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this isn't working... feeling hopeless

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Stephanie71, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Stephanie71

    Stephanie71 Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone,

    I hate to post something so bleak, but I don't know where else to turn. I am hoping that by being honest on here, maybe there will be others who can relate.
    I don't want to go into the whole story, suffice it to say I have had pain and other symptoms for almost fifteen year, since I turned 18, and they all started after a hamstring tear that I never saw a doctor for, rested or iced, or PT'd or anything. I just ignored it, as there wasn't much pain at the time, just discomfort, and then the symptoms started a couple months later behind the knee/lower hamstring. It felt like my knee was being pushed by a weight when lying in bed and felt very sharp and tight and burning and weak when I walked and tried to work out. From there the whole nightmare began.

    I feel so convinced that the pain and other symptoms in my body are due to my body healing wrong and altering my bio-mechanics, especially because I was young (as if maybe my muscles and bones were still developing), because I didn't tend to the injury properly, and because I was drinking and doing drugs at the time.

    Here are my chronic symptoms that have never let up, even when I have been more successful with TMS therapy and ignored them: (all in my left side only - never moved to my right)
    -nerve tingling in lower left leg always there (when I press on outer ankle or shave or am touched there I always feel electric nerve tingling in ankle into foot) - itchy lower leg, other nerve sensations in low leg and foot
    -clicking left knee upon bending and straightening, clicking left "ring-pinky" toe when I walk, sort of like a neuroma feeling - always present from the moment I step out of bed
    -feeling of being imbalanced from left side to right side from low back all the way to foot
    -weakness, sharpness, burning, pain, tightness from glutes down to back of knee - whenever I bend, straighten both legs in bed, etc. the left side is noticeably tight, weak, heavy, etc., that feeling of a weight being put over my knee, as if unstable, unsupported, weak tendons, ligaments, etc. who knows... (very hard to describe)
    -limited range of motion while walking in left leg
    -while walking pain seems to get worse in left side of low back, as if body is altered, thrown off, imbalanced and affecting top half of my body

    The PAIN is sometimes worse or better, and certain pains come and go, but those main symptoms are always there. As if they are what my leg has become. The left leg just feels structurally altered. I don't know how else to say it. I am not imagining this pain or these symptoms.

    I have done TMS work for many years. I have done tons of therapy with several different therapists, including a TMS therapist. I have bawled my eyes out and raged and on many levels forgiven. I have done tons of writing, journaling, meditating. I am in twelve step recovery for alcoholism for many years now and have done quite a bit of soul searching, family healing, etc.

    I don't deny at all that I have a TMS personality and a background of trauma, depression, anxiety, and addiction. I just am SO CONFUSED as to why I have never been able to heal from this chronic pain. I know it's my inability to accept the diagnosis completely - I want to, but I just can't yet. It doesn't feel like just a pain in my body, it feels so structural, like something is forever altered in my body and that it is my fault for having an injury and not seeing a doctor about it.

    I have immense anger and regret about this pain. I feel it has ruined my young life. I feel so desperate sometimes and like life is not worth living. I feel really broken. Worse so, I still smile to the world. I don't even know how to share these feelings with my fiance. I am afraid it will scare him too much.

    I can't get past how structural it feels. I know it isn't skeletal, per se, but it feels as if the soft tissue and nerves have been forever altered and changed. I have been living with this since I was eighteen. I am 32. It feels too late. Do I just accept that these symptoms are here to stay and try to live a life around it? I feel too frustrated believing I could one day be free from this, because it feels like false hope and setting myself up for disappointment.

    I wish I had better news. In all other areas of my life, I would consider myself a "success." This just feels like doom following me wherever I go.

    I appreciate any insight. I am open. Please be kind. But I can take brutal honesty, too.
    plum likes this.
  2. MicheleRenee

    MicheleRenee Peer Supporter

    have you tried nervous system work specifically? irene lyon
  3. Stephanie71

    Stephanie71 Peer Supporter

    I have tried a little bit of it. I did her 21 day program. It helped with my mood and anxiety but not pain symptoms.
  4. Ftaghn!

    Ftaghn! Peer Supporter

    I know this isn't the answer you want, but I think it's the first step. That is, to realize that any situation you perceive through a moment of despair will seem hopeless. We are beings of heuristic and emotional decisions, and we often get the illusion that we're entirely rational. But we're not, and it's easy to sort of get stuck within the 'meta' of our moment -- we can't always step out and see how we are being.

    Something I like to do since the Alan Gordon program is notice the sort of emotion around the framing of the moment, per say, and see if I can sit with it for a while. My symptoms are wildly unstable, so that often clears them up. The hard part is seeing the framing, per say. I often meditate on what I felt today for a while, then when I'm with someone else, I realize there's still stuff I haven't noticed. It's just hard to escape the moment.

    On the second branch of TMSy stuff, I think that INEVITABLY, the way forward is to end the suffering caused by symptoms. Not the pain! Change the channel, as they say. This is the case no matter what. No amount of alarm will fix either TMS or a structural issue.
    Lainey, plum, Ellen and 2 others like this.
  5. JoeHealingTms

    JoeHealingTms Peer Supporter

    I will try to be kind, but also honest. The way you keep repeating that you are convinced that is structural is perpetuating your pain. Your language is reflecting an incredible amount of fear and disbelief. You are doing all the mechanical things, but you seem to not be thinking psychological. You are not being truthful to yourself and others. Sometimes you have to cry to the world, or at least the closest people to you. Hiding it from your fiance is an extra load on your shoulders that actually produces pain. You have a lot on your closet, and what I mean is that, in my own experience, my closet is completely full. I open it and clean a few of the superficial things and organize them, but there is still a lot under that first row that I have not even touched maybe because I got a little relief and then I dont want to get my hands dirty cleaning all the rest. The truth is that the closet is still full and I have to get in there and completely get everything out, clean and organize, and put in the trash bin all that is not necessary or helping. You have to stop repeating yourself " it feels so structural". You are not "feeling" your bones first of all. Buy some books of how trigger points affect your body. Learning how your body works helps to cure. What you are feeling are your muscles being deprived of oxygen in some specific small points that create a big spasm in all the muscle. This spasmed muscle will pull whenever it is connected-tendons and ligaments. You also have a fascia that covers all this muscles and sometimes extends over several muscles. It is like a giant plastic envelope. Take a big plastic bag and fill with air and push any point in it, and you will see the 4 corners of the bag being pulled. That is exactly how a few spots of trigger points can affect a big area. The pain you are feeling is not so much, but ANXIETY makes the pain feel 100 times more. In fact , a panic or anxiety attack by itself will bring pains with NO structural damage on your body, just by tension in the muscles during the panic attack. You have to perform the "feel your pain and observe it" from a relaxes standpoint exercise. Not just do it in a hurry expecting to work, but really relaxing at a deep level and then with no worry in the world observe your pain and "see" how it runs thru you, how it evolves and how it is nothing to really worry about. This might take your whole pain away, or just show you how to control your panic, which will ease the pain automatically.

    ---" It doesn't feel like just a pain in my body, it feels so structural, like something is forever altered in my body and that it is my fault for having an injury and not seeing a doctor about it.---- ( this is self programming and conditioning), if it will help you as a placebo to go see a doctor and go thru a protocol that helps your mind heal yourself, then just do it. The first step before tms should be getting cleared of everything else. If it is tms then you have to concentrate on tms, but if you are having a doubt that dont let you accept the diagnosis then by all means go to a doctor and get your check ups. It took me more than 20 of them to find out where my problems came from. I dont recommend that route,(if you have a real diagnosis of TMS), but if it is what will ease your mind then do it.

    I hope this can help you. I can relate to your problems on the left side, because I suffered from them too, and they started as a real structural problem that now is just something tms uses as learned pain to distract me. The structural part healed long time ago. Best wishes of healing for you.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Stephanie71,
    I don't have any silver bullet here, but the quotes above show me the pressure you put on yourself. Contracting around your situation with self-blame and hiding your feelings must not feel clear in some ways. Not that you need to do anything about this, but you might recognize the inner suffering around this, and contemplate compassion for yourself. Part of the TMS healing, in my experience, is to allow the deeper parts of us to be felt, and perhaps expressed. Your honesty, your self-awareness is, in my opinion, a great support, or start for this. Good luck in your journey.
    With Support,
    Andy B
    Stephanie71 likes this.
  7. Stephanie71

    Stephanie71 Peer Supporter

    This is all really helpful, and I will allow it to sink in. Thank you for taking the time to write a thoughtful response.
  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    I've been exactly where you are and empathise greatly with the pain, the despair and the hopelessness. I am much better now and well on my way to a 100% recovery.

    I had to break the deadlock to reach this point and the way I achieved this is by reducing physical tension.

    There are 3 main ways I have done this and I explain in more detail in My Story but essentially it was combination of swimming/Jacuzzi, Yin Yoga and a dash of Trauma Release Exercise (TRE). Once my body started to release all tension, my pain levels dropped and I began to gain traction with the emotional stuff.

    I also held back from expressing my true feelings to my partner. I don't do that anymore. There were a few cork-popping moments that felt very messy and horrid but once I got past the embarrassment of it all, the relief was huge.

    Happy to embellish on any points or insights that may be of help.

    You'll work this out. You really will. We just need to breach that dam.

    Love to you,

    Plum x
  9. Stephanie71

    Stephanie71 Peer Supporter

    Plum, thank you so much for your lovely and warm response. It gave me a boost. I also love your Lawrence quote.

    Your advice is so helpful. I think I have been confused about doing any kind of trauma release yin yoga body work type stuff because I have considered it "physical" work that doesn't actually end symptoms, like physical therapy that Sarno advises against, but I can see so much how it would help. What has been your experience with balancing this "physical" work with Sarno's theory?

    I did some yin yoga yesterday and cried my eyes out the entire time. I felt much better for the rest of the day in terms of my mood and perception. Thank you again. This whole thread has really helped me.
    Lily Rose likes this.
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm delighted to hear you're feeling a bit better. Those gorgeous feelings are sunshine peeping out from behind thick, grey clouds. We know it's always there but we lose our connection. In my quiet corner of the world the morning sun has transitioned from apricot to gold to daffodil yellow and after two days of smog-like dull and dampness it truly gladdens the heart.

    Your experience of Yin Yoga echoes many of my own. Mostly it profoundly grounds me enabling me to reconnect with the serenity at my core but some days, as you found, I cry like a baby the whole time. Those experiences are nothing short of raw encounters with our emotional self, they show us how are bodies are sponges for memories and emotions. Somehow the pose and stillness combine to press on an emotional spot and the waters flow.

    Carl Jung understood that the unconscious mind is deeply embodied, particularly within the parts of the nervous system that do not have contact with the world around us (such as the Autonomic Nervous System which relies on the sense data and the filters of our mind/our perception). It's wonderfully mysterious and mystical but perhaps too much to contemplate right now. It suffices to know that Sarno's work is more greatly enriched by Jung than by Freud, and had dear Dr. Sarno invested more time in Jung's writings he would have found a firmer foundation for his theories. It is the Shadow Self that generates TMS and a huge part of the Shadow is the body. It is the keeper of demons and ghosts from our past.

    From my understanding Sarno was simply trying to shift our indoctrinated tendency to rely on others (Doctors, Physical Therapists etc) to focus on how we are giving these demons and ghosts life (internally generating our own problems). TMS therapy teaches us how to exorcise these elements ourselves. What psychological knots make us so damn tense? What experiences have we endured so many times that we numb out and repress?

    The only danger in embracing more body-oriented methods is that we lose sight of the root-cause, of the habituated emotional responses. Remember as an integral part of learning (to walk, to talk, to eat, to sing, to drive a car...) our nervous system automates our habitual actions to ensure smooth running. Emotional repression is a learned habit. Somewhere along the way you learned to stuff your innocent, natural and beautiful emotions down. Because the nervous system is a closed system that emotion (the literal neural-chemistry) has to go somewhere and it lodges in a part of the body. For you it's your left leg, for me it's the right side of my face. That part becomes a dumping ground for every emotion we stuff down. I believe it is immensely healing to cease punishing and ignoring the places that carry our hurts and instead embrace a great tenderness and love and show our body that it is safe to feel and heal these wounds.

    This radically transforms your mindset. Old School TMS can become tyrannical. If we're not pulling ourselves apart psychologically, we're forcing ourselves to push through pain-barriers that we are not emotionally ready for. I suspect this can reinforce the sense of danger. We are better served by creating a good and balanced relationship with our body, one based on trust and grounded in compassion. The way I achieved this is mostly Yin Yoga. Over the last couple of years I have taught my body that I am safe, that is ok to feel and feel deeply. In return my body yields all her secrets and I let them be what they are. No intellectualisations.

    The other thing I do is listen to music. Every now and then a song chooses me. It's like a probe to the depths of my psyche and I have to listen to it again and again. These songs are keys to emotional vaults, places where TMS lurks. Sometimes I dance and move, other times I weep. Music can move emotional mountains.

    Trust in your body. Learn to yield, to let go and stop trying to control your healing with your mind. It's the mind that gets us into this pickle in the first place. Gently begin to express yourself especially with your man. Woman's emotions can be bewildering (mostly to ourselves) but I guarantee that the man who loves you, will love you through it. Sometimes it helps to let him know you're not blaming him for anything and that you simply need to feel his strong arms around you as you cry. Rest your head on his chest and feel his heart beat. More than anything he'll want to see you happy and he will hold you close and tight once he understands that you need his protection and love during those vulnerable moments.

    Emotions bridge the mind and body. Work gently on releasing tension and that bridge will become clearer and more tangible. Before you know it you'll begin to feel at home in your body and your self and healing will become a cakewalk.

    We're here for you sweetheart.

    Much love,

    Plum x
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  11. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are Love. And you are LOVED <3

    This post is absolutely brilliant. Specific. Practical. Gentle. Loving.

    It continues to worry me how people will bully themselves, and that they are encouraged to do so in the TMS format. And how pain is to be ignored rather than acknowledged and soothed and comforted. Ignoring is another form of repression. Pushing through, for me, creates more pain and tension. When I pause, acknowledge, take a break .... it eases. Even more effective is turning on my iPod and dancing, wiggling, swaying to the music for a song (or more!), and this shifts my emotions, which softens the pain.

    Plum ... thank you, thank you, thank you for being so courageous and bold and beautiful and empathetic.
    I so very much love you <3
    plum likes this.
  12. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    My beautiful Lily Rose,

    Words cannot hold the immensity of love and gratitude I feel for you nor can they express the grace and generosity of your presence and how you are a prayer in motion. I love your description of softening the pain. It speaks to my body more than relaxation and letting go. The softening comes first. Soften the mind, the harsh words, our expectations and judgements and then the soft, gentle power of love for ourselves breathes us back into life.

    Loving you so very much too. xxx
    Lily Rose likes this.
  13. MicheleRenee

    MicheleRenee Peer Supporter

    I love this @plum . I was struggling so much with pure Sarno and pushing pushing, thinking thinking. I realized I retrumatised my system. I dont blame him or others at all. I just was not good at listening to my bodies signals. whatsoever. I am still recovering from this 6 months later but I see the light. Alan Gordons new system on somatic tracking, etc. is a game changer. I am exploring the modalities of somatic tracking and CNS healing. the bumps are still there, but they are getting less bumpy. and they are part of the road I am on. It may not feel great but when youve ignored your bodily needs for so long, I cannot blame mine for anything.
    Lily Rose and plum like this.
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bless you sweetheart. A good many of us have been exactly where you are, for the self same reasons. I'm so happy to hear that you are on a gentler path and completely agree with you regarding Alan Gordon's new program. I've mentioned this elsewhere but it was a lightbulb moment for me when I realised that I'd learned Somatic Tracking (and Cognitive Soothing) via my innocent Yin Yoga practice. I revisited Alan's program and noted that he clearly states somatic tracking is the key to healing.

    Cherish your beautiful body, mind and spirit and healing is yours.

    Hugs xxx
    Lily Rose likes this.

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