It has been little over a year that I was hit by my last bout of TMS. Of course, before I had no idea that migraines, back pain, TMJ, neck and shoulder spasms were TMS. Took a much harder knock to start searching for answers. In my journey through pain, disability and despair, I found something that I can be thankful for. As a matter of fact, many things. Thanksgiving holiday never meant this much to me. Yes, it was a day to get together with the family, to try to eat less, to stay away from the stores the following day when America rejoices in shopping. This time, it is truly a day of thanksgiving for me, as I am finally feeling that I am recovering, although I still have long ways to go. I woke up this morning, feeling grateful. It used to be pain that woke me up. Now, I can sleep and not feel pain. I still feel pain most of the time during the day, but I know how to deal with it and I know that one day it will stop bothering me at all. I have been living with dystonia and severe chronic pain for over a year. As a matter of fact, I realized that I had a milder form of it all of my life. My muscles and tendons were always tight, as my body was always in the fight-flight response, feeling the tiger behind my back, ready to spring into escape. Time to unlearn the fear – and it is an incredibly liberating experience. I used to exercise out of fear that one day I would grow old, fat, crippled. My inner bully yelled at me to go and exercise. I am learning now how to experience a joy of feeling my body, feeling the pleasure of running, swimming, yoga. Now that I know what held me back: my fear of life. I grew up poor and lived paycheck to paycheck until my mid 40-ies. I was always extremely tight with money and worried that tomorrow there will be no money to pay the bills. I am quite surprised to notice that I am less fearful of my financial standing. I am more likely to write a check to a charity, give a buck to a street beggar or buy a spontaneous gift to a friend. Not because I hit a jackpot or got a raise, but simply because I am less fearful of life. And I have my newly found understanding of my TMS to thank for it. My parents were non-religious: mother an atheist, father only occasionally and cynically religious when it suited him. I have been a reluctant agnostic all my adult life, but I am so thankful to TMS that it woke up my desire to learn things beyond discovered facts, beyond accepted scientific dogmas, beyond common knowledge. My desire to learn the language of faith. I never felt as connected to myself and my body as I am now. Whether I meditate or not, I often take a minute in the middle of a busy day to say thank you to my limbs that still work, my heart that still beats, my lungs that still breathe. I am thankful to all of you, my newly found community of TMS-ers. You understand what many people don’t: the debilitating pain that comes with life and the power of mind that frees us from that pain. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!