I was reminded too of my father's words some years back: "He works hard, he does a great job, he will become a doctor." Was I angry with my parents? Had my past caught up with me? Was I angry at society for rewarding excellence? According to Sarno, my back pain was a defense, a camouflage, a diversion, or a distraction. It distracted me from being aware of my emotions, and I focused my attention on my body instead of on my mind and my emotions. Thus my pain had released me from a stressful situation filled with anxiety and fear. It was a ticket to the safety of the doctor's office. I felt the need to keep the primitive, angry, selfish, and antisocial feelings repressed, and the pain solved this problem, or so my mind seemed to think.