As I become more comfortable with understanding the fear-pain-avoidance cycle, I find myself reflecting more about what the "TMS" diagnosis means. I love the feeling of recovering, but feel cautious about language that reminds me of 12-step programs. I find the TMS diagnosis empowering because it gives me a sense of control and optimism.nts My mental attitude has changed dramatically since the day that I randomly picked up Sarno's book. I despaired at first, because he said there would be no answers in physical treatment. What would I have to do psychologically- I couldn't imagine. The mental attitude is the most dramatic, and the decreased obsession about pain naturally follows. I am blessed to have a physical therapist who is astute and perceptive. She has gone on this journey with me, and our work is different now. In fact, she said- in keeping with Sarno--that I was addicted to rubbing my neck, as though I could fix it. I showed her Schubiner's page about the acupuncture points, and we made a plan that I intentionally shift to pressing those points instead of massaging my neck. And we are working on balance. Balance- what an important message. Instead of telling myself how clumsy and poor my balance is, I am to shift my thoughts to the affirmative. I can achieve balance. All this from a PT--did I get lucky in finding her or what? The day I first made the appointment I was lying on the floor in agony. Now my aches are annoying twinges. Will I "relapse?" I expect so, but not because of character defects. I would rather not think of it as relapse. Rather, I expect to have pain again in some way, but it will not disable me. In a couple of months I will reach my mother's age when I last saw her before she died. There will be sort of an eclipse as I pass that age (60). Then I will get to have the years she didn't have, and I am looking forward to them. My hope is that my family history of TMS stops with me, and that my daughters take in this experience so they don't have to suffer from their stress. Pain was just becoming a ridiculous way to live, and it made no sense because I was not injured. At some point I will tackle my psychological symptoms so that I can live without fear of insomnia, and need for rx sleep medications. I wasn't even thinking about this when I started this "journey" but worry about sleep is also a ridiculous way to live.