On June 1st I went to a free talk locally about TMS. I was touched by the material but still doubtful about whether I could really be freed from this pain that has been accumulating for the last ten years. I ordered Sarno's book Healing Back Pain and listened to the audio version. What he described seemed so relevant to what I've experienced. I've been talking with myself and with friends about adopting this new perspective towards the pain, but I can't say that it's gotten any better. As I write this I have an ace bandage wrapped around my right wrist where a chronic tendinitis is currently quite inflamed. I've become so accustomed to the pain (and will share my story and symptoms here shortly) that it's been easy to get caught up in the busyness of life these last 7 weeks and not really devote myself to this TMS approach. I also keep hearing that it shouldn't require a structured approach, that many people have been healed just by listening to a few hours of talk about TMS. When that is not my experience I become discouraged. So, here's my story: I graduated with a Masters in Social Work in June 2005 and shortly before graduation, as I transcribed dozens of hours of interviews for my masters thesis, I developed pain in my right wrist. I didn't have health insurance at the time and the pain was low grade most of the time so I just learned how to cope with it. I learned that I could no longer do yoga and that I had to be careful with chores like lifting and carrying heavy things. This was the beginning of the limitations. Around this same time I started to develop regular headaches that became more frequent and intense when I moved from Massachusetts to Oregon in 2008. I've had a gazillion theories about the headaches over time. They seem to be associated with the stress of being a psychotherapist as well as with the hormonal changes of my menstrual cycle. They are more bothersome than the wrist pain so I've tried harder to resolved them with accupuncture, chiropractic, neurofeedback, MRI, physical therapy, changes in diet, food allergy testing, hormone testing, hormone treatments, many different supplements, and more. I've learned to manage them with ice packs on my head and using tylenol and caffeine for the pain. There are days and weeks when all I can manage is to go to and from work without any capacity for socializing or other activities I love including dancing and time in nature. Then, in fall 2011, after diving into and falling in love with the world of tango, I started developing an achy tingling feeling in the ball of my right foot. I was diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma and given orthotics, cortisone shots, and told I needed to restrict activity and wear limited footware. This was the most severely limiting diagnosis. The only things that have helped have been wearing heavily cushioned running shoes ALL THE TIME and restricting my activity. I stopped backpacking and stopped dancing tango entirely. I cannot be barefoot anywhere without feeling like there is an increase in pain. I've felt unattractive for always wearing ugly shoes and for not being able to run and be active the way I used to be. As if this wasn't enough, in summer 2014, after taking low doses of Excedrin Migraine several days a week for years I developed sudden pain in my abdomen. I thought I had a pre-ulcer and sought treatment from a naturopath that didn't help. A year ago I was diagnosed with SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) which has led to a dietary restriction. As a psychotherapist who focuses on embodied mindfulness and radical acceptance, I've been able to feel some sense of acceptance about all of this at times. At other times I feel so sorry for myself and angry that I am so limited from the things I love like dance and backpacking in the wilderness. The aspect of TMS that talks about becoming more and more limited feels so relevant to me. When I first learned about TMS I thought it couldn't apply to me because I am so in touch with my emotions and so focused on accepting myself as I am. The more I've reflected on it, though, the more I've recognized what a perfectionist I really am, and how much I may still be repressing my emotions. I so want this process to work for me, and the truth is that I'm scared to entertain the possibility that I could be freed from this pain because I don't want to face the tremendous disappointment that would arise if it didn't happen. It's hard for me to believe that people have been freed from their pain within weeks of learning about TMS. I've been dealing with accumulating pain for ten years now. I learned about TMS seven weeks ago. Sometimes I can tell myself that something is changing, and other times I'm convinced that it's done nothing for me thus far. On the one hand I was able to hike about ten miles last weekend in the Marble Mountain Wilderness. On the other hand the tendinitis in my right wrist has been really bad the last few weeks. I would really welcome any input or sharing that anyone wants to offer. If you've read this far then you're already a friend because I feel like I've written a bit of a book. And, to tell the truth, I think just writing all of this has been cathartic.