As someone who suffered from various forms of chronic pain (mostly mid back but also eye pain and shoulder pain) for over 6 years I can say for certain that I would not have the life I do today without your influence Dr. Sarno. I have always been a hard worker, an achiever- pushing myself to meet or exceed goals and expectations. My pain came on suddenly one night while I was sleeping and I spent the next 5+ years searching for a way out of it through traditional medicine and even some alternative medicine. We are all trained by our current health care system- dominated by drug and medical device companies to get on pills or have surgery. I bounced around from one doctor to another and to dozens of specialists in pursuit of ridding the pain. A rheumatologist actually diagnosed me with an incurable disease called ankylosing spondylitis. I would have to take drugs the rest of my life and my pain would eventually kill me. Somewhere deep inside of me I didn’t really believe that. I believed that I could get well again but I just didn’t know how.
It was my wife who saved me. She bought ‘Healing Back Pain’ for me. I was willing to try anything so I started reading that book. I accepted and believed Dr. Sarno’s premise that pain is an unconsciously triggered response in people who are perfectionists, are overly critical of themselves and also in people who are always worried about pleasing others. The light bulb went on. I was thrown a rope just at the time I was nearly over my head in the river of pain. The pain had taken over my life. It consumed my every waking thought. Agony, misery, helplessness, resentment were how I would describe my feelings… I prayed for God to help me across the raging river. I needed to get to the other side.
I have read all of Dr. Sarno’s books and a couple of them two or three times. I wasn’t healed immediately or even in a few weeks like so many others- (lucky suckers Lol), and that caused me to question this concept and even go back to other specialists for a 2nd or 3rd time hoping that they had overlooked something. I wanted to believe but I wasn’t healing fast enough so I stopped believing for a while. The pain raged on. I had to take a long path with the TMS approach. I was led to the TMS Wiki site and from there to having conversations with Steve Ozanich and from there to meeting with Dr. Schecter to get a confirmed TMS diagnosis and from there to psychotherapy with Alex Bloom and from there to a totally new perception of myself and my life. Each step of that journey gave me more confidence and allowed me to take the next step. Each person was very instrumental in getting me across that river. I am now pain free and have come to realize that Dr. Sarno was far ahead of his time. Someday he will be rightly credited for his life saving work in the field of mind body medicine and pain treatment. Thousands and thousands have been cured by him. Millions more would be if they would only accept this new way of thinking about physical conditions that he taught for decades.
I am so very grateful to you Dr. Sarno. I am also grateful to your family who allowed you the time and support to do this great work and write your books. I hope you can see from high in the heavens how many people you saved from a life of pain and suffering. Those of us who have been in that river know how dark and scary it is. It sweeps us away. But I realized that the only way to get to the other side was to let go of the side I was holding onto (surgery, stretching, braces, physical cures). It’s all about faith. You taught us that we are OK and we will be fine just fine.