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Day 1 The final leg

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Jiclup, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Jiclup

    Jiclup New Member


    I don't really know what to write here. I think I'lll start with a background of me as a person, how I stumbled across a TMS diagnosis and how it has made me reevaluate my life.

    I am a student at university and recently had to take a year out due to being diagnosed with chronic fatigue. I started suddenly with mild fatigue a month before university started and it progressively got worse over four months. Being a very determined, scientific person I had every test that I could do to try and find a diagnosis that would explain my symptoms. I had very bad fatigue, cognitive and memory problems, unexplained twitching, headaches and heart palpitations. I have previously suffered badly from anxiety and depression and both were increasing in intensity.

    After visiting my GP, two cardiologists, a respiratory and sleep specialist and a neurologist I was diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency that my GP suspected caused a post viral fatigue. I tried gradual exercise therapy, bed rest for months and generally taking it easy. I eventually came across Dr. Sarno's book on online forums. I started to read The Mindbody prescription 5 months ago. At first I was reluctant to accept that I was a perfectionist and could only relate to Dr. Sarno's description of patients initially categorising their childhoods as normal when they were far from normal. I began to accept that I was TMS and relate fully to many of the things in Dr. Sarno's writings. I have slowly worked through his treatment plan and others online - I have not been the most consistent but I am improving. The changes that I am experiencing are amazing.

    I accept that I have TMS.

    My fatigue symptoms have gone! No more fatigue, no more palpitations, no more headaches. I now, however, realise that many of my previous medical conditions were TMS and that chronic fatigue was just an extra symptom, an added layer on the rest of my symptoms. My anxiety, depression, overthinking, self critical nature are all symptoms of TMS. I now realise that it is not normal/healthy to beat myself up.

    Looking back I had many 'classical' TMS symptoms during my childhood. I had migraines, knee pains that were diagnosed as patella tendonitis and then a torn meniscus (my knees were operated on multiple times) and tendon pains in my hands. However, I believe that a lot of my personality and thoughts were shaped by my repressed feelings. Growing up I always felt different, I was very logical and always did what I was supposed to do, not what I wanted to. I loved being at school because I could be myself and 'go wild' but at home I was a different person. I had no confidence, I had extremely bad acne (yet to meet anyone that was worse than me), I was overweight and I never really fit in. I was a high achiever, getting the best grade in every exam, doing extra exams and dropping all sports to get into the best university for one of the hardest courses - on the outside I was popular, invited to most parties and part of the group. I started to develop a bad drinking habit - once I started I could not stop and I would always blurt out things that I know see were bothering me unconsciously.

    Looking back, I had TMS throughout my life. I had never experienced an emotion until very recently and only now started to understand emotions and experienced empathy for the first time. I have always been the super logical person who sees the world as black and white. I don't understand emotions, group dynamics our anything like that. I never learnt how to take care of myself in any capacity - I even saw brushing my teeth as a chore that got in the way of productivity.

    This was all due to a very unique family situation that I have always blocked and never felt that I can discuss with anyone. Initially working through my TMS symptoms, I focused on more recent events that have affected me unconsciously. I won't go into details now but I feel that I have had a lot go on - my friends describe me as the unluckiest person ever. Now I realise that it was due to my childhood and I am starting to pay attention to how those experiences made me feel.

    I realise that I have to work on my TMS and am trying to shy away less. What motivates me is that I am improving hugely and feel like a different person already. Many of my symptoms have gone - headaches, fatigue, knee and body pains. Know when I drink I can control it. Thats not the right way of putting it, before I felt like I had to try and control my drink, I was a time bomb and eventually I would blackout and go too far. I was defiantly an alcoholic - I attended AA meetings and definitely deserved to be there for a lot of the things I have done drunk. Now when I drink I do it to enjoy and I don't even have to think about controlling it - I am carefree. If I do think that I am nervous before an event, I will focus on myself and not drink at all. I believe that alcoholism is a symptoms of TMS - I see a lot of the TMS personality traits in the alcoholics in my family.

    I am healthier than before my fatigue set in - I can now go to the gym and have started exercising. Rather than beat myself up for not being good enough, chasing perfection, I can now go for fun and am witnessing a progress. I am starting to have emotions and connect with people. I now have hobbies - growing up I never had any except for clothes and looking for music. I still do have some TMS symptoms left, I overthink, I suffer from anxiety and do get depressed. I am also very insecure. I do however see myself making strides everyday and begin to put myself first. I believe that is part of the reason for my initial inconsistency - I never looked after myself and felt guilty when I do.

    I am confident that I can continue with my TMS journey and become a healthier happier person. I know need to focus on my family dynamics and how they made me feel - even looking back at this post I have been reluctant to mention it in detail.

    For those that are interested in the resources that I have used so far:
    Mindbody Prescription by Dr. Sanro
    Alan Gordon's TMS Recovery Programme
    An initial consultation with a SIRPA trained GP in the UK.

    I would be keen to find TMS trained psychotherapist in the UK and would be happy for any recommendations.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great intro, @Jiclup, and an excellent description of the many different ways in which TMS can manifest. Many of us agree with you about substance abuse and addictions in general.

    And welcome to the SEP! Much of the focus will be gradually getting into the habit of using writing as the way to get your repressed emotions in front of your conscious brain. My #1 piece of advice for success is to be aware of when your brain tries to prevent you from writing something down, especially during the "list" exercises. My brain was literally saying things like "Oh, don't write THAT down - that's not important" or "Oh no, that's too embarrassing, you can skip THAT one". Heh. It wasn't easy to fight back, but it's essential to write those things down in particular, and then have the courage to examine them in detail later on. It was very freeing to do so.

    @Nicole J. Sachs LCSW says that you are perfectly free to - and probably should - destroy your writing immediately. I use pen and paper, and since I live alone, I can just crumple or tear the paper up and put it in the recycling.

    Nicole has a large family, and her method is to maintain a permanent text document on the computer, do her journaling/writing in that document, delete all of the text when she's done, and re-save it with nothing in it. I think one would want to use the generic Notepad application for this, because most "office" word processing programs (like Word or Wordperfect) generally create automatic backup files. Which is a valuable feature most of the time.

    You clearly know what you have to do, so go for it, keep up your courage and your faith in this process, and keep us posted!

    ssxl4000 likes this.
  3. ssxl4000

    ssxl4000 Well known member

    Hi Jiclup...sounds like you are on the right track. Your story sounds fairly similar to mine. I recently used Dr. Sarno and the 40 day program to overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease, which I had been dealing with for over a year. To be honest, the fatigue part dropped almost instantly once I started reading all of this. The bulk of my treatment has been dealing with other symptoms, many of which like you started a long time ago. Once the fatigue and other newer symptoms stopped, some of my old ones came back.

    Anyway, long story short, I went from feeling being half of what I used to be to being healthier than I ever was. Despite some come and go symptoms, overall I am doing really good. If you are having any doubts, have questions, or need encouragement, feel free to message me. Keep up the good work!

    Also...regarding what Jan said about never letting your brain stop you from writing/expressing a thought during journaling...that's GREAT ADVICE!
    freedomseeker and JanAtheCPA like this.

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