Hi everyone! I would have never believed anyone if they were to tell me that I would to heal from TMS, but here I am... 5 years later, to tell you that I have. Yes 5 years, it's been a long and hard battle. It did not just happen overnight. I worked hard every day to achieve this. Let me just start off with an introduction of who I am and what exactly happened. I feel like most people here will be able to relate to my story, just like how I was able to relate to everyone else who overcame this horrible setback. I am a 25 year old woman, who started suffering from severe anxiety at the age of 20. It started from a bad decision to try "special brownies" in college. I was never the type of person who does recreational drugs, but I decided to try it one day with my friends. After my first piece, I had my very first panic attack. It was horrible. I felt like I was dying and lost control. I was sent to the hospital. I was embarrassed and ashamed of what I did. Months passed, and I started developing very anxious thoughts. At the time I didn't understand what was going on. From those thoughts, I developed physical sensations. Tingling in the arms, out of body experience, and shortness of breath. The thing that finally ticked it off was when I started having this tingling sensation on the left side of my face. I was so convinced that I was having a stroke or something horrible. I went to the emergency room again. They did a bunch of blood tests, scans and found nothing. Months went by, and the sensation still lingered. I went to see a specialist and he diagnosed me with TMJ. I had to go through all these procedures to fix my jaw, for my "TMJ." I was super angry at myself, for spending so much money on this condition, which, I myself, didn't fully believe I had. But if it meant this weird sensation will go away, then be it. The more I got angry, the more I got anxious. I started getting full blown panic attacks. The ones that would leave my paralyzed on the ground, trying to grasp a breath of air. It was too much, I had to take a quarter off from college. That quarter, my general anxiety developed into hypochondria. I started having more physical sensations. Pain in my legs, pain in my arms, tingling in my feet, insomnia, pain in my hips, anything you can think of. All symptoms that would lead me in and out of hospitals, accumulating medical bills into the thousands, taking numerous of drugs, while doctors telling me there's nothing wrong with me. During this whole ordeal, I still had no idea what was going on with me. I was convinced that I had something horrible, and that I was going to die. I sat there in the bathroom alone, contemplating suicide. I reflected on my life, my goals, and what I left unfinished. I realized 1) I would be leaving my friends and family, 2) I only had 1 quarter left of college, until I graduated! It may be silly at the time, but it saved my life. I was determined to at least finish college. I just told myself, you can do it. You can push your way through 3 months, and just get that degree. I enrolled back into college for the last quarter. At the beginning, I would go to class, not getting sleep for up to 3 nights, cause I still had insomnia. But I kept pushing through the pain, pushing through the thoughts in my head, and that summer I graduated. I was so proud of myself, the pain was still there, but I realized maybe I can live with this. The first crucial part was acceptance. I was no longer fighting it, but I was still determined to end it. From that summer on, I did my research. I started looking into forums, and medical articles to explain my conditions. Eventually I found it. TMS. Everything was explained. Now that I found out what was wrong, I was even more determined to beat it. At this point I was 22. It took me 2 years of horrible panic attacks, sleepless nights, thousands of medical bills, extreme weight loss, and so much pain to realized what was wrong. Keep in mind I was still in so much physical pain at this time. But these are the things that helped cured me within the 3 years and I hope it will do the same for you: 1) Set Goals: It'll keep you busy. You'll always doing something to preoccupied your thoughts and to better yourself. 2) Stop getting angry: Sleepless nights can be frustrating. "Why, why can't I be normal again? Why is this happening?!" These thoughts will keep you from improving. Just accept things the way they are. "I can't sleep again? It's okay, I'll sleep eventually." 3) Exercise daily: At first it will be scary. Things that hurt, will hurt more. "I am probably making this worse! I should stop!" No, don't stop. Keep pushing yourself, you will see the difference. It doesn't have to be strenuous, you just need to get your blood flowing and enriched with oxygen. 4) Surround yourself with people who love you: There's no better feeling than having people stand by you through tough times. This is a very good time to reevaluate the relationships in your life. Cut away from negativity. 5) Gain knowledge: The more you know about TMS, the better grasp you'll have on yourself. NOTE: Don't get too wrapped up in TMS forums. You want this to be YOUR OWN journey of recovery. Reading other peoples' symptoms or success might deter you away from finding your own success. 6) Ignore the symptoms, love your body: This is very important, and very hard to do. Yes, you feel pain in your hips, but all the medical results came back negative? Keep walking, run if you can. At the end of the day, give yourself a good massage, and remind your body of how much you love it. 7) THE MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE. What's really bothering you?: Like what Dr. Sarno always talk about, the subconscious, the key to all your anger, frustrations and anxiety; the reason for your pain. Before this whole journey, I really thought the "brownies" caused all of this. But I realized, it started it, but it definitely wasn't the cause. I had deeper issues that was just waiting to resurface, the brownie was the outlet. My issue was the death of my father. He passed away tragically, right before I started college. I hid my emotions for the first 3 years of college, then during my last year, the emotions just couldn't be buried anymore. When I finally dealt with all my feelings, and had the chance to fully grieved, that was when I slowly felt the burden lessen. My advice to you, is really figure out what is bothering you. Dig deep into your soul and don't be afraid you bring out your worst emotions. You will cry, you will get angry, symptoms might even get worse, but they will only get better from there. After 3 years, of constantly practicing all those concepts, my pain lessened. My symptoms would always get worse during the Winter. Every Winter, I would dread it. But it was also my goal for each Winter to get better and better. This Winter I can confidently say, I feel no pain. It's been a long journey, but a set back is only a set back. If I can do it, you can to. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.