little miss reverse

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bodymind's demands

Since becoming ill in 2001, my symptoms MADE me have to deal with stuff that I might have previously put up with. It has been a very difficult and painful learning experience. When I started RT I wrote a list of things that I though my bodymind had wanted me to do over the years of being ill. This is the list:

Learning to say NO - Had to learn this very early on in my illness, getting quite good at it, but always room for improvement.

Learning to ask for help - found this really difficult as always been very independent, but have learned to ask a lot more than I used to...still feel bit uncomfortable about it sometimes.

Putting my needs first - Have found this tough. Have been a people pleaser in the past & like making people happy. Sometimes not even aware what my needs are to put them first and have thought I'm 'laid back' when in fact I've just been a pushover. Still learning.

Being assertive - I'm much more likely to start a sentence with 'I want...' than ever before and often make decisions by thinking 'what do I want?'

Being in the present - mostly very good at this now. Have let go of striving for the future and I'm much more content and happy for it. Happy to just mooch about and go with the flow.

Not to get stressed about things that I can't change - much less likely to get stressed about things out of my control. Didn't even get stressed about my DLA doctors visit, but would have got incredibly stressed and anxious 2 years ago.

Express my emotions and not supress them - Find I can express happy emotions easily, but find that expressing anger, disappointment, disatisfaction etc with other people tough as I still have the old banana of not wanting to upset people, but getting much better at it now.


By the time I started RT I felt a bit stuck. I kind of knew deep down that dealing with some of these issues was what I needed to do to help me get well but I was still getting symptoms so didn't realise how close I was. I expected RT to come up with something profound that I had missed. What RT did was confirm I was on the right track and help me take action on these things in a way that undid the chemical memories attached to the symptoms. My symptom message was really obvious, but it worked.

I think the key to RT working is to just trust and accept that the symptoms are all connected to keeping you emotionally and physically safe. They have been there to protect you, but are no longer needed. In RT theory the reason you have symptoms is because you have ignored emotional messages and then you have ignored tension and anxiety, so your hypothalamus has gone into overdrive causing symptoms. Using the symptom message and acting on what your bodymind wants as soon as possible, when you get symptoms, reassures your body that you are listening and undoes the chemical memories that are stored in your body.

In the RT books it says as you undo the chemical memories you may experience the reverse process, so physical symptoms replaced with tension and anxiety, then replaced with emotions. I have found this to be the case and now get mostly tension, some mental fatigue and very very strong emotions that I cannot ignore. Sometimes the emotions burst up out of nowhere and I have no choice but to deal with it. Bodymind is getting very demanding, but each time I give it what it wants, it allows me to have more of my life back.

I think I was almost doing RT before I started it, but because I didn't realise the link between chemical memories and action, it wasn't working as efficiently as it is now. It was like walking around trying to find my way with a blindfold on and RT has removed it allowing me to see what is happening and where to go next.

I know all of this seems really obvious and really simple and it is, but undoing the chemical memories takes a lot of hard work as it is trying to undo years of learnt behaviour and social conditioning.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas time

I've settled down again after my last post and something interesting happened. I went from being frustrated and bored to being content again. I think the whole college term ending had something to do with it as well as the relationship stuff and the stuff with my friend who is angry with me.

I've decided that I'm not going to do the voluntary work at the cat rehoming centre. After pondering it for a few days I realised that I would just be frustrated doing that. I don't want to clean out cat litter trays and play with cute kittens, I want to take more constructive steps to getting back to work. It has to be work that I feel some sort of connection with, not just work to keep me occupied. I thought it would be OK to do that, but my bodymind sent me a 'felt sense' message about it to tell me that it was not OK. Whenever I thought about working at the cats home, I felt an uneasy feeling in my body, a kind of dissappointment. I've decided to take another route instead.

I have a friend who knows a professional photographer who has said it would be OK for me to do some work experience with his company. Now this is more like it! He wants me to be flexible as work is a bit ad hoc, so that sounds perfect. When I think about this, I get a nervous, excited feeling and a sense of moving forward. Even if this placement doesn't come off, I now know that I need to do some work/placement with a photography company as that is what I want to do professionally when I am well enough.

I've had a bit of fatigue in the last week. I went to visit a friend on the Isle of Wight who I went to visit earlier in the year without any fatigue. The day before the journey I was a bit tired and probably wouldn't have got up early the next day had I no train to catch. On the day of the journey I set the alarm and woke up feeling tired. On the way, the train was very cold because the heating was not on. Everyone in the carriage was sat there with their coats and scarfs on. I don't cope with getting cold. I managed to keep most of me warm apart from my legs which got really cold. When I was sitting there, I kept feeling like getting up and going to see if the next carriage had heating on (bodymind at a really fundamental level). Instead I sat there for the 2 hours the journey took with cold legs not even getting up at all. I was tired when I arrived at my friends, but not too bad. The next day I had fatigue and the day after that the fatigue was worse.

In RT terms the things that I think caused the fatigue were getting up early when I would have liked to sleep longer and not acting on the cold situation on the train. I wonder if I could have changed the outcome of that if I had booked a later train and also when I was on the cold train, got up and checked the train for a warmer carriage. In RT even if there had not been a warmer carriage, the 'acting' on it might have reassured my bodymind that I was listening, but I just sat there, in effect telling my bodymind that I was ignoring it.

My bodymind does not like getting up before it is ready to do so (ie with an alarm). I'm going to have to work on this if I'm going start doing some kind of work. Not sure how to approach it though.

I am finding that my fatigue kicks in for smaller and smaller reasons, like it's tweaking things. I'm getting more fatigue now than I got after a month or two of RT. It feels llike I'm a puppet with strings that go down from the top of my head into my body, along my shoulders, arms and legs and when I'm fatigued it's like a giant someone putting their hand round my head and pulling all the strings tight up through the top of my head. It's horrible, I feel really tense and my brain stops working properly, BUT I can still do stuff and it is getting less intense over time.

Anyway, the fatigue lifted after a couple of days. I've had a busy christmas time with my boyfriend and spent the day with my dad walking along the river Avon today, so I'm still doing well.

Friday, December 09, 2005


I don't know what is going on with me at the moment, I am having a bit of a wobble. The good thing is that the wobble has not caused an ME flare up which would have been standard up until recently.

I've been irritable, stroppy, paranoid and insecure. I've had difficulty motivating myself and I've been getting annoyed with myself for not being able to get it together. I've also been bored. I don't know if I've been stroppy because I'm bored or what, but it's all a bit odd. I'm usually pretty stable.

I've had a difficult week with my boyfriend, who has been an absolute darling being patient with me. It's really difficult to explain to people why you are behaving in a certain way when you don't know yourself.

All I know is that it doesn't matter what causes me to feel this way, but I have to acknowledge how I am feeling and express that to to person/people concerned. I can't convince myself that I'm happy with stuff if I'm not anymore, or pretend that I don't care when I do. I am not allowed to ignore or surpress how I feel about things these days or tolerate things that I don't really want to, even if it means that I shock or upset or annoy another person. I've never been like this before and it's taking some getting used to.

When I have to challenge other people, stick up for myself or express how I feel, I try to be respectful to the other party, but it still can create a bit of a storm because people are not used to me behaving this way. I'm sure I will get more used to it and get better at handling it as time goes on.

As for being bored, college is winding down for christmas and I suddenly thought 'what am I going to do with myself for the next 3 weeks?'. I've reached a point where milling about and pottering is not enough to keep me happy. This is good news but it's also a bit unnerving. I've felt a bit depressed over the last week and I think it's partly because of this. My response has been to go to the volunteer bureau and get details of some voluntary work. It looks like I'm going to do a couple of hours a week in a cat rehoming centre (ahh). My house feels like a prison at the minute and I just need to get out and do something different. This is a new thing too, I've been content with pottering for a very long time, but maybe that was because it was necessary and now it isn't.

This is flippin hard work!