I learned about TMS and Dr Sarno when my mother sent me a very carefully worded recommendation that I check it out. I've been diagnosed as "young girl complaining" so many times that she was afraid I would think she had started to believe them. I've been battling injuries, illnesses, and pain for so long that I'm not even sure when it began. Reading through The Mindbody Prescription, it was immediately apparent that the book was written about people like me. But as I read each page, I was both thrilled at the idea that someone gets it and can fix it, and furuious at the years, money and heartache I have wasted until now. As I read the book, and immediately began to see some relief in the most persistent and debilitating manifestation that I deal with (chronic tension headaches, back and neck pain). I've been quickly brought back down to earth with the recurrence of an old nemesis - lower back pain. So now that I've realized that I'm not one of the magic few that reads the book and is cured, I'm here, starting the SEP. The part I don't like to talk about, and probably what I need to write about, is how I got here. As I've said, I'm not sure when this all started. I was a serious athlete throughout high school and college, but consistently had something wrong. Injuries of unknown origin than never quite seem to heal. The injuries that I could point to a specific cause always seem to be worse than the x-rays indicate. Nothing ever healed as well as the doctors expected, even when I was as young as 9 years old with my first sprained ankle. While I doubt that the TMS goes back that far, my emotional baggage over always being "hurt" surely does. I doubt that this webpage can handle a post that includes every injury/illness/manifestation that I can think of, and honestly, I'm not ready to go back through them all mentally. But I can say this. Looking back, at 20 years of chronic pain and all that comes with it, the thing that probably holds me back from fully accepting and recovering is the anger that it happened at all. I truly believe that TMS is the source of the last 8 years of pain at the very least. But to put it plainly, that makes me madder than I can even handle. The idea that I spent all that money, all that time, lost my job, lost friends, missed major life events with my friends and family... All of these things happened, and all along I could have stopped it. The friends and family that have stood by have told me over and over that I'm the strongest person they know, and that others would have crumbled under the burden I've carried. But I am the type of person that is harder on myself than I would be on my worst enemy. Which means that the truly emotionally honest side of my brain can't quite let go of the idea that if I'd been just a little bit stronger, none of this would have happened. So, I guess that's the first hurdle I will have to clear. Whatever repressed emotions got this train started is going to have to wait until I can forgive myself for getting on the train to begin with.