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TMS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Fully Embracing TMS

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by AndretheGiant, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. AndretheGiant

    AndretheGiant New Member

    Hey everyone, I'm really glad I stumbled across this forum and community. I'm just beginning to find out about and embrace the idea of TMS, and for those looking to fully embrace it as well, I think sharing my story could be helpful.
    About 4 years ago, when I was a rising senior in high-school, my body began to feel different than it ever had. Previously, I had felt light, loose, and energized, but after a half year of intense stress (related both to school and emotional factors), when I tried to return to the sport I loved (Soccer), I felt heavy and stiff. I was out of breath quickly. And I knew it wasn't just me being "out of shape" after a few months of not playing.
    Fast forward four years, and I've felt this stiffness, heaviness, and tightness in my muscles, especially in my legs (hamstrings) and glutes, pretty consistently since then. I could always feel physical tightness in my muscles, especially my IT bands, glutes, and hamstrings, but even if I rolled them out, get frequent massages, etc, it has always come back. This was how I felt pretty much all the time - stiff, tight, bound, as a 20 year old, and the way I felt made me more anxious about it and a vicious cycle began.
    Sometimes I thought about the way I was feeling more than other times, but the stiffness and heaviness were always there. That is, until I went on vacation to Florida after my freshman year of college. After a stressful year of working tirelessly to ensure I got a 4.0 (extreme perfectionist) at a top 15 university, I visited my grandparents in central Florida for a week. For the first time in a while, I had no responsibilities, and very low mental/sensory stimulation. All I did during the vacation was go to the pool nearby and relax during the day, and watch some of my favorite movies and shows on my laptop during the night. And something amazing began to happen; each day my body began to loosen up tremendously. I began to feel so light and free, my sleep felt restorative, and my energy levels went back up to the highest they ever were. Interestingly, my valuation of my own experience (the way I saw things) as I ate breakfast, walked around, and did anything was drastically transformed; I felt much more connected to my own sensory experience - things tasted better, my body felt better, everything just felt 100%. This lasted for the remainder of my trip in Florida and it was the best few days I've had in years. It was amazing. As my body began to feel normal during this trip, I also noticed that I began to have much more wandering and anxious thoughts. My mind felt pretty free and unhinged, but I felt so much happier and looser. But with the wandering thoughts and loss of cognitive control, my energy returned. It was as if my true psyche had been pushed down so deeply and was given the chance to materialize and I began to feel like myself again.
    Eventually I returned home, and I began to feel groggy and tight again as the stresses of my life returned. I feel so in control of my thoughts and emotions but the physical symptoms have returned. I'm only realizing now after I recently found Dr. Sarno and the ideas of TMS how powerful this transitory experience was in validating the notion that our stress and out pent up emotions can cause us physical symptoms. I'm working on allowing myself to let those inner thoughts (even if they are anxiety-filled) surface because I believe you can't selectively bury emotion; if you bury the bad, you bury the good. Somewhere along the way, my subconscious reasoned that burying my emotions would allow me to be more efficient and would keep my thoughts centered, but it came with a cost. Looking back at this experience gives me a lot of hope, and I wonder if anyone else has experienced this kind of transitory healing from CFS/fibro or has any thoughts. I'd be happy to talk.
    kylehuisman and JanAtheCPA like this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Andre, welcome and Congratulations on your successes so far! Also for discovering TMS so early in your life! Some of us were a lot older before we discovered Dr Sarno.

    That being said, for those of us who are prone to experiencing the TMS mechanism on overdrive, this may be a lifelong process. But if you work on being mindful of it, your ability to manage it will become more automatic over time.

    Start reading our Success Stories subforum for the best overview of the many ways in which different people experience TMS, and keep up the great work!
  3. AndretheGiant

    AndretheGiant New Member

    Thank you Jan! I'm thankful I found Dr. Sarno's ideas so early as well, and in the most serendipitous of ways.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    That sure was true for me. I'd been told that my brain fog/dizziness was probably a form of migraine and that I needed to go on the migraine diet. I was reading story after story of absurd diet beliefs on a migraine forum, failing to find any kind of coherent or consistent pattern that made any sense, when I serendipitously stumbled on a post by someone who said he recovered from his migraines by reading The Divided Mind. The poor guy was severely abused by forum members, but I downloaded the book from the library that night, and never looked back. I always wished I could have thanked him, but I hadn't joined that forum - and obviously never needed to!

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