I started the SEP two weeks ago, this is my first post. My story is a common one, pain started about two years ago after having a muscle spasm in my neck during a workout. Started out as neck and shoulder pain that progressed into spasms in back, thoracic outlet type parasthesias. Started having pain in hips and legs about three months ago. Got really bad a couple of months ago, was having panic attacks when I would wake up with pain and spasms in the middle of the night. MRIs of neck and lumbar show some degeneration at C5/C6, very minor degeneration at lumbo/sacral joint. Had steroid injections in both places, but my physiatrist kind of hinted he thought it might not be my back. I was resistant to psychological causes until I ran across Sarno's work. Read his first two books and the symptoms described were just too much like my own. Pain moving around, tension in postural muscles, IBS,etc. I think I'm pretty much convinced it's TMS, at least consciously. Best thing about learning about TMS is no longer being afraid that something serious is wrong. After reading the Sarno books, I initially did feel some relief, but relapsed after about a week. I've kept pushing through on the SEP, however, and now the symptoms are moving all over the map, from hip pain one day, to pins and needle in my feet the next, to neck and shoulder stiffness the day after that, with extensive periods where I feel pretty good. Could that be some indication that some of my TMS pathways have been disrupted and it's looking for a new place to land? The biggest hurdle I've seen is trying to identify current and past stressors. I've been doing some journaling about my childhood, and it's weird how some stuff I had put out of my mind came back with pretty vivid and somewhat painful memories. I'm kind of realizing I've always been a bit of an anxious person, starting when I was a kid, maybe going back to my family's insecurity when I was growing up. Going to see my sister in a couple of weeks and will ask her if she remembers more, or has a different perspective. She is older than me, and might have been more aware of the stresses on our family when I was really young. The problem is, however, that I also have some significant current stresses. I've been working for 20 years at a job that is very deadline driven. I'm good at it, but I have grown to detest the constant deadline pressure and the culture of the office that raises that to fetish. I'm close to being able to retire, and this chronic pain definitely pushed me in that direction over the past two years. However, if I can do something about this pain, I could see staying a bit longer to put my wife and I in a much better position for retirement. I guess the conundrum lies in whether the stress of the job is a major cause of the pain, and I'd be better off not doing it at all or at least semi-retiring, or would cutting back now make the pain worse by creating a new pressure in the form of less economic security. Added to this, my preoccupation with work stresses and my pain has been a major detriment to my marriage. My wife, worried that I might have to retire early, went back to a full time job that she does not want to do. We've had communication problems that we have not yet resolved, so that's also probably adding to current stress. It's kind of ironic that something that is supposedly arising because of a need to repress emotions turns out to create even more emotional turmoil.