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Still Exasperated, Trying Not To Be . . . and Getting Nowhere

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by billiewells, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    Hi there,
    I apologise for this in advance if it is too long and thank you in advance for any help you might have.

    I completely understand that being exasperated does not work and that frustration with my situation does not help. However, my life is completely shite and has been for 3 years. Iread Sarno's books, read all I could lay my hands on re TMS and felt I had finally found an answer to my dilemma back in November.

    Recognising that my story was complicated and not likely to shift on reading, I decided to get some TMS therapy on Skype. My initial enthusiasm was tangible and as a typical TMS T type, I set out to do everything right. Of course this is wrong too and consequently, I have had no results.

    My world has become so small and my dreams smaller and not being able to walk is literally driving me nuts. I do not have pain which is hard when everyone mentions pain, but the dropfoot and subsequent weakness in my dorsiflexors is marked. With one session of therapy a week, I feel fine for that hour then next day I have gone off track. It is significant that this is the first time in my life that I am not in a relationship and do not have family, which as a really sociable person is hideous.

    I know I can not get back out into the world unless I can walk and yet trying too hard to get back out there is making it all worse. I am thrilled that others are finding their way through, but don't understand what I am doing wrong. I am smart, I feel I should know better but I am tying myself up in knots. I crave a more normal life, I haven't been in a shop for two years or been out for a meal. I have to troubleshoot the day just to feed and clothe myself and enough is enough.

    Please give me your thoughts on this - I factor in doing some meditation and understand the 12 points - but I seem to be going backwards!! If you are a UK citizen I would also love to hear from you.
    plum likes this.
  2. CMA

    CMA Peer Supporter


    Hi Billiewells...
    Sorry you are struggling. See my brief success story above. I started off with not being a ble to walk, went to a mall in a wheelchair and have gotten over a variety of symptoms that were really bad plantar fascitis, piriformis syndrome, allergies, sinusitis, hip pain, wrist pai, anxiety...Currently I am stressed and going through bunch of things again.
    Which books have you read?
    Have you done the structured education program?

    I would highly recommend starting the structured education program. That was what helped me turn things around. I made a committment and went through it and woke up daily at 5.00 and scheduled 5.30-6.30 before getting ready for work as the time to do it. Please start doing that. I wish you the best and please keep going it takes time but it will work and things will get better.
  3. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    Thank you for your story, I can relate to it in numerous ways. I think the SEP programme may be the way to go. When I started it I became a bit obsessive about it. I am not sure about journaling, it seems to churn me up
  4. sjcy

    sjcy New Member

    Billie, I don't have any advice for you that hasn't already been given, but I just wanted to give you a virtual hug. From my past experience with anxiety and panic disorder, I know that feeling of desperation. I told someone once that it felt like being on a plane about to crash, or a ship about to sink, every waking minute of every day. So miserable and exhausting.

    One thing that helped me was humor; finding something to laugh about in my predicaments. Another thing that helped was having this dialogue with myself:

    Q. "What's the worst that could happen?"
    A. "I might DIE!!"
    Q. "Yes, you will die. Sooner or later. Then your problems will be over. What else?"
    A. "I might be permanently disabled!!"
    Q. "And if you are, you'll have to find a way to deal with that, won't you? Are there disabled people you know who are living good lives anyway?"
    A. "Well, yes."
    Q. "Could you do that?"
    A. "Probably."

    And so forth...

    Much affection to you as you travel this hard path.

    Anne Walker likes this.
  5. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    Hi Susan
    Great advice especially about the humour, I think it's vital, and I love your self talk.

    Think probably the virtual hug is priceless in my current circumstances - many thanks
    sjcy likes this.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi billiewells,

    One thought on the SEP. I had a conversation with someone the other day where we brainstormed having the person do the journaling in session with a counselor. In other words, you'd have some external support for the feelings you encountered, right as you do the explorations. The SEP and the TMS Recovery Program, or using Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain workbook have had such good results, it seems worth it to find a way to engage this level of work for yourself.

    Part of the beauty also is that you are doing this. Not someone else. It is you and your practice of courage, independence, efficacy as you follow these programs. Perhaps with kind support. This support as you embark will probably help you do more of the program on your own as it feels right.

    Andy B
    Colly likes this.
  7. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    Thanks Andy. I can see how that might work, but also understand the value of doing it alone . Perhaps engaging in this forum will decrease my current sense of isolation and help me to return to tacking the journaling in the SEP programme. It does concern me that whilst thinking psychologically you can over investigate and lose touch with the moment/ the world
  8. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Sending a hug your way, Billiewells. I'm so sorry for your frustration and pain. So many of us have been there!
    I agree with @CMA's suggestion to work the SEP, found on this wiki. It is what sparked my recovery. It can be worked at your own rate, too.
    Wishing you better days.
  9. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    It does concern me that whilst thinking psychologically you can over investigate and lose touch with the moment/ the world

    Yes, I get that this fear arises. But with a little practice thinking psychologically can be a very light touch. If it overwhelms, take it slow, take a break. Dr. Sarno said "use your imagination" to contemplate what your Inner Child might be experiencing. You really can be right in touch with everything in your life, and just sense the flavors that are arising in the background of your experience, and connect this to the good Doctor's approach. Also, everyone needs assistance at times! I'm glad you feel that for the Forum here, to allow support from us...
    Colly likes this.
  10. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    Many Thanks
  11. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    I am certainly grateful for the support on this forum and look forward to being in a position to help others with my knowledge and success. Of course, until then I have demons to fight, which are fuelled by the sense of inadequacy that the process is proving so difficult. I am trying to let things float and clock when I am indulging negative behaviours. I understand that I am far too tough on myself but as time passes and I am aware that muscle weakness will add to my woes, I am propelled by a sense of urgency. I am no Spring chicken, so I am aware of the clock ticking. I want my life back, I want me back and I want to be back in the world experiencing all the wonderful things it has to offer. Above all I want to be one of the success stories. I sound greedy don't I? However I have a lot to offer the world and this tiny space of mine doesn't allow me to connect as I have so easily in the past.
  12. westb

    westb Well known member

    Hi Billiewells. I'm another brit of a certain age (66 - female, living on my own, just one sister who lives many miles away). I totally empathise with the frustration and the feeling that one's life is shrinking. In the past five years of pelvic pain which was preceded by two years with a severe lower back injury I've become a quasi-recluse which is not me at all. And I know my health and vitality levels have suffered in consequence I'm newish here too.

    I now have pelvic pain (levator ani + IBS) and the level of pain varies. Can be more or less OK but recently it's through the roof and that drives me to isolate myself. A wise friend I was speaking to on the phone suggested that maybe the way through this is to start - on a small scale - bringing moments of joy, small projects, outings, exercise etc back into my life and build on that. Sounds a bit like Sarno! Maybe if I do this, the physical will follow. Certainly my system is pretty flooded with stress hormones right now. So that's my project. Working on myself a la TMS, continuing my idiosyncratic spiritual practice, consciously seeking to fill my days with good moments, and taking small risks to do things that scare me rigid. Wish me luck.

    But I do understand this feeling of time slipping by. You are not alone in that. All the very best as you find a way through this with your particular symptoms.
  13. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    Thanks for your thoughts and nice to find another Brit on here. Here at home the resources are very inadequate. Appreciate your insight. Whereabouts in the UK are you?
  14. westb

    westb Well known member

    England, close to Welsh border. Not much TMS stuff around so I read, go online a lot, journal. etc.
  15. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    Not far from me! Perhaps we should message privately to support each other
  16. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  17. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

  18. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just another female Brit chiming in to say hello and I hear you. Currently I'm punching through the skin of a shrunken life and telling tms to use it as a saddle while it gets the hell out of my life. Frankly I am bored with it.

    While I can't engage in much one-on-one support due to having way too much on my plate already, I do enjoy my forays here.

    After playing the tms gig for what feels like an awfully long time I have come to the conclusion that at some point you just have to bite the bullet. (Note to self: for a person with face/jaw related tms you use a lot of face/jaw related metaphors).

    There is a line.
    You and tms are on one side of it.
    The good life is on the other.
    The line is not real.

    All the books, the practitioners, the posts here are all saying 'the line is not real'. One glorious day we *hear it* and then one shining day we *step over it and skip away*

    Some of us kinda get stuck with a foot on both sides but that's all it is. Mindgames.

    MWsunin12, Tennis Tom and Ellen like this.
  19. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi billiewells,

    I can certainly relate to your frustration and the social isolation that comes from living with TMS. But you are on the right track now and patience and persistence is needed in finding your specific path to recovery.

    In response to your statement about journaling--there has been much debate and discussion on this Forum about the value and necessity of journaling in recovery from TMS. I don't want to open that debate up again, as I feel that recovery from TMS is a very individualized and personal journey. I can only speak from my own experience. I found journaling very painful at first and it did definitely "churn me up". However, I believe this is exactly what I needed to experience in order to recover. I needed to convince my unconscious that I could look at all those painful experiences and get through being with the feelings that I had been repressing. I felt really bad for awhile, but then I moved through it. There is much learning in this experience. This takes away the unconscious brain's perceived need to distract you from all this by your TMS symptoms. So I believe it was very valuable in my case. After doing that for awhile, I can now "feel the feelings" at the time they are occuring and without needing to write them down-- most of the time.

    Wishing you the best....
    Orion2012, Colly and Tennis Tom like this.
  20. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    Thank you, that's an interesting and insightful observation, I will take it on board

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