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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Trypp's thread

Discussion in 'Alan Gordon TMS Recovery Program' started by trypp, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. trypp

    trypp Peer Supporter

    I've been a big fan of Alan Gordon's stuff for a long time, so I was really excited to see the recovery program he put up. Looking at the program, it's clear that while it provides a roadmap, only I can do the actual work. Basically, I'm going to get out of it what I put into it.

    I really want to put a lot into it, because I've been suffering for a long time. My TMS is mostly under control, but the symptom imperative keeps hitting me, so I know that there are some deeper issues that I need to work on. I want to work on these not just for symptom relief, but also as a gift to myself.

    I've read the program a couple of times and listened to all of the audio, but, given how long real change can take, I know I'm going to have to keep working the program for years. The problem is that I've got so much else going on that it is extremely easy to get distracted.

    However, I've noticed that hard things are always easier when there are friends involved, so I started this thread to help keep me focused. My hope is that just as the recordings of sessions in the program are crucial for adding meat to the bones of the program, maybe reading my struggles will help others better understand their own paths.

    As for myself, I've done a lot of depth therapy and a lot of introspection over the years, so I feel that I've analyzed the heck out of myself. I feel like a program like this (combined with hard work and patience) is exactly what I need to pull it all together and effect change. We'll see.

    I'm going to do my best to post something brief every 2-3 days. That's all for now. :)
    Emily and Forest like this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    That sounds like a great idea. Thanks for posting.
  3. trypp

    trypp Peer Supporter

    So... what to write?

    If the program is a roadmap, perhaps the first step is figuring out where I am on that roadmap. I think I've made some progress on all 16 steps, but I've definitely gotten farther in some steps than others. So perhaps I'll start with a self-assessment of where I am on each of the 16 steps.

    Regarding step 1 in the program (1. Introduction) I've read Alan's article and quite a few books and feel like I am done with this step. I know all I need to know and am on to the internal work. I feel that I can put a "check" mark next to this step and call it done.

    Regarding Accepting the Diagnosis (step 2.1), I know that there are many people who think that they have accepted the diagnosis, but, deep in their hearts they still have doubts that they haven't overcome. That's not the case with me. While I don't think that we necessarily know everything that we will ever know about TMS, I have a very strong belief that what I have is TMS. After many years and many successes, I know that the solution for me is psychological rather than physical. Check.

    Regarding the next two steps, steps 2.2 and 2.3 (Reframe the Meaning of the Pain and Working Toward Outcome Independence), I feel pretty on top of those steps, too. Sometimes, if a new symptom comes up, I might think about it for a while, but I've very good at not letting it rule my life. I've beaten TMS symptoms so many times before, that I just don't worry when they come up. I focus on living my life and know that they will be on their way soon enough. Check.

    So if I'm doing so well, why am I here? :) Well, that's where Part II comes in. I think I have significant work to do on every one of the remaining 12 steps in Part II. I don't want to bore people, though, so I'll save that for another post.
  4. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I just wanted to commend you for all your progress, especially allowing yourself to view step 1 as completed. I think step one can be a huge, lingering hurdle for many of us and I believe we can generally thank (blame) our inner perfectionist for that. GailNYC posted recently about recognizing the difference between information and knowledge and I think recognizing this difference is where some of us get stuck. When the symptoms don't leave immediately we think we need more "information" so we keep reading and reading - the key must be on a different page of a different book right?? The information becomes "knowledge" when we realize (as you have) that we have all the tools we just have to put them to use.
    Lilibet and trypp like this.
  5. trypp

    trypp Peer Supporter

    Thanks Leslie, I really appreciate your post. I remember you responded to my post on affirmations way back when as well. I actually felt really bad about not following up on that :/ . Yes, I know it's probably my inner bully speaking... perhaps I can use it as an example!

    I guess we all come into this healing thing with different challenges. I've known about TMS for years now, so the early steps came a little easy. But each time I healed, I stopped thinking psychologically as much and the underlying tension remained. That's where I hope part II will help.

    Because part II is where I really need it. ... at least I hope. Part of me isn't convinced that this isn't exactly the program I need and wonders if I instead need something similar.

    Basically, I know that I often feel really bad about myself. And I'm pretty convinced that this is mostly because I didn't get the kind of unconditional support that I needed when I was younger. But is this because I have an internal critic left over from childhood or because I have a lot of sensitivity left over from childhood? Because they are different, right? If I have an internal bully then I have a part of me that is always attacking me, and the problem goes away if I can stand up to that part of me and make him go away. However, what if I'm just really sensitive to feeling bad about myself because of long life experience? Then, whenever something bad happens, something that would make anyone feel bad, I feel really bad. In this case, it's not like there is a part of me that I can stand up to that is continually attacking me. Rather, I'm just very sensitive, so when I have a good reason to feel a little bad I just feel really bad.

    So, going in to this all I have a little bit of anxiety about that issue. Rationally, I know that I can probably adapt the program to my situation and make the best of it. However, I don't want to feel like I'm having to shoehorn myself into the "internal bully" box when the truth may be more about me being oversensitive. We'll see. I figure that if I stand up for what I can see just by looking inside myself, it should all come out to be okay.

    All of that being said, I did really relate to the Brandon story. I'll save that for my next post, though, and will try to come back to it tomorrow.
  6. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Trypp it sounds as though you are incredibly hard on yourself (maybe even on par with me). If you insist on beating yourself, please, please don't ever do it over anything that had to do with me. I can assure you I don't see any reason for you to feel badly about not responding to a post.

    Your inner critic sounds like he could give mine a run for her money. It also sounds as though they developed under similar circumstances and resulted in similar extremes. I would agree that the inner critic and being very sensitive are different but I think it's quite possible that for those of us that exhibit both, they stem from the same place. Unconditional support was unheard of in my childhood. Everything had conditions, strings, and unfortunately when it comes to one of my parents, that pattern has continued well into adulthood. In addition the criticism (conditions) flowed to me freely. I remember being asked "why aren't your grades as good as .....", "and why don't you treat me the way .... treats her parent?" and others. That was over 30 years ago and typing them out still activates all the physiological sensations of shame in my body (not to mention tensing up all the muscles in my primary TMS area). The inner critic developed to help us anticipate potential future failures and help us to prevent them (from which perfection is born). Unfortunately we grew up with a lack of compassion from our caregivers (who probably grew up with a lack of compassion from their own - you can't teach what you don't know). Parents lacking in self-compassion have children lacking in self-compassion unless they realize it's importance and it's lacking and take steps to break the pattern. I think the sensitivity also develops along side the inner bully, it wouldn't surprise me at all if you would describe yourself as very empathic. I believe I can better sense the feelings of others than my own. I can "sense" the feelings of others, especially those closest to me, but my own feelings are beyond my reach most of the time. I think this developed in me due to that same critical parent. I think my young self was not able to handle having to intuit the feelings of that parent all the time and also feel my own so it was deemed more important for survival to intuit the feelings of my parent, requiring in the repression of my own.

    Ultimately I think it's programming that causes us to feel really bad when an opportunity presents itself for us to feel any level of bad. I've been noticing more and more positive results to change this programming for myself with the interviews in the Self-Acceptance Project and putting some of the things they talk about into practice. I've also started getting into the habit of watching other people's reactions to situations and then thinking about how I might react in the same situation to try to get an idea of where my reactions seem to be "normal" and when they're extreme (either over or under). I wouldn't put too much focus on trying to put yourself into any one "box". I think you can realize much benefit just using the parts that resonate with some part of you, without concerning yourself too much with "which" part it might actually be that's taking notice.
    Lilibet likes this.
  7. Lilibet

    Lilibet Peer Supporter

    "The inner critic developed to help us anticipate potential future failures and help us to prevent them (from which perfection is born)."

    Thanks for this, Leslie. It really jumped out at me and fits in with some of the stuff I'm looking at now.

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