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Stuck and frustrated

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by nature girl, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. nature girl

    nature girl New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first time posting on any TMS forum. I am anxious about sharing my story because I'm shy and don't generally participate in on-line forums. Anyway, a bit of background about me. I am 50 years old and have suffered from carpal tunnel since I was 19. I've been conditioned to think that it is a result of hard physical labor (gardening and wood splitting). After reading numerous books about TMS I can see that the initial onset of symptoms occurred during a very difficult time in my life. I have also had other TMS symptoms including gastrointestinal issues, interstitial cystitis, headaches, rashes and itchy skin, periodic low back pain and most recently (last 1-2 years) numbness and pain in my feet and pain and weakness in my legs. I have also suffered from general anxiety for many years and was surprised to read that this could also be caused by TMS. I tend to be anxious and stressed most of the time and the physical symptoms come a go sometimes in response to a particular stressful event but other times they just arise for no apparent reason. My physical symptoms have never stopped me from doing physical work-anxiety has by far been my most debilitating symptom, although much of it may arise from my very strong self-critic and my perfectionism. I have been in some kind of psychotherapy off and on since I was 11 years old so I understand where much of my stress comes from (past and current sources) and understand how my personality traits contribute to stress. I completed Dr David Schechter's Mindbody workbook program, the Structural Education Program, and Alan Gordon's program and watched Dr Sarno's Healing Back Pain:The Mindbody Prescription DVD and have read all of Dr Sarno's books, Dr David Schechter's book Think Away Your Pain, and Dr Marc Sopher's book To Be or Not to Be..Pain Free. And yet, I still have pain and anxiety. I feel very stuck and frustrated and hopeless because I don't seem to make any progress. This lack of progress feeds my self-critic, reinforcing my deep belief that I am so messed up and beyond help. I don't really know where to go from here that's why I finally decided to post to this forum. Thanks for being here.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi nature girl,

    Welcome to the Forum and the Wiki! I am glad you're here, and I hope you find some support along the way. I'll mention some things you may already know. Feel free to ask questions, and ask for support.

    First, I would recommend you stay engaged with some kind of "program" if you still have it in you. We have two Alan Gordon programs. This one:
    https://www.tmswiki.org/w/index.php?title=TMS_Recovery_Program&redirect=no (TMS Recovery Program) and his newer one listed on the right margin of the Wiki. Also recommend Dr. Schubiners "Unlearn Your Pain" workbook. Even if you just stay engaged lightly, and read some of Dr. Sarno's work every day, this will keep educating you down deep, and new insights will come.

    Or if you want to go "pure Sarno" here is a post Forest made with a summary of all the activities Dr. Sarno recommended from his books.

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/section-1-introduction.4628/#post-28646 (Official Thread - Section 1 Introduction)

    Your work with a therapist can be very helpful if you educate him/her about the TMS approach, or if you simply use the insights you have to "think psychologically." Or seek out help trained in TMS directly.

    Your understanding of the Inner Critic/superego and your perfectionist personality is a huge help, as you know. I suggest you inquire into what the Inner Child feels in relationship to your personality activity around perfectionism and the superego attacks, and use this understanding ---of difficult emotions which "don't want to be felt," to explain your symptoms.

    Andy B
    Ellen likes this.
  3. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    I feel you. I thought I was making progress but then my symptoms went through the roof. Hopefully they'll calm down soon. When you sat carpal tunnel do you mean nerve pain and tingling? Or just wrist pain. I have all of the above and extremely cold hands and elbow and shoulder pain.

    I thought I was getting better but just had a big relapse so I feel you. Hopefully we'll both be through it soon.
  4. nature girl

    nature girl New Member

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for your detailed response. I'm not sure if I have it in me to do another program. I feel like I'm trying too hard and the info is not sinking in even though I understand it intellectually. I do journaling but it is just an exercise because I am already aware of many of the insights/connections that other people get from journaling and reading. I also tend to be negative in my journaling, reinforcing my negative self-narrative, which I don't think is helpful at all. When I read books I look for all the areas that don't fit me. This again supports my self-narrative of being beyond help.

    Re your last comment about inquiring into the Inner Child: I have a good idea what my inner child feels but can't get in touch with those feelings and learn to tolerate them so they can lessen or at least not make me feel so bad (Alan Gordon's programs are great, I did them both, but I can't get in touch with these feelings). I seem to have very strong defenses against feeling the anger and what I believe is sadness underneath. Anger and sadness that I could never be who I am because the world doesn't value or support a quiet sensitive person like myself. I'd like to feel those emotions but my psyche doesn't allow it. So the emotions just come out in tension, pain, nearly constant anxiety. I've been doing meditation for 10 years and used to study the Diamond Approach, a spiritual path that inquires into emotions by allowing them to arise and just be so that they can be understood and pass/lessen in their own time. I can never feel the emotions really-my mind seems to distract itself automatically.

    I'm not really sure what kind of support I'm looking for but I am grateful that you took the time to respond.
  5. nature girl

    nature girl New Member

    Hi cdub,

    I have nerve pain and tingling in my fingers-the wrist just feels painful. I also have shoulder pain at times and have bad circulation in my hands and feet so they get cold easily, which is hard because I love to be outside and it has been a brutally cold winter. I hope that you feel better soon. I don't know if my pain will ever go away unless I find some new way to get past my emotional defenses. Thanks for your encouragement.
    cdub likes this.
  6. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    Wow - that's pretty much my symptoms to a T as well currently. (or at least the current version of them) I hope we both can find our way through this soon!
  7. cdub

    cdub Peer Supporter

    Actually scratch that - I just had cold hands... but guess what I have now. Cold feet. Never had cold feet before. F'n TMS.
  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi nature girl,

    You clearly know yourself, and your inner structure's relationship to TMS symptoms. This is very good!

    I think your psyche can allow the sadness and anger, but perhaps this is easier with the right support. Just dipping in briefly to these difficult emotions, and then using this knowledge to "think psychologically" every time symptoms arise can be very beneficial. All of us have defenses, including TMS, and they can be worked with gently over time.

    Diamond Approach is very deep. As you perhaps learned with this school, you don't need to go anywhere. This includes in your TMS work. It may be helpful to allow the "distract" and feel this, really allow this, including the fears about not getting deep enough, defending against the superego activity that "you're not doing this right" (and parental messages related to this superego activity) and your sincere longing to have relief. I feel there is a lot right there which will take you more deeply, quite naturally.

    Andy B
  9. KevinMartilloViner

    KevinMartilloViner Peer Supporter

    This could help

    https://audioboom.com/posts/7173184-057-kevin-martillo-viner-phd?fbclid=IwAR1CxclQBTuxw9OumREHNhwRIcY_2wKTHcUQa5bW77_fiUvHT897Bv7T8NA (Audioboom / 057 - Kevin Martillo Viner, PhD)

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