I’m beginning the SEP. I am definitely a rules-follower, so here I am, making a thread post. (I’m bad at “short,” though, so I understand if no one actually reads the thing. Writing it is the point.) I’m 40 years old. I’ve had trouble with anxiety and depression since before my 10th birthday, and both problems run on both sides of my family. I was also very overweight and had a bad relationship with my body up through my twenties. After I turned 30 I made the effort to be less angry with my body and my mind, on the premise that they were doing their best and so was I. I was feeling pretty good about myself in 2013 when I experienced a bad plantar fasciitis flare. I spent a year doing the rounds of physical therapy/cortisone shots/acupuncture/etc. An eventual MRI revealed a torn peroneus brevis tendon in my ankle. I’d never had any problems with ankle pain, but since the podiatrist had no other suggestion for why my PF wasn’t healing, surgery was scheduled. It was a relatively minor procedure but recovery was extremely hard for me. A few months later, once I was back on my feet, the PF began to return, along with sudden onset of severe lower back pain. I have spent the last four years cycling between location and severity of pain. Between these cycles, I would begin to feel better and try to be active again. I spent a few months developing a yoga habit, then I fell out of a pose and subluxated my hip. After six months I felt well enough to try running for the first time in my life. After a year I was able to run my first 5k! But my physical therapist wanted me to take some time off of running to see if it would help my back. It didn’t. I lost over a hundred pounds in the hopes that getting some stress off of my joints would help, and while my overall health is better, my pain is worse than it was when the scale sat at 334. We bought a house in the summer of 2017 and I was in a manageable level of pain for five months while we moved and made the house a home. Once that stress was off, I started a weight training routine, but on January 2nd of last year I woke up with a headache that didn’t go away. I saw my GP and a neurologist to rule out the scary things, and then started the rounds again, with acupuncture, massage, migraine medication, and more physical therapy. I had a headache every single day until November of last year, when I started seeing a new massage therapist. He does good work on my neck and now there are one or two days a week where my head almost doesn’t hurt. (Which sounds sad written out, but really is a dramatic improvement.) He and the neurologist both agree that the headaches are tension-related. I read Sarno’s “Healing Back Pain” about a year ago. I underlined so many passages that resonated with me. It makes so much sense - but just reading the book did not result in any relief. I started seeing a psychotherapist last May, hoping to get better at dealing with my sadness and anger about all of the time I’ve lost and adventures I’ve missed while fighting chronic pain. (I mentioned TMS to her but she was not familiar with it and seemed skeptical that it was “all in my head.” She was trying to be supportive, anyway.) I’m kind of out of other things to try at this point. Since I wasn’t able to just switch that belief switch in my head by reading the book, maybe this program will help.