Age: 32 Pain first started: Oct 2015 Prior Symptoms: Sciatic nerve pain/piriformis left butt to left ankle/ lower back pain First Read about TMS: March 2016 Rock Bottom: Unable to sit or stand w/out pain, could only walk hunched over Current Condition: minor irritation, have full range of motion In many of the Success Stories people post that they're 90% or 99% better. I always wondered why they didn't wait until they got to 100%, but now I understand–because being 90% better is AMAZING compared to how bad it was. I'm not completely without pain, but yesterday my symptoms were barely noticeable. I was in pain daily. I'd wake up and have trouble rolling out of bed because my hips were on fire. Then the rest of the day my mind was obsessed with the pain I was in, monitoring the level of pain, the location of the pain, whether the pain would be better or worse at work, whether I'll ever feel normal, etc. At my worst I was unable to help around the house, I couldn't play with my kid, and having sex with my wife was causing me anxiety. I broke my foot at the end of August 2015. Prior to that I had TMS symptoms that I wasn't even aware of such as runner's knee, sore ankles, and headaches. But I've always lived a very active life. I ran 5K's regularly, biked everyday, and even competed in a triathlon. I got divorced in 2014. I moved in with my girlfriend in June of 2015. I broke my foot in August, was on crutches for 6 weeks, and in a orthopedic boot for 8 more weeks. The first hip pain started while using the orthopedic boot. I assumed it was from unbalanced walking. The boot was heavy and uncomfortable. After I stopped using the boot I had terrible sciatic nerve pain. That's when all those odd treatments started – physical therapy, ice, heat, stretches, yoga, supplements, etc. I tried a lot of stuff to try to get relief: like massaging my butt with a tennis ball, doing "neural stretches," trying to hang upside down, going to a chiropractor, my doctor, etc. However, even with the pain I returned to an active lifestyle. In winter of 2015 I proposed to my girlfriend and signed up to run a half-marathon in May 2016. I had motivation to get better. I started running through the pain. I discovered that after about 10 minutes of running the sciatic pain disappeared. There were times when the pain was too much to run and forced me to stop, but 4/5 times I was able to run through it. The fact that I could run led me to believe that my problem might be psychological and not physical. That's when how I discovered Dr. Sarno. I read "Healing Back Pain" in March 2016 and completely identified with the personality type and symptoms. I felt immediately better after reading that book, but that initial relief did not last long. I started pushing myself to run farther to prepare for the half-marathon and would be crippled hours following the run. That made me doubt that it was mental and I spiraled back to being hunched over in pain most of the time. Then I found out my fiancee was pregnant. The anxiety caused me more pain. Slowly, my symptoms became only intolerable in the evenings. This caused me to believe that I was repressing emotions about my divorce, getting remarried, and having a baby. I started journaling. I tried to get in touch with my feelings, but it was hard to do. I was never good at expressing my feelings. But I realized that when I was distracted the pain didn't exist. I tried to ignore it. I ran the half-marathon pain free. I was very sore the next 3 days, and then my symptoms got worse up until our wedding in June. The wedding day itself I was fine. I made the connection that stressful situations were causing my pain. I was in pain on our honeymoon which sucked. I again doubted that it was mental and started doing stretches–a lot of toe touches. I kept up with the stretching but it was only making it worse. I would stand up hunched over, stretch, feel a little better, sit back down. When I stood back up, I was hunched over even worse. I'd stretch again. The cycle continued. I'd go to parties/movies/ballgames feeling okay and walk out hunched over in pain. But I realized that the pain was almost always in the evenings. The mornings (after getting out of bed) were actually tolerable. So I eased into the evenings. When I felt like the time was coming for the hunching-over pain to show up I faced it like a man. I stood up in the middle of dinner and willed the pain to go away. I stood up as straight as I could, often I'd have to go slowly and I told myself I wasn't going to sit back down until the pain went away. The pain went away. I sat back down. I now had pain from sitting. I willed myself to not change my position. I told myself that I wasn't going to stand up until the pain went away. The pain went away. It didn't go away before. Before it would just move, or hide, or dull. It never just went away. It does comes back. All the time it comes back. But I will it away. Sometimes it comes back stronger. One time getting out of bed to use the bathroom I had forgotten about the pain and it struck my hip like a lightning bolt and nearly brought me to the floor. I gritted my teeth and stood up through the pain telling myself that it's all in my head. I got this. I'm in control now. Do I have pain because I'm regressing emotions and/or internal stressors? I'm not sure. Maybe. Getting remarried and having a baby does bring emotions. I've accepted that and I've been talking to my wife about my feelings everyday. It's helping. I'm getting better mentally as well as physically. Some people ignore the pain, some people embrace the pain, some people curse the pain, some people thank the pain for trying to help them avoid unhappy emotions. Me? I will the pain away. But I'm not cured. I'm better. I feel better. But I still have TMS. I think once a day goes by where I don't think about the pain (or even the absence of pain), then I'll be cured. I don't know when that day will come. The pain is still a distraction—except now I'm thinking about how little pain I'm in and how great it is to stand up straight and walk around. Good luck on your journey to recovery. I can't imagine living like this for years and my heart breaks for those of you in that situation. Just know that doctors and scientists know very little about the human brain and that TMS is still a mysterious condition and that every person is unique.