Hi everyone, I am making an update as suggested in the SEP program. It's super long, so read it at your own peril! I am having really amazing progress. It feels almost too good to be true. I want to preface this though by saying that I was fortunate enough to meet a somatic therapist who does Somatic Experiencing, and after just two sessions of stress relief (like this, just not as intense), I found the freedom from intense fear and anxiety and was able to start believing in TMS and applying the ideas. Basically, I was lucky enough to get a jump-start and have a lot of the fear and anxiety cleared away. Everyone was right: THINK PSYCHOLOGICAL. It's so helpful. Even when I don't discover something, just the act of thinking psychological breaks the automatic fear-response of worrying what I might have done to hurt my back. It neutralizes that immediate sense of danger that used to be a reflex (and still sometimes is, though it's getting weaker, fast.) Now I'm not having any big challenges so much as doing a lot of "clean-up" work. Even though I've done a 35-minute hike, I still get scared sometimes when I go to the grocery store, because of conditioning from past experiences walking around in pain. Or, just in the last few days I've started wearing a back-pack again, and every time I put it on I feel afraid that it's going to jack up my back (according to so many people). Even today, my backpack was nearly empty, yet when I put it on I got a sharp pain in my back - I was able to talk myself down, though, reminding myself that backs are made up of bones and durable fibers, so it's okay! Also, there are so many ways I move now that reflect the fear I had of hurting my back. I often lie down as if my back were in a brace, or crouch down to pick things up. (I didn't go into flexion for three months!) Moseley called these 'glitches' that are left over, and I'm seeing what he means now. I trust though that it will come with time! Anyway, after four and a half-months of snail-pace recovery, it feels incredible to be seeing BIG recovery, FAST recovery, more than I thought possible. That's what I mean when I say it feels too good to be true. But as time passes, I believe in it more and more. And, I'm starting to believe that I'm going to recover to an even greater level of health than I was in before the TMS knocked me down. I'm looking at my psychology through the lens of danger, and seeing how much of my mind is concerned with danger in so many different directions, especially thinking about the future, the stress of having kids and making enough money, etc. I just feel so much more prepared to face all of these things now that my thinking has shifted. So, the TMS has wound up being a gift. I just feel so grateful for having discovered this community and all of the wonderful resources (Explain Pain, etc.) that have made this possible. More to come!