Hi I'm Becs. Today I begin my TMS recovery journey--returning to my natural state of good health. I was seen last Fall at Mayo Clinic (AZ) where the orthopedist and pain management docs diagnosed me with severe myofascial pain of the piriformis and spinal stenosis of L4, L5 and S1 (after many X-rays, labs and 4 MRIs) but they wrote in their notes (and told me to my face) that I am not a surgical candidate and that they have seen worse MRIs in patients who don't have any pain. Initially it was a hard pill to swallow that there wasn't going to be a magic sliver bullet to take me out of pain, but I've since come to understand that my body has been trying to communicate with me that I've been habitually avoiding my emotions (particularly ANGER, guilt and FEAR) by employing many many distractors...and this is an opportunity to hear my body's wisdom and heal -- no bullets or surgery necessary;-) After 20 plus years of lower back/hip pain on and off (4 years chronically) I do fully accept that I have TMS. Well, to be completely honest my acceptance level is actually around 89%. I've been TRYING to get to 100% but the pressure I put on myself to get to that percentage -- stresses me out and makes me resist using Dr. Sarno's way to recover from TMS -- so 89% today feels A-Okay. I embody the personality traits of someone with TMS -- I don't see those traits going away in this lifetime so gaining knowledge about TMS and hopefully learning some tools/exercises regarding how to accept myself as I am will be important to my continued progress. I've been avoiding many seemingly scary emotions for a very long time (4 years old). Abandonment & rejection are deep core issues for me. That's good to know information. I am a sensitive middle child who did whatever was needed to bring about peace in chaotic family (even if the peace was just in my mind)--I've carried the "peace lily" from childhood to middle age (in every sector/relationship of my life) and the one thing I absolutely know for sure is I AM NOT AT PEACE. Being in pain scares the heck out of me and scaring myself to death has become a daily habit. And when a really painful episode occurs....it's the worst! I am paralyzed! So a constant suffering thought for me is: "What will happen if the pain comes back the way it did _______ ?"(on vacation, after being intimate, while traveling ...fill in the blank). ugh! I want to be able to get to the place where I can tell the pain "okay, you're back, I'm not afraid....bring it on because I'm not intimidated you inner meanie". Not there yet, but intend to be soon. Any helpful ways to bring this on sooner (mantras, meditation, hitting pillows) is much appreciated. I am relieved and comforted to know this educational program exists. (Of course I do because I love the structured daily part--because structure feels like peace/freedom to me. Writing this I feel vulnerable. Seen. This from the gal that tries really hard to make everything look rosy, pretty and positive. With fake "ease" thrown in for good measure. So....let's see what else??? My biggest fears are being publicly embarrassed and not being able to successfully complete something I have said I will do. Guess I should have looked at other Day 1 forum posts. yikes!