| Hi Marsha!
I've been on the "no TMS forum every day" wagon for a week now, but I broke down today and perused to see if there were any relevant posts, and I spotted yours, so I read it. After this I'm signing off again!
Just to reiterate Marsha's post, and to add to it, here's my 2 cents of advice. If you're new to TMS, just read Dr. Sarno's books, follow the advice to a tee, believe you will get better, and keep it simple. I made the mistake of googling everything TMS, and getting into TMS-overload, which, after months of therapy, I finally recognize as my lifelong inclination to over think, over analyze, worry all the time, and not trust. I am now convinced this is what separates the short term from the longterm or never recoveries.
I've read all the TMS books, and I'm pretty sure I'm well versed. However, only recently I picked up a book that resonated with me to my very core, in the same way that "Mind Over Back Pain" by Sarno first did for me (which put me on the path out of medical pain hell.). I read "At Last a Life" by Paul David. Although the book is entirely about treating anxiety, if you substitute "pain" for the word "anxiety", the treatment is somewhat similar (at least the part about dealing with physical symptoms). It's similar to Sarno's recommendation to no longer fear the pain and get on with your life, except Paul David goes into more detail and gives examples of his own struggle that I can really relate to. The longer I am in this, the more I see how my constant worrying and trying to get rid of the pain is what is keeping me in it. That's true in my case. I know for others, it was addressing the stresses in their lives, or learning to not fear physical activities.
I've spoken with others who used similar anxiety-relief methods and ultimately, were successful in either ridding themselves of pain or arriving at the point where it's not on their minds 24/7. It's a very practical book on how acceptance and not trying so hard to recover is what finally gives your overactive nerves a chance to rest. As much as I've gotten back to living my life and all the introspection I have done because of Dr. Sarno, if I'm 100% honest, I know I still "fear" this pain and what it means to me, and I obsess over fixing it. That has been the missing link in my recovery. I hope this book will give me the understanding I need to address my biggest stumbling block....learning to live alongside this pain, in peace, for as long as it takes until I give my body a chance to heal. I feel like I've finally done that with my mind (with the help of a Sarno psychologist), but I still fight against the physical symptoms.
Anyway, just a recommendation for the portion of this group (myself included) who seem to be trying too hard. I'm finally understanding why that isn't working for me.