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trouble overcoming fear

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by mgood100, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

    Hi all

    I have been dealing with back pain for 8 years now. As a 35 year old man I couldn't accept that I had a "bad back". Initial pain started after moving a heavy treadmill. After scans showed nothing I went through PT, Chiroprator, Trigger point, facet injections, yoga, rheumatologist you name it I did it. Finally I got diagnosed with TMS and stumbled up on this forum.
    I have been journaling for 21 days with moderate success. I haven't been able to truly identify my underlying emotional triggers but the one thing I have consistently found is the fear that I live with daily. Over the years I have developed more defense mechanisms to "protect" my back including avoidance of lifting anything heavy, posture adjustments, but the biggest issue I am dealing with is the fear. I was hoping to get some help with fear and breaking my fear cycle.

    Thanks great forum here....

    Bhamgirl likes this.
  2. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle


    I'm going to respond with something Steve Ozanich wrote here on the forum a bit ago. I know the "fear cycle" well and I do think Steve is right on in this quote below. His book is "The Great Pain Deception." I don't know if you've read it, but it's pretty inspirational in overcoming a myriad of symptoms. You might especially relate to how he was always "protecting" himself.

    Here are his words, that were on this forum (a couple different posts)

    Fear = anger = energy increase = imbalance = symptom = obsession = distraction = misery.

    It all begins with fear. The people who are by far the most successful at healing are the ones who know how to address fear. They have less fear; you could say they are fear-less, but they aren't. They just learn what to worry about, and what not to.

    Remember the bulk is unconscious, you don't have a clue what the culprit is, and you don't need to find out. The proof is in the healings that are occurring all the time.

    As long as the person fears, there will be odd disorders for the brain to torture you with. I would like to publish a paper on the wild things people have told me they've gotten. The brain has carte blanche to do what it wants if you allow it. You can't keep going back to the dark side, it feeds your fear.

    ---------------Finally, the thing that helps me when the fear jacks up to high is to remember that nothing is immutable. I tell myself, don't get all mesmerized by the worst case scenario, everything changes. Nothing is permanent. And, I pray, because for me, there is a Divine Intelligence to everything. So I ask: What am I supposed to know? Show me. I'm willing to see this differently.

    Allund and birdsetfree like this.
  3. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

    Thank you for your response. Very interesting fear equation that sounds familiar to my situation.

    When the fear and anticipation of pain strikes me (which is every day) I will try to talk myself down. Any other thoughts on how to do that would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again,
  4. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    I am recovering from 15 years of severe back pain, see my success story. I have my life back!

    When I first started with tms therapy and facing my fears this is how I did it: Firstly I knew I had to believe 100 percent so initially faith came into it until I could gather my own evidence. The faith came from reading all the success stories, reading Healing Back pain and recognising myself in it.

    I would then go towards my painful activities which for me was predominently sitting. I would sit and expect the pain to come but know that it would not harm me, that I was safe. I would then focus on any emotional response, usually a feeling of panic, and that would be what I would work on. I would take a deep breath and soothe myself with reassurances that sitting was harmless. Dr Sarno's book Healing Back Pain was important for this, and also Steve Ozanich The Great Pain Deception.

    I really started to get a handle on the fear after having therapy with a tms therapist and also from reading Dr Claire Weekes - Peace From Nervous Suffering. She wrote 'at any moment in time all we have to deal with is ourselves', mindfulness is the key. When I go towards a trigger I don't think ahead, I do it mindfully with confidence knowing when the pain comes I know what to do so it is not frightening. I know over time I will desensitise myself more and more to these triggers.

    My therapist asked me to remember the scene from the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy confronts the all powerful Oz and when Toto pulls back the curtain its just an old man with a microphone! Well that is the same as the tms mind, we should pull the curtain back on it too! Because it is only our own minds. Nothing to fear. This will desensitise you.
    Annette K., Allund and MWsunin12 like this.
  5. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

    Thank you that is helpful. I appreciate your input and congrats on being pain free!
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mike, do you keep your evidence sheet? Keep listing and re-reading the reasons for you to believe that your problem is psychological, then your fear will start diminishing. Re-wiring the brain is not easy!
  7. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

    I wrote it down but I haven't been re-reading it. I will now start to read it every day so I can hopefully convince myself its TMS. I have consciously committed to the program, but feel that deep down I may not believe it fully. Maybe the evidence sheet will help.

    Thanks for the advice
  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

  9. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

    Thanks Andy that's a great post....
    All this is definitely helping me deal with fear. I am still having trouble eliminating some of my "habits" to protect my back. Avoidance of certain things/positions even chairs. What seems to be helping most is not going down the fear spiral and thinking of worst case scenarios about my pain returning.
    I really appreciate all the help. The journaling is nice but hearing from other people about their situations and what has helped them is giving me further hope that I'm on the right path...

  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Mgood. Fear is something that we can overcome if we work on it. Most of us tend to think the worst is going to happen
    and we can't take our mind off of it. I like this Youtube video about overcoming obsessive thinking about fear or other things...

  11. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

    Wanted to revisit this thread bc everyone has been so helpful.

    Its been a month or so since I've been dealing with fear and up untill today ive been doing pretty well. Today I had to do some heavy lifting and my back is hurting again. I seen to go through ups and downs but my pain still returns when I lift heavy objects. In my conscious mind I continue to "think phycological" but I still cant seem to overcome specific hurdles like today.

    I'm convinced I have TMS. I just dont think my brain believes it yet....
  12. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    The pain returns with heavy lifting because it is a conditioned response for you. This is where it is important to accept this and not be emotional or disappointed about it. Just check back in on all the evidence you have that this is a psychological issue and keep doing the heavy lifting. Your back is fine. Your back is very strong. Just keep moving forwards.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  13. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

    Thanks for the support. Still battling but staying positive
  14. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    How did you get your TMS DX?
  15. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

    I went to see Dr. Rashbaum in NYC. He said it was a clear case of TMS. I havent gone to his seminars yet but am thinking about it
  16. Bhamgirl

    Bhamgirl Peer Supporter

    Out of curiosity, did you like Dr. Rashbaum and feel like he helped you? I'm considering going to see Dr. Schubiner (actually spoke with him this morning), but I am open to alternatives.
  17. E. Lynn

    E. Lynn Peer Supporter

    One thing that helped me is repeating affirmations as I did scary things. For example, as I took a walk that used to hurt my si joint, I would say to my brain, "My back is strong and healthy, or I'm calm, confident and relaxed." Here is a link about affirmations:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Affirmations (Affirmations)

    I also tackled the little things I was afraid of and gained confidence, then moved on to bigger things such as lifting heavy things.
  18. ali90

    ali90 New Member


    I'm also exactly in shoes before.Whenever I do heavy lifting,my back will get sore and the pain returns.So, what I did was to read and read about outcome independence.This eventually did the trick. First,whatever you do please go slow and dont rush it.The idea is to get your confidence increase gradually.You also need to list down what are your triggers.You should avoid these triggers at early stage of TMS healing.Than, when your pain start to subside and your confident is growing,you can approach your triggers slowly. One more thing, I dont keep tab about my pain level as this create pressure for me. I hope this help you.

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
    mgood100 and Tennis Tom like this.
  19. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

    Thanks all. I hit a bit of a rough patch lately but that also coincides with not keeping up with my journals. Recently my pain has come back again. I think this is a good indicator that I need to keep at it and its a slow process.
  20. mgood100

    mgood100 New Member

    yes I did like him. I haven't gone to his seminars yet but plan to. He diffidently seemed like he knew what he was talking about. He was my final step in convincing me that I have TMS
    Bhamgirl likes this.

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