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True Believer Needs Help

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by mrkitty11, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. mrkitty11

    mrkitty11 Newcomer

    Hi all,

    First off, I want to say how happy I am that I’ve learned about TMS and found this forum, as I truly believe it is one of the best things that could have happened to me. I’ve always been super athletic (soccer, running etc), but for the past five years or so I’ve suffered from a consecutive series of injuries (ankle pain, knee pain, IT band, hamstring pain, back pain), many of which have lingered around 4-6 months. I’ve been in PT almost constantly for the past 3 years and found it has done little to help.

    What actually brought me to the TMS diagnosis and this community was the onset of some mild but stubborn RSI/carpal tunnel. By random googling, I found some resources on TMS and RSI (e.g.Harvard RSI Action etc.). I picked up Sarno’s book and dug in. Since then I’ve also read Rapid Relief from Back and Neck Pain, and numerous success stories. I’m a true believer. I fit the profile to a T (type-A personality, people pleaser, high-stress legal job). Each time I fixed one injury another would manifest almost instantaneously.

    Here’s the thing: learning about TMS has been remarkably effective at dealing with all the lingering aches and pains in my body (hamstring, back, knee). Whenever one of those act up and they do somewhat frequently, I’m able to shush it and tell it that I know what it’s doing. I’m back to full athletic activity (sprinting, weight lifting, plyometrics) with no problem.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make a dent in the RSI. I believe in my gut that my pain is TMS and not structural. It developed during a stressful job transition, and almost immediately after a friend told me about how she had severe carpal tunnel which resulted in surgery and life-long complications; the pain moves around and worsens with stress. It’s been a few weeks since I found TMS, and I’m still in pain with no reduction, though I’m typing and using my phone normally and not wearing any braces and trying to act as normal and just generally trying to ignore it.

    Here’s the other thing: I’m a relatively self-reflective person with years of therapy behind me – so connecting to my anger doesn’t feel that hard. I’ve talked about my compulsion to please and my hidden anger for hours and hours with various therapists.

    What do you guys think? Any advice? What’s going on with my stubborn brain?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    "If one is preoccupied with the body/symptoms the pain will persists" John Sarno
    MWsunin12 likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, MC. I think your friend telling you about having carpel tunnel syndrome put the idea in your head while you were under job stress
    and then you felt those symptoms. The power of someone influencing us, for good or bad. You need a strong boost of confidence that your pain is not structural but TMS emotional. I think once you believe that 100 percent, you will heal.

    It's wonderful that you are back to so much physical activity.

    The remaining pain will go away when you discover any additional emotional concern, present or past.
  4. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Once you put a fixed timeline on your recovery plan - you are giving in to your obsessive tendencies which makes the symptoms worse. Outcome independence is the key.
  5. mrkitty11

    mrkitty11 Newcomer

    Thank you all so much for your replies and your insights. Ryan/Walt/TG, I think you're all right about what I need. Now that I know it's TMS, I've transferred my anxiety from "what is it?" to "when will it go away?" It seems there are 4 steps to recovery:

    (1) Believe it's TMS and not structural
    (2) Identify anger and emotional concerns
    (3) Stop focusing on the pain (outcome independence)
    (4) Stop watching the clock

    I think I've done pretty well on 1 and 2, but I need to work on 3 and 4. I love the idea of outcome independence, and it makes so much sense. Of course, I as a person (and as I brain) win when I don't focus on the pain because I feel better and I'm not giving my subconscious the attention/boost it's looking for.

    I have my work cut out for me!


  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi MC,

    This is a brilliant observation. Outcome independence takes regular practice, and it is not easy for anyone. That is why it is a practice!!

    And along the way keep making room for your awareness of feelings, and connecting them to Dr. Sarno's work. This can only deepen your contact with yourself!

    Andy B
  7. mrkitty11

    mrkitty11 Newcomer

    Thanks for the encouragement Andy! I appreciate it. I definitely need to work on outcome independence (frankly, I could use to work on it in all areas of my life and not just w/r/t pain management).

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