As briefly as I can be on the background, I am a 43 year old male and I have suffered with intermittent bouts of lower back pain that started when I was 18 but went away for many, many years and then came back about 6 years ago. I am very active/athletic and in very good shape and for most of the last 6 years believed that I had a structural issue and tried everything one could try (short of surgery) to "fix" my problem. I have a bilateral pars defect (probably since adolescence) and now spodylolisthesis (slippage of one vertebrae over the other). Until about 6 months ago I was afraid and was obsessed with "solving my problem", fully believing that I have something very "wrong" with my back. The image of a loose vertebrae slipping back and forth over the other was very scary to me. My pain was still pretty manageable though, and with the exception of a couple of weeks here or there when I would "injure" my back and be out of commission, I would say I still lead a pretty normal life. I was still able to work and I lifted weights and played ice hockey. Then I realized about 6 months ago that my pain did not make sense and discovered Dr. Sarno's books, TMS, this community, etc. I actually went to see Dr. Rashbaum in NYC and he diagnosed me with TMS. I feel much better now, am no longer afraid that I have a fragile back, am much less obsessed with the pain when I do have it (which is not that often...more on that in a minute). Again, I wasn't in tremendous pain on a daily basis to begin with, so the "recovery" feels more psychological than physical to me, but it's still a huge difference. I don't really live in fear anymore, I lift weights and feel great, play ice hockey without fear and without a back brace (which never made me feel better and only reinforced the feeling that there was something structurally wrong with me). 6 months ago I was in tears, believing that I would have to give up being active in general and stop playing ice hockey (which is one of the things that brings me the most joy in my life) and now I play more or less without fear of injury and even get knocked down directly on my back or get tripped and go slamming into the boards and full speed and get right back up and feel fine. No pain. Nothing. I have been wanting to post a success story because when I was just learning about TMS there was only one success story that I could find about a person with spodylolisthesis and it helped me a lot to see that a person could live a normal, active life with such a scary-sounding "condition." But I still have some lingering pain and somehow it doesn't really feel like a success to me yet, in part because there are some aspects to what I am dealing with that make me question TMS. So that is the reason for this post and I am hoping that I can get some feedback from anyone who has experienced something similar or has some insight to share. I believe that TMS is at least mostly the cause of what I was dealing with in the past and am open to the idea that it is 100% of the cause of all my back pain (plus some other things I deal with like skipped beats). But I have some lingering doubts that stem mostly from the pain that I get when standing. At this point I pretty much don't get pain from anything else (again this includes lifting pretty heavy weights, sitting for long periods, playing competitive ice hockey, etc.). But when I stand for long periods of time, the pain pretty predictably starts to set in. It's not debilitating....it's probably a 2 or 3 out of 10. And it doesn't come right away - I would say after standing for more than 30 minutes it sets in and when I sit down for a few minutes or even squat down on the floor for a minute it feels better almost right away. It happens mostly on the weekends when I am at home, in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning and taking care of my 3 young kids, and sometimes on my feet for a couple of hours at at time throughout the day. Just thinking about the way that that sounds, I am sure the obvious reaction will be that it MUST be TMS! I am sure there is a part of me that is resentful for having to care for others, etc. But whereas some of the other pain I dealt with didn't make much sense, the pain I get while standing is slightly harder to write off as TMS. I mean, I'd imagine that for many people, standing for a long time makes their back hurt (although when I ask my wife she says hers does not!). And for this kind of pain, it's very hard to convince myself that it's not structural at all - after all, the pain is not there at first but as I stay on my feet for longer and longer the pain starts to appear and gradually intensify, and then it just subsides when I sit for a few moments. So it just feels like what I am doing physically is directly tied to the pain. And looking back on my life, standing for long periods has often made my back ache a little. Maybe that too was TMS, but the history there just adds to my sense of doubt. There is more detail I could add here but this post is long enough already!!! I guess I will just add that, again, because the pain is not debilitating, it's not so negatively impacting my life. I am able to ignore it for most of the time, but it bothers me and, perhaps more importantly, keeps me a little bit focused on trying to "figure it out" or "understand it." The part of me that believes it's TMS sees that as the very reason that I have the pain - to keep me obsessed with the pain and to distract me from other things. But I guess the fact that I am aware of that, that I try to see the pain for for what it probably is (as distraction), and that I still experience the pain is what keeps me doubting it. I will say that I have really tried to change my relationship to the pain (a lot of this stuff on this site, including some of the stuff from Alan Gordon, has helped me with that) and I try to welcome it, be present with it, accept it and not push it away, etc. But the truth obviously is that I don't want the pain, so it's a very delicate balancing act - I try to welcome the pain and not resist or fear it, but the very reason I am doing that is to get rid of it!!! Man, this stuff is difficult, lol! So yeah, in the end I am not always successful at welcoming the pain and being present with it, so maybe that is part of the reason it persists? Whatever we resist, persists? I want to believe that, but the fact that the pain still lingers despite understanding all of that and understanding everything I do about TMS, and the fact that pretty much all of the other instances of my pain have abated gives me cause for doubt. I am sorry for the very long post! Any advice or insight would be appreciated. I kind of expect that any responses I get will reassure me that this is TMS, but if anyone thinks that it's not unreasonable to just have some dull back pain when standing for a long time and that I could/should just accept that, I would welcome that too. I am open to anything! Thanks in advance!