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Surprised, grateful and worried

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Teacherlove, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Teacherlove

    Teacherlove New Member

    hi everyone, I'm on day three. I'm surprised, REALLY surprised to discover this process. I'm grateful that so many of you take the time to check back in caring for us that are just starting out. It's a huge comfort to search question even from google and find so many of you answering question after question with long thoughtful answers. And of course I'm worried. I suppose that goes without saying. I've had bladder discomfort since October. No good reason, but not willing to do cystoscopy to confirm. Just pretty darn sure my bladder is fine. Have seen doctors and PT tho. Doing a good job of reading, homework, and ditching the IC diet and PT and all manner of other props. But I guess I do have a question. Many years ago after a horrible traumatic time a dropped into an anxiety disorder overnight. Went to counseling had some pills and got through it in about six months. Rarely any issues since even after my husband left our family. But NOW I'm worried (and have read stories) that my bladder issues (mild bit aggravating) will morph into anxiety or at least a lot of crazy making mental gymnastics with this process. Frying pan into the fire so to speak. Would rather have bladder issue than anxiety. How can I do this mental work, keep calm and not panic that if I don't control my mind properly my body is going to go off in a ditch. It's scary and a bit overwhelming to me to think controlling my mind is the answer. Other people might find that comforting but it worries me.
    birder likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi TL:

    Hang in there, girl, you're definitely in the right place, and not just for the typical symptoms of TMS, but definitely for anxiety. In fact, I'll bet that well over half of us here (if not WAY more than half) could tell you that Anxiety is their middle name. It's certainly mine - and when I examined my childhood during the SEP, I realized I'd been a major anxiety hog since I was a kid. Worsening and disabling anxiety was one of the many symptoms that had me rapidly sliding downhill at age 60 in the summer of 2011 - "Before Sarno".

    There is one book that is recommended over and over for anxiety, and it's the 2nd book that saved my life after The Divided Mind - it's Hope and Help For Your Nerves, written in 1969 by Australian psychotherapist Dr. Claire Weekes - now gone for almost 30 years. From 50 years ago, the language might seem a little bit dated to some people, but her compassion and the simplicity and clarity of her advice are timeless, and it works.

    One of the most important things I've learned doing this work is that our primitive brains are wired to be fearful in order to survive - but that this doesn't work so well in the modern world, especially given how long we are expected to survive these days. Taming the automatic fear response means learning to hear the fear messages from our brains - and counteracting them.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!

    plum, birder and Click#7 like this.
  3. Teacherlove

    Teacherlove New Member

    Thank you so much Jan! did a lot more reading last night! anxiety....im anxious about triggering anxiety. Ha. sometimes i wonder if focusing on anxiety-learning about it etc. gets it going....I will look for her book anyway and try to have a little faith in myself! thank you again for reaching out. I hope you have a really wonderful day.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    You are anxious about being anxious. You are definitely on the right program with your learning because being worried about the future is a trademark tms characteristic. Keep with the the program and you will learn how to deal with that worry.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. birder

    birder Well known member

    Unfortunately ours brains don't seem to be willing to let us choose! But here, with a little practice, you'll get used to spotting the TMS symptoms and pick up great skills to diffuse them. You've definitely come to the right place. Welcome!
    plum and JanAtheCPA like this.
  6. Click#7

    Click#7 Well known member

    Jan, I just want to say "thank you" to for all the founders of this site. This place is a safe haven for the suffering...
    plum, JanAtheCPA and birder like this.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you, Click. I've certainly been around for a while, but Forest is the one who started the forum and the wiki, and I am eternally grateful for the enormous leap of faith he took when he did so, as well as his continuing wisdom and guidance as our wonderful community keeps growing. It's a privilege to be one of his helpers.
    plum and Click#7 like this.
  8. Teacherlove

    Teacherlove New Member

    Thank you again for the kind responses. I find it's uncomfortable to post how I'm doing. Seems like whining and I'm always uncomfortable talking about my symptoms. I have had so many minor (and at times major) health issues that I know it gets annoying. I'm always worried about some ailment or another. My family teasingly implies I have munchaussen (sp?) syndrome. Only a little funny. So anyway to make a short comment long I was trying to say it feels awkward to post these things. Thank you for being there!
    I'm doing my homework everyday, reading blogs and Sarno's book. Sometimes I feel like I'm making progress, but most of the time my bladder feels the same. I'm gradually doing away with the bland diet, which takes faith in TMS. But I guess I just felt such a strong connection with this process a week ago when I discovered Sarno and you all, that I felt I would get better quickly. So every time the symptoms persist I worry. Question TMS. I guess it's normal, but tonight I'm discouraged. Had the worst day I've had in a while. I absolutely hate worry and anxiety. Hate. This bladder issue makes no sense, won't go away and irritates the heck out of me. I'm so, so, SO grateful I don't have anything worse, but I'm tired of my diet and symptoms making me feel frail, sickly and just off. I annoy myself. And getting control of my thoughts about my bladder, seems like a much steeper hill to climb than fixing my bladder. Anyway. I hope someday to look back at this rant with sympathetic humor as I thrashed about with these new ideas...‍♀️
    plum and JanAtheCPA like this.
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think that many of us have at least one symptom that is harder to banish than others. I've thankfully not had pelvic symptoms, but I do have a brain fog/dizziness sensation that comes back instantly with stress, even though I find many of the symptoms that I started with are now easy to banish or never came back after I started this work six years ago.

    The thing is, your brain will continue trying to repress and distract, and continue trying to keep you in fear. It will dazzle you with new symptoms, or with changing symptoms, or it will dig in its heels and make your worst symptom worse than ever.

    Take deep breaths, drink plenty of water, and find some positive affirmations that you can say out loud, to talk back to your brain. This is surprisingly effective.
    Durga and Bodhigirl like this.
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I promise you this will happen. I've been through it myself and have had the honour and delight of seeing many others do so too.

    My best advice is to relax and do your best to enjoy the process. Healing takes the time it takes and a huge part of recovery is learning to be patient with ourselves and learning the rudiments of self-care and self-soothing. These are the tools and the skills that nurture us back to wholeness. I know it seems confusing in the beginning but as your condition resolves, your faith in TMS will grow and those niggly ailments will fall away.

    Claire Weekes is superb for helping you through these times. Here are some audio links because sometimes it helps to sit back and listen. As @JanAtheCPA says the language is of its time but I find her utterly charming and the wisdom she offers remains unsurpassed to this day.

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/claire-weekes-audio.2569/ (Claire Weekes Audio)

    In times of need my inner ear (if the mind possesses an inner eye can it also have an inner ear?), says utta utta acceptance in Claire's beautiful accent and all my fears are gone. Tis magic.
    Durga and JanAtheCPA like this.
  11. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    We all wish we were those people who could get rid of their symptoms quickly, but we're not. I really have to wonder if the people who read Sarno's book and instantly feel better are feeling better either because of a placebo effect or because they would have gotten better anyways. How can someone change for real so quickly?

    You are making progress because you say you are gradually doing away with your bland diet. Look for the little progressions to encourage you. I had a hard time not "checking on how the seeds are growing" for a long time. I found relating the process to growing a plant from seeds was a good analogy for me. I'm not a big gardener, but I know that growth is working away under the dirt where I can't see it. It doesn't happen overnight. Constantly checking harms the growth. Doing the recovery work is like tending the garden. Some days I was just pulling small weeds but some days I managed to unearth really big grubs and rocks.

    Try to focus on your progress in managing your fear/worry and anxiety rather than the physical symptoms. This will help you get your mind off your physical issues. As you progress with overcoming your fear and anxiety, you will progress in feeling better.
    Durga and JanAtheCPA like this.
  12. Teacherlove

    Teacherlove New Member

    Oh my gosh. A whole SLEW of perfect nuggets of wisdom. I have two memorized affirmations from Janathecpa. "I choose healing for my mind, body and soul everyday" and " I am not afraid of these mindbody symptoms-they cannot harm me". Plus a firm and comforting promise from Plum along with the brilliant recommendation to try to ENJOY THE PROCESS. I NEVER considered that. Also I will listen to Claire on my iPad in the car. And Eileen your gardening analogy is the perfect visual image. Imagine moving the dirt around to see how the roots were doing. Ha. Thank you so much everyone. So encouraged.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  13. Teacherlove

    Teacherlove New Member

    I have a specific question. I have a terrible long term memory. I remember very little of my childhood, early adult life etc. I don't remember any teachers, friends, holidays, happy days in college, my children's childhood etc. a few scraps here and there. I had a decent childhood, but my mom died when I was four. So my question is about uncovering repressed memories. Can I recover memories if I have a poor long term memory and literally don't remember how things were?
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Rest easy. As time has gone by and research progressed we now know it is not necessary to remember or recover repressed memories or emotions. What matters much more is caring for your self today. This may entail a little bit of exploring your past but only in so far as it explains who you are today and how it may serve your future. Mostly the healing work is to come to a place of peace and safety within yourself. This may make more sense later.
  15. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    TL, I'm always relieved when I meet someone else who has very few memories from the past - I'm the same exact way, and it's even more frustrating that when I do remember some things, my sister remembers them completely differently. Usually negatively for her - but that's a whole 'nother story.

    However, when I was doing the SEP (Structured Educational Program) I was amazed, while doing the "list" exercises, how many little incidents from the past would pop into my head. But here's the thing: every once in a while the next thought to pop into my head would be "Oh, no - don't write THAT down, THAT'S not important!" Usually because the incident was embarrassing or shameful. I decided to force myself to write those down anyway, even though I really really didn't want to.

    The thing is, they weren't at all earth-shattering, but when I went back to explore them (part of the exercises) they were quite revealing about how I reacted and repressed things as a child, which of course went on to reflect how I react and repress as an adult. It was extremely freeing to face and accept these old and really quite unimportant things that had been repressed for so long.

    I really felt like this was an important turning point for me, because I actually got how the littlest negative incidents and interactions that we experience every day, as children, and as adults, are continually repressed by our primitive fearful brains. I still get blind-sided by this mechanism, but I'm getting better at seeing it, at loving and soothing myself, and at letting go.
    Durga likes this.
  16. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    My brain fog is back!!! Argh! I’m almost glad you have it too, Jan! It’s like being underwater. I’m going to act as if I don’t have it. I don’t need this to block out the recent shootings and absurd responses. I cannot hide but I don’t want these symptoms!!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  17. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Haha, it's okay to be glad, sister - I feel you :p
    Bodhigirl likes this.

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