My back pain began in summer 2016. I was on vacation and my boss had just quit, leaving me to work under new leadership. At the same time I was stressed about my new girlfriend. Before, I only had myself to worry about. Now I was caring for myself, my new girlfriend, and my new boss. Plus I was training a new employee. All of a sudden the pain in my low back was building to a level 7. I was tormented by the fear that I couldn’t not fix my pain. Would it ever go away? I stopped doing all the activities I loved. Running, free diving, traveling. Drinking with friends. I thought all of this would make my back worse. I tried chiropractors, resting, stretching, accupuncture, Hot/cold therapy but nothing was helping. I found Dr. Sarno and was feeling empowered after reading “Healing Back Pain”. As someone who likes being in control, I now had a clear path for getting my life back. Over the next 8 months, my pain decreased til I had virtually healed myself. Then, in Fall 2017 the pain came rushing back after my first day of martial arts class. The pin was on a different side of my back and it would not go away after days, weeks, months. Here I am, almost a year after relapse into TMS and I am wondering to myself. Why can’t I accept my diagnosis for what it is? Even a medicinal doctor has told me that my back is OK and I should heal soon. I have always been proud of my stoic behavior. Never showing too much emotion. I realize I learned repression from my father who could never show emotion unless he was drinking. I realize my father made me so angry for calling me “Dumb” and “Worthless”, as he also did my mothers and my sisters. I realize this made me feel enraged, like I wanted to choke him. I realize those repressed emotions may be causeing my back pain, as well as the emotional stress of a demanding job, a girlfriend to make sure she’s happy, coworkers to train, a boss to make happy. And why am I treating my myself destructively if I care so much about everyone else’s happiness. The signals are clear. I am prepared to accept my diagnosis, but part of me clings to my old habits and my mistrust of believing any one thing, one process. Maybe I don’t believe the one doctor’s opinion because he took the MRI of the torso and did not take my opinion to take another of my lumbar. Perhaps I have a structural abnormality that’s causing me pain when I sit. Sometimes I certainly feel that way. But I also feel that it is more likely I have TMs, as indicated by the evidence sheet. How my pain comes and goes with stressful events. How it seems to be healed this week, but It’s moving to my skin, when I am nervous I itch my arms. I have a wart on my finger that won’t go away. Could this be a symptom of TMS? I am reading michael’s book the Presence Process. And starting the SEP today. Here’s to my recovery. A recovery of my unfearing self, my childish self, allowing the pain, yielding to it, assuring myself this will pass. Standing up to my inner bully and practicing self compassion. What would my life be like without back pain? I would be traveling, running, biking, skiing, loving myself and loving the people around me. Working hard at my job, unhindered by my back. Enjoying the little things in life, such as the wind on my face, the salty ocean air, the beautiful mountains. I would experience gratitude towards the gift of life and cherish relationships with people both strange and familiar.