Hi all, Just a follow up to my gloomy last message when I got to the end of the SEP. The thrust of that post was that I'd finished the course in worse pain than when I started. That was true, and in the days that followed I got even worse than that and developed sciatica, which I've never had before. It was so painful, it absolutely terrified me. But after reading a few chapters in SteveO's book about how staying in bed gives the pain traction, I was able to defy the pain by getting up and doing normal things around the house. I had been in bed for about two days. The pain soon dissipated... But the thing that I really wanted to report is that somehow the association between sitting and backpain has largely gone. I can't work out why but it has. I seem to be able to sit any way I like for as long as I like without that really nasty pain that used to occupy half my conscious experience. I've still got lots of pain that restricts my movement (e.g. Bending) and feel a lot of it walking, and of course the smoldering pain of the sciatica, but this pain doesn't worry me at all because I've felt like I've won! I know there's still a long way to go to get to pain free, but I've now got proof of the TMS process and that sitting has nothing to do with my pain. It is the strangest feeling. When I'm sitting I feel like there's something missing. And I'm consciously afraid it will return, but it still doesn't! Last night while at work I even felt blue about there being no pain, which was a very odd and somewhat disturbing realization. Anyway, I just wanted to share with the message that if you get to the end of the SEP amd your pain is worse, it's a good thing. I think I needed to hit rock bottom before climbing back out into the land of recovery. I can't put my finger on one thing that has helped. Journaling I found interesting more than cathartic, though maybe it had a more profound effect on my unconscious. I've also been trying really hard to feel my emotions in daily life and as a result have been a bit of a mess. I think this was the thing that needed to happen. Plus meditating each day on Dr Sarno's 12 daily reminders. I'm sure that's done more than I realise. One more thing I've discovered. I've been butting heads with my 17 year old daughter for a couple of years about school. She has not enjoyed it and has always had a really negative attitude towards study. The other day she was down about it yet again and instead of trying to get her to see it my way, all I could see was the pain that she was going through and just showed her lots of compassion. We both felt a lot better about it. I've since realised that showing her compassion means I'm also showing compassion for myself. I didn't get this before. Maybe that realisation also played a big part in this magnificent victory over the chair! Anyway, best of luck in your recoveries. If a severe pessimist like me -who could out-doubt anyone under the table - can do this, you can too!