My name is Keith and I'm 23, and I've been struggling with digestive issues for five years. Yes, pooping-related digestive issues. Before college, I was the picture of health - varsity athlete, AP classes, etc. Save for a summer of mono, I'd had it pretty good. But the moment I arrived on campus, something must have triggered inside me, because my digestive track refused to work. I knew leaving home for a big school in a different state where I knew few people would be difficult, but now, almost a year after graduation, am I realizing how stressful that really could be. Creating a new social circle, learning a new environment, figuring out my way academically. I wasn't giving these changes the credit they deserved. And before I knew it, I was walling myself up in my dorm room, pitying myself for the bloated feeling in my belly, and spending hours on my computer instead of venturing out to explore and make new friends. I mean, it's hard to feel social when you haven't had a decent crap in over a month, but unfortunately I hadn't made that connection. When I came home for winter break, I started seeing doctors. There has to be something physically wrong with my stomach, I thought. Maybe the tap water in Eugene has different chemicals I'm not used to. The brain will go to strange places to rationalize pain. Eventually, after months of tests and even a colonoscopy, the docs were stumped. Great. So back to my dorm room. Somehow I made it though college and landed a dream internship but the digestive issues haven't gone away. I've become able to manage the constipation, thanks to a routine that takes all morning and culminates with drinking coffee to speed up the last bit of the digestive route. While easing the constipation somewhat, I still rarely feel 100% and this has created new problems where I feel like I'm wasting half my day just trying to focus on getting a decent poop. Recently I took Jon Kabat-Zinn's 8-week mindfulness course and stuck with the meditation everyday, without much digestive improvement. Luckily on the last day of the course, a fellow student suggested that I read Sarno. Even though I have stomach issues instead of back issues, I see myself on every page. My personality is the ambitious achiever who is way too competitive and clever for my own good. Every thing has to be on my terms, which creates stressful environments out of thin air. But I definitely see the connection between emotions and physical pain, and I'm looking forward to getting to the root of my repressed feelings to conquer my TMS and get my life back. Thanks for reading and I appreciate the support!