hi all - curious if there are any thoughts/comments/advice/experiences to share on an issue i am dealing with. By way of background, I first became familiar with Dr. Sarno's book around 2009. I was 30 years old, and had been dealing with near constant sciatic pain for the better part of 3 years. I had previously gone the standard route of meeting with various doctors and physical therapists, and an MRI revealed that I had a bulging L5 and S1, which the Doc blamed on an active lifestyle and weight lifting. If PT was not successful, surgery was recommended. Fortunately, a colleague recommended Dr. Sarno's books before I decided to go the surgery route. In a 3 day period I read one of the books twice, and another once. I felt as if Dr. Sarno had written these books specifically for me as I immediately recognized my personality type and was aware of some stressful situations that I had been living with for a number of years. I immediately bought in, and within a week it was as if i had been magically healed. I couldn't believe it - after 3 years of constant pain it was gone just like that! For awhile i would revisit the books every few months, and i would frequently relay my experiences to disbelieving friends and family, but over time thoughts of my pain and TMS slipped away. Fast forward to just a few months ago... with the exception of a few bad days here and there, I had been pain free for 6 years. Then one day I was sitting in a tree stand hunting deer (sorry if that offends you) for several hours at kind of an odd angle where my hips were cockeyed. After a few hours I got up, and almost immediately tried to lift something heavy. I felt a minor "pop," and knew that something was not right with my back. i took it easy for a few days, but the old feeling of sciatica was back, although not as bad as it had been previously. It should be mentioned that around this time I had just bought a new house, my wife had our first baby, and I accepted a new job that was stressful, so anxiety was no stranger. Additionally, before the tree stand incident, i noticed that my hip flexors had become very tight, and i started to feel like something was going to go wrong eventually - i started stretching more regularly. i started to mentally go through Dr. Sarno's lessons, and began stretching quite a bit (maybe placebo, but i always feel better regardless). When my situation didn't improve, i dusted off my copies of the 2 books, and read both of them. I also started running again, being careful to start VERY slowly and VERY gradually attempt to build up to a moderate amount of running. My back pain quickly faded, but has been replaced by buttock/hip pain. I spend considerable time internalizing Dr. Sarno's lessons, and every day I feel better as the day goes on - especially after a short run - and I am typically pain free when i go to bed at night (around 10 or 11). However, every night I wake up around 3 or 4 with serious discomfort in my left buttock/hip/leg, and I am rarely able to get back to sleep. When I wake up, my left hamstring is super tight, as are my hip and glutes. I spend several hours failing to get comfortable enough to fall back asleep, and then eventually start the day by getting out of bed, warming up and stretching, all the while telling myself this is TMS. By the time I go for a short run, i have usually shaken the pain away... so here is my situation - i believe in the TMS diagnosis - in my first go around, it changed my life! in this second go around during my waking hours I am typically able to reign in my unconscious mind and eliminate the pain, but while asleep my unconscious mind is winning the battle, preventing me from sleeping, and causing the first half of every day to be pain filled. How can i win the battle vs my unconscious mind when I myself am unconscious (sleeping?) Thanks for any and all thoughts and shared experiences!