My dad died in January 2004. He was 54. Raking leaves, he fell down and never got up again.
I had just lost my job at the time. The webdesign agency I worked at, ceased to exist.
I remained unemployed for a year, although I was constantly applying for jobs and learning ever more programming code and graphics software.
Motivation and skills galore, but I only wanted to work part-time and make music for the rest of the week. Can you picture the look on a CEO’s face when he hears this during a job interview?
Finally, in Februari 2005 I could start at a webbureau in Gent. Just in time before my unemployment benefits dropped. But it didn’t feel right.
I found another offer in Brugge at a school for yoga and self-development where they needed a webdesigner. Part-time!
However, because of the potential airy-fairiness, I first didn’t take it seriously. (Now I’ve been happily working there for almost 15 years. 😉 )
During the first weeks, the stress of the previous year melted away. But my neck, shoulders, arms and hands started to hurt. This debilitating pain lasted for 2 years, day and night.
I used text-to-speech for my new job because I could hardly operate a keyboard or mouse anymore. Hobbies were out of the question too. Bye bye music!
I tried everything: doctors, x-rays, pills, physio, stretching, fitness, resting, sauna, Iyengar yoga, Bikram yoga… Nothing helped!
Those were dark times.
Then I discovered Dr. Sarno’s work. A couple of weeks later all pain had vanished.
Just. By. Reading. A. Book.
Sarno suggests that unconscious emotions lead to most chronic pain.
The solution is to 1) recognize this as the sole real cause 2) no longer believe that something is terribly wrong with your body.
He called this phenomenon the Tension Myositis Syndrome, now renamed to Mind Body Syndrome.
I have often thought this is also the cause of my chronic foot/leg pain. But so far, I haven’t been able to fully convince myself.
Maybe my new daily walks will flip the right switch in my brain? (Update: they have! :-D)