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Support Group - YUK

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Stella, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    It was so hard for me to make the decision to start a support group because I knew I would be setting myself of for criticism which I always avoid. I only pick assignments I want to do that I know I can be perfect at doing. One minute I am exhilarated because I have helped one person, the next minute I am in pain and depressed because all my TMS Personality traits kick in. I am driven and determined to get it done. I am trying to do everything perfectly. I am getting suggestions of did you consider this or that….. yuk.

    I am trying to let go and relax and not have to control everything. I have sent a letter to my Uro-gynecologist telling him about my remarkable recovery and want to present to his staff. No response…. Not even a “not at this time.”

    I sent an email to my Internal Medicine Doctor who has seen my remarkable recovery. She indicated she would “consider” being a Mind/body doctor. No response at all.

    I sent a letter to an Integrative Medicine Doctor …. No response. And more letters to others. I know, I know this is very normal particularly in the Midwest where Doctor’s are very conservative. No TMS Doctors allowed.

    Talk about rejection galore. I journal to myself to not take this personally. It has nothing to do with me. I am a great person with a wonderful experience to share. …blah, blah, blah.

    I have 10 coming to my support group. When I tell people/friends about TMS I am selective about whom I tell. I pick people who I see have the personality traits and chronic pain, and who I don’t think will rejection. Now I am going to be standing in front of a group of people who I have not picked…most I don’t know ..telling my story. I will watch for every eye roll, shoulder shrug head cock to the side, heavy sigh and negative tone. Yikes get me out of here.

    Oh crap, what have I done. I want to run away, crawl under my bed and hide. This is too hard.

    Forest, you have been so supportive and encouraging. I really appreciate everything you have said and done for me to help me along this path. There are days when I am ready to take a detour….. like now. The fear of failure and rejection is overwhelming.

    Ok, then I say.. just get through the first one. Just do it then decide. I have several other TMSers coming to provide moral support. Ok, I feel better…sort of.

    Journal, Journal, Journal

    (I really had to laugh at myself after reading this note. I am a 61 year old woman wanting to crawl under my bed and hide..... yes indeed.... here I come. )
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Don't forget that the support group is also for you!

    I've notice that "how you do one thing is how you do everything." I bring the same level of perfectionistic intensity to healing as I do to everything else! BUT...as I become more conscious of this and work on the underlying causes, the patterns are shifting.

    I think you are doing great (not that you need my approval...)
    EricMd likes this.
  3. RikR

    RikR Well known member

    I ran community mental health support groups for years and a couple of times I sat oin my car afterwards and cried....as the group leader, read expert, I was giving what I wanted and I did not have it to give
  4. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Most of the time I am seeing this as a positive experience. The 2nd phase of my 37 day program knowing I will always have work to do. It is a continuation of understanding how my personality traits cause physical pain and depression.

    Gosh darn, this is sure a lot of work.... just give me a pill. Well, there is no such pill.. guess I have to do the work.
    Forest likes this.
  5. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I have my support group Thursday. It has been very interesting all the new physical symptoms I am having. I think my mind is trying to stop me from doing this by distracting me with new symptoms. I have had heart palpitations which I find very intriguing. My knees are feeling wobbly but I am still walking my 4+ miles each day. I developed a rash on my face.. now that is crappy. I think this is something important for me to do otherwise my body wouldn't be putting up so many road blocks. All these symptoms are ones I have never had. How curious.

    Veronica, you are right.... it is for me too.
  6. RikR

    RikR Well known member


    What is the focus of your support group – Do I understand that you are the organizer.

    I found this statement a curious twist: “I think this is something important for me to do otherwise my body wouldn't be putting up so many road blocks. All these symptoms are ones I have never had. How curious”

    You could also interpret these symptoms as you body telling you it does not want you doing this. It would seem that your interpretation is the common TMS personality trait of striving and pushing through.
    veronica73 likes this.
  7. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    See how you feel after the first meeting. You don't really have to do this. You don't have to help anyone else with TMS. You're not obligated in any way. You deserve to be feeling healthy again and you don't owe anyone anything.

    Hopefully the group will provide an opportunity for you to share some of these kinds of concerns about the pressure you put yourself and you can get some support from the others.

    I have run a number of peer-led groups over the years and I've been in a few as well. Groups bring out a lot of our "stuff" and at least in my case bring up old childhood patterns. If it's a group you feel safe in, it might be a chance to work through some of that stuff.
  8. RikR

    RikR Well known member

    In my experience being the leader allows us to focus on others and the group and not ourselves
  9. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Yes, Veronica, I agree. I see the first one as a test run and each one after that also as an individual decision from month to month.

    I compare the additional symptoms I am having right now to the start of the 37 day journey where you are told your symptoms may get worse. I feel this is a start of another very unique journey. I think my mind creating pain is saying "we got to stop her, she is going to learn a lot more stuff."
    veronica73 likes this.
  10. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Sneaky mind! But you're on to it now :)
  11. RikR

    RikR Well known member

    My previous inquiry was - are you the group leader and is it a TMS group??
  12. Stella

    Stella Well known member

  13. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yikes! I’m sorry, but I’ve been teaching myself video production recently and have been a bit distracted with the discussion group, so I haven’t been around the forum as much recently. I should have a great video to show for it later today, though. Thanks for reaching out.

    You are a great person with a wonderful experience to share.

    Remember the quote I sent you earlier: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear." ~Ambrose Redmoon

    You are inspiring and I think we can learn from you. How did you get 10 people?!

    I like this post. When I think of what you have to give, it is your own story, which is amazing. I think that one of the main principles of TMS/PPD/SI organizing is that whether someone is ready to listen says volumes more about the listener than it does about the speaker. Whether they are ready to accept it or not is about them, not you, and is something that you can’t help them with.

    When I first learned about TMS, back in 1996, I didn't buy it either. It took me another 12 years, until I read some success stories by people who were just like me, and I realized that I had to take it seriously. Steve Ozanich famously threw the book across the room.

    Some will probably roll their eyes. Just imagine them in their underwear. :)

    I think that where we can have a reinforcing and meaningful experience is by being there for the ones who are ready to listen. Those are the lives that we have an amazing opportunity to help transform.

    ... plus we get to learn a bit more about ourselves along the way. It was fun to read your posts in this thread and see the gears turning:
    Thanks for posting. I'm sure it will go wonderfully.
  14. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

  15. EricMd

    EricMd Peer Supporter

    The support did go well. I hope it did not flare your symptoms too much. I am sure everyone's anxiety and pain levels were up walking into the meeting room. Thanks again for facilitating the group. Do not feel pressured to do another group if it was not worth it to you. If your doctors aren't interested in TMS then don't worry about it. People have to be ready for change and they are obviously not. Thanks again.
  16. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sandy, it's really interesting that you used MeetUp to set this up - that's brilliant! Are you still recovering?
  17. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well done, Sandy!
  18. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I'm not sure the format of your group, but maybe ask people to take turns moderating the meeting or have someone co-moderate with you?
  19. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Thanks everyone for your support and suggestions. I have been mentally processing everything the last few days. Below is the note I sent to the Members of the support group. We had 2 walk-ins for a total of 12 attending. 5 never heard of Sarno. So that created some interesting dialogue and challenges.

    I want to thank each of you for taking time out of your busy schedule to come to the Support Group. I feel it was a great success and some got exposed to a new way of thinking about their physical symptoms that can be potentially life changing for them.

    I have made a decision to NOT be the facilitator for the Support Group. Of course the reasons are complex and not completely easy for even me to understand.

    It was a very hard decision for me to make to start the Support Group. But because I have found a life changing experience with Dr. Sarno’s concepts I have been driven to help other people who suffer with physical pain, anxiety and/or depression. As stated I have found significant relief in all 3 areas. It is exhilarating when someone like Eric is finding relief from pain. Dee, also, is making great progress based on Dr. Sarno’s beliefs.

    At the same time my own personality traits that create the need to be driven and determined all my life also cause me physical pain, etc. Being a perfectionist, people pleaser, my own worst critic, also cause me continual mental challenges to manage all my physical symptoms. As I said Thursday night, the TMSwiki program/process helped me learn to be aware of my thinking/thoughts which in turn help me manage all my symptoms.

    As I started work on the Support Group I started having a number of additional symptoms. My sleeping got worse. I started having heart palpitations which I found intriguing knowing they are on the list of mind/body symptoms. I started having knee problems but again new they were mind/body symptoms so I continued my walking 4-6 miles each day.

    One thing I have learned about my life is a pattern of getting involved in various organizations, being on the board but always finding a way/excuse to never be in a major leadership role. I have played this out my entire life. Now I know why because all my personality traits get activated i.e. fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of disappointing others. The TMSwiki gave me insight to this pattern.

    I am still so new in the recovery process that I am still working on building my foundation for a life without pain, anxiety and depression. My guess is I will be working on this all my life using all the tools we discussed. First continue my education using Dr. Sarno’s beliefs as my foundation then journaling, meditation, and exercise.

    I am hoping someone will decide to be the facilitator of the Stress Illness Support Group using Dr. Sarno’s program. The foundation is in place and we have already planned the discussion for the next meeting. I would like to be a member. Please let me know if you would like to be the facilitator or if you know someone who might be interested.

    The fact that each of you attended this group shows that you place your health as a priority. As said to me recently, if you don’t, nobody else will… nobody.

    Below is a 53 minute video by Dr. Gordo Mate. I know, I know 53 minutes… too long. The title is How Stress can Cause Disease. I kept hearing this was fabulous so I finally decided to listen. Then the next day I listened again. I found it to be profound. He defines stress as repressed healthy emotions/anger. As Dee said, she believes this leads to cancer and many other major illnesses. See what Dr. Mate says about this. His latest book is When the Body Says No.

    I wish each of you the best down your path to wellness. I know you will find success. Each of you have my phone number and email address. If you need support or suggestions, let me know. I am happy to get together for coffee.

    JanAtheCPA and veronica73 like this.
  20. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Hi Sandy,

    I just thought I would let you know-- you got me walking. When you were first starting out and had so much pain, but were walking four or fives miles anyway, I thought if you can do it, I can too. I was being so fearful of increasing pain, even though I didn't have nearly as much as you. Now I walk more and more every day, hardly any pain, and am really getting strong.

    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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