I know this was supposed to be a short post so i apologize for the novel but i do appreciate having a place where i can rant and rave my frustrations to people who get it. I'm very thankful for this site and for all the work that goes into it. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Jodie D.
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  2. ssxl4000

    ssxl4000 Well known member

    Hi Jodie...Great job with your work on your headaches! That's a huge victory. The fact that your symptoms are changing is further evidence that you are succeeding. Keep up the good work. The consistency of the SEP should help you tackle these new pesky symptoms such as the urination. Just know that the presence of the stubborn symptoms is not a sign that you are doing anything wrong. When we are unable to remove the stress in our lives, our brain will always have an excuse to make something hurt. So, even if we are aware of the TMS process, stuff will still pop up. Overall, I am much better than where I started since learning about TMS. Yet, I still have a near daily battle with on and off symptoms. The difference is that they are much less severe and no longer scary, so they don't stop me from anything. That is the goal (the SEP will help you learn this)...you want to get to the place where you no longer care about your symptoms. Ideally, you lose your fear of them, accept them when they are present, and go about your life regardless. Easier said than done, but again, the program will help you get there.
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  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Another excellent response from @ssxl4000
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  4. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    In 2011, I was laid off from a job that I loved and had held for 10 years. Three weeks later my mom died. Shortly thereafter, I began to experience terrible anxiety (especially in the evenings). One of the most puzzling aspects of the anxiety was frequent nighttime urination. I went from to going to the bathroom one time during the night to once or twice an hour. It was exhausting and infuriating. I didn't know about TMS so I went the medication route. After ruling out a UTI, my doctor prescribed a very low dose benzo. Within a week, the anxiety and frequent urination stopped. The dose was so low that I now believe that I was "cured" by a placebo. I stopped taking the medication seven months later after the grief subsided and I had found other employment.

    I'm not telling this story to suggest that you need medication, I'm saying that the frequent urination was 100% anxiety and if I had known then what I know now, I would have treated it as such. I would have read Claire Weekes and practiced as much self care as possible to calm my overwrought nervous system. There are lots of posts and success stories on this forum about anxiety. Perhaps reading some of them will help. I can't imagine raising a child on my own without family support. You are a very brave and strong young woman.
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  5. Jodie86

    Jodie86 New Member

    Hello, thank you for the reply. Bare with me as I learn to navigate this site. I'm new here so I hope that I'm replying properly and to the right person.

    The part that is tough for me is not caring when I get a flare up and to not fear it. I cant help but think when that pain strikes, i wonder how long this one will last....Oh no, i have a full 15 hr day of parenting and working that i need to do daily on top of not sleeping well at night. I cant do that in pain....etc..etc...and the thoughts/fear snowballs from there. And i intellectually understand that those thoughts and fears are of no service to me and my pain and all they do is prolong the flare up and fuel the fire but it's near impossible to not care about how my body feels and to not stress about all i need to accomplish 7 days a week in the state of my body.
    I really hope eventually i can learn to ignore it. Maybe once my child gets older and isn't dependent on me for everything from 6am to 8pm 365 days a year maybe then I'll be able to say "whatever" to the pain knowing if I need to have a day to myself to stay in bed and not over do it I can. Because right now there's no such thing as throwing in the towel certain days because my pain is through the roof. She's only 7 so maybe when she's older things will change.
  6. Jodie86

    Jodie86 New Member

    Hello, thank you for your reply. I'm sorry that happened to you. When it rains it pours it seems.
    Yes the nighttime frequent urination is just awful and extremely frustrating! I've been learning a lot these past few weeks about how anxiety causes us to want to empty our bladder. I just find it very odd why it's only choosing the nighttime for me. I don't have frequent urination during the day. And the days are when I'm the most stressed and anxious because I'm forced to be parenting and working when I'd rather be in a hot salt bath in silence..So I find that very odd that at night, when life is asking nothing of me and my anxiety and stress are at its lowest, is when I urinate up to 12 times a night. This has been going on, on and off since April 2017 when all this chronic TMS pain began. But it's now been a nightly thing for the past couple months I'd say. This is a long "flare up" and cant help but wonder when it'll go away and move on to a different symptom substitution.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Instead of "trying" to ignore it, it might be more helpful to proactively start talking back to the fears and negative messages that your primitive fearful brain is bombarding you with. This is what worked for me. If you can learn to recognize the negative messages, you can start talking back to them with constructive and proactive messages.

    For example, my back-talk consisted of phrases such as "There's nothing wrong with me, I'm perfectly safe, I don't need to be distracted, and these symptoms are not necessary!" Repeat as often as possible :)
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
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  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    PS: hoping for relief sometime in the future is just another distraction of your fearful brain. That better future will never come, because there will always be a reason why you can't recover. I can guarantee it. From my own experience, I know this is a really hard one to fight against.

    This work requires mindfulness, and mindfulness requires living in the present. You have got to change your mindset in the present.
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  9. ssxl4000

    ssxl4000 Well known member

    Yay for child related stress. My daughter (5) has been sick for a week and will not leave me alone. Not much seems to make her happy right now. I can’t get my work done (I work remotely), my head hurts, and I have lost almost all patience with her. Sigh…

    Building on what Jan said…I agree you definitely can't wait for your stress to pass or lessen, because let's face it, we can't count on that. Fortunately, you don't need it to pass to feel better, as Dr. Sarno would say. Not sure if you have done much journaling yet through the SEP or another source. It sounds like that should be helpful to you. All that stress creates a lot of difficult emotion, be it fear, anger, guilt, jealousy, etc. And when kids are involved, that stuff can really get buried down deep (at least that’s what happened to me).

    Regarding your fear, nobody can really stop from feeling fear. It’s only natural that when something hurts, some worried thoughts pop in your head. “What’s that? I can’t deal with this now! How long is this going to last? Is it going to get worse?” It’s fine that those thoughts pop in, and fine if you think about them for a minute or two. But, then you have to put your foot down and take control of your conscious thoughts. Like Jan said, tell yourself there is nothing physically wrong with you. Tell yourself the symptoms are just a response to stress and/or difficult emotions. Tell yourself you don’t need the symptom as your stress and the feelings it produces are not dangerous.

    I know patience is hard when your suffering, but do your best to stick with the program and you should start to see some signs of progress. You're building new habits, which takes time. It’s a journey. Best wishes!
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  10. Jodie86

    Jodie86 New Member

    I've just recently begun practicing that. Everytime a negative thought pops up in my head (which is very often) I immediately swap it for a positive one. It's very hard though. I grew up in a very negative environment. My Mother was always on drugs and raging over everything. Screaming and yelling. Very very negative person. So I've learned to automatically think the worst about anything and everything. It's awful. So I'm trying to undo 33 years of negative thinking. I know it's not impossible but it sure is very challenging.
  11. Jodie86

    Jodie86 New Member

    This is one of the most challenging ones I find. Is living in the present. I'm constantly fearing the future and dwelling on the past. Which ultimately is just negativity affecting the present. And I know this. As long as I keep doing my best today and take it one day at a time. I'm hopeful it'll get easier.
  12. Jodie86

    Jodie86 New Member

    I'm sorry to hear your little one is sick. It's SO tough when your child gets sick on top of you having TMS and the challenges that come with that. My daughter recently had a 6 week post viral cough that was keeping both of us up all night every night. Brutal! Then right after that went away she got 'slapped cheek syndrome' which is a common viral illness that affects most kids between age 5-15 years old at this time of year. Bright red cheeks, that spreads down her torso, arms and legs. That's finally almost gone now and she's back at school today so I can re-focus on my TMS work.

    I started journaling in July of this year after I found Nicole Sachs' The Cure for Chronic Pain podcast and Journal Speak Facebook group. I have written a lot! My pain is still very random. Up and down, up and down. I'm currently in a pretty bad flare up for weeks! Loads of achy muscles throughout my neck, back and hips. Mild pressure in my skull and the worst, peeing up to 12x/night all night so i can't sleep which in turn creates much more pain. Awful viscous cycle.
    I have a hard time not fearing my pain. My mind automatically goes to "how long will this flare up last!?" "I have too much to do everyday. I can't handle all this." Etc..etc..It's so hard to just accept it and not fear how long it'll stick around for. I do try hard though to remind my brain that I'm safe. I talk to it and say "there's nothing physically wrong with you. It's okay. This won't last..." I just don't know if deep down I believe it. Like, my conscience says there is nothing to fear but my subconscious feels that there is. It's like I'm in a battle of the mind every second of the day and can't help but fear if this is how the rest of my life is going to be.. *sigh*

    I guess all I can do is keep up the work. And as Nicole says, "patience and kindness towards yourself." ❤
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