While TMS as a diagnosis is rather new to me, I’ve experienced elusive symptoms all of my life. First it was growing pains, then IBS, then rib pain, then TMJ, then hip issues, and now shoulder/neck/arm/back pain. Over the years, I’ve seen many specialists; most have found nothing wrong. The pain has always gone away until last year about this time when I started getting tingling, stiffness, and pain in my left hand/arm/shoulder. I went to several specialists who diagnosed it as shoulder impingement, carpal tunnel, bicep tendonitis, and thoracic outlet syndrome. None suggested physical therapy, however, I did PT exercises on my own for several months, which only made the pain worse. Over the summer, the feelings moved to my right arm and now it’s in my neck and back. In August after much research, I came across Dr. Sarno. I immediately read all of his books. Everything made complete sense to me at that point and I felt it was TMS. I didn’t realize that healing would take work. I would need to do some serious soul searching and self-realization. Because that seemed exhausting at the time and fear was my best friend, I started back to the doctors. I had loads of bloodwork and MRIs done and the only two things to pop up were a mildly positive ANA, which I’ve had for years but doesn’t scare me and an antibody for Stiff Person Syndrome; a very rare progressive neurological disorder that causes extremely painful muscle rigidity. Since I have mild stiffness in my arms/hands/shoulders/neck, I immediately believed I was doomed for a life of painful spasms and would be wheelchair bound before I was 40. That was in October. In December, I came across Steve O’s book and it spoke to me like nothing else. I was able to see many things from a deeper perspective and really focus on the “why” behind my pain. The more I did that, the more symptoms I got. Deep down, I truly believe my pain is TMS. I want to believe so much in the TMS but my mind keeps going back to the positive antibody for SPS, which by the way happens to 1 in a million people. I keep telling myself that just because I might carry the antibody doesn’t mean my symptoms are from it. It’s difficult convincing my brain of that. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 9, so repression and separation issues are definitely there. I know this will be a difficult journey, but I’m finally ready to make a commitment to myself.