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Stuck at 85% recovery

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by levfin003, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    As some of might know, I have made a significant recovery from crippling neck pain and vertigo just by reading Sarno's book, journaling my emotions, and resuming activities. I do feel that my healing has plateaued, and wanted to get some advice on the next steps. While TMS no longer controls me from engaging in activities, it is still affecting the quality of my life.

    I wanted to discuss how to continue this healing while being good to myself, and without making a laundry list of to do items. I find that I have a lot of anxiety and want to calm myself down. Are anti-depressants a good way to do so?

    I also realize that am very figgity to sit through a meditation session. Should I try hypnotherapy instead?
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  2. SunnyinFL

    SunnyinFL Well known member

    Hi Levfin,

    Please make sure to take the time to congratulate yourself on your progress. An 85% recovery is huge progress!!!

    Please know that it's common and "normal" to experience a plateau. I'm happy to hear you are focused on being good to yourself and not causing yourself extra pressure via a long laundry list. Did you know that anxiety is a TMS equivalent? You can treat it with the same techniques you used to recovery from physical pain - i.e., talk back to it (i.e., "everything is fine; STOP IT"); don't dwell on it; turn your focus to your emotions instead. If you use the same techniques that you used to conquer physical pain, you will likely get some relief because you've already proven that you can recover from TMS. If you consider anti-depressants, just make sure to be fully informed and make a decision that is a good one for you - i.e., not a decision based on fear. If you keep working the recovery program, you may find that you don't need to consider a prescription.

    It's also "normal" to fidget when trying to meditate. Don't worry about it, just note it and release - "look, there's a fidget" - then take a breath and let it go. Meditation is a great tool, but it is a process and a skill - you'll increase your skill as you continue to practice. Start with just a few breaths or a few minutes, and then try a little longer. Make sure to be patient and just be a curious observer with no judgment.

    It sounds to me like you've already made great progress! So, just continue to use the tools that work for you and persist - recovery is a process. Best wishes, Sunny
  3. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great posts by Sunny.

    I would just like to add, meditation is about learning to be, there is no right or wrong way to do it, it's merely about harnessing your awareness and letting go without judgement - simply being. Don't go into meditation with the thought that it will help you heal, or be a better person. While you may benefit from these qualities on a deeper level, meditation is about feeling your thoughts and not acting.

    All the best,
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
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  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Levfin. A agree with Sunny that you are making wonderful progress toward totally healing.

    Kevin posted recently that he is now 95 percent pain free. Here is how he did it:

    Kevin healed 95 % from SEP (Structured Educational Program), free in the subforum on this web site. If you haven't taken it yet, I urge you to.

    Welcome to the SEP and to the path of recovery. I am on my final two days of the program and I can say with complete confidence that I am a changed man. I started after 6 months of nasty low-back/butt/leg pain, could hardly walk, stand, etc. was in physical therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, pain medications, etc.. the usual. My MRI showed 3 disk bulges/herniations touching nerves, so that is what I believe it to be....that is until I read Dr. Sarno and found this site.

    I encourage you to really get involved, follow the instructions, do the journaling, take time to read all the suggested readings, and watch the videos. I'd say I'm 95% cured. There is still some very light lingering "annoyance", but I still have some work to do. I've been walking miles with hardly any pain these last few weeks. But even more, if the pain comes on now, it just doesn't bother me like it used to, I sorta just see it, acknowledge it, and go about my business. It took working the program to get to that point, but 6 weeks compared to 6 months is nothing! I made more progress in the first week than I did from two months of PT!!! It's going to challenge you and your "beliefs" in medicine, but you have nothing to lose. We generally wind up here when all else fails.

    So give it a shot, especially before considering anything invasive like surgery. If you put the work in, you will get better. Have you read Dr. Sarno yet? I assume you have since you're here, but in case you haven't, definitely readHealing Back Pain. Again, it will challenge everything you've believed about your pain, and backs in general. You'll be encouraged to resume life as normal, i.e. stop ALL "therapies" (PT, chiro, etc.), stop taking medications, and most importantly, stop thinking STRUCTURAL problems are the cause of your pain and shift to psychological as the reason.....again, this can be difficult and takes some time to sink in, so be patient and kind to yourself.

    It was a process for me. A few of the bigger moves in my case were: I ripped up and threw out my MRI test results (I found myself obsessively reading over them and comparing them to other results I could find on the web and even here on the TMSwiki site...); I got back to the gym and stopped using a weight belt; and I even cancelled an appointment I had made with aTMS doctorbecause it was more than a month away and it was hindering my recovery (that is, my 100% belief in TMS was lagging because I had this pending appointment, but as soon as I cancelled it, my recovery sped up significantly). Everyone's journey is unique to their situation, but I've found that really committing to the program and brining what I learn from it into my daily life has had profound results. Also, sharing along the way here in these forums has been extremely helpful - there's something about knowing that you're not alone in your TMS recovery that really helps. I encourage you to look through my past posts for some insight into my experience with SEP. Like I said, I'm just now finishing, tomorrow is my final day, and I feel like a changed person. It's amazing. And I feel as though it is something that one carries on with, not just like a one time 6 week thing and that's that...it has helped me to get to know myself and taught me tools to "deal" with my emotions. Learning and accepting TMS is a life changer for sure.
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  5. Grateful17

    Grateful17 Well known member

    Congratulations on getting to 85%. You got some fantastic advice from Sunny, Mike and Walt. I wanted to add that in the beginning when I tried to meditate, not only did I fidget a lot, I also got increased symptoms. That does not happen anymore. I let go of putting labels on things and just focused on mindful meditation and it WORKS.!!!!! It is helping me so much. There may also be a symptom Imperative working here. Your brain just needs a little more time to let go of trying to overprotect you.

    Just my opinion, but I would not go the chemical route with an antidepressant. I would get to the root cause, (anxiety) as being TMS related and work from that standpoint. Start out with short meditations and work your way up. They don't need to be long or drawn out and take up too much of your time. Even 5 to 15 minutes a day, or twice daily, really adds up and calms the autonomic nervous system.

    Steve Ozanich mentions in his book The Great Pain Deception about Dr. Weil and his CD of calming Breathing exercises that help many. I got mine on Amazon.com. Andrew Weil, BREATHING The Master Key to Self Healing.
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  6. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great CD, I use that one too.
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  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Lev, and congratulations for your success so far! Isn't it amazing and awesome?

    I completely agree that mindfulness meditation and working on being in the present moment are probably very important, if not vital, for getting over the last plateau of recovery. Not that 100% is possible 100% of the time, mind you. TMS is a condition of the human psyche and a product of evolution and for those of us with the "right" personalities, it's a lifelong condition that will have its ups and downs. But with our knowledge, belief, and faith, I am sure that it's possible to get close to 100% most of the time, and we can deal swiftly and gracefully with any setbacks when they come. I would say that my best so far is about 90% - and 90% makes me pretty darn happy!

    But I'm still missing the component of true mindfulness - I do it a little bit here and there - and when I manage to do it more, I can clearly feel a positive difference in my physical and emotional state.

    The great news is that there is an online Mindfulness Summit that is "taking place" during the month of October (which @mike2014 found and posted, btw). It's free, and co-sponsored by an online resource center called SoundsTrue where I've previously bought some great audio programs. The main sponsor is a site called Mrs. Mindfulness which (who?) I'd never heard about, but I look forward to finding out more. The daily speakers are really well-known teachers and authors of mindfulness and meditation, and registration includes a packet of audio meditations and an e-book from Tiny Buddha and free access to an 8-week course! Did I mention it's free?!

    I think it will be a fun and rewarding group project, so please join in and spread the word, everyone!
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