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The Stress of Pain Itself

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by PeterO, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. PeterO

    PeterO Peer Supporter

    Hi Everyone.

    In my TMS readings I rarely find discussion about the role of the
    stress caused by the restriction of pain symptoms on everyday living.

    Much of my personal anxiety & mental angst is activated by my inability
    to perform daily functions. This can be wide ranging from vacuuming
    my room, doing meditation practice, meeting with friends, preparing
    food, eating dinner at the table or even, typing on my computer (now!).
    My daily routine is severely restrictive. Almost every life action has a mental
    loading which is exhausting.

    Many of these are just basic survival needs.

    I have minimal adjustment left.

    Has anyone any advice. Or preferred readings on this.

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Peter:

    Peter A. Levine absolutely addresses this! He has been writing and teaching and practicing around his theories of healing from trauma - which includes not just childhood incidents, but all kinds of trauma from accidents, disasters, emotional shocks, or even medical procedures - AND the trauma of unresolved chronic pain.

    Waking the Tiger is his famous classic book - I would look at his website, and check into his whole bibliography and pick just about any one of them. I only recently finished my first book by him, Freedom From Pain, which he co-wrote with another therapist and which is supposed to come with a CD of exercises - it was the only book by him that I could download to my Nook from my local library, but I'm definitely going to buy one of his others, probably his most recent.

  3. trypp

    trypp Peer Supporter

    Before I begin, let me just say that the great thing about the TMS approach is that many of what we took before to be restrictions we can just blow right through. For anyone who only has TMS, Dr. Sarno and many other MDs let us know that we are perfectly healthy, that our bodies are perfectly strong and that the restrictions we think we have don't need to be restrictions at all. The first step in TMS treatment is to "get out of your chair and walk!" (or whatever the relevant limitation is for you).

    But my bet is that you already know this, so I'm going to assume that your concern is different and that this is about what you do "in the meantime," when the pain is too great or you aren't yet ready to take that step.

    Unfortunately, for that, I think you just have to dig deep within yourself. Adjusting is HARD. But, just as your body is stronger than you think, so is your mind. Yes, it will be hard. I've been there, I know. There will be sacrifices. Possibly huge sacrifices. But you can get through it, as many others with TMS have done.

    Some tips:
    • Take it one day at a time. Much of what is hard about restrictions is that we feel that they will last forever. But they WON'T. You may have trouble believing this now, but, if you do, consider two things. First, accepting that you are going to get better will help you get better. It will cool down your stress response and make all of your symptoms better. Perhaps try affirmations, such as Dr. Sarno's affirmations. You can use the great affirmations page on this site. (use http://search.tmswiki.org/ to find it). Second, remember the following quote, from a well known Chicago Tribune column: "Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum."
    • Two book ideas: In terms of getting through the tough times, Steve Ozanich's book provides invaluable inspiration. If he can survive what he went through, you know that you can make it, too. Another book which I haven't read personally, but I've heard good things about and which has a title that is certainly evocative of what you are going through: Full Catastrophe Living. I know that Sarno psychologist Bob Evans recommends it.
    Hope this helps!
    And because I can't resist it, here's the full column that I referenced earlier. I'll take any opportunity to review it as it helps keep everything in perspective. Also the song they made it into
    Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen!
    By Mary Schmich (Chicago Tribune) - Baz Luhrmann
    Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97
    Wear Sunscreen!
    If I could offer you only one tip for the future, "sunscreen" would be it.
    The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists,
    whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
    I will dispense this advice NOW!
    Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
    Oh, never mind.
    You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
    But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now
    how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
    You are not as fat as you imagine.
    Don't worry about the future.
    Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
    The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind,
    The kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
    Do one thing every day that scares you.
    Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.
    Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
    Don't waste your time on jealousy.
    Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind.
    The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
    Remember compliments you receive.
    Forget the insults.
    If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
    Keep your old love letters.
    Throw away your old bank statements.
    Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
    The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
    Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
    Get plenty of calcium.
    Be kind to your knees.
    You'll miss them when they're gone.
    Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.
    Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.
    Maybe you'll divorce at 40.
    Maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
    Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much,
    or berate yourself either.
    Your choices are half chance.
    So are everybody else's.
    Enjoy your body.
    Use it every way you can.
    Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it.
    It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
    Even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
    Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
    Do not read beauty magazines.
    They will only make you feel ugly.
    "Brother and sister together we'll make it through,
    Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there
    I know that you're hurting but I've been waiting there for you
    and I'll be there just helping you out
    whenever I can..."
    Get to know your parents.
    You never know when they'll be gone for good.
    Be nice to your siblings.
    They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
    Understand that friends come and go,
    but with a precious few you should hold on.
    Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get,
    the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
    Live in "New York City" once, but leave before it makes you hard.
    Live in "Northern California" once, but leave before it makes you soft.
    Accept certain inalienable truths:
    Prices will rise.
    Politicians will philander.
    You, too, will get old.
    And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young,
    prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
    Respect your elders.
    Don't expect anyone else to support you.
    Maybe you have a trust fund.
    Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse.
    But you never know when either one might run out.
    Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
    Be careful whose advice you buy,
    but be patient with those who supply it.
    Advice is a form of nostalgia.
    Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal,
    wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
    But trust me on the sunscreen.
    "Brother and sister together we'll make it through,
    Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there
    I know that you're hurting but I've been waiting there for you
    and I'll be there just helping you out
    whenever I can..."
    gailnyc, Leslie and JanAtheCPA like this.
  4. PeterO

    PeterO Peer Supporter

    Jan & trypp.

    Wonderful responses.

    Have begun to investigate Peter Levine's work & read his
    first chapter from 'Waking the Tiger' which is available
    on-line on his website. Will purchase the book today.
    Also I have 'Full Catastrophe Living' by Jon Kabat-Zim
    which I will re-visit. As for SteveO's book I will look into
    that later on.

    Some good news, following a TMS therapy session & my
    recent forum interactions, I have finally accepted my TMS
    diagnosis. I am grateful for your contributions to this.
    Also my inclination to a boom/bust approach I see as
    counteractive to the healing & behavioural reconfiguration,
    required. And today, I have had my best day in months.

    I finally believe that I will get better. This is a huge shift.

    Also we discussed the residual trauma of my previous
    back operation (1993) & subsequent increase in pain
    symptoms. This has been a huge stumbling block to my
    healing work & inflated my TMS response. It was a huge
    relief to get this out from inside my sweet little head.
    My therapist has suggested EMHR therapy to assist here
    in combination with our ongoing work.

    So the work goes on.

    Appreciate your wise counsel.

    gailnyc likes this.

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