OK, this is a big advert for the Optimum Health Clinic, but it is also a fascinating watch and should be part of your listening to recovery stories homework as per the Healing Plan!
I found it quite emotional to watch the first half where people are telling their ME/Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia illness stories. I thought I was bad – you should hear how bad these poor people got. It is good sometimes to hear things that you recognise and are going through yourself. I found some of their statements really resonated with me; I had been there, done that and had thoughts the exact same way myself.
Of course, what struck me the most – and made me cry – was that I realised I was sitting there watching it – this time and AT LAST!!! – from a standpoint of recovery; no longer as the ill person searching for hope that others have got well I, which is what I spent almost a year doing! I am no longer that ill person.
The second half is all about how people got well and how they feel now in recovery. It changes you. And one of them also said ‘he was a year into recovery and at about 80%’ at some point and that made me stop giving myself a hard time about not being there 100% yet as I still have some mouth issues going on. I’ll take 80-90% recovered though, thank you; I never thought I’d get to 20%! One of them also said how suicidal he felt with it, with the struggle of every single day getting to him. I definitely felt like that at certain points, sadly.
There is quite a lot about the approach to these complex chronic illnesses in the film too. If you recall, I did work with the OHC in my early healing journey days when I suddenly made the connection between my head and what was going on with my physical body. I called them for help and endured a fear-filled train journey for my first appointment. My illness was hypersensitivity – to anything, but mostly food – I recall in not-so-glorious technicolour the ruddy orange the woman sat next to me started peeling and eating. I was that scared of an orange!
Anyway, their approach is to dovetail functional medicine with psycho-therapeutic techniques in much the same way I ended up doing and have written extensively about in the Healing Plan. As it turned out, I needed much more, or different at least, than the OHC could give me at the time and used different resources and focused very much on the triggering of the hypersensitivity. That’s where all the ACE stuff came from when I had to research again for myself.
But, their ethos that you need to calm the whole system down, to turn the volume down first and foremost, often before functional medicine approaches is spot on. That is precisely what I had to do. And continue to do. I think if you are a highly-sensitive person – in whatever way that is – you always have that tendency and I personally feel I need always to keep an eye on how high my switch is turned up in life! I still meditate daily as I found, for me, that was one of the best ways to keep the dial down low enough.
The film is a really good watch. Very humbling and I’m sure certain sentences in it will provide you with some ‘aha’ moments. Here’s a couple that did for me:
20′ (minutes in): any suggestion that physical symptoms were somehow psychological was insulting to me. Yep, that’s what I said and have said to me daily, but I continue to say it and take the rap just in case 😉
35′: the glimmer of hope people clung to from reading and listening to inspiring stories and which provided the start of a turnaround. It ‘was like oxygen, literally keeping me alive at one point’. Yep. P worried I was obsessing with them at some points but I so recognised the almost oxygen-like need for them. Again, which is why the bibiotherapy is huge part of the Healing Plan.
44′: you need to develop a healing state before you will absorb anything so functional medicine often comes after the psycho-therapeutic approach, or certainly alongside it. Yep. Absolutely right. Your body simply cannot heal whilst your mind is constantly repeating unhelpful beliefs, fears and thoughts. It’s like the fear feeds on itself (think of that orange!) and it becomes a cycle that you can’t break out of. Your physical body has very little chance of recovery whilst that’s going on.
So, watch the film, recognise some bits about your own story, get some hope, take some action.
Get in touch with the OHC especially if you’re near London, and, of course, start following the 5 step programme I did that’s written down for you in the Healing Plan. Choose one of the meditations and audios that Julie has made for us to go alongside the Healing Plan and at least start one of those. That’s what I did. I did a meditation every day and it sort of grew from there organically.
You CAN get there. Blimey, if they could from their positions and I did from mine, that should give you enough hope and start your healing right there!