Hi everyone - I've been lurking for a while and thought I'd jump in and introduce myself. I'm a 30/M and have been suffering from sciatica and some very light low back pain since about a year ago. My wife's aunt gave me a copy of The Divided Mind and encouraged me to watch the John Stossell interview which turned me on to TMS-related things. A little bit about my story: My wife and I are both ministers and have been working full-time in churches since 2014. We had our first child in 2015 and when he was about 9 months old (Mar-Apr '16), I began to have what I thought was hamstring pain from pushing his stroller on a run. I did the whole rest/ice/etc protocol to no effect. We moved to a new city that summer, bought a house, and began new appointments in large churches with a much higher workload and stress level than what we were used to. As we moved, my pain got worse - never debilitating, but would spasm like crazy specifically as I got out of the car from sitting. I finally saw a sports med DO who treated me for bursitis, tight hamstrings, and something else that I don't remember (to no effect, unsurprisingly). I did PT with three different therapists, saw two different chiropractors, and tried dry needling on my lumbar spine, piriformis, and hamstrings. Some helped very incrementally, but never to a point that was noticeable. I've had two MRIs: one of my pelvis, which showed nothing, and another of my lumbar spine, which revealed a slight protrusion at L5/S1. I had an epidural nerve block for the protrusion, but that didn't help at all. In full disclosure, I've always been skeptical of things like TMS. My mother sees a chiropractor that pushes a lot of really weird stuff and I've spent years gently ridiculing her and my aunt who swear by the stuff he does. (I don't bring that up to compare some of the outer reaches of chiropractic with TMS, but just as a way of highlighting some built-in skepticism). When my wife's aunt gave me Dr. Sarno's book and pointed out that my pain began when we were transitioning jobs and buying our first house, it made a lot of sense. Add in having a toddler that wasn't a great sleeper, having a people-pleasing peacemaker personality, and dealing with conflict at my previous job, I thought I'd at least give the program a try. I read The Divided Mind, picked up Healing Back Pain from the library and read it, and have really been focusing on the pain as a by-product of this stress. I feel like it's really helped, but the pain still persists. The "evidence list" that Dr. Sarno talks about has been most helpful, like noticing that my pain doesn't increase when I sit for a long time, that all the treatment I've done didn't really move the needle, that when I do a lot of work around the house on off-days my pain seems to dissipate. But the two times when the pain is most severe is right when I wake up and when I bend over to touch my toes. In reading all this information, I feel like it's become ingrained in my thinking ("You're awake now, so let's spend 10 minutes swinging your hip around to avoid the pain" or "Time to put on your shoes - here comes the pain"), but I'm not totally sure how to kick that. I've gotten back in the gym, on the treadmill, and in the pool and have not had an increase in pain (another piece of evidence), but would really just like to be able to bend over and touch my toes without my leg lighting up. I will talk to my brain, tell myself that the pain I feel is not structural, etc, and feel relief. Then, I'll get excited, try to test it out and bend over and boom - sciatic pain once again. It seems like this is the one thing that's keeping me from fully accepting the diagnosis. Having read many stories online about people's struggle with my exact diagnosis, I'm thankful that it's not severe - just an annoyance most of the day - but we just brought our second baby home so I would love some insight or best practices on what some of you did to break some of the more ingrained habits of noticing the pain. Thanks!