Pacing success story: Nalini
Nalini has asked me to share her story in order to give hope to those of you who need it. She gives me a lot of credit, which is lovely, but SHE is the hero of her story. She’s the one who built and kept the discipline that she needed in order to achieve improvements. And it’s so wonderful to see her doing so well now. I hope you enjoy reading her story.
"I first contacted Pamela just over a year ago, and I admit that at the time I was unsure whether she’d be able to help me. She was just the latest in a string of people I’d contacted over the previous few years. I’d first been diagnosed with ME/CFS back in 2007 but had managed to get back to a good level of health again when, unfortunately, my symptoms came back worse than ever in 2013.
I felt in safe hands with Pamela from the very start - she quickly understood my situation, and we agreed that the main focus should be on helping me figure out pacing. I remember telling her that my big goal was to go for a big walk in the countryside, and at the time that felt so impossible. I couldn’t even leave the house, let along go for even a short walk.
But with Pamela’s guidance I learned so much about how to plan and carry out my days in a much more manageable way. I didn’t get it perfect straight away! But that was ok as I knew even my bad days were full of learnings that I could use to get me even more on track. She showed me how I could compare completely different days and activities so that I could find a way to balance them in a similar way. And I became an expert in learning how to make the things I had to do less energetic so that I could balance out my days.
I think one of the biggest things is that her pacing style took away the confusion that I’d been feeling. Six years earlier my doctor had pushed me to do the NHS ‘graded exercise’ programme, which has now been proven to be unhelpful. But at the time I thought that was pacing, and so even when I stopped it (I had to, it made me worse!), I still kept pushing myself too much. Working with Pamela I learned how to find the right way to increase my activity, rather than the wrong way.
And here I am now, able to go for long walks in the park most days - and I even caught a train to central London recently for the first time in 8 years! I had a wonderful time there having lunch with my brother, and although I was aware of not overdoing it, I also knew how to manage things the next day to maximise the chance that I would be ok. And I was! And the photo below was taken recently on my daughter’s birthday when we all had a wonderful day at a local animal park.
One thing that I’m still struggling with are my hormones. My symptoms can get much worse at certain times of the month, but now that I’m pacing well, I know that I need to accept this and plan around it, rather than just push through.
I can’t explain how much better life feels now, and although I know my recovery journey still has a little way to go, I’m enjoying life so much and will continue to focus on the important things every day so that I continue to improve.
I’ve recently had further coaching with Pamela, but this time it was to help me figure out how to turn a hobby that I’m passionate about, into a way to make money. Things are going well, and I love that I’m building something that can fit around my pacing skills, rather than push me too hard. It also feels great to fill other people’s lives with joy!
I know you might see Pamela’s posts about pacing and wonder if she really can help. But believe me, she can.
You can visit Nalini’s etsy shop at: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/EmbroideryArtByLini