This is my first post here, but I hope this does not discourage anyone from finding hope in my story. First, I'll tell you about me. I am a 23 years old girl who lived an ordinary life, my parents always loved me, but they always found it difficult to be emotionally close and physically affectionate to me and oftentimes while growing up they made me feel rejected involountarily. Because of this I was not comfortable in asking them for help or comfort when I happened to be bullied through elementary and middle school. I didn't have many friends, and apparently boys in my classroom made a habit of sexually harassing me because they thought it was funny and made them look manly and cool. When I was 13 years old I was diagnosed by a professional with Major Depressive Disorder after I stopped going to school. I started having panic attacks when near schools and lost every will to live. I found my only light and hope in an online videogame and I got addicted to it. Despite many therapy sessions nothing was getting better, actually it was getting worse. I started to self-harm to dull the pain I was feeling inside and they put me on medications, which I did not want to take and because of this I took them inconsistenly. It got to a point where I was starting to plan my suicide and my psychologist put me in a psychiatric hospital against my will. I spent 3 months there, and it really helped me get a hold of myself. I was now 16 years old, and while a bit more peaceful than before I still was unable to function socially and attend school. At this time I met my first serious boyfriend who happened to be suffering from severe anxiety and dissociative episodes. I ended up taking care of him and this is when I probably discovered I was Codependent. After this relationship, at 18 years old I jumped immedialy into another one, with a boy who was the polar opposite and emotionally distant. At this point I developed severe food allergies. After some time, and still while being with my boyfriend, I met a boy, who I later discovered suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, who targeted me as his source of self-esteem supply. He took me, made me fall in love really hard and walked over me several times. I started manifesting consistent physical symptoms (even though I had minor TMS manifestations all my life), it started with a persistent low grade fever and muscle aches. I was increasingly worried about my health, having panic attacks almost daily and probably ended up in the ER more than 10 times in 3 months. My parents were fed up with me because doctors were telling me I was healthy, but I felt so ill that I couldn't believe every test came back negative. Then the thoracic pain started, so bad I could hardly move my torso without suffering, it actually awoke me in my sleep, I was crying daily because I felt so hopeless and alone. My boyfriend and I broke up and this is where it got real ugly. Now 20 years old, I was unable to be by myself and I hooked up with a guy from another town whom I met a couple years prior. This boy was everything I could have ever hoped for. He was my prince charming, believing me, telling me it was going to be okay, that he was going to stand beside me no matter what. We both fell in love really hard and really fast, he idolized me to a point I felt like I was a goddess to him, he actually told me he wanted to marry me after 1 month into the relationship. He said he wanted to live together and was considering moving to my city to attend art school here. I didn't pay attention to the signs, but they were there. He was very jealous, getting angry when I didn't tell my male friends to f**k off if they dared make a flirty joke. He couldn't accept the fact that I was not interested in them, he wanted me to cut them off harshly. We started having huge fights and arguments because I was not behaving like he wanted me to. One time he hung up on me and told me he was going to kill himself. He ignored all my phone calls on purpose and I had to call the police to his house (he got really angry at me and threatened to call the police to my house if I ever dared do it again). It was a nightmare, it was like living with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He started to deny the fact that he ever said he'd move to my city, getting angry at me for daring expecting him to leave his family and friends for me, so I started looking for apartments near him, but we could not afford them (I was basically unable to work or go to school at the time). Fast forward 2 years, my self esteem was at an all time low, I lived for the moments of kindness from him, even though over time he grew more and more emotionally distant, lashing out at me and accusing me of being aggressive to him, of being needy because I asked him to spend time on Skype together. He told me that he was avoiding me because I was bothering him when I wanted to talk about the problems in our relationship and my feelings. When we fought he started to develop the habit of gripping me by the wrists or shoulders, one time he shook me while I was crying and begging for him to let me go. He gave me the silent treatment every time he got angry, but he always came back victimizing himself so I forgave him and ended up picking up the pieces of my heart silently because I was busy reassuring him that I still loved him. Because of this relationship I regressed and picked up self-harm again to cope with the intense distress I was feeling during our fights, occasionally I was even feeling suicidal. Obviously at the time I assumed my physical symptoms were due to a physical problem, and I spent most of my time looking up Fibromyalgia information. I was paying attention to my body every day, obsessing over every little new thing. Headaches, fatigue, TMJ disorder, sciatica, rashes, vertigo, pain, dyspnea, itching, weight loss, migraines, GERD, you name it and I probably had it. I developed severe mysophobia and I was afraid of breathing near other people or of touching handles/money/doorbells. At one point I had one of the most awfully painful migraine in my life, I'd rate it an 11 out of 10, I wanted to scoop my brain out with a spoon because it'd be less painful. Then roughly 10 months ago everything went downhill. I thought I felt pretty okay emotionally compared to the past, despite some moments of crisis. I didn't know that my physical symptoms that were now at their highest intensity were making up for this apparent calmness. My parents thought it was time for me to try and pick up school again, and I agreed despite my physical "disability". I realized it was gonna be really hard from the first days. Instead of getting panic attacks, I was now getting EXHAUSTED after every school day. I literally spent my days between school and the bed, I had trouble keeping myself clean, let alone do homework. My boyfriend started secretly resenting me because now that I had started school I was not free anymore to spend time with him when he decided to (he got hired at his first job at the same time). I could barely function, I had trouble calling myself a human being. I could not do anything without feeling so exhausted that I *had* to go and lay down for hours and get some sleep. The pain was unbearable, I felt like all my bones were broken and shattered in a million pieces. The highlight of my day was crawling under the sheets at night and feeling safe until dawn broke. 4 months went by like this. My boyfriend started making up excuses to not see me anymore, and it happened. I cheated on him through a webcam, I immediately regret it and actually started to cry and pour out my fear and pain with the guy I was on Skype with. Eventually I told my boyfriend what I did through tears and his first reaction was "I don't know what to do, I'm so angry, where will I find another girl who will put up with me like you do" I was shattered, was that the only reason he was with me? But we decided to stick together and try to bond again. That's when I had the most awful, terrible, mind shattering pain of my life: Out of the blue I developed severe Pudendal Neuralgia and Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder. I could not sleep, I could not sit, I could not lie down. Nothing brought comfort, I was numbing myself with ice and hot packs without results. I immediately looked it up online and a sense of doom got a hold of me. Chronic severe pain like this for all my life? After all that I had to endure up until now? I booked doctor appointments, physiotherapy, I was looking up nerve blocks, surgery, medication, ketamine infusions. I was bookmarking every useful website with information about doctors and therapies. My only desire was being able to sit again, let alone lead a fulfilling life. That's when I found ezer's story on PudendalHope forum. He was strongly advocating a mind-body approach to this, telling his success story after years of pain. Something clicked in my mind. It HAD to make sense, everything matched up. I started to look up TMS and found this forum and immediately felt something I thought I could never feel again: hope. I started the SEP, I bought "Healing Back Pain" and read it in 2 days. I also bought "Hope and Help for your Nerves" by Clare Weekes which helped tremendously with managing my anxiety and floating day after day through pain. I found my favourite success story from balto, and a light went on inside my head: I was tired of living in fear. Fear of dying, fear of pain, fear of being unworthy because I was sick. I refused to give up. I started to live as if the pain or fatigue didn't exist anymore. It was hard. When I was eating out at the reastaurant it was hard to sit still. But I forced myself to not care. I wondered if it'll ever go away, and I often looked up for advice and suggestions in this forum. One of the best advice is "You have to reach that point where you don't even care if the pain'll go away or not" because it's so true that it will go away by itself at that point. Remember, it serves as a distraction. I delved deeper into my own feelings, I spent hours thinking, realizing, reaching inside myself. Looking deeper and deeper. I was now turning my attention inward all the time. I came to terms with my absolute fear of being alone. With my need for validation from other people. With my low self-esteem. With the mistakes I had made in the past. I looked at myself in the mirror and something amazing happened: I felt compassion for that girl who was looking back at me. I thought that she had been very brave all this time. I cried, but it was such a refreshing feeling. I started to change, people around me started to notice my change. It was like I started to shine from the inside. I started to finally put the puzzle pieces together. My pain was 70-80% less intense than before and it had moved around. Not even a month into this process, my boyfriend broke up with me over the phone. He refused to see me again, he cut off all contact and deleted all our pictures within 2 days. It was like I had never existed in his life. The emotional pain was like nothing before. I was also afraid of relapsing, but I understood I didn't have to be as long as I let myself feel all that sadness. I didn't relapse. It was one of the hardest times of my life. I was an emotional mess, my abandonment wound was ripped open and enlarged. I let myself be an emotional mess. I reminded myself that feelings were okay to have. Feelings are fleeting. Feelings feel real but they are not reality. They will pass. We live in a world where the only acceptable life is always joyful and happy. We look down on people who cry, we deem them weak. Society invalidates the full range of our human emotions, to experience them all is healthy, it's the key to peace. During this emotional trasformation my pain went away completely on most days. I was now pain free, but my feelings were all over the place. Despite this, I felt a sense of belonging like I never experienced before. I decided on my own accord to go back to school and attend the last month before exams. My fatigue and muscle pain were gone and I didn't even realize it. I was able to do whatever I wanted to, I could go to school, go home and study, then play videogames or read and not feel tired. I started to travel and I met friends I haven't met in months. I called one of my old friends and we bonded again. Despite being on an emotional rollercoaster, every day now felt like a gift, I felt like I had been given a new life. I felt so much gratitude for Sarno that it brought tears to my eyes. I looked back at my life and let myself feel the rage and sadness for all the times I let people use and abuse me, at the times I was sexually touched without consent by "friends". I realized it is my duty to look after myself. I can not put my own happiness in the hands of someone else. My life is mine alone, if you walk over me I will show you the door. No one will be more important than my self respect anymore. I am no longer afraid of being alone, because now I appreciate my own company, I don't despise myself anymore. I may fail, but it's okay. No failures will take away that sense of unconditional love I have for myself, I don't feel the need to search for it in anybody else anymore. I can't be perfect, and I'm still having trouble accepting it fully. But these days I can sit for hours upon hours normally. I can travel, go out, have fun without feeling like I'm sick at the end of the day. Occasionally I have little reminders of pain, or I get a headache, a rash, but I know what these are and I immediately turn my attention to my feelings now. I realized that my body tensed up whenever I felt an unpleasant emotion, now I try to let go and experience it and to my surprise it feels much less intense and lasts a shorter time. It's true that there isn't a "cure" for TMS, it's a mindset change. A lifestyle of acceptance. But I'm grateful for this. On the first question of the TMS Structured Educational Program "What would a life without TMS mean to you?" I replied "A life without TMS would be a life where it's not needed. A life where I am in touch with myself and my emotions and I'm not afraid of them. A life where I can accept failures without shame or resentment towards myself." I think I'll get there.