Last week I did my Lightning Process training. It comprised of two lots of two and a half hours in a pair and then a one-to-one session lasting an hour and a half. It cost £420.
The first two sessions focused on showing you how your brain works and how it filters information. You can skew your brain filters positively or negatively and the theory goes that when you are 'stuck' ie you have M.E. you are filtering for negatives. This is something that happens subconsciously and the more you filter for negatives the more you are able to see the negatives. LP trains you in a technique to stop the negative thoughts and to re-focus your thinking towards the positives in your life. You do a conscious process which then has an effect on the unconscious mind. It is based on Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), so basically you are re-wiring your brain in a positive way. The more you use the new positive neural pathways the stronger they become and the easier it becomes to stay on track. This is my own way of describing it, if you want more information, just google Lightning Process. I might get around to adding a link at some point.
In the first 2 sessions I was trained with another woman who had M.E. for 8 years. It was really good to do it with someone else as you could spot someone else's patterns of behaviour that is keeping them stuck, a lot easier than you can spot yours, which then helps you to become aware of your own. It is also useful in terms of learning, as LP uses a lot of different learning methods.
After each session, you were asked to go away, put the process into practice and then come back the next day to work on it. On the second day I kind of fell apart a bit, when I realised what I had been doing to myself and how that was sabotaging my health. It was quite a tough day emotionally, but I'm really glad that it was pointed out to me and I was able to do something about it.
In my final one-to-one session, I was really getting the hang of the process, the trainer and I worked on some of my specific issues and worked out practical ways to work with them. It turned out that I was doing something that she called 'parts' which meant that although the most part of me believed and acted in one way, a smaller part of me was believing and acting the opposite, a bit like a child having a tantrum. We worked on bringing that small part of me, back in line with the big part. After that I was sent out into the world to start living my life.
The next day was brilliant. I went to work, found it a breeze, came home and then went out in the evening. The day after I started to strugle a bit and went into a bit of a wobble. I managed to get back on track each time I wobbled until Tuesday when I fell into the 'pit'. The pit is where you are when you get stuck. I fell right in and started to think lots of negative thoughts, but then something amazing happened. Part of the LP process had been working it's magic on my subconscious and I had a 'eureka' moment, then the tiredness I had been experiencing lifted completely.
I know this all sounds a bit vague, but I have decided not to describe the actual process. This is for 2 reasons. The first is that it would sound ridiculous and would be meaningless as it is something you have to experience for yourself. The second is if I described what we did in the training, I personally feel that for those who might like to do it themselves, it would be detrimental to their experience. I have described it to some others as like telling someone exactly what happens in a film, its better to see the film yourself. Hearing someones recollection of the film will not give you anywhere near the same experience and could actually ruin your own experience of it, should you choose to go and see it.
Anyway, after my penny-dropped moment on Tuesday, I've been plain sailing. I've been using the process although hardly at all the last couple of days. I've felt 'normal'. I've been told by my BF that I look different. I feel well and I feel able to do things. I just started a Pilates class today.
The biggest difference for me though, is not in what I am able to do, but in how I feel about it all and how that affects me. Up until I did LP, I have been gradually building up the things I do, using Reverse Therapsy. Each time I tried to push out, I experienced a lot of tension and anxiety to the point of it bringing on fatigue and making me feel rubbish. I was able to do things, but I couldn't really enjoy them fully at first as I felt crap. It would take quite a while for things to settle in. After doing RT for a year and a half, I found no way to deal with this. It was really blocking my progress. I knew it was to do with my 'headmind' but knowing what it was didn't really provide me with a solution.
LP has helped me, within a matter of days, to be able to sort out this 'headmind' business. It's just removed the fear, the anxiety and the tension and fatigue that go with it. I just feel much more like 'I CAN' now. If I start to have doubts, I just do the process and it's keeping me on track.
Out of all the things it has had a positive effect on, the biggest of all is in my relationship. I have been having real difficulty settling in with my BF, now that we live together. Each time I feel I have a handle on it(like when I got back from India), somthing insignificant would set all my fears off again and I would feel distant in my relationship again and unable to feel my love for him (to the point of doubting it completely). I have been struggling with this for 4 months. A 2 week holiday got me almost back on track, but 3 days of LP has irradicated these insecurites completely. I feel absolutely at ease in my relationship now. I can feel my feelings again, I'm not cut off from them. I feel SO different and it is such a relief and such a pleasure again.
I'm hoping to build my fitness up over the next month or so (I feel so excited about getting fit!), then I'm planning to sign back up at the employment agency to work on the 2 days of the week that I don't currently work, meaning that I will be working pretty much full-time (about 30 odd hours a week). I want to do this as a kind of test of full recovery and I don't actually intend to work full-time after that. I feel if I can work full-time, exercise twice a week and have a full social life whilst being happy and content, then I am fully recovered. I am confident that this is what is going to happen.