1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

So, those self help books with blank pages...

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Huckleberry, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    You know the ones...they have the perfect cover, a good balance between fun and factual serious and always have a good intriguing title. They seem to offer to solve your entrenched pain problem for the ready sum of £8.99 and of course, this is the one that will work. Then you pick it up flick through the pages and your heart drops, its one of 'those' ones...probably a third of the pages are blank and are there ready for you to commit to the exercises that the author demands of you, with a dispirited air its returned to the shelf.

    These books rile me for 2 basic reasons. Firstly, I suppose I feel cheated. Why should I be paying for blank pages? This seems to me to be an obvious ploy to pad out what is probably a lightweight and basic book. Secondly, and more importantly to my point, it scares me...those blank pages imply that I am going to have to make an effort, I will have to do some work, far from just receiving that golden nugget of wisdom that will cure me in an instant I am going to have to 'do things'.

    This appears to be the problem for me, this doing things idea. I've known about the concept of TMS for 5 years which I stumbled across whilst suffering with health anxiety. Whilst the health anxiety resolved I now have lower back pain, sciatica and piriformis syndrome which has grown steadily worse and more frequent over the last 4 years. I've know about this concept all the while but the knowing has done bugger all for me...I'm one of those people stuck in the intellectual quagmire of trying to rationalise myself out of pain. I've walked this earth for 46 years wielding the sword of logic and reason in all my problem solving endeavours and I'd always assumed it was serving me well. The truth is my trusty weapons are now useless in the face of this adversory and I'm floundering big style.

    I always like to credit myself with thinking clean and repudiating the physical but I know in my heart of hearts this is lip service. I am consumed by fear that my symptoms will get worse and worse and that my identity as a runner/hiker will be lost. I have had a bonkers few years and it was only when I wrote it down yesterday that I realised just how intense it was.

    June 2007: Health scare that started my health anxiety
    Jan 2010: Son born
    August 2010: Dad died (undetected cancer)
    October 2010: Step father died (prostate cancer)
    December 2010: Mother had serious accident, in hospital over xmas
    June 2011: Mother cancer scare
    March 2011: Mother diagnosed with terminal cancer
    October 2012: Mother died (cancer)
    July 2013: Made redundant

    As you can see there is a heady mix of stressors there...factor in trying to sell my mums house and me fitting all the TMS personality types to a T it seems a no brainer but I still put off doing the real work and just spend my time reading more and more books and articles in the hope something will finally click. I've seen a TMS specialist in the UK who is convinced I have TMS (but he would say that right) but its still as if I need that 100% guarantee that it is TMS for me to commit.

    Since leaving work last July I hoped I would improve. I got a generous settlement from work and had the proceeds from the house sale so financially we are ok and I don't need to worry about finding work at the moment. I have booked a trip to climb Kilimanjiro in September and thought I would progress but the reality is my pain is getting more frequent and intense. I can't but feel that this is related to the fact that my days are really now just blending into one. Most of my friends are working so I seem to be just spending hours in bloody coffee shops googling about TMS and back pain and/or shopping and buying stuff I don't need....I'm also generally eating crap and have noticed some weight creeping on as my activity levels drop off. I think i'm basically bored and unfulfilled so maybe my body is just trying to tell me this and point me back in the right direction. I'm sure I also have a well of unresolved grief and guilt from my mothers passing and of course 5 years of health anxiety doesn't do the nervous system any favours.

    Anyway, I suppose I'm just trying to understand what it is that is stopping me from committing and what is making me adopt these plainly self sabotaging behaviours...any thought and opinions most welcome.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree that books on healing should not include blank pages. We all have blank sheets of paper we can write on.

    Huckleberry, your guilt from your mother's passing and 5 years of health anxiety would be enough in themselves
    to give anyone TMS pain. But if you're even thinking of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro you can't be in too bad shape.

    It looks like you've done some TMS work like writing that list of stresses, but have you totally believed that your
    repressed emotions will rid you of the pains? TMS won't work for you until you do that.

    Good luck and keep us all informed of your progress.
  3. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Hi Walt...yeah, the blank page thing was really a metaphor for the avoidance seeking behaviour but yes, as you quite correctly state, we all do indeed have our own blank sheets of paper.

    Yep, thats the struggle for me and probably for most people on here...I can process the concept on an intellectual level all day long but actually applying it to myself is a whole different thing. The TMS therapist chap I see tells me that a lot of the people he sees cannot actually get their head round the concept of TMS/stress illness/somatisation on any level and I think that I'm so receptive to it on that one level probably frustrates me.

    I think that was the point of my post really...just the frustration that I have been on this horse for 5 bloody years now and it still seems to be galloping off out of control with me unable to slow it down. I suppose thats the thing though, whilst the length of time is relevant in how entrenched and good the strategy gets is, the time for recovery is irrelevant if I'm not actually 'walking the walk' so to speak.

    It is frustrating as I know all the correct and accepted protocol to implement but I'm still intent on searching and searching and this just has the effect of stopping me implementing what I need to do...I suppose this is TMS'ing about TMS on a certain level.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have a suggestion, Huckleberry, for how you can get personal with your repressed emotions.

    I wrote a book about my life, from my parents and grandparents to myself and my older brother and sister,
    from my earliest memories of childhood. It was quite a project and took some time, but I loved it.

    It made me understand my relationships and my personality and that all was like a long form of
    journaling. I even just had it published, free, by CreateSpace. I call it UP THE ALLEY AND OVER
    THE FENCE. It may remind some of A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, a great book and movie from the
    1940s, about some years before that.

    Writing a book of one's life can take some time, but you will learn a lot about yourself even if you
    just write about the early years through high school or college.

    I hope this helps.

Share This Page