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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Deeply Frustrated and Scared
Hi Eskimo,

I too was stuck where you're at for a very long time. I actually gave up on TMS for a while, thinking that it wasn't my answer. When I got back in the saddle, here are a few things that helped me in moving forward:

1. Find happiness. Work on fixing your life. Your pain is there as a physical reminder that you are not on track to living the life you feel you should be living. Something is off. Maybe it's in your relationships with people, or your career, or trying to be someone that you're not. Work on finding things that make you happy. Focus on that. The pain may still be there for awhile, but your attention will be redirected on making your life as great as possible. Once the pain becomes background noise to your awesome, busy, productive life, it will lose its power and fade.

2. Try to become numb to the pain. Try to not have any emotional reaction when your pain is present, or worse than usual. Think of your pain like a stubbed toe. You stub your toe, it hurts, but you never think "Oh my god, is this ever going to go away?!" "What if I can never walk again?" It's just pain, and it will go away. You don't worry about a stubbed toe, and eventually the pain goes away. A measure of TMS success is not how much you can do without unbearable pain, but rather how little you care about the pain. Try to eliminate the fear and develop an indifference to the pain. Some days will be worse than others, but try not to react when it gets worse. Your brain will notice that you are not reacting, and will realize that the pain is no longer working as a good distraction because you just don't care anymore. Think of it like a bully at school. The bully will taunt you and taunt you until he finally gets a rise out of you. He made you upset and got exactly what he wanted, which will just reinforce his behavior, and he will continue to bully you. But if you start ignoring the bully and don't react to anything he does to you, he'll eventually stop trying because he's not getting what he wants anymore. TMS is the bully. Just ignore it and it will eventually stop bullying you.

3. I found that researching and reading more about the subconscious mind/reprogramming the brain helped me. The symptoms continue to bother you because you are thinking in the wrong way. Our brain is an organ of habit, so you must apply the appropriate techniques to change that habit of negative, fearful, doubtful thinking. Once you change your thinking, your pain will fade away and your life will change. I read this on another TMS site and it resonated with me: "I like to think of unconscious thought patterns as a strong current. Trying to fight these symptoms, trying to journal and apply Sarno's methods, trying to face and accept these symptoms without reprogramming your brain is like swimming against a very strong current. You may work your ass off, and get somewhere, but you can't fight the current of habit for long, and once you tire out you will be pushed back. Change your unconscious thinking and the tide will change, the current will go with you now. Now you can simply float with it." Check out "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind," by Joseph Murphy for starters.