1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Trouble accepting the diagnosis

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by walllc643, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. walllc643

    walllc643 New Member

    Roughly 6 years ago, I began my recovery from alcoholism. Part of that process was attending Alcoholics Anonymous and working the well established 12 step recovery program. Whether you're familiar with AA or not, you probably recognize the first of the 12 steps - admitting that you have a problem. No recovery can take place unless the alcoholic is able to fully come to terms with the reality that he is in fact an alcoholic. This is profoundly difficult for many people, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Even once we accept it, we must be reminded again and again, day after day, one meeting after the next. We remind ourselves and each other. It has to be drilled into our alcoholic brains through repetition, reinforcement and by sharing stories with one another.

    Much as I initially had trouble accepting the fact that I am an alcoholic, I'm having trouble accepting the reality that I have TMS. I can accept it intellectually, but I can't yet BELIEVE it. Alan Gordon makes a very astute observation regarding acceptance on the conscious level vs the gut level. He is right - there is a BIG difference! I'm hoping that by working the structured educational program, journaling, reading, and rehashing all the evidence against there being a structural cause for my pain, I can eventually expect for the reality of my diagnosis to sink in.

    I would love any encouragement regarding tools of reinforcement that some of you have used to accept your diagnosis. I would also welcome reading about struggles and doubt, either past or present. Thanks!
  2. Layla

    Layla New Member

    Hi! I don't know if I have TMS or not, but some 'Bring it on!' attitude was helpful to get rid of pain when it emerged, so I'm thinking at least partly it could be TMS. I'm also willing to do the TMS exercises as they seem helpful in general, for better psychological wellbeing. Basically it's a non-med approach and some exercises are free online, so what have you got to lose? :)
    I admire you for being in the AA program! My uncle has been in a similar program too and has been sober for years now.
    walllc643 likes this.
  3. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    Have you read Steve's book, The Great Pain Deception? I'm halfway through and it's been helpful to me.

    E. Lynn
    Nattycakes and walllc643 like this.
  4. walllc643

    walllc643 New Member

    I haven't but will certainly look into it. I just ordered Unlearn Your Pain by Howard Schubiner and am looking forward to it.
  5. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    I've just started the structured education program on the main TMS wiki page, also. It's very good so far, and free. If you haven't read Dr. Sarno's books, they are super helpful.

    walllc643 likes this.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wallic, some of us, me included, have/had trouble believing in TMS 100 percent.
    I held back about 10 percent until I finally decided to tell myself it was 100 percent.
    Maybe I didn't really still believe that much, but it did the trick.
    Keep telling yourself you believe 100 percent that your symptoms are from TMS and see what happens.
    walllc643 likes this.
  7. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Hey Walllc,

    I think it's completely normal for most folks to have trouble completely accepting the diagnosis at first. It's just like AA. Keep coming back. Immerse yourself in the program and eventually you will accept it at the gut level. It sounds like you are doing all the right things.

    I think there are a lot of parallels between this program and AA and I find it very interesting. Both can be extraordinarily successful in solving debilitating problems when applied properly.

    Anyway, I think your background in working the AA program we'll be very helpful in making you successful in overcoming your TMS. And the gut-level belief will come.
    walllc643 likes this.
  8. Nattycakes

    Nattycakes Peer Supporter

    Honestly.. I hate to break it to you.. But until you 100% know that it is TMS.. You won't completely heal.

    Me telling you.. You need to stop smoking even though you know you need to.. Is as good of an analogy. Only YOU can fix YOU. And no convincing of anyone else is going to make you believe this.

    I want you to think of all of those times you felt AMAZING. When you felt HAPPY and on TOP of the world. Where your entire day just flowed.. Where your body felt so good.. When you fell in love.. When you created something.. When you were at your best.

    Every thought that you think sends a chemical reaction out into your body. When we get stressed out, when we have bad stuff happen to us, we turn to things.. We self medicate, we are in pain, we are depressed and unhappy.

    In the medical field it is accepted that someone can get an ulcer from worrying, or a headache from crying, or even heart palpitations.. Does it really stop there?! Ha! No way!!

    The mind body connection is real. Ask the Tibetans.. They get it. This isn't new knowledge. Your emotions are real and this is what it's allll about. And once you accept this and decide to actually do the work that it takes... And you will have some tough times.. And it's gonna be hard training your mind... But then.. Your life is going to blossom for you in ways you never felt possible.

    You create your own reality.. What you think... You become!

    Love yourself enough to believe and do this!
  9. walllc643

    walllc643 New Member

    I believe that I can eventually train myself to accept the diagnosis at the level of the unconscious mind. I'm becoming increasingly confident as I continue to put in the work on a daily basis. Every journal entry, article, video, forum thread and conversation is bringing me closer to acceptance. I'm just not there yet.

    Doubt like mine provides for a very interesting paradox, because I DO believe on an intellectual level that my pain is psychosomatic. I also understand that my doubt on an emotional level is standing in the way of my recovery. However, I can't simply wish it away or pretend it isn't there. In this way the doubt is very much like the pain - the more obsessed I become with banishing it, the stronger it seems to become.

    I believe that the key for me is to approach healing from a much broader perspective. I'm not working to rid myself of the pain - I'm working to become a happier, calmer, wiser and more optimistic version of myself. I'm not addressing the pain specifically, but rather the emotional issues and destructive thought patterns that allowed the pain to exist in the first place.

    I expect my symptoms to decrease as a by-product of this more general approach, which will further reinforce my confidence that the pain is indeed TMS.
    Ellen and Cap'n Spanky like this.

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