In these casual conversations, I talk to members of the chronic pain / TMS community, to discover what worked for them in their stress illness recovery. Watch the video above or click through to YouTube using the button below the video, to watch there if you prefer.
In this episode, I talk to the lovely Jamie Sewell, who shares her remarkable story of recovery from 30+ years of pain. Watch her interview above, or read about her story and testimony below in Jamie's words:
I have had TMS for most of my life. At the age of 4, TMS manifested in the form of headaches and stomach aches. That morphed into growing pains (plus the headaches and stomach aches). At 14, I began to also have back pain and also what acted like carpal tunnel. As a young adult, in addition to escalating upper back pain and muscle spasms, I was diagnosed with migraine induced vertigo and hearing loss in my left ear. Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and some kind of autoimmune disease were all suspected. I had adrenal issues, very high Epstein Barr numbers, and a whole host of other mysterious issues (food allergies, high level of toxicities, prone to infection).
These issues affected my life for 30 years in a big way, causing me to live a shrinking life, that consisted of me saying "no" to life more than "yes" out of fear of a flair up, making the pain worse, or getting injured. I stopped playing the piano, stopped playing soccer, and at one point, stopped most physical activity. I was on Tramadol for 10+ years; Tramadol was the only thing that would put a dent in the pain allowed me to sleep.
Today, I am usually pain and symptom-free! I am in the midst of a large life transition and am having some sporadic pain flair ups in my lower back and arm, which are of course not in the same spots as they used to be. Today, TMS does not hold me back. If I have a flair up, then I continue running, continue yoga, and continue living my life, knowing that it will move on. I also no longer stress about eating something that will cause inflammation or try to tip toe through life.
I have spent the last 10+ years exploring all sorts of different alternative therapy modalities (working on a blog to share some of my experiences and tools/modalities that have helped me). Learning about different modalities has been wonderful and I think they all have their place, BUT(!) they will not fully heal TMS. The only thing that fully heals TMS is awareness about what it, believing that TMS is the issue, and working through it using Dr. Sarno's methods.
Until early this year, I likely would have said that pain was the biggest issue in my life (followed by fatigue). What I know now is that pain and chronic fatigue are just indicators that I am living out of alignment in some way. I have learned that the root of the issue has been fear-based beliefs and anger that I held onto. I accepted lies as truth and lived a life "less than".
Going one step further than that, I think the core issue was a feeling of being unworthy (and lots of imposter syndrome). None of us are born knowing fear and anxiety and lack, but at some point along the way, I think I started believing those things more than the truth and lived a life trapped in a lie.
I'm working now on really moving into my future versus being fixated on my body. TMS conditions us to be so fixated on our bodies that we cannot fully embrace our lives. This is of course a survival mechanism to keep us safe - the irony of course is that it doesn't keep us safe - it keeps us stuck in the muck!
1. Do not be discouraged! You didn't develop TMS overnight and it will not be 100% cleared overnight either. It's a process that looks different for everyone and it's important not to compare your journey to anyone else's. You have a unique set of challenges and circumstances that no one else has. Treat yourself with the compassion and tenderness of a small child. The more you can love yourself unapologetically, the more you can truly heal.
2. You are not broken. You are as whole and complete as every other human on the planet. "Honor the space between no longer and not yet." - Nancy Levin
What an incredible story, thank you, Jamie. I hope you enjoy this video and testimony! If you'd like to submit your story for this series, please click here, whether you're comfortable on camera or not, I would love to hear from you.
Check out my Recovery Journey Roadmap if you would like more details about exactly how I became chronic pain free. Find out more about my Yoga for TMS classes that we discussed in this episode and follow me on Facebook or Instagram for more resources and updates on everything chronic recovery.
In order to protect your privacy we require that you verify your email address. We have sent you an email with further instructions. As soon as you have verified your email please return here and then click the button below.
To receive new content and updates, please sign in using one of the following options...
To save and rate your favourite articles and subscribe for new content updates please sign in using one of the following options...
Important : Do not choose this if you are not on your own computer or device.