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

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by sery92, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. sery92

    sery92 New Member

    Hi everyone!
    This is my first post on the forum and I just started the educational program. Currently I am dealing with a chronic pelvic pain issue (which was diagnosed a year ago as vulvodynia), but through all my life I've suffered from different kinds of pains like neck pain, acid reflux, tension headaches, shoulders pain, nervous colitis, etc. I've been researching about TMS for about 3 months. I must say that when I started to read the work of Dr. Sarno and Dr. Schubiner, for some days my pain almost disappeared (lets say that it went form 7/10 to 1-2/10). I had in fact started doing the 28-days program described in Unlearn your pain and in the first two weeks of the program I had uncovered some really deep seated emotional burdens that I had been carrying through all my childhood, adolescence and adult life. The exercises in the program helped me to understand the connection bewteen some events in my life and the onset of pain: I was particularly convinced by the incredible coincidence of the onset of vulvodynia and the beginning of a new relationship; it also surprised me the fact that the pelvic pain began a few weeks after I had eventually cured my acid reflux and quitted all the drugs after five years of taking PPIs. The pain began so suddenly and there was really nothing to explain it: all the swabs test were clear, I had never had an infection in my whole life, no injuries, no problems at the low back, no allergies, nothing that could explain the onset of this constant pain.
    I also believe that it's TMS because the pain is constantly changing and shifting and can disappear or appear in really one second. That's crazy. Furthermore, the TMS explanation makes perfect sense to me because of all those personality traits described in the books: perfectionism, low self esteem, etc. These words describe me perfectly.
    I am getting to know myself better and, with time, I am learning to notice the connection between my emotional state and the level of pain.
    In the last three weeks, my pain rose again and I know it's because I was having a really bad mood for different reasons. 8 days ago I came back on this forum to read the healing stories of the women who had suffered from pelvic pain and, in 5 minutes, the pain magically dropped significantly from (8/10 to 1/10). Really, one moment I was in pain and the moment after I had just a little discomfort when I pressed hard with my finger.
    I was fine for 3 days and then the pain came back. I think what's stopping me from healing is the fear of pain (I should say obsession maybe). In the days I am fine I am constantly scanning myself for any signs of pain or discomfort and touch and ask myself every five minutes if the pain is coming back.
    So here I am again, starting the educational program to see if I can heal permanently.
    Do you have any suggestion to overcome the fear and the constant urge to check how the pain is going?
    I'd really appreciate it.

    Sorry for the long post and the errors, english is not my mother tongue.

    Best wishes for your health
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi sery92,

    Welcome to the Forum and Wiki. What you write below is really a big deal. If you can begin to track and review these changes, this is a great way to deepen your TMS work, and to understand that it is TMS you suffer from, not something physical. In other words, it is part of an effective way to treat your fear. So is connecting the onset of the vulvodynia pain to triggering events, your personality make-up, etc. as you're doing.

    Learning to be more mindful --observing inner and outer conditions with less "piling on" with emotional response is very helpful with fear. "I'm having fear right now, and I am present with this."

    This is Bodhigirl's post about meditation/mindfulness from another thread recently:

    The Headspace app has wonderful programs for anxiety, pain, stress. The goal of mindful meditation is not to rid of us feelings but to enlarge our inner life so that we recognize feelings that arise - and more importantly - notice when they pass, which they always do.

    Alan Gordon's program linked at the top of the page has some great guidance on fear and symptom tracking.

    Andy B
  3. sery92

    sery92 New Member

    Hello Andy B, thank you for replying.

    When you say
    "Learning to be more mindful --observing inner and outer conditions with less "piling on" with emotional response is very helpful with fear. "I'm having fear right now, and I am present with this." do you mean that when fear arises we need to stay present and feel it instead of trying to fight it? Did I understand it correctly?

    My problem with fear is mainly about worrying. I am indeed a real worrier. When fear comes, I start imagining the worst scenarios (stuff like "I'll never fully recover", "I'll never be able to get my life back" and so on) and feel so sad and enraged because the pain is taking away my youth and it's taking a toll on my relationship with my bf).
    As I understood from your answer, the goal is to accept fear as a normal emotion without over-thinking about it?
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes sery92, you've got the jist of this. This takes practice, regularly every day for 5 to 15 minutes in a controlled, planned time. Then you can apply it in-the-moment as you need it.

    Fighting inner experience tends to only make it stickier, make it stick around longer. Mindfulness takes courage, practice, and is non-interfering with whatever arises. It is a peaceful means, a compassionate means of dealing with being a human being!

    Another means is to do something particular like follow your breath, do yoga, etc., not just sitting and observing. These and other techniques give support to bring your attention to something else, to gently bring your attention to where you want it, where it is healthier for you. Not so much pushing away as gently re-attending to what you're involved in doing, sensations in the body, etc. These more active methods also reduce the "checking and fearing" activity, and are forms of mindfulness.

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