Prior to developing ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, I had been doing a job I enjoyed, working for a housing trust, working with men with mental health problems and histories of homelessness.
I enjoyed an active life, physically and socially; playing tennis, football, sailing.
I enjoyed working with the clients, utilising my training as a counsellor.
However I became more and more involved in the management side of things, (which on reflection wasn't what really interested me), ending up being the Director of the Trust and did a thorough job of running myself into the ground.
Life became grim
In November 1997, I went off sick and remained unable to work for the next 8 years, suffering from ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia.
I spent a lot of the next 3 years barely living; just eating and sleeping.
I would feel extremely fatigued when I ate any food and developed sensitivities to food.
At that time, I felt at a loss. I didn't have any answers.
Around this time, a good friend, called Mark, who also had ME/CFS committed suicide.
Before he ended his life, he would phone me from hospital, desperate for any ideas that may have helped.
At that time, I didn't know how to help.
Later I learned techniques that may have helped him.
Like many people with ME/CFS, I tried many approaches, including acupuncture, herbalism, nutrition, cognitive behavioural therapy.
I was prepared to try almost anything, to get my health back.
A Doctor, who had never met me, told my mother that depression was probably the root cause of my problems.
Being pro-active is not a trait of a depressed person!
I consulted the experts, including a Doctor with degrees in Nutritional Medicine and Immunology.
He identified candida, adrenal exhaustion and leaky gut syndrome and I took supplements and avoided certain foods, which helped to some degree.
However I was still not well and lead a severely restricted life.
In May 2005 I decided to learn mind/body techniques.
Just a few weeks before, I had been on holiday in Spain, feeling very poorly, with the familiar pattern of slightly overdoing it, and then feeling totally exhausted.
For the first time I felt that I had a good understanding of why I remained ill, what I needed to do to regain my health and the sense that my recovery was in my hands.
I discovered that my body was stuck in a state of fight, flight, freeze - aka sympathetic arousal and that this was hindering recovery.
Some of these stress patterns were unconscious, so I didn't realise I was stuck in these patterns and couldn't spot them.
Learning how to identify and interrupt them helped me shift these patterns.
As I learned how to activate the parasympathetic state, using:
Brain training techniques - which draw on the ability of the brain to change - called neuroplasticity.
Techniques designed to help the mind and body experience deep states of relaxation.
I started to feel changes happening in my body and feel confident that my body could heal.
Just to be 100% clear:
I believe that ME/CFS is a very real physical condition.
What I learned is that the mind and body powerfully influence each other, and this completely changed the way I thought about the condition.
I started making steady improvements in my health.
I was able to do things that before would have seemed inconceivable, for example spending all day at my sister’s wedding and perform a song at the reception!
Prior to learning this approach, the mere thought of standing in front of lots of people would have exhausted me.
I was able to be more physically active.
People noticed a difference in me.
I started doing all the things I loved; sailing, playing tennis, going to festivals etc.
I remember the first time I played badminton for 3 hours. It made me realise how far I had come.
Just being able to go into Central London, or having a long walk was a thrill!
I always had the sense that I would train in whatever was the key to helping me improve my health.
So in September of the same year, just a few months after learning these techniques, I embarked on a training course to become a Hypnotherapist and Coach, so that I could teach people these techniques that helped me. At the end of the course, I was offered a job, working at the clinic run by the trainer of the course and started working full time.
I spent 6 great years at that clinic, working with people who came from all over the World to do the programme that we delivered at the clinic.
I then created the Building Resilience training, so that I could tailor the training to suit the person I am working with.
I sustained a physical injury a few years ago, resulting in me not being able to play quite as hard as before.
However, life is still great and I wake up every morning ready to go, loving what I do and living life as fully as possible!
This is my passion.
Seeing people get back to full health, by identifying the hurdles and addressing them is very rewarding.
So there is zero risk to you of giving the Building Resilience training a try.
Find out if the training could help you.
Get started today and start living the life you deserve.