Skipped another day doing the SEP yesterday as I had lots of stuff to do. But the length of this post will probably be enough to cover 3 days, sorry people! Yesterday was a strange day. For the first time since 5 months I've spent the better part of the day at the computer, reading stuff and doing programming work. There was still pain, but it was at a tolerable level and I didn't really care about it and I could keep the work going. Wow. "RSI", you're on your way out. Then at the end of the day I got very anxious, because I was finally able to reach the doctors office and they told me I could get my ear syringed that very same day. Right now you're probably thinking "who the hell becomes anxious about getting his ear syringed?". Well, I do. I get very anxious about anything health or medical related. It's my thing. Wonderful thoughts like these kept entering my mind: What if it's not a wax buildup this time and I'm going deaf? My ear hurts, what if I get an ear infection? It's so hot today, what if I faint during the procedure? What if my ear drum gets damaged from the water pressure? What if my tinnitus gets worse? Will I go insane? Of course, nothing bad happened and I could finally hear again. Victory! From a shriveled and anxious little creature to a happy camper in 2 minutes. During the evening my old friend the lower back pain made a sudden comeback, stronger than ever. Sitting, lying down, walking, standing, no relief in any position. This consumed my thoughts the rest of the evening and most of the night. Is it because I've been increasing my running? Is it because I've been sitting too long again? Is it from the stress that day? Or is it simply TMS going back to a tried and true symptom because the "RSI" was not distracting enough anymore? Then I remembered something Emily said in one of my earlier threads about how I'm still very focused on when the pain is present. Apparently I still am. The focus just went from my arms and upper back to my lower back again. Whatever the cause of the sudden reappearance of the lower back pain, it's doing a great job of still keeping me focused on pain instead of ... I don't know what. "RSI" no longer that bad? Let's give you a little bit of anxiety about your ear. Anxiety gone? Here, have some lower back pain. Then I got tired of my own thinking and finally fell asleep. When I woke up the back pain was gone again. There is one thing I don't really understand. In that short time frame between getting back from the doctor and the onset of the back pain I felt as if I could finally get things back on the rails again. But I also had that fragile unbalanced feeling again, as if something could go wrong any minute because things are not supposed to be all right. And then the back pain came, and I felt stable again. What is this? This mechanism has been going on for years now. Sometimes it's pain, sometimes it's anxiety, but there always has to be something that's holding me back. But why? In the short periods of time between the pain or anxiety episodes I'm happy, during the episodes I'm not. One time there were a couple of months between two episodes and I got so much things done. I want my life to be like that most of the time. First I theorized that maybe the purpose of TMS for me is to give me breaks from getting these healthy anxiety episodes and to protect my body, since I only need one major distraction in my life and these anxiety episodes are too physically demanding to be able to have all the time. During a good terminal illness scare I lose about 5 kgs on average. So... maybe the feeling of stability I get when the pain comes is due to knowing that a new hypochondria episode is unlikely while I still have pain. Although being in pain can obviously be very depressing, for me it is a pleasure excursion when I compare it to having a full blown health scare. Another possibility is that both the pain and the anxiety serve the same purpose, to distract me from something else entirely. But from what? I don't know.