Extreme fatigue leaves you unable to cope with even basic daily tasks. Pamela Rose Coaching Life Rescue Programme helps you manage your body and mindset so you can cope with your condition and feel life is worth living again. Click here to find out more.
This blog is going to be a little self-indulgent I’m afraid - although the reason I’m sharing it is of course because I hope that it might inspire and help some of you.
As I write this, I’m 7 days away from my 50th birthday - a milestone that I am incredibly excited about hitting, even if the lockdown rules mean I can’t celebrate in the style that I would ordinarily have done!
As my birthday approaches, I’ve found myself reflecting on my health journey a lot. I can’t help but remember that this time ten years ago I was also very contemplative as I neared my 40th birthday. But gosh was I in a different place a decade ago. I was still in the first ‘official’ year of my ME/CFS journey (although it had been creeping in earlier than my formal diagnosis). I was starting to feel a little more hopeful that there were things I could do to help myself, but I was still in the very early stages of putting it all into practice. I’d got to the stage a year in, where I could very slowly walk the 3 minutes or so to our local park and sit on a bench to get some fresh air. On a good day I could even walk a little further. And I can remember so clearly sitting in that park and wondering what my 40’s had in store for me. Would I ever feel noticeably better than I had for that last year? Would I still be with my boyfriend, who had been so understanding so far - but, let’s face it, had only known me for a relatively short time. Would I be able to keep my job?? I tried so hard to be hopeful and positive, but I can remember clearly hoping so very much that my 40’s would be kind to me.
And here I am now, 10 years later. And I’m delighted that my 40’s turned out to be pretty amazing really: I achieved a full recovery from my crippling ME/CFS condition; the boyfriend is now my husband; I not only kept my job but I secured a fairly sizeable promotion a few years later - and then decided to walk away from that career and re-train so that I could help others.
Was it tough? Yes, often. Did I have times where I found it really difficult to stay motivated and positive? You bet! Was it worth finding the mental strength to get back on it though? Well, I don’t think I need to answer that :-)
Towards the end of my 40’s I achieved things that weren’t even remotely in my dreams a decade ago - I organised my dream wedding, we travelled right around the world for three months visiting countries I’d never imagined I’d visit. I’ve visited my beloved Scotland frequently to enjoy seeing my two beloved nieces grow into fun and amazing girls, and I’ve made a second home in Spain (that I long to get back to once the pandemic is over).
I told you this blog would be indulgent! But I share this to show you first-hand how much life can change if you put in the effort. Nobody waved a magic wand to make all of these wonderful things happen to me - I went out and grabbed them. First my health recovery, and then everything else. But it took time, and a lot of focus and discipline and determination.
It took me seven years to fully recover from ME/CFS and change my life for the better. But that wasn’t seven years of feeling dreadful and not being able to do much - although recovery from extreme fatigue can take a long time for many, there *are* milestones along the way. Every while I’d reflect back and spot that I’d achieved another noticeable improvement to how I was feeling. And, bit by bit, they all started to add up until I really did feel as though life was good again - and relatively quickly too. Yes I needed to be super careful about what I did, and how I did it. Yes I had to put to one side any idea of an effortless life. And yes the idea of being spontaneous was a very distant one. But it was worth it.
I have one final piece of advice to leave you with: Your recovery journey will be different to mine - it might be shorter or longer. But remember that the care you apply every single day can help you get through this in the fastest possible timeframe for you. You might not be able to speed up that timeframe - but you can most certainly slow it down. So please find and hang onto that consistent hopeful determination. If you want help identifying the best plan for you, you know where to find me.
Pamela Rose Coaching - helping you cope with extreme fatigue to regain a life worth living again. www.pamelarose.co.uk