This is my second post to the forum, so it's past time for an update. It's also taken me more than 25 days to get to day 25. I started the program 34 days ago. Journaling, reading, and exercising have been very helpful, and I'm working every day on applying techniques to be more present and handle pressure, stress, and emotions in a more healthy way. It's hard, but very rewarding. I feel like I'm re-teaching myself how I think and feel about the situations and people around me. Here are some of my successes: I've been completely off of pain pills for 2.5 weeks now. Up until now, I've relied on prescription pain medication for the last 8 years. I'm jogging/running again. I've gotten really sore, but this time I've recovered in a normal amount of time. I feel like the physical activity is a key component to me getting better. There are times when I feel almost no muscle pain. It feels like once my muscles get a bit stronger, they will feel normal again. I do still have some flair ups, and I see the symptom imperative at work. Here are some of my struggles still: I've been getting more headaches that are quite severe, but they don't last more than one day in a row. My acid reflux has come back, and it sometimes wakes me up at night with burning and coughing. I sometimes feel very sad and emotional, but that's probably a good thing since it's leading to healing. I observe my muscle pain come and go. It's fascinating to be reminded at times how I used to feel all of the time. Lastly, I want to share one of my journal entries that was particularly helpful to me. It was I dialog I wrote between myself and my head. Me: Dear head, why did you give me a headache today? Head: Because you were fasting, and deep down, you were worried about how fasting would make you feel. Fasting is a trigger for you that brings up a lot of worries about your health. You also have a lot of other stresses going on with trying to recover from TMS and doing a good job at work. I gave you a headache to distract you from all that pressure. Me: Why not just let me deal with the pressure myself? Head: Because in the past, you haven’t dealt with pressures like that very well. I’ve learned that all that pressure gets you depressed and starts you on a downward spiral. You are so hard on yourself, and I don’t like seeing you that way. You overall do better when I distract you from all of that. Me: But I’m learning to deal with those pressures now in a healthy way. Why not give me a break? I won’t revert back to the downward spiral. I promise. Head: It looks like you might be right, but I don’t quite trust you yet. You’ve shown me time and time again that you just beat yourself up. I need to be convinced that you’ve changed. How am I to know for sure? Me: For the first time ever, I fully realize that all my pain is actually caused by you. I haven’t treated you so well in the past. I’m sorry. I’m particularly sorry for being so hard on you and for beating you up for doing things that you have done in an effort to help me. I hope to convince you by showing you compassion and understanding. You will know that I’ve changed because you will feel my love instead of my criticism. Head: I’m not sure what to say. I’m not used to hearing that sort of thing from you. Me: I know, and that’s okay. You’ll get used to it. I love you, and I appreciate you. I want you to know that things are going to be okay. I’m here for you now, and I promise not to beat you up anymore. Granted, I may make a few mistakes in the future. Like you said, I’m so used to doing things a certain way. But I will never be as mean as I have in the past. Head: I really look forward to that. It’s nice to feel appreciated. You know, I really love you too, and I’ve just been doing what I think has been best for you. Me: I finally get that now, and I don’t blame you at all. I’m just really excited to move forward with a new attitude and a new life. Head: Me too. I’m glad you are finally talking to me. It’s nice to feel like I have a friend. Me: I feel the same way. Thanks for this talk. Head: Thank you.