Hi everybody, I started reading Healing Back Pain about 2 months ago after having my third case of severe back pain (shooting leg pain, muscle tightness, buttock pain, the whole package) in five years. I was diagnosed with a herniated disk in 2010, did physical therapy, and felt fine for a few years (I even ran the NYC marathon in 2013). Then, in 2014, shortly after my daughter was born, I suffered another incident. The same scenario played out: MRI, herniated disk, physical therapy. This time I got two cortisone shots as well, which did help. I improved and got back to a normal routine. About two months ago, though, "it" happened again, and I've been crippled with severe back pain since. My wife had recommended reading Dr. Sarno the second time my back pain flared up, so I decided to take her advice and give it a try this time. It's been slow going I must say. And I'm posting here to get some insights from others on issue I feel like I might be having. I met with a TMS specialist about three weeks ago, and while I believe very, very strongly in the overall philosophy behind mind-body medicine, I think I'm stuck on various details, particularly as they relate to personality traits and how they play in to TMS and its treatment. I should also point out that prior to seeing my TMS doctor, I broke down and got another cortisone shot. I regret doing this and wonder if it didn't set me back, but I simply could not handle the pain. It wore off just a few days ago and the pain is now back with a vegeance, but I think it's made it difficult to properly assess the progress I've made, if any. Nonetheless, I do think I've had success accepting that my back pain is non-physical in nature (my decision to have a cortisone shot aside). I've been having difficulty fully seeing myself in the personality descriptions, though. For example: I don't feel like I'm an especially good person, or rather I could always be better; I don't feel like a perfectionist; I don't feel like I'm especially ambitious or successful. I often feel like I'm just limping my way through life (no pun intended). I am, however, very, very hard on myself. I have a fear of failure (and often feel like I already have). I have a low self-esteem. I'm often consumed by guilt. I didn't really see these sorts of descriptions in Dr. Sarno's books, though. Everyone just sounded like all-American success stories with bad backs. I'm writing here to see if anyone else had trouble 100 percent identifying with the personality traits but was still able to have success with overcoming TMS. Maybe not seeing myself reflected 100 percent in the books is in itself a perfectionist tendency. Regardless, I do worry that I'm somehow not a "perfect" candidate for the program. I'd be curious to hear others thoughts.