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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1 year ago today, my life went to hell.

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by Free of Fear, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    I'll spare you the list of symptoms - you've heard them all before! Suffice it to say that I was in so much pain and, more importantly, so obsessed with the symptoms that at 29 years old I stopped working and went onto disability. I went down the rabbit hole of a faulty recovery program, and eventually consulted with surgeons and for a few days actually considered having a double lumbar fusion.

    I was at the end of my rope when I found the TMS Wiki. I'd heard of Sarno's work but couldn't believe it applied to me. It was the most hopeful approach I'd come across though, so, being very desperate, I took the plunge on September 1st, started the SEP, and gave myself over to the belief that my symptoms were caused by emotional and psychological factors (i.e. TMS!). I saw results instantly, and even though recovery felt slow at the time, looking back now I can see how quickly and steadily it happened.
    • On November 1st I started weightlifting again.
    • On November 6th I started a new job as an elementary school counselor with my former company (who kindly rehired me). Now I spend a lot of time chasing kids around the blacktop, jumping off the playground structures, doing somersaults, sitting in ridiculously small chairs, and all kinds of other activities I was told would be pain-inducing and detrimental to my back.
    • Today, I am running 4 miles, deadlifting 170 pounds, and even doing back hand springs again (no joke - bless the heavens).
    There were so many important pieces of my recovery, but let me share a few passages that were most important to me:

    "It really comes down to two things in my opinion: 1. Belief in TMS 2. Patience. The belief in TMS is the closest thing to a silver bullet I've discovered when it comes to pain, because it really reduces fear which in turn reduces pain over time. Patience allows the belief to do its work."

    “"It takes time for a body to establish acceptance [of TMS] as a mood and for this eventually to bring peace just as it took time for fear to become established as continuous tension and anxiety. That is why 'letting time pass' is such an important part of your treatment and why I shall emphasize it again and again. Time is the answer. But there must be that background of true acceptance while waiting for time to pass."

    Confidence in one’s strength and abilities is restored by using them.

    “Never be completely discouraged by apparent failure. However severely you may seem to fail on occasions, failure is only as severe as you will let it be. The decision to accept and carry on turns the worst failure into success. There is no ‘point of no return’ in nervous breakdown. A day of deep despair can be followed by a day of hope, and just when you think you are at your worst you can turn the corner to recovery. Your emotions are so variable in breakdown, try not to be too impressed by your unhappy moods, and never be complete discouraged.”​

    For me, TMS is a gift. The symptoms, as scary as they were, were really just alarm bells telling me that I needed to look inward and balance and strengthen myself for the life I have ahead. All of the tools I discovered, and all of the inner strength I had to generate and befriend, continue to serve me. I am a better person because of the hell I went through.

    I hope this is useful to someone out there. Recovery isn't only possible; with the right approach, it's inevitable.

    Special shout-outs to all of the forum members who were posting actively at the time I was recovering. You were my recovery community - THANK YOU!
  2. yvettemariabetancourt

    yvettemariabetancourt Peer Supporter

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. Amazing journey. So much to say on above and too late to articulate it all. As a recovered chronic pain sufferer, it is pretty clear to me you know where to go with this. After 5 years recovered, I can say there will be setbacks and in my case panic attacks that my pain/conditions were returning, but without fail when I returned to the "principals" of- "what is actually going on here?" along with some tried and tested modalities for myself (ice, meditation, Advil and stretching and some days, complete physical shutdown) my emotional and physical bounce backs have been outstanding. I also almost had a lumbar fusion and am so extremely grateful I did not. My body is constantly talking to me and though I listen, I dont let it take over any more. Personally cardio is my salvation and it sounds like you have figured out yours. Enjoy every minute and you deserve the best for taking this bold self awareness step so young. Congrats on the joy of feeling alive again.

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