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Self sabotage and my doubtful mind

Self sabotage and my doubtful mind

by Saoirse C. -
Number of replies: 3

Hi everyone I am doing the program four weeks and I am up to week three. I am becoming more and more interested in my mind and how it seems to enjoy the comfort zone of the dreaded pain . I can see how negative and unhelpful it is and how it trys to set me up for failure again and again opportunistic and maniplutive. Is it the same for many of us? I am confused , my pain is not improving so much in fact at times its jumping about and very intense , my IBS returned yesterday after an absence of 4 or 5 months in full swing. I also can see how I struggle with a couple of things and if Dr Schubiner could comment great.

1. I find it impossible to be compassionate or to feel real kindness for myself I am hard and unkind in my comments and very judgmental . I struggle with kindness or loving kindness meditation it just feels wrong and like I'm silly and a fraud.

2. To get angry !! seems very difficult when doing the ISTDP therapy bit especially with my Mammy who passed away 3 years ago. No matter how awful the memories are I just cannot get angry its like I don't know how and I feel such a bad person saying even the truth about her so guilty but I know that's what I need. I know there is so much I am angry with her internally , it does not mean I don't love or forgive her but the stuff was real and as a child I would never get angry the cost was too great.

So although I am not seeing a reduction 22 years of pain but my whole life in fear is a work in progress and I am happy I have found this wonderful program and feel I am really meeting myself the real me for the first time at 49 years of age.Here in Ireland we don't do feelings or talk about stuff that much and certainly kids don't get an opinion we don't have big chats with kids they are right or wrong so I am loving this. I love hearing the stories and adore the meditations ,,,just wish there were more . xx Saoirse

In reply to Saoirse C.

Re: Self sabotage and my doubtful mind

by Natalie Bantz -

Hey Saoirse!

It's only week three :) Don't get too discouraged! You've been in pain for a long time so those pathways in your brain are pretty well trod. You're forging new ones now! It's going to take a while, but it will happen. I really encourage you to check out for more resources for you on overcoming TMS. A book you might like is called Pain Free for Life by Dr. Brady. Dr. Schubiner's program is more comprehensive than his (which is essentially just free form journaling on emotions) but I mention it because in Dr. Brady's book it says that, for some people, it takes longer than the 6 weeks his program usually takes (which means you'd only be halfway through in that case!) Sometimes it takes a lot longer, upwards of 12 weeks, for people to get significant relief. 

He also mentions that your pain can and generally WILL get worse in an attempt to keep you from going deeper into the emotions you're exploring. It doesn't want to give up the ghost, so its fighting you. When you're deep into a TMS program and you find your pain is bunkering down, that might actually a good sign. As the quote goes "Whatever is ending has the brightest sunset." 

It might take you more time to get better than some people who have been in pain for less time. But you WILL get better! Don't worry! Keep doing the program exercises especially the 25 minute walk. And be sure to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself...even if it just feels like empty words now. Fake it until you make it :) You're going to be ok. I believe in you. 

Years from now we'll both be recovered and we'll be encouraging other people going down this path. Besides, I know the Irish aren't ones to talk about their emotions very often, but I ALSO know that the Irish are known the world over for being tenacious and courageous in the face of adversity. Remember that is also your heritage. Stay strong!

In reply to Saoirse C.

Re: Self sabotage and my doubtful mind

by Howard Schubiner -

Thanks for writing, Saoirse and also to Natalie!

I agree with Natalie completely. This is a process to unwind old, established patterns and it can take quite a while. The last two times that I had pain (one time in my leg and the other in my upper back), it took about 3 months to get better. And I'm supposed to be good at this! And I have no problems being kind to myself or getting angry at people.

Everyone is different and everyone's path to healing and recovery is different. Please don't worry about it, but just keep going forward with as much compassion and caring for your brave struggle to find your self. Remember that the pain is not the problem; the fear of pain and the worry about it is the problem. Practice telling yourself that you are OK, you are worth it, you are not damaged, you are safe; 100 times a day.

The pain is shifting and other symptoms are returning. These are good signs. You are shifting things in your brain. Don't worry if you feel you are not doing things just right; you are doing things just right for you!!

Let us know how we can help along this path. Be patient with yourself as you find new ways.

Best, Howard

In reply to Howard Schubiner

Re: Self sabotage and my doubtful mind

by Pasi Lautala -

Dr. Schubiner and others,

I know this is an old post, but I'm  a newcomer on the site and found it a perfect match to my situation, so I can't help myself but to write a response.....this is probably more important to me than anyone else, but so'll be it.

To make long story short, I went from semi-professional athlete to a pretty much disabled person in two years and struggled with it another four until I found out about Dr. Sarno (this was almost 20 years ago). Through the books and one consultation, I worked myself back into a "semi-healthy" adult who got back to sports and was no longer fearful of getting injured at any point of time. I never fully defeated TMS, but I was able to live with it and put down the flares with some level of I never took the time to continue reading/practicing until the next flare came.

Over the past 10 years, I've slowly slipped backward. My life has always been somewhat loaded with activity, but having two sons now....well, you guessed it, new kinds of pressures. The flares have become somewhat more frequent and the fear that I thought I had defeated has slowly crept back. Recently, I returned to my native country with my family...first time for over 20 years....and of course the birth place of a lot of my causes for TMS. While things have been fantastic (with my conscious mind), my TMS has been all over me and my fears are in 10th floor. My knee pain (operated almost 15 years ago....I woudln't do it now) has been insane and my stomach around my two hernia surgeries (one this spring) has suddenly become a "hot spot" for pain.....especially after I finally convinced myself that the knee pain was actually TMS. For some reason, it's got harder and harder for me to get back to TMS books after each flare, but I guess I've become desperate enough, so I actually logged into this site and started journaling (and reading interesting book on emotional locks).

Anyway, as I said, I decided to respond to this old discussion, as the traveling pain and the responses gave me another blink of hope at time when I've started feeling helpless (at times) and have been increasingly consumed by fear. I'm trying to promise myself that this time I won't leave this process half-way, but let's see what happens. At least I'm past the first hurdle of stopping to feel desperate/pitiful and starting to do something toward defeating my TMS and pain.

Thank you!