I've been encouraged to write my story, so here goes! My first bout of debilitating back pain occurred when I was about 13. My mother had a long history of back pain, including two failed spinal fusions. I saw orthopedists who diagnosed scoliosis, and I tried various girdle-like back braces that I wore throughout my teenaged years. (Of course, these did little except to weaken my back muscles!) The back pain intensified throughout college, and by the time I was in grad school I stood in the back of all my classes, because sitting for any length of time was too painful. I did manage to successfully complete my MS and work in my field. I got married, and after 9 years had the miracle baby that the MDs said would never be (largely because of my lupus). When my daughter was about 3, I read some of Andrew Weil's books, and in one of them he referenced John Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain. I read it just after I'd been to a well-known Back Institute, where they decided that I was NOT a candidate for surgery. I became very depressed after this, thinking I had no options left--and then I read Sarno. I don't feel that his books are very well written, but it sure spoke to me. My personality type--always trying to do things to perfection--was described on every page. After trying Sarno's methods, I found that I could sit like normal people! Daily morning meditation helped to reduce my pain to tolerable levels, and finally I was able to banish back pain entirely. What a concept! I changed careers in 2001, through an unusual occurrence, and went back for a second master's degree (library science) 17 years after the first one (geology). In 2005 my lupus flared and took out my kidneys. I was blessed to have an excellent doctor in Iowa City, and although it was first thought that I only had a few months to live, they came up with a successful immunosuppressant that has kept me not only alive, but active! In January of 2011 my father died. (Mom had died 2 weeks before my daughter was born.) At the same time all the librarians in my district were slated to be let do, due to state-wide budget cuts. The day after Spring Break, I got out of bed and crashed to the floor. My feet literally wouldn't hold me up. My doctor diagnosed plantar fasciitis, but despite two years of seeing every specialist and trying every treatment imaginable from accupuncture to PT, deep tissue therapy to ice baths, and after spending time in a wheelchair in order to keep my job, I was told by an old friend (who I hadn't heard from in 27 years!) to read Steve Ozanich's book. It was Steve's list--page after page of illnesses that can be TMS related--that brought me to tmswiki.org. After working the SEP in early 2013 I had a lot of relief from the foot pain, so I decided to work on my migraines, which had plagued me for about 3 years, but were suddenly increasing in frequency. I vividly recall the day that my head pain moved from the base of my skull on the right side, to the base on the left side. I had never had pain there before. That convinced me that the pain was TMS. I had to do a lot of reading and a lot of trying of various techniques before I found something that worked for my headaches. During one week I had a migraine for 5 out of the 7 days. My subconscious was fighting back hard!! The recipe that works for me today is to yell at my subC for responding to stress in such an inappropriate manner. Then I say, "Is that the best you can do? Bring it!" and that helps me break the fear cycle. I've now been headache free for 3 months, and I feel that I have my life back! I can hike, go for evening walks with my husband, and be out in the heat without fearing a migraine. Life is good. I'm so very grateful for the program and all of you, my friends on the TMS journey!