In March 1995 I was aged 18 and studying full time when I caught glandular fever. I never recovered and was soon diagnosed with CFS. Every time I tried to return to study or work, my relapses got worse and worse. In 1998 and 1999 my health hit rock bottom after I caught cytomegalovirus and wound up with fibromyalgia in addition to CFS. My longest relapse at that time lasted for a year. I spent so much of my waking hours horizontal, crying with the pain and waiting for the energy to do something essential like take a shower or fetch food. My mother would cook loads of food and put it in my freezer to keep me alive. There were long stretches of time where leaving the house was a very big deal. I was chemically sensitive and a whiff of perfume or cleaning products would have me in agony. My body was just wrung out and none of the doctors I tried could offer any real help.
In 2000 I began to explore taking control of my health and began a very slow road to recovery. I moved from the city to a small village, tried different diets and meditation, and worked on achieving emotional healing. This was all made more complicated when I had my son in 2002. My pregnancy and birth went well but that was only the beginning. Although I loved my son so much the energy required to care for him was an endless drain. I split up with his father in 2005 and the resettling process was also quite demanding. I was functioning better than in the past but still nowhere near being able to get on with my life.
By 2008 I was getting some good medical treatment for adrenal fatigue and improved enough that I felt able to take on 2 hours of work per week in 2009 (in addition to sharing care of my son with his dad). But it became clear that I was still stuck in the same pattern of illness and couldn’t ever seem to quite break out of the cycle. I was feeling incredibly frustrated and sick of being a tired cranky mother and watching my life pass me by. It was time to give the Lightning Process go. I had a strong feeling that I would be able to use the LP to move on with life.
The Lightning Process was not what I expected. That is to say, using it achieved what I wanted, but I never could have anticipated just how it would feel to have my life so thoroughly turned on its head. At the end of the 2nd day of training I felt overwhelmed with all the changes. I felt like my brain was melting and just wanted to go home and have a good cry – not because it “wasn’t working” but it was working all too well! Suddenly having a whole new body and new life in a matter of 2 days was really disorienting, like landing in the open plain when you are used to being shut in a box. Ian was an amazing trainer, with his experience in hypnotherapy he helped us pay very close attention to the way we used language, and, kindly but firmly, didn’t let us get away with practicing any old habits that could undermine our work with the LP.
6 months on I have had time to get used to having a future again. I am seeking more work and have registered with an employment agency to help me make that transition. I can now see the day where I will be able to achieve part time and eventually full time work. I climbed up Table Top mountain with my son and the next day I was not even stiff. I cycle half an hour to my friend’s house and it feels quite easy, I can feel the strength in my legs, feel my body making the energy it needs, and there is no pain any more. I just got back from 2 weeks at the beach and loved being able to swim in the surf without the pain and the terror of tiring out and not being able to get back to shore. I just felt strong and confident. I couldn’t understand why all the other swimmers looked so serious, I felt so happy just to be out there and feeling so good that I wanted to yell out loud with joy. Sure I slept better at night afterwards, but I experience normal fatigue now, not that dragging, energy sucking CFS black hole any more. I’m even going on a 4 week trip to New Zealand later this year with my boyfriend, I would never have dared to plan that before. I still overdo it sometimes and am still learning to manage my new body, but my outlook is so very, very different now and I’m so incredibly grateful.
Thank you, Ian, for showing me the way to this wonderful new life where so many things are possible!