little miss reverse

A journey from ME/CFS to health using Reverse Therapy and Lightning Process

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I wrote in a previous post about the symptoms that I get around my period and about a theory that I had that connected my initial trigger with these symptoms. For the last 5 or 6 months I have had a flare up at the same time as my period and have felt very insecure about my relationship at the same time.

I don't want to explain the whole theory thing again as it's in another post, so I'm just going to explain what has happened.

Earlier in the month I talked to my bf about my insecurity and asked him for reassurance when I need it. He agreed to do that. This month before my period I had 2 days of fatigue that I'm not entirely sure were connected with it as it wasn't in the usual pattern. Anyway, even if I include those 2 days, this month has been a massive improvement.

My BF has been great and has been a bit more attentive (which he is anyway). I haven't felt the need to ask for reassurance as I haven't felt insecure. I got a new message to go with these symptoms, but haven't had to use it. I thought that the 'action' I needed to take would be something like asking my bf for reassurance when I got the symptoms, but it appears that the action was just talking it through with him.

I had ONE day of feeling rubbish because of my period, but even on that day, I did not feel fatigued. I have not had PMS this month. I have not had an emotional wobble this month and I have not crashed down.

Last night I went belly dancing and today I've been to a photographic exhibition in Hereford for the day.

I used to think that I would feel emotional and insecure BECAUSE of my period and PMS, but I now reckon it's the other way around. I know it sounds bonkers, but I've just regained an extra week of the month by following and trusting that RT would work on it.

I'll know for sure if I have resolved the e-motions that cause the flare ups next month, as it's alternate months that are the worst. Last month my flare up lasted 10 days, this month I haven't even had a flare up. How good is that!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

working things out slowly...

Still feeling a bit confused about the fatigue that I had on Wednesday of this week and on Saturday too, but I'm slowly working it out. If I'm understanding this right, then the things that are causing my symptoms to flare up are now causing them to flare up in a stronger way. This sounds bad but if it's correct, then actually it is good.

As I have said, I went almost 3 weeks without fatigue and have had a couple of days of it this week. On both days I think the thing that may have caused by fatigue is spending too much time on the computer. Pre RT this would have caused some fatigue, but it would not have been top of the list of things that set symptoms off. It seems now that as I have dissolved the chemical memories attached to physical activity, driving, socialising and loads of other stuff, the computer triggers stronger symptoms.

This is very odd and I'm having to get used to things having turned upside down. Yesterday I felt really fatigued, but I already had a night out planned to go and see a band. I did RT on my fatigue symptoms but didn't get a strong body response as to what action I should take. Because I had fatigue, I did feel apprehensive about going out, but I know that this is chemical memory stuff. So, despite feeling fatigued, I went, really enjoyed myself and even had a few beers and stayed out to 1am.

Pre RT, I would have been completely f**ked the next day. Today I had a bit of an alcohol hangover that began to lift as soon as I had my brekfast, but I felt better than I did all day yesterday. This evening I feel fine, a little bit tired, but no fatigue.

Basically if I'm correct, I need to work on the chemical memory associated with using the computer. I know what it is, but I think I've got into a habit of not being aware/ignoring my symptoms when they come on, whilst using the computer. With RT, when you get the symptom, you are supposed to stop immediately, but I know I don't do that when I'm on the computer. So stronger symptoms just means that I'm getting a clearer indication from my bodymind about what I need to sort out. I can cope with the odd day of fatigue from time to time, if the rest of the month I'm pretty symptom free and building up my stamina.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

bit confused again

Was tired on Monday, so didn't got to college. Tuesday felt ok, but a bit knackered as I got up at 7.30 for college....urgh! Had a bit of fatigue and a buzzy brain Tuesday night and took ages to get to sleep. Yesterday I felt fatigued. I had the puffy eyes, tight head, tense neck and shoulders, a bit of a headache and general feeling of not being at my best.

Not really sure why I had fatigue yesterday. In pacing terms, it could have been an accumulation of what I had done over the last few days, but when I tell you what I did last night, that doesn't make sense. In RT terms, I obviously haven't been listening to bodymind messages.

Anyway, pre RT if I had fatigue like I had yesterday, I would not have gone to belly dancing or done anything physical, because it would have guaranteed me feeling even worse the next day. But in RT you follow your body, so I decided to go and see how my body responded to dancing. I was a bit concerned, but after 10 minutes I felt better than I had all day. After the class I felt amazing and completely free from the fatigue. It returned after about 30 minutes and I did have a bit of trouble getting to sleep.

Today I feel much better than yesterday, with only very slight fatigue. Still not sure why I have got the fatigue, but I'm going for a massage in an hour, so maybe that will help.

The other thing that it may be... I have been 'expecting' PMS as I'm due on, so maybe I have been focusing on it too much and worrying and almost causing symptoms myself. Anyway, I'm a bit confused, but trying to stick with my bodymind rather than my headmind.

I've gone 19 days with only the odd pop-up symptom that has gone away again after doing RT on it. 19 days fatigue free, that's not bad!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Before I started RT, I read somewhere in one of the M/RT books that it would be helpful if you could come off any medication before starting the therapy. This is to allow you to feel your sympoms (messages from bodymind) fully, so that you can then have a good idea about what bodymind wants you to do.

I decided that I would like to do that and come off my daily 30mg of Amitriptyline, as I feel that the time is right anyway. I've been on Amitriptyline for 3 years. I succesfully reduced to 20mg in about May, but then I caught a cold, which meant my symptoms flared up, so I went back up to 30mg. A month or so later, I succesfully reduced to 20mg again, but whenever I pushed my limits a bit, my symptoms flared up and I had to go back up to 30mg as my sleep went haywire. I tried one more time prior to RT, but once on 20mg, symptoms meant I had to return to 30mg again because of sleep problems.

Since starting RT, I have had flare ups in symptoms, although they feel different now. I succesfully reduced my medication to 20mg in August and despite the flare ups, my sleep has been unaffected, meaning that I didn't need to increase again at those testing times. I stayed at 20mg for about 3 weeks and then reduced to 10mg at the end of August. So I've been on 10mg for about 6 weeks and have had no difficulty in maintaining this amount despite my symptoms.

I'm coming up for my difficult patch, so don't want to rock the boat, but once I'm on the other side, I'm going to stop taking my meds all together. I'm not going to give up the prescription yet, as it could all go Pete Tong, but I'm confident. For me, it's another step in the right direction.

What they don't tell you in the books

I've been going on an RT support forum and having lots of really interesting conversations with other people going through the RT process. One thing that we have been discussing is something that they don't tell you in the books. Reverse Therapy is hard work!

As someone else on the site said, 'this is not for the faint hearted'. From the books, you kind of get the impression that you attend the sessions and then something magical happens and your hypothalamus switches off and you get well. What they don't tell you is that it is YOU who has to do the switching off, which can take a long time and can involve blazing battles between your headmind and your bodymind.

A lot of us on the forum are finding it difficult to 'trust' our bodyminds and feel a lot of fear around increasing activity. Sometimes your head can really get in the way, going on about how you are going to relapse if you try to do something. It's flippin hard work. Also, because you are paying much closer attention to your symptoms, there is pretty much a constant dialogue between your headmind and your bodymind, one trying to win out, which is tiring in itself. Its pretty scary taking these steps sometimes.

Then there is the physical tiredness that comes from increasing your activity. Pretty much every week, I am pushing my physical and mental boundaries, which means I am physically or mentally tired a lot of the time. I don't mean fatigued, just tired. Being in a constant state of tiredness is quite testing and sometimes you just want to stay still for a while and get on the level again. For me though, I think I'd rather be tired 2 or 3 days a week and crack on with my recovery not that I am pushing myself though. The tiredness feels like when you've done a hard days work, so I don't think its a bad thing and I generally feel greatly or completely refreshed from sleep, which I'm taking as a good sign. I also plan in chilled days too.

So maybe when you read the books, you thought it sounds like a fairy story, well the reality is different. The good thing about all this though, is it places your recovery firmly in your own hands, which I've always believed is the way forward for me.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Increased stamina

Last Sunday I went to a gig. Then on Monday I went to college. On Tuesday I went to college aswell and managed to stay for a while after lectures and do some work. On Wednesday I went belly dancing. On Thursday I went for a facial at the college. On Friday I was a bit tired, so had a chilled morning, but then spent the afternoon and evening with my boyfriend. Yesterday, my friend came over from Cardiff for the day and we went to the pub to watch the football, took the dog for a walk, went and got a take away and a DVD and she left at 10pm.

I have been able to do a lot of these things for a while, but not on consecutive days for a string of 7 days in a row, particularly not when there has been physical activity in the mix and particularly not without symptoms. I feel fine today. My stamina is really improving.

If I can sort out the 10-14 days of the month where my stamina dips, I think I will be starting to consider getting a job. If this was consistent I would already be doing that. I just need my energy and stamina to be a bit more stable and then i'll be onto the next stage.

In June of this year, I would not have expected to be where I am now, but I know I'm in the good part of the month at the moment and this may well change in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

New symptom message for my theory

I emailed my therapist about my theory and she said that it sounded like a very 'body' thing and rang 'body bells' for her. We exchanged a few emails and came up with a symptom message to go with this set of symptoms.

I've talked to my bf about it and we have had long conversations about why I feel this way at that time of the month. He's offered to do whatever it is I need him to do, in terms of reassuring me, when I decide what that is. It may be that we are already doing that, just by talking.

Anyway, I hope this works!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Trigger Events

I have been going on a RT support forum (see link on my home page) recently, which has been really useful in expanding my understanding of RT. One of the members was talking about 'trigger events'. Trigger events are the event that caused your bodymind to feel under threat, physically, emotionally, mentally and caused the hypothalamus to go into overdrive.

I decided to have a bath and do some body focusing a couple of nights ago. I wasn't getting anything in particular, but then I started reading over some of the notes that I had written before I started RT. They were answers to the questions on page 92 of John Eatons book.

I have been mulling over the reason why I suddenly started getting really bad PMS and ME flare ups at my time of the month only since May of this year. When I read my notes, something suddenly jumped into my head connecting my initial trigger event, something that happened at the time I got the 'flu' that 'caused' my ME and something that happened at the end of April. It was like a line that shot through from the past to now. Each of these 'triggers' involved a betrayal of my trust. The first was enormous, the second was significant and the third was minor. Each time though, I have gone into an emotional turmoil the first time for several months and more recently just for a few weeks.

After the second event I caught flu, after the more recent event I caught a cold a had a mild relapse that lasted about 8 weeks. This might sound insignificant, but I have only had 2 colds in 3 years. Also the emotions were the same each time. I felt incredibly emotionally vulnerable, upset, I felt betrayed, insecure and a bit of a wreck. Apparently when looking for trigger events, you look for similarities in emotions.

My theory is that the initial trigger and the event that happened at the end of April might have become tangled up in my time of the month. It is possible that each time it's that time of the month, I revisit the trigger event emotionally, causing the PMS and the ME flare up that follows. The fact is that every time I'm due on, I do get insecure and feel the need for reassurance and this is not a personality characteristic that I am used to - this is new, since May of this year!

Obviously this is a theory at this stage. I now have some ideas about how to tackle the symptoms that I get when I'm on and how to try and pre-empt them. I'm going to have a chat with my BF later to put some ideas to him. If this works, I will be over the moon.

Monday, October 03, 2005


At the beginning of the year I wrote a list of things that I wanted to try and do. They were all things that I have been unable to do for the last 3 years. On my list was to go to a gig.

On February 14th this year, I achieved that goal. I went to a gig. On the day, I had to rest all day so that I could go. My boyfriend picked me up and dropped me home. I managed to stay at the venue for 2 hours, in a very noisy environment (obviously) and was completely exhausted afterwards. The next day I was really fatigued and the day after that I was less so, but still having a hangover from the event.

I have been to a few gigs inbetween and each time I have noticed an improvement in how I have managed it.

Last night I went to another gig, it was to see Goldfrapp. The gig was fantastic! In the daytime, I went to Morrisons to get a few bits of shopping. Then I drove over to my boyfriends and spent a few hours with him. Then I drove us to the gig, stayed for 3 hours till the end, drove him home then myself. I was pretty knackered.

I expected to feel very tired if not fatigued today, but I just feel a weeny bit tired. I put the alarm on, fully expecting to turn it off and go back to sleep, but I was able to get up. This is fantastic!

My ablitity to drive has really improved, my stamina is getting better by the month and the best thing of all, I am starting to be able to enjoy the things that make me happy, without having a payback from them.

I'm off to college later. Definitely would not have been able to go to college the day after a gig before the summer.

One very happy bunny!