From Everything Feeling Too Much To Being Joyfully Active

Rach joined CFS School in January 2022 and is now one of our Program Mentors. She generously shared her story with us. 

Here's how she describes her journey to being healed...

It's really hard to pinpoint where it all began. I've probably been living with nervous system dysregulation since a very young age.

I was always working hard towards something, whether that be a new qualification, a promotion at work, a sporting achievement, a new person I was dating. And then when I achieved the thing I'd come crashing down.

Somehow I'd muddle through and then set my eyes on the next thing and I'd push off. I'd go again, push, crash, push, crash.

And it got to a point where my body just seemed like it was screaming at me, “No, you can't go on like this!”

It was the summer of 2019, I was away on holiday and had what I refer to as my breakdown. There’d be a build up of a number of things and after a nail-biting drive up a mountain pass, combined with a series of triggers, I kind of crumbled into this crying mess. I was so overwhelmed, exhausted and afraid all at the same time.

I thought maybe I'm just not cut out for living life like everybody else. Everything felt too much.

The final tipping point taking me to my rock bottom was when I got COVID in November 2021. It was not pretty. It trundled on and on and on. It just kept going and I couldn’t seem to shake it off - it really exacerbated the chronic fatigue. I hit my all-time rock bottom at that point.

But I attempted to go back to work after sick leave even though I was really unwell. I remember thinking to myself, I'm literally surviving. I’d sit on the sofa with my laptop, struggling to keep my eyes open.

I told my partner, “I can't live like this. This is not living. And I just can’t carry on like this.”

So I resigned from my permanent job to focus on my health.

I’d found CFS School and wanted to focus solely on that and commit to the tools and the practices to really get myself better.

I did the work with the Mindbody tools and after healing my chronic layers, I now know that I will never go back to being stuck or surviving like I was before.

Up to then, I'd tried all this other stuff that had been recommended to me by my local health service. I followed pacing to the nth degree, tried lymphatic drainage, acupuncture, and a long list of things. So I thought, I've got nothing to lose by just going for it with this.

When I first was doing the practices, I felt almost tipsy. I felt quite out of it and I would say I was feeling worse because the sensations of lightness and floatiness were just so alien to me at that point.

I got some reassurance and realized this was a sign that my body, my nervous system, was responding to the tools. Even though it felt weird and freaky, it was doing something. So I kept going with it.

After a month of practicing the tools, I started to notice some shifts and changes.

Before this point, I’d really suffered with this debilitating heaviness in my whole body, which was particularly worse in the mornings when waking up. My arms and my legs felt like lead, as though someone had strapped weights to me while I was sleeping. It would just be so horrific to even try and sit up or get myself out of bed.

One morning, after practicing SPACE pretty diligently for about a month, I woke up and it was half as bad. It was improved by 50%. It wasn't completely gone but it was notably different.

I thought, “Oh my goodness, this is working!!!” This spurred me on to keep going with the tools and practices.

I've now gone back to doing a lot of activities and I’m enjoying them more than I ever had before because I'm doing it purely for fun and joy.

In the past, I was in quite a competitive space, very driven by results, outcomes and measuring myself, whereas now my movement and my activities are led by enjoyment.