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So discouraged!!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jules, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    So about three weeks ago maybe a month ago, I came on here and was so excited because I was doing so much better. I was about 80% healed, and now, I feel like I'm back to square one. Not only has my pain returned, but so haa my anxiety which rears its ugly head in the middle the night, when my arms ache so bad. That causes all the adrenaline, which then causes nausea, which makes things hurt worse.

    I'm just really discouraged, because I glimpsed a shimmer of hope and started doing all the things that I could do before TMS, but it seems like my autonomic nervous system is so messed up that it can't regulate itself and stop the pain permanently.

    I woke up at 6 o'clock this morning because I was in such pain. It seems to hit a lot in the middle of the night or when I'm just going down to go to sleep, and it just feels like that whole area just aches. What's interesting, is that I haven't even been doing any strenuous activities, so I know this is TMS because I can feel the reduced oxygen in my blood since it gives me the tingly feeling, along with the cold sensation. What's frustrating is that I've been going to therapy and have had a lot of emotional memories pop up, which just makes my pain worse.

    I've been doing Sarnos work, off and on for the last five years, and I just don't understand why I'm not getting completely rid of the pain.

    I'm exhausted with dealing with this. I've gotten to a point where I didn't even think about all this stuff, and tried to just get on with my life, but the pain is still there. It seems I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't.

    So frustrated :confused:
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Are you taking time to rest and nourish yourself while you're doing all this hard TMS work? It sounds like you've been at it a long time, made a lot of progress, and have hit a stumbling block.

    Don't pressure yourself to overcome TMS in a hurry. It takes time. It's okay to back off and regroup. Give yourself some praise for all the hard work, and find a way to pamper yourself a little. You'll get back to it when you're ready.

    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Jules like this.
  3. Bonnard

    Bonnard Peer Supporter

    I can really relate as I joined this site after doing Sarno work on and off for years and then having a real setback and a return to on-and-off difficult symptoms.

    One part I've been reflecting on a lot lately, and it's been helpful: Since my brain is part of causing the pain to distract me from what's really going on--underlying emotional stuff--I'm up against a formidable foe. The deck is stacked against me because my brain knows all the tricks and patterns and means of coping that I use to get through the day.
    So, I'm really vulnerable because the pain will come at my weakest moments. And, when the pain comes, so do the negative messages: "The pain will never fully go away." "Those gains I made are far in the past." "What if the pain gets worse tomorrow--how will I deal with [insert really important event or commitment]?" "What about next year, etc...?"

    These are all just my own observations, not out of one of Sarno's books. I mentions this because I see that your pain is often in the middle of the night or just when you go down to sleep. That's a time when you might be a bit more vulnerable.

    All this reminds me that we have a powerful solution that works and we all need to celebrate victories and be patient and not get tricked into depression over our supposed lack of progress. Hang in there!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Jules like this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is very insightful, Bonnard. I believe that the key to doing this work is hearing those messages. Once you can hear them, you can counter them. It is incredibly effective to create a positive or constructive message that counters the negative ones - as long as it's true. Just distracting yourself with happy thoughts is not effective. The key is to find the lie in the negative message and to be willing to replace it with a constructive and positive truth.

    It's amazing how hard your brain will fight the counter-message! But if you see what it's doing, you can fight back. It's also surprising how effective it is to say the counter-message out loud.

    The one I use the most is: "This is just TMS - there is nothing wrong with me, and whatever this is, it is NOT necessary!"
  5. Bonnard

    Bonnard Peer Supporter

    Thank you for the positive words!!
    And prior to checking out this site, I didn't realize how effective these counter-messages could be. Sometimes, I'd just give in to the symptoms during the day, committing to myself that I'd 'work on it later' by reading Sarno texts or writing. I didn't realize I could use these counter-messages anytime. Thanks for reminding me about that...
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jules your anger alone is enough to keep you in pain. Yes there's repression but there's also surface emotions we have to beware of.
    It's a balance, soothe yourself by letting the anger go, loving yourself, gratitude, meditation and positive affirmations. Walks in the sun. Laughing, gratitude and so on.
    Now when you said you do sarnos work off and on. Well that's an issue there. Sarnos work has to be second nature, a part of you. Once you stop not fearing the pain, or being outcome independent, and then you fear it again, the tms will come back.
    Be outcome independent, don't fear the pain. Feel your emotions related to that pain.
    If I were you, I'd start the Alan Gordon Program to understand outcome independence and feeling your emotions.
    This should help you get back to where you were.
    But, never just forget the lessons, unless they all become second nature.
    I have been pain free for a long while now and I've had a setback or two but it was only like a day or two, a week at the most. You know why, cause I went back to the lessons I mentioned above. It's all a part of me now.
    Make these lessons a part of your subconscious by being consciously aware of them daily, you'll be fine.
    JanAtheCPA and Ellen like this.
  8. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'd also add to what Jan said, be outcome independent as I mentioned above and do the Alan Gordon TMS Recovery Program, it might still be called the TMS Recovery Program for short.
  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Herbie, could you please explain what "outcome independent" means?
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  10. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    No problem Tom. This is from Alan himself. It's already what you teach to so many Tom, it is good for us to post for a better, clearer thread.
    Bless you.
    1. One of the clearest paths to eliminating your symptoms is to take away the pain's power by overcoming your preoccupation with it.

      Easier said than done, right?

      Shifting to an attitude of outcome independence is a great technique to help achieve that.

      Outcome independence means your definition of success is independent of a specific outcome.

      My favorite example of this comes from the movie, "Dead Poet Society."

      One of the students has a huge crush on a girl from a nearby school, but is terrified to ask her out. Finally, with a burst of courage, he rides out to a party she's attending.

      Later that night, he returns to his schoolwith a black eye, and beaming with joy. His friends ask him what happened.

      "I asked her out," he replied with a huge grin.

      "And she said yes?" They asked.

      "No," he said, "and her boyfriend punched me in face."

      "Then why are you so happy??" His friends inquired.

      "Because I asked."

      He wasn't pleased by the outcome, he was pleased in spite of the outcome.

      Think how outcome dependent you tend to be with the pain. Assume you have Back Pain when you take a walk (or somecomparable situation.) Every time you take a walk, you monitor it. "Okay, today the pain started after a block. Yesterday it startedafter a block and a half." "Today it was a 3 out of 10 when I returned home. Last week it was a 7 out of 10 after the same distance."

      When you have a good walk, you feel happy, optimistic, feeling like you're on the right track. When you have a bad walk, you feel down, defeated, bad about yourself and your prospect of ever getting rid of the pain.

      This attitude, this outcome dependence is feeding the pain cycle. It's reinforcing its very purpose.

      Change your definition of success. Work on it. Success is no longer measured bywhether or not you have a good walk. Success is measured by how little you care.

      At the beginning of your walk, tell yourself, "It doesn't matter how much it hurts afterward. That isn't an accurate measure of monitoring my progress with PPD anyway. What matters is how little I let it affect me; how I refuse to let my mood, my self-perception, my feelings about the future be determined by how much pain I'm in afterward."

      This is not an easy transition, and you'll revert back to outcome dependence plenty of times. But if you keep at it, and continue to work toward altering your definition of success, you will strip the pain of its power, and it will likely lose its hold on you.

    Tennis Tom, Jules and JanAtheCPA like this.
  11. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like to think about outcome independence as follows: The TMS is here to distract us. If we are worried about whether we are getting better or worse (our outcomes) all of the time, then the TMS distraction will have us in our grip and will never let go. However, if we stop fixating on our body and don't let our happiness depend on our outcomes, then we will break its hold.

    I use it and find it super helpful.
  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  13. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    Wow, thanks everyone. I like the outcome independence or dependence, and seems to fit me to a T. I guess when you finally crack the code, you want to see results quickly, especially if you've had pain for so long. I found when I was doing things to challenge the pain, it went away. Once I stopped challenging it, thinking I had it licked, did it truly show its control and power it had over me.

    I think sometimes, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, who is tired of fighting and feel like giving up. But, like any disease and disorder, we have to stay with it, in order to overcome it and that can be very tiring. I would just like to heal and be done with it, as it has robbed me of years of disability.

    I will keep trucking on though, as I can see that elusive light at the end of the tunnel, and by God, I will reach it!! ;)

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