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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What do I do with this new found info?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ron L, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Ron L

    Ron L New Member

    So about two years ago I started getting a pain in my right buttock down to my right calf and foot. I had no idea what this was about and after a few months of this pain not going away I went to see my internist. The internist had me take a MRI which came back the next day and it said that I had a mild case of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. The pain would come and go but it never completely left.

    I started taking epidural shots where the pain would vanish for about a month or two but the pain would always come back. I repeated taking the shots for a period of about 9 months or so. Being warned by many people about the dangers of those shots I started looking for other methods to rid myself of the pain. I went back to my internist and he sent me to a massage physical therapist. I went there several times. The therapist bent me in many positions, sometimes I felt like I was being
    bent into a pretzel. This therapy wasn't working. After 7 sessions I called it quits and went searching for something else.

    Spending hours on the internet searching for a magic cure for spinal stenosis, I read article after article about how vitamins and supplements would do the trick. I ran to Walgreens and filled my shopping cart with Vitamin B, C, D, folic acid, glucosamine, fish oil, calcium, omega 1-2-3, you name it I bought it. About $125 worth altogether. I took these vitamins and minerals for about 2-3 weeks and all I got was an upset stomach!

    As a long time listener to the Howard Stern radio show, I recalled Howard mentioning Dr Sarno several times. Howard had horrible back pain back in the 1980's and Dr Sarno gave Howard the magic cure. It never occurred to me that I had "back pain", I just had something called spinal stenosis and my nerves were being squeezed. But being quite desperate, I went on Amazon and bought Dr Sarno's books, tapes and his DVD lecture.

    I listened carefully to each tape and read the books and figured that this stuff sounded like voodoo. Sure I had issues with parents, family, job, and life in general. There wasnt any new tensions or pressures in my life that I didnt have all those other years when I had no back pain. I thought and thought about my past. Then it hit me! I started thinking about some events that I did in the past 2 years that I wasnt very proud of. These events occurred when I was intoxicated. Without going into detail in a public forum, the things I did while intoxicated were things I would never in a million years do while I was sober. Of course while I was intoxicated these things seemed fun and exciting but afterwards I felt very ashamed and disgusted with myself. And as fate would have it, I repeated these same events two more times (sort of daring myself) and had the same feelings of disgust afterwards.

    So it hit me. That my unconscious mind was (as Dr Sarno described) raging with anger. Quite frankly I dont blame my unconscious. Once I came to recognize this revelation, A LOT of this back pain vanished. I was thinking, "Is this it?" "Is this the answer?"

    So my questions:
    I believe I recognize why my unconscious is sending me these pains. (and I dont blame it)
    But knowing and understanding what I did to make it mad, what now needs to be done? I think I know the question and answer to my pain.....so what do I do now with that knowledge? Do I apologize to myself or just accept what I did (while intoxicated) and go on from here?
    What if I was to get intoxicated again and I did the same embarrassing act again in the future? What if my unconscious isnt so apologetic next time?
    So I think I know the 'root' cause of my unconscious pain.....what do I do with that information now?
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm no psychotherapist, far from it, but I'd say that it was your id - the eternal, internal child - who committed whatever act you're ashamed of while you were drunk. However, that act obviously went in the face of values your internal parent (i.e. superego) disapproved of and was taking pains to repress into your unconscious. Of course, you know the particulars much more intimately than I do, but I do know that that sort of irreconcilable conflict between the inner child and the inner parent often originates the TMS pain process. The remedy? Try not being so hard on yourself. In fact, you need to be much kinder to yourself and not beat yourself up so much over your perceived transgression of the superego's moral code. If it didn't involve rape or murder, it probably wasn't nearly as bad as you think it was.

    I'm not a neurologist either, but I do know that the way alcohol releases inhibitions is by deadening the more rational cerebral cortex, which, in turn, lets emotions usually repressed in the unconscious to rise to the surface and take over. Alcohol short-circuits the process that keeps those emotions hidden away from the clear light of day. That's why some people get drunk and go on a crying binge, some people get drunk and get in a fight, and some people get drunk and go out and engage in impersonal sex with total strangers. The unconscious is a strange irrational place.

    Come to think of it, I can remember getting really drunk with some friends up in the hills when I was eighteen and breaking into somebody's summer cabin and trashing the place. I was probably acting out an adolescent desire to smash my dictatorial parents' world, but I'm sure I didn't realize it at the time. Just 18 years old and crazy drunk. This was many, many years ago of course, and the statute of limitations has long-since expired. You can certainly see how adolescents can get into big, big trouble when they combine alcohol with an anti-social attitude. Boy, we all could have gotten shot really easy that crazy night!
    Forest and yb44 like this.
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    As MorComm mentioned the TMS process origniates from the conflict between our inner child and our inner parent. Understanding this process can be really helpful in figuring out why your symptoms began. It sounds like you are figuring out some of the repressed emotions you have. The next step is to understand why you repress emotions to begin with. To some degree this is even more important than understanding the exact thing you are repressing.

    The next steps really depend on what works best with you. Becoming active again and exercising can really help people overcome their believe that they are broken or fragile. For me, being active helped me gain confidence in myself. You can also try jouranling, self talk, or mindfulness. For more info on this check out the wiki page So You Think You Have TMS.

    One thing to keep in mind is that even though you understand what you were repressing, it may take a while for the TMS message sink into your unconscious. Having patience and avoiding to set a time table on your recovery is a key part to getting better. If you continue to educate yourself about TMS, you will get there.

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