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Symptoms and self pity

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by KevinB, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    hello community,

    I learned of Sarno and TMS about three years ago after dealing with nasty back pain and sciatica off and on for years. Since then, I’ve had ups and downs, but I’ve mostly been able to see it as a journey. That said, several weeks ago I was nailed with a flare up and been suffering since. It’s moved around a lot, which I know is good, but I have been really anxious and scared.... though that too goes up and down. But one thing I’ve noticed is I’ve been feeling a lot more self pity than I have on the past.... I don’t view this as a good thing because it tends to make the symptoms worse, but also leads me to think I deserve this pain. I’m not stuck in self pity all day, but it’s been cropping up a few times daily over the past several days.

    Any experience with this and what has worked for you?
    TrustIt likes this.
  2. Lynn S

    Lynn S Peer Supporter

    I can relate all to well. We determine our reality. I used to hear these young girls whining about how hard life was and sited their mother making them washing the dishes. I couldn't believe it. I'm sitting here in a twelve step room homeless with two children and they're complaining about doing dishes. That was their reality. I realized they were having their feeling that were no less than my own. Today when I recognize self pity which pops up often I choose to observe and move on. I'm giving myself extra time to feel gratitude to minimize the self pity. I've been almost totally dependent on others which is frustrating. We have a choice to latch on to the pity. We create our reality. I wish you courage and joy.
    Lizzy likes this.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    That is a TMS causer..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins (Seven deadly sins - Wikipedia)

    Tristitia or self pity, was one of the original 8 deadly sins. You can read about it on wikipedia. The Catholic church rounded it down to 7 because they like that number so much. I am probably more indulgent in that sin than in any other. Remember of course, 'sin' means to live life unskillfully. I use to wallow in it like laying in my own piss and it was all warm and fuzzy.... not knowing of course that it was setting me up for all sorts of RAGE later in life.

    Self Pity would fall right into the roundhouse of 'Low self esteem' that Sarno discusses in HBP. That coupled with our impatience with people ,who are not particularly effective at what they do, creates a lot of inner RAGE.

    It runs a little something like this "Wow.... poor me... My father died and left me all alone... I became a fuck-up and got a terrible start in life....My wife left me after 20 years of me working my ass off to support us...."

    Ok. Now I am at work. There's a new kid on my crew.Young, married, Good looking, healthy, no apparent problems..and He's the Boss' son-in-law... "What the fuck is wrong with this kid? He has had everything in the world handed to him and he just won't focus... I have to constantly repair all of his work which steals time from my own projects. Fuck Him... he has had everything in life handed to him and he hasn't turned it into shit"

    But.. I want to be a 'nice' guy so all of this stuff, the 'poor me' and the impatience with others is repressed (lest I snap...I am coping!)

    and that is how TMS is born. In needs to distract me from that insane, cognitive dissonance.

    The best way I have found to deconstruct it is to raise my awareness. First I need to lose 'my sad story'. I am me. My early life was colorful, though not particularly unique. ALL people have adversities they must overcome in their lives. I am glad I got a lot of mine out of the way early. Virtually all of my peers have lost their wives to divorce...it's the new cultural norm. I am not unique.

    ..and "Wow..this poor kid has a big shock coming. I think my continually covering up his mistakes is only prolonging his agony. I won't do it anymore. The next time he makes a mistake, I'll just leave it so the Boss can deal with it himself. It is 'His ' Problem."

    I find that if I don't scribble this stuff down a couple times a week it backs up and then I get a little warning shot across my bow...of TMS. I got one this week. After sanding a floor on my hands and knees for 6 hours my ankle/leg started burning. (Sciatica)... not enough to hurt...just enough to get my attention. 20 years ago I would have been 'concerned' and sought a physical explanation.

    Then I scribbled. I realized I was angry at my Boss for putting me on that project instead of the much more difficult one I wanted to be on. I was also concerned about doing a flawless job. I was also concerned about making my Son look Good because he was foreman on THAT project (the floor). I was also mad that the girl I was dating hadn't called me or come over since I had surgery on my Jaw last week (cosmetic). I was also mad that I got stuck watching my Brothers cats ON top of taking care of my 87 year old Mom.

    woe is me? F That noise. It just is...but I have to acknowledge it or I might get a little unsolicited help from Mr TMS

    I scribbled and it went away into the nothing-world where it belongs and has resided for 20 years of painfree warrior like lifestyle
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
    TrustIt, Northwood, Drew and 5 others like this.
  4. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    Baseball 65, quick question. Do you always journal (scribble) or can you get the same benefit in other ways? Since I'm an office worker, the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is pick up a pen and write, or even type on a computer. Instead, I will speak or yell my emotions aloud on my drive home, or curse/ shout at someone inside my head (if I'm at work). Even though I've made remarkable progress over the past 15 months, I still have persistent pain in my trapezious muscle and shoulder blade. I journaled at the beginning of TMS and found it helpful in some ways, but also depressing to rehash the same junk day after day. However, after reading your post, I'm wondering if I should pick it up again. I'd love to be rid of the final 20%!
  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Before I answer your question, that SHOULDER thing seems to be a female thing. Virtually every time I see someone playing with that shoulder in 'the pose' it is a woman. My ex-wife still stands like that...My Former GF, and Women who are just friends of mine in the 12 step world (lotta anger there).
    The 'pose' is right arm up massaging the ridge/shoulder blade of the left side. I was listening to a woman recently telling me how angry she was about finding out her BF was involved with another woman...as she talked to me she massaged that shoulder continuously. What made it UBER poignant was there was another woman behind her listening in and SHE started massaging HER left shoulder.
    Every time a female is pissed at me(or someone else).... the pose.

    Nuff sed

    TMS only seems to stick around when it is needed, or it is working...e.g distracting you from the realm of your emotions. I am gonna go out on a limb here... My theory about 'the pose'. Virtually all of these women are around my age (50 plus or minus) and in a career that is NOT the dream empowered feminist life that they were all promised in High School and College. They are all mate-less, divorced or in a bad marriage of convenience, their kids are gone (and largely alienated because they were working while the kids were growing up) and they haven't moved to that dream 'manifest all my talents' job that once seemed so possible.

    That is NOT scientific...totally based on my anecdotal observations. None of these women have accepted TMS, or they agree with it but THEIR shoulder problem is because of (blah,blah,blah...insert structural story)
    I think as the Female working population ages their is going to be an epidemic of TMS type stuff... Women in my age group were the first ones told they didn't need us and they could do anything they wanted to. And now they have...and they are PISSED!

    When I am at work doing something less than exciting, like hauling lumber or digging holes, their is a certain little voice in me that is happy...even proud that I can take on physically daunting tasks, or disgustingly unsavory tasks (like plumbing)... It Jibes with an atavistic testosterone fueled something I can't explain. I am not sure my Women friends have this same satisfaction in doing things that ultimately seem meaningless in the larger scope of 'thought'

    Yes... you might want to scribble it down. When you see it on paper in your own scrawl you can start to see developments and trends that you might ignore as passing emotion if they weren't in front of your eyes.

    No one should settle for anything less than 100 per cent recovery. I see from reading a lot of posts that Sarno's original message has already begun to be watered down, footnoted and people have begun attaching a lot of Hippie bullshit psychobabble to TMS theory which sucks. It's really simple and clear. Read the Book. Identify yourself. Recondition yourself. Do NOT buy in to all of the new 'add-ons'.

    If I worked in an office I would not like my job. I might be able to stay there, but I better be damn well clear to my innermost self that I don't like it and am there out of necessity, not choice

    there is 100% recovery..keep digging!!!
  6. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Wasn’t the ‘hippie bullshit psychobabble’ pretty much the very charge levelled against Sarno and TMS theory?
    plum likes this.
  7. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Hi Baseball,

    I read your reply with a smile.
    Cause you write with humor too..
    And also think you do have some good observation points there.
    Def believe in tms, having said that :

    As a 50 + woman (also trapezius pain now and shoulder ) i want to give you an extra clue, which is not popping to your mind i bet.
    Its called : menopause , and its a period in a womans life that pretty intense.
    as a matter of fact i recall : in english they call it ‘the change . And that’s for a good reason. So these women (and its starts way earlier than 50 ) are going thru psychical and emotional changes, for years.
    And will not bother you with the long list of symptoms that go with that.
    (Muscle and joint pain are on that list by the way )
    But : at the same time these woman are often dealing with caring for elderly/sick parents. Kids leaving etc And meanwhile trying to hold on to their jobs. With aching bodies and zero sleep often. And yes : being angry and emotional is pretty common then.
    Wouldn’t you be ?
    So even if there is no bad marriage, boring job etc : this alone is enough to
    Make the nervous system go nuts.

    You mentioned testosteron being able to be your fuel. Well believe me
    dropping and constant fluctuating estrogen is having very little fuel !
    So woman giving the ‘shoulder ‘ thing a structural explenation are not really that wrong. So the hormons have a huge roll.
    So as a woman i felt the need to put an extra note to your post! Just a thing to keep in mind. Not sure if dr Sarno had an opinion on this : but if he didn’t as a man, this is a ‘footnote’ that’s huge and really should be added.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  8. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member


    I use an app at this moment called ‘voice Texting ‘ then you just speak into your phone , it creates lines and you can send it to your e-mail : so from there put it in a diary , so can re read it.
    To avoid typing too much , for now that is !
  9. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member


    I concur with a lot of what Baseball 65 was saying -I know a lot of childless, unmarried, professional women that are lamenting their life choices and struggling with chronic pain. But, you hit the nail on the head! I've said for years that mine is the submarine sandwich generation. We are sandwiched between elderly parents, in-laws, children, grandchildren, spouses, employers, coworkers, friends, and siblings. All competing for our time and attention. While often feeling like our voices aren't heard and our needs are not being met. I find myself comparing my 50 plus self to the Real Housewives and coming up glaringly short. I spend way too much time and money in Ulta, trying to recapture the beauty of my youth. And, worrying if my husband still finds me attractive. YES, a menopausal women's life is "intense" to say the least. Thanks for the App suggestion. And, thanks to Baseball 65 for his insightful observations as well.
    karinabrown likes this.
  10. karinabrown

    karinabrown Well known member

    Hi hattie,

    Must say i am not comparing myself to the real housewives, because as a designer i know and bet you know this too: there is nothing real about Photoshoped and otherwise mockuped filmshoots. But i get the point.
    Comparing myself with my own younger version and still keep the spirit up is hard enough :)

    But what you mentioned about woman regretting life choices is a midlife thing for probabbly man and woman.
    Making peace with how your life has worked out so far and facing the fact that certain options are just closed doors : can be hard.
    And staying positive and keep being curious , and enjoying the good things dispite dissapointments is the challenge i think !
    HattieNC likes this.
  11. Drew

    Drew Peer Supporter

    Hahahaha literally @Baseball65 I have been doing that shoulder trap massage for a month now haha literally its horrible feels like a nerve impinging and I always blame it on lifting weights weird but then there is also these sweet tender spot on the same side mid/lower back that u wanna dig deep it’s crazy I never thought this could be TMS. But since all my freaking neuropathic nerve symptoms burnint tingling electric shocks pins and needles and sensitivity to clothes has been through the roof makes sense my body is like how else can I fuck u up cause u have been panicking and worrying about the sensations and how much they hurt physically and how much they will affect my future I’m acting and hollywood since they already have been the reason for me not being able to focus or give good auditions last 4 years already. It’s like sometimes I feel the mental agony of how much I can do it I was fine compared to what I can is waaay greater then how horrible it hurts. Cause we know the nerves hurts everywhere on my body since this year that they spread from legs :(
  12. Northwood

    Northwood Well known member

    I like this, about gratitude. Someone once recommended that at the end of the day I write down three things from the day that I'm grateful for. So I've been doing that. I've been doing it steadily for a few weeks now. Doesn't take long at all. I look forward to it. It's fun to look back over the entries and see only positive things day after day. There is so much to be grateful for. Nice to focus that way and use it as another incursion against negative thinking.
    Marls likes this.

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