Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Me
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), or even NEM (Neuro Endochrine Metabolic illness), has been a huge part of my life for over twenty years and whilst I practice in all areas of Therapy, I do have a particular passion for working in this field.
This passion comes from my own personal experience and knowing first hand the benefits that personal therapy, hypnotherapy, mindful meditation, vitamin and mineral supplementation and good nutrition can bring to those who are struggling with CFS/ME.
My CFS/ME was originally triggered by a bronchial infection, which I struggled through, not allowing myself proper time for rest and recuperation, because I was so busy (notice that word) with work. Subsequently this completely depleted my whole glandular system (HPA Axis), but because I was young and thought I was invincible, I ignored all the signs and ended up pushing my body to such an extent that within six months I could hardly walk. I was so exhausted and hurt so much.
I suffered with blinding headaches, my cognition was dreadful and I sometimes looked and sounded as though I was drunk. My symptoms got so bad I couldn’t even hold a glass of water and had to go up the stairs on my hands and knees whilst constantly being sick.
The curious thing was on the outside I looked perfectly normal, however the truth was on the inside I was wiped out, not sleeping, exhausted, in pain and depressed.
But, and this is the thing….. I wouldn’t and haven’t let it beat me, no matter what!!! And this has been how I have lived with CFS/ME for the past 25 years.
My symptoms have varied over that 25 year period and getting “lurgies” can really send me down hill. My glands – think HPA Axis (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal Axis) and hormones play a big part, with my cognition becoming hugely impaired when I push myself beyond my energy limits.
I have sometimes had other symptoms such as, my heart rate going awol, legs not belonging to me and on goes the list!! I must admit that on occasion it has most definitely got the better of me and CFS/ME has affected all areas of my life, but it has also allowed me to empathise with people like me, where others might not.
In all honesty, nobody really knows what is going on inside their bodies, no matter how well we may appear on the outside, and people looking in have even less of a clue if us CFS/ME sufferers look okay.
Working in full time “regular” employment has not been a realistic option and I have been lucky that I have been able to work for myself for most of my life. Balancing my life in a good way, as well as in a work way, is really something I strive for, although I do not always manage it and send myself into the odd “crash”. I’ve learnt the hard way, still striving towards respecting myself and what I need in my life. I have to work daily towards giving myself mental, emotional, as well as physical stability, and it has taken me most of the last 48 years to (nearly) get there!!
That said, we are all a “work in progress” and I found that having tried many therapies with varying degrees of success, Talking Therapy, Hypnotherapy, practicing Mindfulness Meditation have been of massive benefit and I have been amazed at the difference.
“Let me, help you, help yourself”…