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Why does my relapse feel harder

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by dharn999, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. dharn999

    dharn999 Peer Supporter

    So I first discovered Dr. Sarno's work after a year of pain and I had the same reaction as everyone else.. Doubted it at first, but was looking for help. Once I read Healing Back Pain I saw myself in every page, then discovered this site and heard my story 100 times over. I got my confidence back in a month or so and started to feel better and before I knew it I was no longer obsessed with my pain and I only felt a twinge of back pain here and there..

    I had my life back, my wife and I had our first child, bought a house, and lived our life.

    Now I really didn't journal much and honestly I don't even remember if I read the book all the way through, but I was just so excited that I had some relief and knew this was going to work so I just kept telling myself that it was mental and it would eventually get better

    Last month I had my first relapse after moving furniture. I had the same pain here and there after over doing it the past years but never put any thought into it.. The next day I could feel it in my glutes and low back but it wasn't much but I slowly started to panic and over the next week or so, I got physical and looked to google for help to relieve symptoms and now I'm still in pain. It isn't the worst pain I've experienced but it's constant.

    So I came back to the boards and started reading Sarno again. This time I've submerged myself into TMS knowledge and have journaled more than I did last time (only on day 8, I've been slacking on the journal side). I read the relapser's curse and it puts a lot into perspective but I'm really struggling. I've accepted the diagnoses, I've been journaling, but I feel that my obsession has turned into a TMS obsession instead of a pain obsession.

    I haven't ever stopped exercising and have not let my TMS from preventing me from doing something (although I feel that I'm only half there because I'm constantly thinking about my symptoms)

    I've tasted victory before and got greedy and ignored my TMS too long and it snuck up on me and I let it back in, heck I let it in the front door and now I'm struggling to get it out (or at least calmed down instead of causing destruction)

    I understand that I'm expecting to heal too quick and I'm monitoring my symptoms too often. But this go around just feels different and I haven't had a single ah ha moment because I'm recalling it all (and I've actually learned new things about TMS and myself). I know at this point fear is my biggest symptom because I'm thinking too much about "what if" situations (mostly what if my TMS doesn't go away)

    Man this is tough, I'm struggling mentally... I don't know why exactly either.. I'm not in excruciating pain and I can do physical activity with very little discomfort.. But my motivation is very low.. I honestly think I have too much time on my hands right now.. I'm a teacher and I have my summer off at home with my two year old son so I don't really have any distractions

    This may be more of me venting but I would appreciate any help or tips if anyone has any.. I know I'll be alright, I just need to thibk Psychological and not physical, but man this stuff can really set you back once you let it
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Relapses are really hard. I've had a few and know how frustrating and disappointing they are. The most important advice I can give you is to not catastrophize about it. It doesn't mean the end of the pain-free life. Remind yourself that it is TMS and you have conquered it in the past and can do so again.

    TMS healing is all in the mind. Even the physical things we do with the goal of TMS healing, like continuing to exercise, are to help us change our mind, our thinking. Shifting attention away from the body is critical. Find some distractions. Having a two year old around should be a good distraction. Immerse yourself in play with him. Be silly and have fun. Kids are great for that. Look for the joy and it can be found.

    Best wishes.........
    plum and birdsetfree like this.
  3. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    You have successfully dealt with tms symptoms in the past. Remember it is always the same approach when dealing with current or future symptoms. There is nothing to fear, it is only your own mind trying to distract you. Do not be disappointed and preoccupied by this relapse, that will only feed the tms mind.
    Scott.Cameron and plum like this.
  4. dharn999

    dharn999 Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the advice, I know this will pass, it's just difficult to see the end. I've let my mind become to preoccupied with my symptoms but I keep reminding myself that it's all in my head. I guess it's so difficult because you know it works but can't understand why my symptoms are still around.

    Looking back on it, I don't really remember an exact day that my pain started to diminish the first time, I just got back to my life since I knew this was TMS and knowing that alone would solve my pain. It probably took an upwards to a year to relieve me but I was living my life and not obsessed with my symptoms anymore.

    Knowing what it is and it lingering around got me in a panic (it's what my brain wanted me to do so I would be distracted)

    I just need to create a good strategy to condition myself that it's TMS and there isn't any need to panic. That's what did it last time, I just need a new technique
  5. jayMck

    jayMck New Member

    You are so not alone!

    Everything you describe about your current relapse also describes mine. I read Sarno and BAM! 20 years of back pain disappeared. Riding my bike was fun again years of back pain and fear of pain.

    One year later, first relapse. Seriously scary neck pain that came out of the blue. Doing the Structured Program really helped.

    Now one year after that, my entire left side is a mess. About a month ago I injured my achilles tendon in my left foot. (I took up running to 'bond' with my 18 year old son). Since then my left leg has become increasingly sore, the left side of my lower back, my left hip, hell - even my left hand. And I'm thinking about and fearing the pain all the time. If I'm not thinking about the pin, I'm trying to think psychological. I never rest from it.

    I tell myself, you've been through this before. You've had multiple symptoms come and go. You know you haven't done anything that could cause all these symptoms (and my symptoms have/currently include tinnitus, allergies, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and IBS). End of the day, I get to a point where I tell myself this is all bullshit! I can't be this messed up! I'm only 53 years old. I ride my bike up to 150 miles a week. I walk all the time. I'm on my feet all day at work. I'm healthy! Why is my subconscious telling me otherwise?

    We know this is all crazy, dharn999. We have had success and we will again. I'm into Day 7 of reading Schubinger's Unlearn Your Pain. So far my symptoms haven't improved. And I think part of it is because I am constantly monitoring them. I keep exercising though. 27 mile tandem ride yesterday with my wife. And I plan to do a long ride with my neighbor after church today. We need to both learn how to stop the monitoring but also give a big middle finger to the symptoms. Keep going forward!

    Scott.Cameron likes this.
  6. dharn999

    dharn999 Peer Supporter

    It's a big set back when you've beat something and it returns like this.. It's dragging me through a lot of emotional things because I can't stop focusing on the symptoms.. I mean, I know it's TMS and I need to focus on what's going on in my life psychologically but I get stuck in a loop that circles my thoughts to what my life will be like if I don't get over it this time.. And that type of thinking just keeps fueling the fire.

    I guess it's so hard because you know what's causing the pain, and you know what made it work the first time, and you know why it's not working this time, but you still can't get it to soak in and work because in expecting things to happen yesterday and I'm so focused on my symptoms

    I still go run and work out because i can but I'm so emotionally drained that something I loved a month ago has turned into a mental struggle

    Thinking back on it, when I discovered Sarno's work the first time I was so excited to learn and get better because I knew this was it, and it worked(slowly but gradually) this time I just don't have the excitement.. I guess it's because a month isn't that long and all I've done is stew in my symptoms And I'm trying to rush things.
    jayMck likes this.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Congrats on having your child, never had a kid so can't relate to the economic and time pressures they must create. How's your marriage doing, how are those mortgage payments doing, any unexpected expenses? Seems like enough material to create TMS tension right there--have you ever looked at the Rahe-Holmes list for your stressors?
    nowtimecoach likes this.
  8. dharn999

    dharn999 Peer Supporter

    Thanks, he will turn 2 tomorrow. And I've searched and redirected my thoughts towards and economic problems and honestly I haven't come up with anything I worry about or should worry about. Although I am the type who is the worst case scenario type so I always think about what if we have a second child and how will we afford it.. Etc etc.. I have a hard time thinking about that stuff when my symptoms are flaring because it only makes me feel worse because again worse case scenario type here.. I always think "what if this doesn't change" or "get worse". Again I know it's TMS, but now I worry I'll let my symptoms run amuck.. Which honestly doesn't make sense, I should know by now that if I accept the diagnoses and know it's TMS, that should help me heal.. Like I said earlier, I'm in my own head too much here, hard to relax and be positive
  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your TMS personality is still with you, fueling your reservoir of rage to overflowing. You're looking at the world as the cup being half empty. SteveO in his latest little "Sarno's 10 Greatest" book's last chapter has some great comments on how our PERCEPTIONS create our TMS symptoms. If you haven't read it yet it may be a good time to for a TMS KNOWLEDGE PENICILLIN BOOSTER. You can Kindle it for $2.99.

    Ines likes this.

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