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Self-fulfilling prophecy and worsening symptoms

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Misha, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Misha

    Misha Peer Supporter

    Hello everyone,

    We recently went on a family vacation - my husband and our children, and another family. It was fun but also stressful with so many small children and plane rides to negotiate. Before we left, I thought I was slowly beginning to make some progress accepting TMS and regaining a sense of calm, that was putting me in a good position to tackle this. But I also had this fear my symptoms (pelvic pain) would get worse while away and that our friends would notice that I was unwell (which due to the personal nature of my pain I was dreading). I decided to not let this happen, but it did anyway, almost immediately. I was sure that this was just due to self-fulfilling prophecy and stress and once home, my symptoms would reduce again. But this hasn't happened and the new level of my symptoms, which are also spreading, is very hard to ignore and generally just has me fearful and full of doubt. I have re-read Alan Gordon's program, and am also apart of Abigail Steidley's support group, and am following all the practices and doing my journalling but I feel I just continue to worsen and am stuck in this cycle and going nowhere. I also feel like I am struggling to make progress because I have so little time. I have two young children, one of whom has some special needs, and my husband is often away, leaving so little time to 'do the work'. Sorry, this is a bit of a 'pity party' but I'm feeling like I don't know how to get out of this slump and get back on track. If you've been there or can offer some advice, I'd be very grateful :)
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Sara. I wish your husband was not away so much so he could give you help with the kids and the house.

    The trip with husband and kids and the other family would probably give anyone TMS sumptoms. They didn't go away immediately upon returning home, but give it more time. It's just a temporary setback and we've all experienced that.

    You are doing the right things... Alan Gordon's program and the Steidley support group are excellent for TMS healing. Try to keep positive... tell yourself you are going to feel better than you ever thought possible. That should be your self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Misha likes this.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Sara,
    I know I've been where you are, and I think most of the people on this site can relate to the feeling of being stuck. Unfortunately, TMS healing is not a linear process, so there are many times on the road to recovery where we seem to be going nowhere, or even backward. If you keep going with the TMS learning and techniques you are engaging in, there will come a time when positive change occurs. The good news is that Dr. Sarno recommended that people spend no more than 30-60 min per day on TMS healing. I know it can be hard to carve out personal time with small children, but a little bit helps. I find listening to audio books on TMS healing (Sarno's Healing Back Pain is a favorite) is a good way to mulit-task while still working on TMS. You can listen while cooking and doing laundry, and just keep re-listening to it. His voice is very soothing, and the "knowledge penicillin" needs repetition to soak in. You only need to change how you respond to stress differently one time for your brain to begin to realize that there is another way, a better, healthier way. Keep an evidence sheet. Savor the positive changes you see, no matter how small. Your life will begin to change in positive ways if you stay on the path you are on. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. You can heal.
    JanAtheCPA and Misha like this.
  4. Misha

    Misha Peer Supporter

    Thank you for the words of encouragement and tips, Walt and Ellen :)

    I had this initial hope that as I started the process, I would see improvement and that would in turn reinforce that I was on the right track. So it's just discouraging to head in the other direction. It's always comforting to hear that others have been where you are and come out the other side.
  5. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    how frustrating....

    sometimes we can say to ourselves---ok don't have pain.....NOW

    but sometimes just the stress of not wanting pain at a certain time --- the fear of pain can bring it on. Alan Gordon talks about this a lot.

    training the brain to accept and welcome the pain and tms symptoms while at the same time repeating to ourselves:

    "this pain is psychological in nature.
    the pain is being caused by a deprivation of oxygen to my muscles, nerves, and bones..."

    and so on. I find mantras very helpful.

    sounds like you also have a bit of shame as an add on.

    Have you worked the SEP - done journaling to look for repressed anger or fear?

    best of luck and welcome,
    Miss Lucy
    Misha and JanAtheCPA like this.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Very frustrating, Sara - I get it. This is a lovely reminder from Lucy! And I think she also hit it on the head when she mentioned shame. It also sounds to me like you are beating yourself up for having pain on the trip - in fact, you probably have a whole lineup of negative emotions related to that trip, and I'd like to think that if you examine those, get to the bottom of them, and then apply a big dose of self-forgiveness and self-compassion, that you can turn this around.

    It is vital that you don't measure your progress, or watch the calendar. And even more vital to love and forgive yourself throughout the process. You'll get there.

    Misha likes this.
  7. Misha

    Misha Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the encouragement Lucy :) I am just starting the program attached to Alan's program and thought I would do the SEP after that. I journal to find repressed anger and fear but don't feel like I've made a lot of progress. I feel strongly that I have a lot of misplaced anger - little things make me angry and I know it has nothing to do with them, but when I journal I come up with all these reasons why I'm angry which intellectually make a lot of sense, but don't change that feeling at all so I think I am missing something.

    Thank you Jan too :) The trip did bring up a lot of issues for me and I should take the time to work through it. It's so hard not to measure progress when pain is involved but I know if I do I'm just putting more pressure on myself and misdirecting my focus. Thanks again :)
  8. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    sometimes if i feel I may have anger i write letters to individuals.
    I don't send the letters but i find I am always surprised by how i feel :)
    Misha likes this.

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