My husband and I moved to Caithness, the furthest most northern county on the British mainland, four years ago after I found a job working for the local Mental Health Team. We had been wanting to relocate to the Scottish Highlands for a while as we spent every holiday walking up hills and mountains and wanted to live a little nearer to some of the best in the world.
We’ve always been busy people and believe in squeezing the most out of every second.
Work in Caithness is very different from working in a big city, as you can imagine, and I enjoyed the lower levels of stress and a smaller, less complex caseload. Weekends were spent exploring the stunning coastline and we got a dog to keep us company on the vast beaches.
However, in 2011, after getting cold that I couldn’t seem to shift, I felt more and more tired. I’d put on a bit of weight since moving (something to do with Scottish baking I think!) so put it down to that and managed to lose the extra pounds I’d gained. Although this made me better initially, it didn’t last and by Christmas I got to the stage where I felt that I just couldn’t continue. I went off work sick and thought that after a few days I’d be back on track. My GP took one look at me and signed me off for three weeks. I didn’t know what on earth I would do with myself!
Once I stopped though I couldn’t get going again. The only time I’d felt fatigue like it was when I’d had flu, proper flu, not a cold, but real ‘too tired to even make a cup of tea tired’. Ironically for someone feeling so tired I stopped sleeping, I got aches and pains for no reason, migraines, a sore throat and a complete inability to hold a conversation.
Without wanting to go on a ill-alogue, after ruling out any other illness, I was diagnosed fairly quickly as in Scotland there is an emphasis on early diagnosis. I was initially off work for 8 months and returned because I didn’t want to ‘give in’ and lose my job without a fight. I wasn’t able to work full time no matter how hard I pushed myself and could only manage my new part time hours by using weekends and annual leave to rest. Despite this I was frequently off sick until again I just had to ‘give in’ to the fatigue and pain by going off work long term again, this time agreeing with my manager that retirement due to ill health would be the only option. I was 40. The best I could hope for was managing my symptoms as best that I could and making the most of what little quality of life I had. I was very fortunate to have an incredibly supportive husband who did the best he could with his shell of a wife.
A family member had encouraged me to try the Lightning Process since the initial onset of my illness and I had consistently dismissed it, thinking it was just a way of exploiting vulnerable people (sorry Phil!). Thankfully, due to her continued insistence, I decided it was worth giving it a go. After all what did I have to lose? We were facing severe financial difficulties anyway so what difference would little bit more make? I read various things on the internet, some for and some against it which just made me more confused but once I’d made the decision to go ahead I decided I really needed to invest in it 100% as my family helped us out with the cost and I felt that I owed it to them to give it my best shot.
We travelled to London and I needed a wheelchair as I had been getting worse and was no longer able to walk very far. On the first day Gary, my husband said goodbye to me outside the office, first ensuring I had my walking stick and some snacks (if I got hungry my symptoms got much worse!). He went to meet our nephew who lives in London and spent some time with him telling him about how ill I had become. They met me after the first session and poor old Gary felt like a fool as I came bounding out, giving both of them a big hug and then dragging them off for something to eat and a wander down Oxford Street!
I had felt the energy literally surging through my veins during that first session and by the second day I had to buy new shoes and my old ones, bought whilst I was ill, just weren’t up to all the walking I was now doing!
I can’t tell you how it works, not because it’s magic (it’s not) and not because I’m not ‘allowed’ to, but because you need to learn that kind of stuff from a properly trained person.
All I can tell you is that after two weeks I returned back to work, this was four months ago and I’ve not had any time off sick since. I’ve set up my own business too, so am working (although it doesn’t feel like work) seven days a week. My results were very quick, some of it has taken a bit longer, down to the fact that my body simply hasn’t been used to moving much but I now take getting up in the morning, after a good nights sleep, feeling full of energy not exactly for granted but without worrying that it’s not going to last.
I have my life back and my husband has his wife back.
A huge huge thank you to my wonderful trainer, Helen Harding, who has been fantastic both during the training and afterwards plus also to the whole LP team for their enthusiasm and ongoing motivation to share their precious knowledge.