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Seeking support

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Kana118, Jun 20, 2023.

  1. Kana118

    Kana118 New Member

    Hi, I would like some supportive messages. The short story is I healed myself before using Dr. Sarno’s method. After a traumatic event, I had chronic fatigue syndrome for 4 years(2003-2007). Dr. Sarno says this is severe TMS. I first saw the movie The Secret and worked on just feeling good and having a high vibration for 4 months. Then I found Dr. Sarno’s work and applied it, walking a little more each day or so. It took 10 months, but then I was back to normal energy. I was pretty good for 10 years. Then in 2018, after another traumatic event, I got cfs again, and I have not been able to heal myself yet. It is frustrating and discouraging. I am using several emotional tools in addition to Dr. Sarno’s methods, and I believe in TMS. But I keep increasing my walking a little and then it gets worse again. It’s been 5 1/2 years! I can’t do any of the active things I want to do. So recently, I thought of the two things I had last time that I don’t have now. Time at the beginning with little or no activity and a person who was supporting me big time. So I decided to do very little activity and try to get support. I’ve dropped down to a very small amount of activity and still some days I feel pretty sore and tired. I don’t want to just stay at home all the time. As for support, I hope you can help me. I have friends but they don’t understand TMS, so they don’t know how to support me. So TMS buddies, can you provide some supportive words? I will appreciate any you can give me. Thank you!
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Kana,
    Welcome to the Forum!

    If you recovered from TMS before you can do it again. Relapses can be scary and frustrating, but they are a sign you still need to do more self exploration. There are other tools on this site, like Alan Gordon's program or the SEP that you may find helpful. I think doing a structured program and continuing to read about TMS for about an hour a day is a good approach. Let us know any specific questions or concerns you have along the way, and we will do our base to support you.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. Kana118

    Kana118 New Member

    Ellen, thank you, thank you. Thank you for the words of support. I was beginning to think nobody would answer. Those are good points about self-exploration and doing a structured program. I continue to do self-exploration. I am thinking that this time since I have tried so many times to increase my walking and then it got worse that I have conditioning, and my mind doesn’t completely believe I can do this. Last time when I started Dr. Sarno’s program, I had no negative experience to cloud my self-confidence. I’m just not sure what to do with that information.

    I see that a lot of people viewed my post, and only one responded with some support. It is so uplifting for me to see support here. Even a one sentence reply is helpful. I will be very grateful.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Kana118, and welcome from me too! And I tell you, I don't know what it is, but I feel like I'm being pulled in a dozen directions the last couple of weeks, with events and reminders all over my calendar - and I don't even have kids, so I can't blame school and graduation stuff, although summer has a lot to do with it.

    Anyway, sometimes it does take a couple days for folks to catch up to the new threads, and you know what? sometimes people will simply post again, and get a response the second time because the timing works out. So it goes on a volunteer forum. Speaking of which, I've seen your helpful responses in support of others, which is awesome! These are tough times, and sometimes it's hard to keep up with the need for this information, as more and more people discover the power of the mindbody connection in what has become a difficult world to navigate!

    I also highly recommend the SEP. It was doing the SEP back in 2011, posting my progress, and receiving responses, that really contributed to my recovery from symptoms that had me on the way to becoming housebound at age 60. Although aging and world dysfunction in the twelve years following are both taking their toll, I can still confidently say that I am in many times better shape now than I was in 2011, and I still consider myself to be a recovery success story after a lifetime of untreated anxiety. Any treatment has been entirely on my own, thanks to Dr. Sarno, this forum, and the many ways in which we can practice mindfulness and learn to get out of our own way. It takes time, practice, and faith, and is always achievable.

    Do you know anything about Nicole Sachs? A lot of people go back and re-read Dr. Sarno to be reminded and renewed in their work, but Nicole is my favorite go-to for that. She has a number of paid programs, courses, and ongoing membership groups, but her weekly podcast is totally free, and I swear, it's like a little group-therapy session each week. She's been doing it non-stop since fall of 2018 and each show is gives me a boost. Nicole J. Sachs, LCSW, thecureforchronicpain.com. Her podcast is The Cure For Chronic Pain With Nicole Sachs, available wherever you get your podcasts (or use the Audioboom links available from her website, under the Resources tab).

    Hang in there - we're here, with you and for you.

  5. Kana118

    Kana118 New Member

  6. Kana118

    Kana118 New Member

    Thank you Jan the beloved,
    I appreciate your ideas and support! Thank you. You’re right, people can’t always get to things right away. I signed up at Nicole’s website. What is SEP?
    I’ll mention this for anyone reading here. There’s another book echoing Dr. Sarno’s ideas and with a few more ideas-Pain Free for Life by Dr. Scott Brady. It’s a good read.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. chris_mom

    chris_mom New Member

    Hi, I think SEP means the 6 week Structured Education Program that is available here on this tmswiki.org site. It really helped me!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. Kana118

    Kana118 New Member

    Thank you Chris_mom . How did it help you?
  9. chris_mom

    chris_mom New Member

    Hi Kana118,
    The 6-week Structured Educational Program (SEP) was instrumental in my healing journey. I had learned about Dr. Sarno 's work and already was no longer suffering from excruciating back pain (after 30 years of back pain and other symptoms!), but there were other pains that would occasionally pop up, most notably some foot pain that would not go away. So I decided to try the SEP and see what it could do for my foot pain. The SEP is a great tool because it addresses TMS from virtually all sides: past trauma, education about TMS, present stressors, etc. using journaling prompts, articles and testimonies. I just followed the program and my foot pain gradually went away. It hasn't come back since, and if any pains arise I now know how to deal with them and they always go away quickly.
    Ellen and JanAtheCPA like this.
  10. Kana118

    Kana118 New Member

    Thank you Chris_mom for that info. That sounds really good. I’ll try it.
  11. Kana118

    Kana118 New Member

    After I posted here at the end of June, I was in a pretty good mood for about 10 days. Now this is the third day. I’ve felt depressed and discouraged. I did not sleep at all one night. It was hard to get up the emotional energy to post here. But I’m doing it. I am trying all kinds of things-I started SEP. I journaled and continue doing all the emotional tools I’ve been doing. I feel like I’m not taking good enough care of myself because I was late to do some of the things like journal because I wasn’t aware I felt bad right away. I feel like I need to be perfect to do that and get well, and I just can’t be perfect. So I just need some more supportive nudges, please. They do make a big difference. Thank you.
  12. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perfection is a typical tms trait. Journal about it. Recognize that your perfection is your own personal ruler that nobody else is ever measuring you by.
    Striving: doing all the things to do them because “you must” is another tms personality trait. You can’t relax when you are doing, when your mind is rushing and so busy.
    How were you “late” to journal? Really, think about it! You were really just starting your tms journey in phases. Maybe that’s the pace your mind can handle, and it’s OK!
    Remember this road to wellness is about opening yourself when you had closed up and tightened to the world in a form of self protection. You did that slowly, over a lifetime.
    It takes time to feel safe opening back up, to change your ridged brain habits from being so hard and tight and fearful to being open and experiencing ALL emotions “good” and “bad” ( of course none are really either).
    Why not defy your perfection? Take a day off of journaling or doing the SEP. Instead do some self-care you love: bubble bath with wine and music, walk in the park. (I meditate with incense and a warm face mask).
    When you do this, maybe the next day journal about how you feel, challenging your thoughts and set ways. Think about what actually happened, the outcome and if you are safe being more flexible and open.

    Sometimes you will see or hear the words “be curious” with TMS work. It can be seen as an adventure to really “see” yourself.
    chris_mom likes this.
  13. Kana118

    Kana118 New Member

    Hi Cactusflower,

    Thanks for responding. Let me clarify a few things. I’m not a TMS beginner. I’ve been aware and a believer for at least 16 years. I know very well I’m a perfectionist. I do already take days off. I can’t for now take a walk. That’s one of the things that is so hard because I have cfs. And I did heal myself, using TMS techniques and compatible ones, 16 years ago from cfs. But I got it again 5 1/2 years ago after a number of traumas.

    I figured out that the traumas I’ve had made me feel unsafe. The TMS keeps reminding me with physical symptoms that I feel unsafe because I haven’t done enough to make myself feel safe. And I determined that I need to act quickly to recognize how I feel and do something about it. That could be journaling, EFT, or things like talking to someone who hurt my feelings. I think I’m doing pretty well at doing those things, but I just don’t always realize quickly -yes, I feel angry or worried etc. so I can do something. This is really the only insight I’ve had that makes sense as far as why I’m not healing yet. I have done a huge amount of emotional work in the last 5 1/2years and I’ve come far emotionally but not seeing signs of healing. I keep being able to walk a little more, then I get worse. This has happened over and over again. I’m also working on keeping my vibration high because that helped me last time (sometimes easier said than done) So it is discouraging. But I will keep going.
  14. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Okay, so now that we know a lot more about your background, let's get specific with this - did you by any chance feel pretty good, when starting the SEP, and experience setbacks partway in?

    @Cactusflower made several valid points that continue to apply to us "seasoned" TMSers no matter how many years we've been doing this. One is how we consistently fall back into perfectionist traits and beat ourselves up for not living up to self-imposed expectations.

    I also immediately homed in on your previous statement about "being late" to do things like journal - and I would also give you the same advice about being curious about that statement, in particular, because there's something negative going on there about your expectations. It's like your TMS brain is sitting on your shoulder with this constant little unconscious reminder that it's too late for you to succeed at this.

    I was a decent TMS success story for 9 years when the pandemic came along, on top of several years of increasing world dysfunction, and I was completely thrown off course, and developed sudden-onset, very late-in-life RA. Which is "not TMS" but there's no other explanation for it other than stress, so I'm being a good patient and taking the medication and working on the stress, but that is not easy in today's world, and aging doesn't help.

    2020 was the year I started seeing a therapist, and it's the first time I heard the advice to practice curiosity. Instead of trying so damn hard, and instead of beating myself up, have self-compassion, and be curious about whatever is going on emotionally.
  15. Kana118

    Kana118 New Member

    Hi Jan and Cactus,

    I appreciate both of you trying to help me. About SEP, Jan, were you thinking the exercises scared me and that’s why I got discouraged? I thought about it, and I think they did scare me some, but I don’t think that was a big part of my getting discouraged. I am a very curious person and willing to investigate all avenues and delve into my feelings even if it’s hard because I know that’s the way to healing.
    I don’t think perfectionism was the problem here. I realize saying I was late to journal was an awkward way to express my feelings and could have led you to think that was the problem. Let me explain. I felt very unsafe during the traumas I experienced as well as afterward. I’m on a journey to feeling safe. I’m definitely closer emotionally than a few years ago, but I feel the TMS is trying to decide if I’m ready to heal. If I don’t take care of myself well by doing what I need to do about difficult feelings, it feels I’m not ready. If something upsets me, and I’m not quite aware how I’m feeling or I dismiss my feelings (what I was taught in childhood), TMS feels I’m not ready. If I do react to take care of myself, but it takes a few days, in those few days TMS thinks I’m not taking care of myself, and I feel worse physically. I realize TMS means well and is trying to protect me and get me to feeling safe. Does all that make sense?
    I do think conditioning is also involved. Cognitively, I believe in TMS and being able to recover emotionally and physically, but emotionally, I’m having trouble because I keep getting worse after I get better.
    When I first wrote, a few days ago, I was hoping to get some support like hang in there Mimi, or some kind of sympathetic support for my difficulty. It is hard feeling no one I know really understands what I’m going through.
  16. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    The reason I asked about the timing is because many people report that at a certain point after starting the SEP they experience extreme brain resistance. This is in the form of new symptoms, worse symptoms, old symptoms returning, heightened anxiety, and even new or worsening depression.

    This is my encouragement, which is to say that this is proof of the TMS brain mechanism at work. Its job is to make you doubt, and convince you to give up. Your job is to double down, and keep going.
  17. Kana118

    Kana118 New Member

    I can understand what you said about timing.

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