I have suffered from on and off Back Pain for close to 20 years, beginning first when I was 17. I was athletic and would bulldoze through sporting challenges with ease. I played baseball at a high level and studied Japanese martial arts. What began as pain that I could ignore or knew would go away in a day or two, very slowly got worse and lasted longer with each new acute episode. By my mid twenties, I was slowing down and becoming less active as pain hung around for weeks or months. Acute attacks became more common. Into my 30s, the attacks came even more often and lasted for weeks. At 36, I hit rock bottom and had crippling pain for 6 weeks and contemplated suicide. This was only 4 months ago. After passing through the proverbial medical system and trying every known treatment, I finally was told about the mindbody connection. I am now on board and have accepted the diagnosis of TMS straight from Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Sarno's successor. My childhood...it was not great. Dysfunction was the norm and it's shaped the man I have become. Short of sharing my entire story, I can merely relay that things were not so rosy and I learned how to cope at world record levels. I've powered through and reached a certain station in life, but it came at great cost - crippling pain. Since accepting the diagnosis, I am doing better. I can honestly say that. I have had ups and downs as the pains come and go, but the overall trend line is an upward one. When I do have pain, it causes doubts and the doubts lead to fear. The fear leads to more pain and a negative cycle. I've entered myself in psychotherapy as a result. I am also one that looks for a flow chart to follow that will lead me out of pain permanently despite knowing that no such thing exists. Again, when my mind wonders, it causes doubts, fears and pain. Fortunately, I can talk myself out of it and recover again. I know that I am on the right path, but admit that I need further help from fellow sufferers. Knowing that one is not alone is a tremendous reassurance.