Phil Parker's London Team

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Catherine’s Story

I never thought that I would be able to turn my life around so
drastically. At the age of 24 I had pretty much given up hope; hope of a
career, hope of a family, hope of energy, hope of real happiness. I actually
did, on the face of it, have a great life and support network. I was recently
married and was fortunate enough to have the most wonderful husband, a fabulous
family and understanding friends. We owned a lovely little house in a beautiful
village and were happy and comfortable. But there was a black cloud…a big black
cloud.

At the age of 15 I had been diagnosed with Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome
and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. The simplest things became a struggle and I
couldn’t face much outside of my home. I went through flare ups of the fatigue
but managed to muddle through GCSEs, A-Levels and University. I began a lovely
full time job as a Teaching Assistant in a Reception class in 2015 and became
engaged in 2016. Life felt great and I was experiencing a lot more energy than
I had done for many years.

But then, later in 2016, the black cloud struck. I was off work with
what felt like Flu. As this turned from days to weeks I began to suspect that
the Fatigue had returned. My symptoms were worse than ever and I couldn’t
function. A couple of months later, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome. I was mostly wheelchair bound and barely left the house. I couldn’t
do anything for myself and felt deflated and demoralised. I was forced to leave
my job and spent most days in bed or on the sofa, requiring my husband and
parents to shop, cook, clean and sometimes even wash and dress me. I began to
feel that I would never again be able to be independent; I felt cheated out of
my career and unable to really enjoy being in my twenties and newly married. After
six months I was able to begin working a couple of hours each day at lunchtime
in a primary school, but this short amount of working often meant being unable
to do anything in the mornings, evenings and at the weekends.

Nearly two years after my diagnosis, last September, I decided enough
was enough. Something had to change. The phrase ‘Lightning Process’ had cropped
up a few times over the previous two years but it was something I’d always
dismissed as “not for me” and “a make-believe cure”. Being a Christian I was
slightly concerned that the process may have conflicting beliefs that would
affect my faith and that it would try to change my core beliefs. But my
desperation had reached fever pitch and I could not face continuing the way
that I was a second longer than I had to. Having received a message from a
friend experiencing similar fatigue, who had transformed their life that week
by doing the Lightning Process, I took the plunge and sent in an enquiry. I
felt nervous, excited and – I have to admit – a little sceptical, all at
once. However, having spoken to my practitioner, perusing the official
website and booking onto a course, I truly believed that this was going to
work. My worries about it not fitting in with my faith were put to rest by my
practitioner who assured me that the process does not conflict with religious
or non-religious beliefs, it stands alone from this. I believed that I could
transform my symptoms and my life and began to count down the days.

I don’t think I can even put into words exactly how much the Lightning
Process has changed my life. I don’t feel like a different person, I’m still me, but I am an improved, more
energetic, healthy and positive version of myself. In order to get to the
course, I took the train with my husband, relying on my walking stick (and his
arm occasionally to haul me up the stairs!) and one of those little blue pin
badges that asks other tube passengers to offer me a seat. Four hours later,
having completed the first day of the process, I emerged onto Victoria Street
with no walking stick and was almost marching to the tube station with a rather
astounded husband in tow! After the second day we went sightseeing in
Westminster and after the third and final day I climbed 311 steps to the top of
the Great Fire of London Monument; an incredible turnaround from where I was 72
hours previously!

As I write this, it is 125 days since I completed the Lightning Process
and 125 days since I last touched my walking stick – I’m not even sure where it
is, tucked away in the back of the cupboard probably! Life now is so
drastically different to how it was just 125 days ago. Since doing the LP, I
have increased my hours at work and work between 4-7 hours every day. I have
also applied, attended an interview and been accepted to complete a teacher
training PGCE year at Cambridge University in September – something that a mere
few months ago, I genuinely thought was a long-lost pipe dream. I am beyond
excited about my new career but there have been so many positive changes in my
life outside work too. I am able to have a social life and have become more
involved in my church’s life also. My husband and I no longer have to ‘micro-manage’
our lives or worry whether something will leave me laid up on the sofa for a
week. I see much less of the sofa now in fact and am able to enjoy
birdwatching, countryside walks and have even taken up the challenge of indoor
rock climbing!

It truly feels as though the big black cloud has lifted for good; I have
a completely new lease of life and am so excited for what the future holds. I
will never look back.