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skizzik

USA
783 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2009 :  12:57:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi all,

Been a while since my last post.

I was the guy who had a book cure years ago without realizing I was recovering. When the pain re-emerged a couple years later with quite the physical trigger, and way worse, I was in a struggle to prove to myself it was tms, and quickly too.

I have to say that life seems to be returning to normal lately. At one time (heck 2 years) I was on this site over a dozen times a day looking for the right approach. Reading one tms/self help book after another w/ pad for journaling in hand. My pain was so overwhelming, I combed the members section and desperately casted out e-mails to people who would please take a call from me, whenever they could. Others kept up communication via e-mail w/ me and it was so helpful.

I was consumed by pain and consumed by tms treatment of pain.
I think at the time I always imagined having an amazing success story. Afterall I recovered before, but I did'nt grasp what was going on at the time. I think building this altar to having a success story built up nothing but resistence to healing.

At some point I knew I'd have to stop cold turkey and get on with my life in order to get healthy/normal again.



After 2 years of hell for me and my family, it seems things are finally settling down. Pain free, I am not. However, what is a level 10 for me now, is no where near the level 10 pain I used to have.

In fact what is a level 10 now no longer sends me into panic of the future, or the what ifs, or will I still be in pain on this vacation, or when I do that job. I'm not sure if I'll ever be pain free, but I must be doing better, because that seems to matter little to me now.

I'll be golfing later today, I golfed last night. I lifted weights all week, including below parallel squats w/ 225 pounds on my back for reps. I wrestle 3 little kids all the time and lift them constantly. I survived a trip to disney in march, and a ski trip in january.

I think I'll add to this thread little by little over time since I want to share my experience, and w/ 3 kids and a wife who used to go into the other room crying when I was on this site I don't have time to write it all in one post.

I think I'll just ramble on here and there.

HilaryN

United Kingdom
879 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2009 :  13:35:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's great to hear your news, skizzik.

Hilary N
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SarnoFan

USA
72 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2009 :  22:28:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great story.
Only those who have experienced chronic pain and the struggle to become pain free with the mind/body approach can truly appreciate that we should not "obsess" with the "success" of the treatment.

If we do, then "TMS treatment success" can become its own pain generator when we wonder "Why do I still have pain when I know it is only TMS"? This becomes a stressful state on its own!

Simply accept that the pain is there because you are creating it unconsciously. Then get good sleep, eat well and get active. As time and experience goes by, the "TMS" word should also fade from your daily thoughts.

Just build up to "letting go" of your fears and start enjoying what you deserve to be doing...a litte each day. We all deserve to feel good by not denying ourselves (and our loved ones) of pleasant activities.

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forestfortrees

393 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2009 :  07:21:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Skizzik,

It's great to hear that you are doing well. I think that the equanimity that you seem to have regarding your ongoing pain is priceless.
quote:
Originally posted by SarnoFan

we should not "obsess" with the "success" of the treatment.

If we do, then "TMS treatment success" can become its own pain generator

... Simply accept that the pain is there because you are creating it unconsciously. Then get good sleep, eat well and get active.
Agreed!

Forest
tmswiki.org
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guej

115 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2009 :  06:22:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Skizzik and all who responded: I'm still struggling to get rid of my original bout of non-stop chronic pain, so I'm very interested to see what works for people. The following statement you made "Simply accept that the pain is there because you are creating it unconsciously. Then get good sleep, eat well and get active" made some sense to me. Too much thinking about why the pain isn't going away, reading the books and thinking 24/7 about fixing this situation is creating more anxiety for me, and thus, probably perpetuating my condition.

I'm at the point where I know it's TMS, so I'm not pursuing physical fixes or even going to doctors anymore. No point. I'm also at the point where I feel like just putting all the TMS work (journaling, talking to my subconcious, reading mind-body books)aside, and just living my life as best as I can. I know that's one approach that has worked for some people, however, not doing the TMS work day to day makes me feel as though I'm not doing anyting to get out of this situation. It's tough for us beginners who didn't get the instant book cure and are trying to figure our way out of these pain syndromes.

By the way, Skizzik, skiing and going to Disney again with my family are 2 of my long-term "dreams" goals. If I could get to that point, I'll know I've gotten way better.
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skizzik

USA
783 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2009 :  18:37:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanx hil and forest.

quej, I'm coming up with a response to you.

Edited by - skizzik on 07/28/2009 18:38:28
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skizzik

USA
783 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2009 :  18:56:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
you to Sarnofan, sorry my kids keep interupting me
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skizzik

USA
783 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2009 :  20:21:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hey there Sarnofan,

I read all about your situation w/ your kid, and felt so bad for him when he was doing Schubiner's program. I just felt he's too young for pain, and getting the Tms treatment addiction that I fell into, and was concerned he could end up like I was. I was glad to read he's doing better w/ out either physical or Tms treatment. Hopefully, in his case it's enough to just "know" and move on.

Hi guej,

I made myself drive 3hrs to go see Dr. Schubiner a year and a half ago so he could tell me what I already thought I knew. I was really hoping he'd have conviction in his voice and I'd feel cured. I did'nt get the "conviction" I was looking for, but that seems to be the norm w/ tms'rs on this site who as perfectionists will always think the tms doctor could be more persuasive. (I'd like to share my visit to Shuby on a future post)

Now while the ride there was excruciating as my lower spine felt like a knife was being pressed between the vertebrae, the way home had less discomfort and I stopped at a nice hotel bar and enjoyed a couple cold beers and pub grub. This was the first time I enjoyed much of anything in a long time. I also recall having 3 bouts of relief that lasted a couple hours that week so I was hoping I was on the right track. But the pain remained.

However, the one thing I got out of the visit (and perhaps why you may want to see one) was if I was gonna take time off of work and go, and look like a nut in front of my wife, then this would be my point of demarcation. The point where I would choose tms or the medical path, no ifs ands or buts. I don't think this alone got me better, I'll explain more in future posts, but looking back, as you can read in my bio, I threw caution to the wind and did physical activity during my most intense pain and acted like I was normal to everyone and the pain fluctuated, but I did'nt get crippled, or lose bladder control. So that continued to give me confidence.

The ski trip. haha, so I drive us up there, 3 hrs I think? And the pain, oh the damn pain. When we got to the big ski house (that we shared w/ 5 other couples and 18 screamin kids!!!!! but we got there first so no-one was around) I did that cobra yoga move where I layed flat on my stomach and pushed my upper body up w/ my arms in order to push the knife (figuratively speaking) out of my spine. I had to, it was a physical treatment...damn...but I could'nt concentrate on anything else. I was in pain the whole time, but that was the only "10" I had on the trip.

I forced myself to have a good time. I've only snowboarded once years ago and loved it even though it's a b-tch to master, but I made myself do it again. And for 4 hours or so. And I flopped around hard many of times, and I just kept reminding myself that it's harmless, and Dr. Schubiner said it was TMS so I kept pushing ahead.

That was january, and Disney was March, and looking back I know I was in pain, but I don't recall any level 10's. That includes the airplane as well. I remember coming up w/ a system where I figured if I was in pain, I can't ignore it in my mind, I cant do anything about the thoughts of getting a fusion, or a distectomy, but what I did realize was when I get to the point where I won't be in pain any longer, the thoughts will go away on there own.

And if I gave into the thoughts....hmmm this is where it gets tricky, what does that mean? To me, you can't control the thought, but you can control if you tell your spouse your'e in pain, or if you go to the internet to look up a symptom, or if you make another doctor appoitment for a symptom you already had checked out...etc. Those "actions" the mind remembers. The mind does'nt remember the thoughts, or the fear.

Therefore, I knew no matter how bad the pain and fear, I knew as long as I did'nt attach an action to it, I would forget about having the pain and fear that I had the day before. Put enough of these days together, then weeks, then months, and perhaps you'd be in a place (mall, golf whatever) you had'nt been too in a while and think wow I recall being in a ton of pain last time I was here, and you know your'e on your way. But the catch 22 is not to celebrate it too much cause then you're building that altar to removing this pain in your life and that creates resistence. ARRRRRGH! So damn complicated and time consuming!

In my case, I knew it meant I had to stop coming here to this forum for a while too. Because, when I was in my most intense pain, I was here. And this became my crutch much like a heat pad or painkiller.

Where was I? Oh, so last year I wrote a post about how I was dreading Disney, and I did it! I'm pretty sure I was in pain, but I have no memory of being in it. So the system worked. As far as my mind is concerned I can handle any vacation now because I don't remember being in pain.

Previous vacations I brought my TMS books, and spent time journaling, and beating pillows and wringing towels while shouting into the towels in the hotel bathroom desperate to cure myself. For me I learned any tms treatment that involved an action designed to rid myself of pain only fueled the pain.

For months and months I kept telling myself, "yes, it hurts so bad, but don't go on that forum, don't tell the co-worker, don't read Sarno, don't call another tms'r for support.....when tommorow comes you may have some relief and you'll forget how much pain and fear you were in, but if you attach an action you will remember it and accelerate it."

By the way, I too had severe sharp pain in the buttocks hip pelvis area, and the back pain was less severe during it, but I laughed at it because I noticed the decrease in the back pain and felt it did'nt compare. Of course it faded and the back pain intensified once again. As Dave says it the symptoms you hate the worst are the ones that last the longest.

Also, my little system was only developed after many phone conversations w/ Hillbilly, Hellny, lakevin and Baseball65 (also e-mails w/ Sensei rostocki) who without their support I don't know where I'd be right now.

I've talked to many others here too, but not as often and will bring them up in future posts because I recall things they said that were so helpful, but I'll get to that later.

So, in a nutshell, thats what repudiating the physical meant to me. At one time a year and a half ago I started to get somewhat better and decided to clean the basement for a xmas party, where I bent over 100+ times to pick up crap and kids stuff, and I recall telling myself "screw it, I'm gonna beat this thing" and I bent over and cleaned for hours only to let tms kick me in the ass w/ the worst pain ever. I had to play santa for a dozen kids and could barely concentrate what they asked for. Yeah, I had on a full Santa costume while in "10" pain! And could'nt tell anyone.

Thats when I realized partly (it was reinforced by more experiences) that you cant "beat" tms, you cant outsmart it, you can kind of only not press your foot on the accelerator if possible and let the tms car continue it's forward motion w/ momentum until it comes to a natural stop by itself. But challenging the pain is an accelerator in my case. It was the same as visiting a neurosurgeon. All that talk about fight your brain in HBP is way off course in my opinion. I fought it hard for a long long long time, and was in pain for a long long long time.

I had a hunch I was better off allowing the pain to be there and not respond to it, and not challenge the pain, but do normal physical activity without showing pain. Like dragging the trampoline to a different spot in the yard when I mow the lawn. If I had the thought, "I'm gonna move this trampoline because I want to challange the tms gremlin" then I will lose, but if I move it, and continue what I was doing, allow the pain and fear to be there and not attach an action then I'm on track, and here I am now realizing I used to be in a ton of pain before...

^^^^^^^^^^

Of course this method is only half of it I feel. The other half is the mental of course, and I feel I started to get relief when I went "buddhist" just kiddin, well kinda, not sorta. Kjarvis, got me thinking about self esteem issues in many phone conversations with him and his book "personal underworld" I think it's called.

And reading Eckhart Tolle got me realizing what this whole "ego" thing is all about and for me I believe is/was the orgin of all my pain. I plan to explain what the heck I'm talking about later, I'm tired and have to tuck the kiddos in.




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mala

Hong Kong
774 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2009 :  21:37:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Skiz,

I am so very very happy for you. Keep up the good work and keep posting. We need to hear more.

Good Luck & Good Health
Mala
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guej

115 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  06:39:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Skizzik:

Thank you so much for your detailed reply. Your experience and mine are somewhat similar. To yell at myself and my pain feels counterintuitive. I feel like I'm yelling at the part of myself that the conscious me was ignoring all these years. It's not my inner child's fault that the conscious me decided to act like superwoman (work, kids, life that was run like clockwork), and not give myself a break.

I did enroll in Dr. Sarno's program about 7 weeks ago after reading one of his books. I live close enough to go into the city. In fact, driving in and back to his lecture was the first far roundtrip I had driven in almost a year, and i was really proud of myself. After seeing him, I went back to working out. That was huge for me. I had sat on my couch balled up in pain for almost 10 months by that point. I gradually went back to almost all the activities I did pre-pain. I did them all in pain, but felt no worse off than when I did nothing. So that convinced me I wasn't hurting myself, and I was so much happier mentally. Everyone who knew what I had been going through told me I looked great. I was hopeful.

For the past 2 weeks I had a major relapse. Looking back, I think I hit the magical "6 week" mark where most TMS patients see relief, and
because my pain wasn't gone or significantly lowerered, I got stressed out. Was I not doing enough? Maybe I'll be in that small minority of people who never get better? blah, blah, blah. Fear spiked up, dispair set back in, and I started feeling bad about spending all that money to enroll in Dr. Sarno's program. I then started to come to this forum several times a day! Classic, isn't it? I think I came more for proof that people can get better so that I wouldn't give up, and I'd keep believing. I am a doubting Thomas by nature, so I have to work at staying positive. I think I"ve crossed the line into "TMS relief obsession". I'm relatively new to this, so I'm still trying to figure out what works for me. All I know is that I am so resentful for all that I went through this year, and how much I've missed out on, and I want my pre-pain life back again. Other people came out of this. Why can't I?

I think what i may try going forward is putting myself on some type of schedule and forcing myself to stick to it (e.g., visualize twice a day, journal or read for about 1/2 hour, no trips to the TMS forum more than every 3 days...). Then I need to just live my life. The one good thing that came of this is that I really have dropped all actions that relate to physical causes for the pain. In the past year I've been to more doctors than I can count, and have tried every treatment there is, so even before I found Dr. Sarno, I knew nothing physical was going to help. I was diagnosed with "chronic myofasial pain", which is really nondescript muscular pain, so surgery was never an option, and quite frankly, most doctors don't know what to do for you. I stopped googling symptoms and seeing doctors a couple of months ago. The one diagnosis, unfortunately, that did sink in was that I just had "chronic pain", a disease entity in which your nerves turn on pain and don't shut off (possibly ever). I wish I had never heard that, because that one really stuck in my brain. When I told Dr. Sarno, he laughed and said there was no such thing. I am doing a lot of reading on how the brain can control what happens in the body, and I'm trying to have positive thoughts of healing (vs. "fighting the pain"). Again, more pressure on myself, but for now, I can't just sit here doing nothing.

Again, Skizzik, I appreciate the insight. Please keep it coming on the forum, or email me directly (email address is in my profile). I'd like to hear about your experience in Dr. Schubiner's program. It is good to hear from those who struggled but are in a better place today, even if they didn't get the instant book cure. I find when I read these "quick recovery" cases, they make me feel worse. No offense to those who recovered quickly. We all feel happy for you. It just makes the rest of us panic and start to doubt our recovery again.
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HellNY

130 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  07:01:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Skizzik said -

"Thats when I realized partly (it was reinforced by more experiences) that you cant "beat" tms, you cant outsmart it, you can kind of only not press your foot on the accelerator if possible and let the tms car continue it's forward motion w/ momentum until it comes to a natural stop by itself."


Skiz - that is so EXACTLY PERFECT a description of what we talked about and how I feel and also how I see myself as having gotten so mucyh better. When you invest your energy and emotions into the pain, you accelerate and fuel it. When you STOP those things, the pain doesnt IMMEDIATELY go away but it seems to havce momentum that lasts for many montsh more. But you stop fueling it. And yes...somewhow...amazingly...it diminishes and your emotional reaction to it blunts and diminisahes. Which in turn diminishes the pain. Which in turn diminishes your reaction to it.

EACTLY. It the reverse of the horrid TMS positive-feedback wind up. Its now negative feedback.

Perfect.


Very likely you will continue to improve even more. The irony is, if you care about whether or not you are going to improve, you've already lost. Youve invested energy. Its by "not caring" that teh process begins.

Now I think you can see how your year of investing just fueled it.

Wow.

Normally at this point one might say "I cant wait to hear how you'll be feeling by NEXT year!!" But now we know, thats the WRONG way to think about it. Its more appropriate to say; "terrific, Skizzik. Let life roll forward...."

HellNY
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Plantweed

USA
109 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  09:52:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"The irony is, if you care about whether or not you are going to improve, you've already lost. Youve invested energy. Its by "not caring" that teh process begins. "

Very buddhist, and very incisive.
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skizzik

USA
783 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  18:50:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mala

Skiz,

I am so very very happy for you. Keep up the good work and keep posting. We need to hear more.

Good Luck & Good Health
Mala


aw, thanx mala.

I recall you helping me when I had my cry for help here last year that I was 5 or so months away from my Disney vacation and I saw no end to the pain, and you replied something like "just go, it's only you're ego talkin to ya" and I was like, um,....whatever...haha Now I've got a good grasp on what you meant, and plan to go into that soon.

Thanx for the support to keep posting, I plan on doing so for a while until I get it all out or until Dave boots me off the board..haha I feel I have a lot to get out still, and you guys are the only ones who would understand.

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skizzik

USA
783 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  19:07:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HellNY


Skizzik said -

"Thats when I realized partly (it was reinforced by more experiences) that you cant "beat" tms, you cant outsmart it, you can kind of only not press your foot on the accelerator if possible and let the tms car continue it's forward motion w/ momentum until it comes to a natural stop by itself."


Skiz - that is so EXACTLY PERFECT a description of what we talked about and how I feel and also how I see myself as having gotten so mucyh better.

Thats because I stole the whole description from you in one of our conversations and don't even think of suing me, my dad and two younger brothers are lawyers!

quote:
Originally posted by HellNY



Very likely you will continue to improve even more.

you just had to say it did'nt youhehe
quote:
Originally posted by HellNY



The irony is, if you care about whether or not you are going to improve, you've already lost. Youve invested energy. Its by "not caring" that teh process begins.



I recall your post where you kinda had your revelation that the people who recovered were'nt the ones who journaled the best or most, yet ended up being the ones who in a true sense stopped caring about recovering. That stuck w/ me. I'm gonna get to more of that soon.
quote:
Originally posted by HellNY Wow.



quote:
Originally posted by HellNY
Normally at this point one might say "I cant wait to hear how you'll be feeling by NEXT year!!" But now we know, thats the WRONG way to think about it. Its more appropriate to say; "terrific, Skizzik. Let life roll forward...."

HellNY


so true, and I wondered if it was best if I just keep moving on w/ my life and not post anymore, perhaps I'd flare up, but I actually feel like I'm getting a load off my back....errrr, not suppost to talk about symptoms hehe, but I think I feel better still after posting again.

Bro, I don't know where I'd be without our chats. As far as gaining confidence to let go, talking to someone who actually went thru the identical symptoms, and found relief was crucial to me.

Edited by - skizzik on 07/29/2009 19:09:21
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skizzik

USA
783 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  19:10:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Plantweed

"The irony is, if you care about whether or not you are going to improve, you've already lost. Youve invested energy. Its by "not caring" that teh process begins. "

Very buddhist, and very incisive.


yup
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skizzik

USA
783 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  19:13:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by guej

Skizzik:

Thank you so much for your detailed reply. Your experience and mine are somewhat similar. To yell at myself and my pain feels counterintuitive. I feel like I'm yelling at the part of myself that the conscious me was ignoring all these years. It's not my inner child's fault that the conscious me decided to act like superwoman (work, kids, life that was run like clockwork), and not give myself a break.


agree about the yelling part, Dr. Schubiner always says "be kind to yourself". Until recently I used to get to pissed at that, like how the hell do you be kind to yourself? I'll get to that later what it means to me now. But I'm trying to think of how to explain myself w/ out sounding like a spiritual nutbag...lol




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guej

115 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  19:27:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keep posting Skizzik, and don't worry about sounding spiritual. These pain journeys make all of us think about and do things that we would never have believed would come out of us pre-pain.

I'm a little overwhelmed with the concept of "not caring about recovery, therefore, we recover". As a newbie to all of this, that's a tough one for me to grasp. Chronic pain affects every aspect of my life, so it's hard at this point not to care. I think I know what you're saying, but feel free to share some more pearls of wisdom or more details. They are appreciated. I, too, am trying to take back my life (with or without pain), but man, is it hard to ignore pain that is always there. Take care.
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HellNY

130 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  20:05:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by guej

Keep posting Skizzik, and don't worry about sounding spiritual. These pain journeys make all of us think about and do things that we would never have believed would come out of us pre-pain.

I'm a little overwhelmed with the concept of "not caring about recovery, therefore, we recover". As a newbie to all of this, that's a tough one for me to grasp. Chronic pain affects every aspect of my life, so it's hard at this point not to care. I think I know what you're saying, but feel free to share some more pearls of wisdom or more details. They are appreciated. I, too, am trying to take back my life (with or without pain), but man, is it hard to ignore pain that is always there. Take care.



I dont want to butt in on Skizziks thread. But I do want to reply to this one.

For me, the simplest starting point for beginning to understand the deal about "not caring about recovery" as part of the means to recover is this metaphor:

"The pain is like a mirror that a dog sees for teh first time. Startled, he raises his hackles. The dog in th emirror raises hackles in response. The dog then bares its teeth. The mirror image bares its teeth right back at it. The dog barks, and the mirror barks right back."

The whole chronic pain cycle is like that. The boogie man of your nightmres feeds on your fear and the more you scream and cry the bigger it becomes. You stare at it. It stares right back at you.


I tried in vain to explain this approach to my mother. Upon telling her that her emotional reaction and "upset-ness" about her pain was the actual fuel that fed her pain, her response was -- and here you have to imagine this response filled with angst and despair -- she said "I UNDERSTAND what you are saying but what do I DO ABOUT IT?!!!!!" Add borderline crying to the mix here.

She missed the whole point entirely.

Edited by - HellNY on 07/29/2009 20:08:04
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skizzik

USA
783 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  21:04:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
please do hellny!

Me and you agree on everything I have no agenda here other then to ramble on and relay my experiences so that others who are suffering like I was can perhaps gain confidence and sort of see what works for them. I would appreciate any input you have here because I always got excited when I saw your posts. I always wished you posted more, you know us ocd'rs need repetition..hehe


Hey guej, I was actually cut short in my response to you. I was gonna relate to all the things you said. Perhaps I'll get to it later. All I have is a blackberry at work, so it's not conducive to getting replies out that well. I don't mind writing a lot though as you can see. I can type 40 wpm (well, at least in highschool, and yes thats totally uncool for a dude) I worked late tonight and the wife took the kids to the movies and had some time to reply, but she pulled in the driveway and I had to get off this site so as not to remind her of what I would call the dark age of our marriage. Things got bad there. But things are pretty good now, (almost too good) and perhaps it's a good check and balance to keep me off of here. I will keep returning though, can't help it.

Thanx Dave for keep this forum running.

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guej

115 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2009 :  06:27:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
HellNY: Thanks for your post. I love the mirror analogy. That is exactly what is happening to me all day long. Those are the habits I have to try to break. It's so frustrating because I've always considered myself a tough and strong person. I could do and achieve everything I put my mind to, yet I feel so out of control with this situation. Keep sending advice. It does make sense. I just have to implement!

Skizzik: Last night, I finally got up the nerve to talk to my husband about Dr. Sarno and what I'm trying to do. My husband's a doll, and would never ridicule or make me feel bad, but I still felt silly explaining all this TMS stuff. Probably would have gotten the same reaction from me a year ago. I have to say, my marriage has been better this year than ever before (ironically). I finally got the help I probably needed all along to stay sane, and I've done some soul searching myself as to why my shorts are always in a bunch. I've been aggravated with my husband for so long for not helping out more and always felt so overwhelmed. Well, being incapacitated forces you to learn how to ask for help, and to become a lot more laid back about silly things that just don't matter whether they get done or not. I keep saying that I will come out of this a more content and saner person. Now....if pain reduction could just accompany this new zen me! Keep posting and sharing your experience. It helps.
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Hillbilly

USA
384 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2009 :  12:03:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Skiz,

So glad to hear you have improved. You are a great guy, and I know exactly what you mean about the strain of dealing with others. I believe, in the final analysis, that is the high-octane gas that keeps the nervous engine burning at hyper-speed. Hiding to check forums, deleting websites, phone calls, etc. Been there, done that, got the air-brushed T-shirt and the bumper sticker.

One of the aspects of dealing with these symptoms head-on that was taught to me early on, while I was having panic attacks and scared ****less about how they happened and what to do about them, was the aspect of inviting or consciously attempting to make them worse. This is known in the realm of psycho-whatever as "parodoxical intention." For more on that, google the name "Viktor Frankl." He was one of Freud's spin-offs.

So, the way this works in a practical sense is as follows: You find yourself in a social situation of some heightened tension (waiting in line at the grocery, in a meeting with dignitaries of the company, job interview, etc.). The symptom that heightens during this situation is the one to work with. Many conquer one only to have another crop up in its place, which I call symptom "Whack-A-Mole," not symptom imperative. A classic example of this has appeared atop the board just this morning.

So get yourself into one of these situations by choice, not by accident. Seek it out so you can practice. You've been dealing with this crap long enough to know it isn't fatal, so go all out for it. And while you are there, try your best to focus on what is happening, but if it gets difficult and you wonder if you are going to be able to stand it, have a go at trying to MAKE your symptoms worse. Try like hell to make the pain intensify. You will find that you cannot by will do it; it happens on its own in response to your mood and your thoughts. Most probably the fear of embarrassing yourself by collapsing on the floor and writhing in pain is what is behind it, which hasn't happened, nor is gonna.

Symptoms are rarely about how they feel at the moment, but what you THINK they will turn into. Interpretation is everything. That, I believe, is what Dr. Sarno means when he states that the cure is about proper diagnosis. The problem comes in when people start doubting their pain is harmless and relying on their own understanding and analysis, visiting med sites, etc.

Finally, if anyone you know doubts the mindbody connection, have them kindly explain the common condition we call the "erection."

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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