Ian Cleary

The After Life

December 15, 2015IanChronic Fatigue Syndrome & ME, Lightning Process, Success StoriesComments Off on The After Life

As 2015 comes to an end I decided to look back through comments people have made to me in their follow-up calls over this year. The title is from someone who told me that life after CFS was like they have ‘died and gone to heaven’. Now they were living the ‘after-life’. 🙂

This is a collection of comments and insights, describing the ‘After Life’. 


The After life

The track forks so you take the longer scenic route rather than the short cut back to the car park. Then you realize just how far you’ve come!

It’s a life where “You look so well” doesn’t start with a ‘But’…..

A special meal means a fancy restaurant not a restricted diet.

You don’t manage your energy. You just think about what you want to do.

Being tired means a big day gone not a bad day ahead.

You can have an in depth conversation and actually feel more energised after it.

You get out of your pyjamas because you have a big day ahead.

Friends still ask “How are you?” But they are smiling and the somber tone has gone.

The buzz in your body is excitement not adrenaline.

The word fatigue is no longer part of your vocabulary. It is replaced with tiredness and it feels good!

Where waking up tired is a consequence of the choice to stay up late.

You can drive because that’s what people your age do.

Where waking up in the middle of the night simply means you need to go back to sleep. So that’s what you do.

“Pay for it later” refers to your credit card not your health.

Where your first waking thoughts are ‘what’s on today’ not ‘how will I get through today’.

You scan the menu for foods you might like to try rather than foods that are safe.

Resting is not about recovering.

You can make your bed in the morning because you know you won’t be back there again today.

It’s fun just to think that you could do a fun run.

Playing with the grandkids doesn’t mean just watching the grandkids play.

Paris, skydiving, Machu Picchu. The bucket list just got exciting because you really could.

You have a body that can move, a mind that is sharp.

Where fog is just low cloud not low brain function.

Awake into the night is happening by choice.

Where ‘yes’ means ‘HELL YES” rather than let’s wait and see.

Life becomes simple.

Pushing through is what you did to get a good spot at the festival.

Your bed is your friend.

Your Pilates class is about fitness not recovery.

Ground hog day is just a funny movie and no longer describes your life.

Where you can plan and commit ……or even not plan and just be spontaneous.

Having a family is back on the cards.

There’s a deep confidence as you know whatever happens you’ll be fine.

Confidence is matched with a deep calmness.

Where you work the hours you want to not the hours you can manage.

You are the first in your family to get better from the cold that you all got.

Food is not complicated. You eat what you want rather what you can get away with.

Nana naps are gone (even if you are a nana.)

Where you can rely on your body and others can rely on you.

Where you do the normal things that everyone around you is doing but with an inner smile of gratitude and pride.

You look forward to a good sleep not dread another wakeful night.

You can’t remember the last time you went to the doctor.

Your tests take place at university now not in a doctors clinic.

You enjoy not having to tell your health story.

You forget what life with illness was like even though it stole years of your life.

It’s a life that doesn’t revolve around tests, specialists, doctors appointments.

Your Google searches are about travel not treatments.

Invitations are answered with a yes rather than a maybe.

You are no longer a burden on anyone and even able to help and offer others support for a change.

The future is unknown but exciting rather than known and depressing.

You unsubscribe to health forums because you’ve got a life to live.

Where your mind and your body feel like they are on the same side.

You use the past tense ‘had’ not ‘have’ when talking about symptoms. And it feels good.

Going out means staying out.

The entrance to Myers stills smells of perfume but it’s no longer ‘out of bounds’.

You bounce back well from colds.

You don’t manage your health but live it.

The word crash just means a car accident.

Where you don’t have to prove you are really sick or even talk about your health.

Your body feels like your own. Your inner voice is your friend.

The consequences of pushing your body is extra fitness.

You are no longer the odd one out. You feel normal and it feels great!

Your group offers support but is not a support group.

You trust your body now so careful planning gives away to spontaneity.

Where getting sick is annoying but normal.

Where your body is what will help achieve your goals rather than what gets in the way of them.

You can read a page of a book and remember what you just read.

Where you don’t take your health for granted (or maybe you do because that’s normal too).

It’s a life of freedom and choices. Not restrictions and limitations.

Where your past still guides you but does not limit or define you.

You live the life you love not the life you can manage.

Lightning Process Graduates 2015


Well done to all those who thew themselves into the sometimes challenging work of making massive change in their lives. Well done on your successes, your courage and your ongoing commitment to living the life you love! You are inspirational. Well done!


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