Hi everyone. Sorry in advance for my long-windedness. I've been struggling with TMS for years. It started about 7 years ago with lower back spasms, and I've had about 4 recurring episodes since. During the 3rd incident, I read (part of) one of Sarno's books and "Unlearn Your Pain" by Schubiner at the recommendation of a trusted friend. It all made SO much sense, and what really made me a believer that I had TMS was when I looked into the timing of the first back pain incident I ever had, and saw what was going on in my life to trigger it. Some of the personality traits ring true for me more than others, but the childhood issues and current stressors definitely both play a big role for me. After that, I was feeling all better in a matter of days, whereas the previous incidents had required weeks of recovery. I also saw a decrease in the headaches/migraines that I'd suffered from for years. About a year and a half later, I had another incident, but I was able to figure out what was really bothering me and that resolved within a few weeks. Most recently, though, I've had some of these episodes this year that have been much harder to shake. In late January, I had another incident of lower back muscle spasms. After struggling to address what was really bothering me mentally, I went to a dr. this time, who prescribed steroids that I didn't want to take (so I didn't). That was short-lived but mild pain lingered. Then in early April, another episode of the same lower back muscle spasms began again. This time, they were excruciating and lasted longer--I was out of work for 3 days and when I went back, I could still barely walk. I'm a high school teacher and one of my students commented that I was "waddling like a penguin." I tried revisiting Sarno, began some journaling, discovered the TMS wiki page, and eventually started rereading some parts of his Healing Back Pain book. I realized that I never fully committed to any of his suggestions the first couple of times around. I ended up going back to the dr. and trying physical therapy this time. I do wonder if this was a mistake. I feel like I was doing it to satisfy other people who were wondering what steps I was taking to get better, even though I didn't really believe in it and Sarno says it's a mistake. But I figured if I kept telling myself the root cause was mental, and these were just exercises, then it couldn't hurt. In the past few weeks, however, what started as mild leg pain/sciatica has gotten much worse. The back pain/muscle tightness has improved considerably, but the leg pain is now the main issue. The number one thing that makes it worse is holding anything heavy, esp. my 1.5 year old daughter, which leads to quite severe pain. I feel like I've tried to identify and hypothesize about all of the possible sources of stress and repressed emotions/anger that could be causing this, but I'm having a much harder time this time. And I think the fact that I can't identify one root cause/trigger, which I was able to do previously, is causing me to have so many more doubts. I think the physical therapy is also causing doubts and I should probably cancel the remaining appointments. They keep talking about it being disc issues. I have never had an MRI. Another thing that scares me is that two of my sisters had surgery for herniated discs and both were considered at risk for cauda equina, and one has permanent numbness in her leg. I feel like their issues have scared me into thinking it's physical, and I don't truly feel I can talk to them about TMS. I've decided I finally need to follow the structured educational program, so here's my Day 1 post. I also just made an appointment with a TMS doctor in the Boston area (Dr. Martinez). I am really hoping that will reassure me this is TMS and I will be able to stop worrying about the physical stuff.