As you may have seen from another post, as part of my own engineered recovery path I created this vision board a few years back. I just let my feelings guide me to all the things that I wanted to do and have again. Not just my health but my security and purpose in the world, not to mention fun.
At the time of creation I really did think it was pointless and many of these dreams, like getting back to work, being able to kayak, going on a train trip to London, not to mention going on a holiday – seemed like pipe dreams. I was still unable to walk more than around 200metres and I was crippled by pain which made me in an anxious state, also unable to get fully into the healing zone. I’d get a bit better then have another lapse, as there was hardly any room for error, whether it was overdoing it, like unloading the dishwasher, doing the vacuuming in stages, or seeing a friend for a cup of tea, or getting caught in no sleep because of pain or fear of the symptoms.
Something always drove me onward and kept picking me up, and that is the positive part of my mental conditioning. Often our personalities, can be both the cause and the cure for why we end up in a pickle or a life nose dive. This I’ve now learned, and knowing your particular mental conditioning can certainly lead you on the road to sculpting it into something more useful. Equally corroding enough of your solid personality, will allow for your deeper Self – the part that has all the wisdom, power and loving simplicity to take the reigns.
Through a number of qualities I can now say I’ve achieved 90% of what I believed was not possible, despite a deep desire to turn things around, in fact I was growing in new ways, so I didn’t fully register.
No1: Energy – I’m happy to say I now have heaps more energy, in fact I have more stamina than I had before my health crash. This means I can do more in a day and I can do this because I don’t have the wasted mental energy going into anxiety, or fear of doing things wrongly, I don’t overthink, I make decisions very easily, I am firm and fair with my body, and I don’t fall victim to useless mental games.
No2: Work / Money – I am now working again, I’ve had a graded return over the last two years, to both self-employment and sub-contract work. I run my own Holistic Business, as a Psychotherapist, Coach and Healing Practitioner, offering private sessions, groups and events. I also have a wonderful freelance part time job that I can dip in and out of as much as I like, Teaching online to China and Japan.
It seems so simple when I write, getting back to work here, but there were many little steps, some really tough, to get to each new achievement. I had to take many exams, one to renew and register again as a therapist, lots of organisation and a trip to London which at the time involved another goal here. I also had to train on a large English as a Foreign Language Course, which stretched me in ways I hadn’t been stretched before, not to mention learning a whole new role and platform for working online! If I’d listened to my inner critic I may have given up at different junctures. During my first sessions back in the therapy space I had to negotiate my own new role of being a good mummy to myself and not deviating from my own self-care whilst being a promoter of nurture for others. In fact I learned that because of what I’d been through, I was a far better therapist than I was previously, and to walk these lines of connection and self-responsibility was far more clear. I earn good money now, with things continuing to move in an upward spiral. I feel I work harder in a simpler way, and produce good services that I’m proud of. It feels great to be self-sufficient and independent again.
No3. Holidays – I’ve been on two trips abroad now, which was one of the areas that seemed the most impossible, also because of fears about being away from home unwell. The biggest realisation that helped me take the steps, was that I know that my safety is not out there, it’s not even at home, in my nest, in the people or the routines. Yes these strategies and things do help us, but your security is ultimately within. Once I remembered to speak to my inner child about this, we could take this inner storehouse of ability and strength wherever we went, and we could also create new helpful structures and routines such as exercise and relaxation methods in new places. I’m so pleased this goal continues as I bloody love travel!
No4 – Kayaking, Swimming and Bike Riding
I bought kayaks a couple of years ago and I love using them, with my husband / friends. I did do a lot of bike riding two years ago but I prefer walking daily and like to use my indoor bike. I have a whole post about getting back to swimming again so you can read more there. What can I say it’s wonderful and so important to my wellbeing to get in the zone and swim again with my eyes closed under the water, (no people in front permitting)!!! 🙂
No5- London Trips
At first day trips from Essex to London were tough, just getting to the train station was exhausting. Yet now I’ve been enjoying rides up to London again with ease. On the last trip my husband and I visited the observation deck of the shard and the sky garden and we also rode the cable car by Victoria Docks. It’s great to be back having adventures.
No6 – Wonderful sleep
It took me many phases to get my sleep back to a nice deep place, and I have a good routine. Sleep is so crucial to people recovering health, especially when retraining the body and pushing the limits in terms of exercise. The key is mental as much as physical and it’s about trusting yourself, along with self-soothing which can allow you to create a good feeling around your sleep time.
No7 – Good connections
I’ve worked a lot on restoring old friendships that got a little lost when I was out of action for years, and I’ve equally welcomed new relationships into my life, that support who I am now. It can be a lonely road this one, so once you find you can extend your socialising it’s such a great feeling. Despite the fact that you may now be your new best friend after what you’ve been through, there’s still room for the love, support and connection with others. Often very close relationships shift in positive ways once you’ve built your own self-reliance.
No8 – Walking see another post on how I walk a couple of miles a day to stay fit. On holiday I recently walked 35 miles in under a week!
No9 – Relaxation, Calm and Wellbeing
Switching off that maladaptive stress response is the key to recovery. If you are an active and future focused person like me then relaxation could be a work in progress. The ability to rest and relax is something I’ve constantly had to work on, because of my upbringing, with a busy family business and lots of striving, and work hard ethics, my adapted self is comfortable in this zone. However I’ve learned that with pacing, giving myself nurture, rest, more playtime and “time off” I can do more, and will be less likely to crash. I’ve had to water down my tendency to get hyper-focused and non stop until a projects end point, and yank myself into my body mind. This is still my work in progress, but I’ve already seen the results of a better work / rest life balance.
No10 – Join a Choir (I will deduct 5% of from 100 here as I’m yet to complete this goal).
This is still to happen…I’m going to focus more on doing something with my singing in the next couple of years.
No11 – Mickel Therapy
In the end I didn’t need to take up any personal Mikel Therapy. At a certain time in my recovery, I read a great deal about Doctor Mikels theory on ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia. It’s stil one of the models that makes most sense to me, and for that reason I’m able to speak with my hypothalamus, and observe and often control these subconscious reactions in my body. Understanding the science behind how emotions and deep rooted beliefs effect our body and create symptoms if hugely useful and profoundly transformative. Just by doing this, and “getting it and understanding of it” was another part of my acceleration, and also great that I didn’t need to pay out for anything.
No12 – My bottom (I’m also deducting another 5% off as I have a bit further to go with my bum dream 🙂
Ahh it’s still not as peach like as the bum in the picture, yet I must report that it has certainly changed shape over the last year and a bit. I’m down a dress size and everything has toned up more from my exercise regime. It’s a great feeling to start to also look, as well as feel, more like the body I had before.
All in all, a 90% rate for meeting my vision is pretty damn good 🙂 create your vision and see what happens…..
I hope this has been an inspiration to you. If you are working toward recovery keep going! Don’t forget I am holding an ME/CFS, Fibro, POTS and Hypermobility Event in Leigh on Sea, Essex in July and I’d love to see you there! Also I offer long distance coaching to help you set your own recovery plan and progress to your next level of health.