Educational Program Day 15

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As you start the third week of this program begin to recognize what current stresses are causing your chronic symptoms. Try to not get discouraged if you are still having flare-ups. Fear will only keep you in the pain cycle. In order to break out of it you need to accept the diagnosis and think psychological.

Educational Activity: For the start of the third week you will be watching a brief news broadcast from July 11, 2008, from WBAL TV 11 in Baltimore. The clip describes the methods Sports Broadcaster Gerry Sandusky used to overcome 11 years of chronic pain. As you watch this clip try to think of how this case is similar to yours. What personality traits do you have in common, and what are your similar symptoms? Is there anything about this story that stands out to you?

Note: This video is about Gerry Sandusky and not the convict Jerry Sandusky. The confusion between the two names has caused Gerry quite a challenging time. Baltimore Magazine actually awarded Gerry with a 2012 Best of Baltimore award for the grace he has handled this trying situation. For more on the discussion on this topic see our forum discussion on this entitled The Difference between G and J.

Journal Activity: For the first two weeks of this program you have used only the Free Write and Unsent Letter journaling techniques. These two techniques are the base of this program, however this program is designed to fill your toolbox with a variety of useful techniques. Today you will learn the Dialogue technique. In short the Dialogue technique is a written out conversation between you and someone else. By writing a dialogue between yourself and another person, you can begin to understand the actions of other people and release bottled up emotions. These dialogues can ease your mind and allow you to investigate a way to handle certain situations. You can write out a dialogue between any person, group, entity, or even body part. Again, since this will be only on paper feel free to write anything that you need to say to a person/group down. The following are some tips that can help in writing a dialogue.

  • Begin by writing a simple statement or question and let your mind, heart, hand respond in any way it feels like.
  • Respond for the other person/group in a way that you think they will likely respond. This will help a person begin to see events and issues from another angle.
  • Continue this back and forth for approximately 10-15 minutes, or however long you want.
  • Try not to script the responses. Let the dialogue be free flowing and write whatever comes to mind.
  • When finished, meditate and reflect on what emotions you expressed and what you learned through the dialogue. Write these down and affirm that it is good and healthy for you to investigate your feelings and relationship with this person.

Advice for People Just Starting Out (By Lori):

I feel it's important to end writing sessions on a positive note--not always easy--but something as seemingly simple as: I accept this happened in my past. I forgive this behavior. I am ready to move on.

Click Here for Full Thread

For today's journal dialogue choose a person who is currently causing stress in your life. This can be a boss, co-worker, spouse, family member, or an organization that takes up too much of your time. Place the name of the person in the prompt below and begin to journal. Spend at least 10 minutes on this activity. If you need to journal for longer go ahead. The lines below are provided if you want to print this page for a handwritten journal.

Dear _____________________________________ Why did you do _______________________________________

Work the List: If you have not completely filled out your TMS list yet, spend 3-4 minutes adding to them. Remember do not worry if they are directly related to your pain, and do not try to solve them right now. Simply think of things that might be causing your symptoms and write them down. You will have time to journal about them later in the program.

Question To Ponder
During the past two weeks has your pain been moving around? How has this affected your belief in the diagnosis? If you feel comfortable sharing, then post your response in a thread in our Structured Program forum. We would love to hear from you.

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