I am a 42 year old School Teacher. I teach vocational Education and have never been afraid to work hard all my life. I have been a Mechanic, Cement Laborer, and spend 90% of my life at least 100 lbs over weight (obese).
When I was about 29 I lost a hundred and fifty lbs. I was feeling great! I got a job teaching after years of running a successful auto repair business. I thought I was taking a great job, with great benefits and great hours with a lot of vacation time.
What I took on was a very stressful life! I became addicted to my job. I enjoyed it so much that I stopped being able to imagine life not doing it. One day, a monster at human resources called me up and told me that I was going to lose my job. He seemed to enjoy the pain and stress he laid at my feet. I was stressed and depressed! Soon the pain came!
First it was tendonitis, than chronic headaches than back pain. Adding to this, prescriptions for opiates like Vicodin and Darvoset started to occur. Sure, they took away the pain, but I learned some valuable lesions from that too!
After many years of taking 2 to 5 Vicodin pills a day, coupled with yearly layoffs and call backs, the stresses of life began to build. My teenage son became more rebellious (as most teenagers do) I bought a new house, assumed a ton of responsibilities. Several close family members died of cancer and all of a sudden my lower back started to hurt. My neck started to hurt. My arm and leg started to hurt.
I went to the doctor, he sent me for an MRI. Degenerated T11-T12 and L-1 discs. Soon, the mild back pain became excruciating and it's all I thought about. Then I started to have neck pain. I went back to the doctor, he sent me for an MRI. They said I have bulging C5 and C6 discs and after looking again at my low back MRI saw bulges at L4 L5 and S1. Months of Physical Therapy and my arm went numb, my leg went numb and butt hurt and my life was coming apart!
I picked up a book by Dr. John Sarno called "The Mind Body Prescription." I started to learn how repressed rage from my childhood, coupled with everyday stress that was mounting in my life may be, at best, contributing to my problem, at worst, and causing 100% of my pain.
Folks, it's like having a key to your own jail cell. I am locked inside my own fear and have the keys are hanging on a hook right within my reach. I just can't get out of my cell. I know I have a problem with stress and repressed anger and resentment, but I don't know how to deal with it. I know I am a great guy and used to never sweat losing a job or fear anything. Now I am terrified that I might have to does a job that would not be as fulfilling as helping young people find their calling in life.
I want so desperately to enter psychotherapy, but can't seem to find someone in my area who can help me and who understands my problem. I would love to enter Dr. Sarno's program, but he is in New York and I am in Ohio.
My back pain has overtaken my whole life. I have just enough information to know that I can beat this, but not enough resources to organize the battle. I have the will, but not the way.
Well, anyway, I don't know why I am posting this. I don't know how it will help me. One thing this ordeal has done for me is brought me closer to God. I once scoffed in the face of religion and turned my back on my faith having been a member of the PTL and Jimmy Swagert generation of fraudulent televangelist BS. Now I understand that it's not about that. It is about faith in something that is bigger than televangelism. It's about faith in what is right and who I am. Now the problem is that I can't forgive myself for waiting until I am in chronic pain and depression to turn back to God. God should be my co-pilot but now guilt is instead.
I am not beseeching anyone for answers. I have spent 10 years of my life helping young kids find their way through their teenage years and teaching people how to have a better life. I have helped to facilitate the dreams of hundreds of people by encouragement and support. Now, I can't seem to find the support I need to fix myself and what's wrong with me. Instead of being content to have one more year doing what I do knowing that It may be my last, knowing that I have done so much for so many, having gladly sacrificed a great life to take a job teaching others how to have a great life, that now, I am all spent emotionally! I am guilt ridden, scared and not the man I used to be! I don't expect anyone to pick me up, now that I have fallen, it seems like I am all alone in life now. Now comes the resentment! I resent having been there for so many and no one is here for me. I feel the pain and suffering of my students and sacrifice daily to help them stop hurting, but the weight of their suffering only makes my back and neck hurt even more. I can't escape the jail cell I have built for myself and locked myself into.
If your reading this long winded story or my woe and thinking "man, is this guy f*@Ked in the head or what" your probably right. I am a train wreck. I pray every night that God will give me the strength to overcome this and I believe he will. I prey that he will send me someone to life me from my despair. I fear the answer lies within me but I can't reach it! I try and try and dig deep within my soul to find the answers, only to find that it still hurts!
I have seen them all, Spinal Decompression, VAX-D Machines, MED-X Physical Therapy, Laser Spine Surgery in sunny Florida, Bonait Institute, Chiropractors, Message Therapists, Acupuncturists, All good stuff, but if I really had disc problems, they would hurt all the time, not just when I go to the things that make me happy. Why does the pain start when I go things that make me happy? Because of fear! Fear that they will all come to an end.
Folks, please be good to yourself. Do the right things in life, don't let things fester within you, and don't lose your faith. It has been so difficult to contemplate how I must look to my children as I was once a wonderful happy and active person, now I am just a fearful and depressed shell of what I once was. I try so hard to put a good face on for my kids so they don't know the pain I am suffering emotionally and physically, but I prey someone will be the catalyst for change just as I have been for so many others throughout my life. I know this pain is not from bulging or degenerated discs, it's from a lifetime of guilt, anxiety and repressed rage. It's from turning my back on my faith than running back when the going got tough, and it's from, well let's just say I am punishing myself. I don't know, I just guess I am hoping that someone will read this and help me find the way to reach for the key to let myself out of my cell and start living life again. I don't even want to be the same person I was before all of this, I want to be better. I hope this helps you. Lord knows that my words have done a lot for others, maybe these will do something for you.
By the way, I recommend reading books by Dr. John Sarno M.D and another great book I read was The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. These are tools that can set you free, or at least let you look out side your cell and see what you want. The best thing to do folks is not to let yourself get into the cell in the first place. As I said earlier, take care of yourself! Be happy, and don’t let life let you lock yourself into that cell like I have. For Gods sake, don’t let them start cutting you up before getting your head right! I have not let myself be talked into spinal fusions and laser surgeries because once they cut you, there is no turning back. Spend 1/2 the time talking to a good psychotherapist as you do talking to a MD or neurosurgeon or chiropractor.