Hi everyone! I've been lurking on here for a few days, but now I've decided to begin the SEP, so here I am! Here's a brief rendition of my story: Ever since I was 14 years old, one of my biggest life goals was to join the Peace Corps. I always knew I'd join, and I looked forward to simultaneously helping people and learning more about myself and the world. I'm now 23 years old, and I was finally accepted and set to leave for Nicaragua on March 1, 2016. I did, and I could not have been more excited. However, on day 4, I woke up with an indescribable fatigue, as if I hadn't slept at all. It was strange, and I assumed it was just part of adapting to a new place/diet/culture/etc. But it didn't go away. For three months, I fought and fought and fought through this miserable fatigue, seeing Peace Corps doctors and Nicaraguan doctors, having countless blood tests, and even ending up in a Nicaraguan emergency room. Finally, I was medically evacuated, forced to come home and give the American medical system a go. No luck there either -- after a month in the States, I had a host of completely normal blood tests and a normal colonoscopy, but a host of terrible symptoms -- horrendous fatigue, unrestful and fitful sleep, chronic diarrhea, dizziness upon standing, a flare-up of my lifelong OCD, and serious health anxiety/hypochondria. At this point, I was spending hundreds of hours on the internet, and I diagnosed myself with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) (I couldn't have the formal diagnosis since it hadn't yet been six months, but I knew this was it.). I absorbed every morsel of information from people's CFS healing stories and tried about a zillion healing protocols in the course of a couple of weeks -- cutting out gluten and dairy, taking weird and expensive supplements like D-Ribose, paying $200 to see an herbalist, lying on a PEMF magnetic mat, trying qi gong, implementing insane sleep hygiene protocols, etc. etc. etc, but I wasn't seeing any changes and I was driving myself crazy. It was at this point that I discovered a review on Amazon of Sarno's The Divided Mind by someone who cured himself of CFS, and I got it from the library that very day. I have finished nearly the entire book over the past five days or so, and I have definitely experienced a reduction in symptoms (my GI system seems nearly back to normal!), but the terrible fatigue--especially in the morning upon waking--remains. I am incredibly determined to beat this, so I'm here beginning the SEP. Here's to beginning recovery! As for where I stand with acceptance of the TMS idea, I'm doing pretty well with it. I've been a meditator for over a year now, and I'm a big believer in spirituality and the mind-body connection. I saw myself on every page of The Divided Mind (compulsive, perfectionist, self-critical, goodist). While fears occasionally crop up like an alarm in my mind saying "but what if this DOESN'T go away???", I quiet them by admonishing my brain, as Dr. Sarno advises. I've been repeating the 12 statements to myself every day, and I'm slowly beginning to get back into physically activity (which I miss so, so, so dearly) by walking farther and farther every day, and perhaps I'll start to run again later this week! To address the question of "What would a life without TMS mean to you?": It would mean everything. I'm usually an extremely active person (perhaps to a fault), and I'm realizing I've had episodes in the past of TMS without realizing it (particularly "overuse injuries" from running, anxiety, and episodes of insomnia). I've always had a vision of myself as an extremely healthy, invincible person who can do anything I put my mind to, and so this pain and fatigue has been a slap in the face. Luckily, I'm back to believing that it will go away, and that my body is indeed perfectly healthy and good. LET'S GO, RECOVERY!