For me it was about realising that the mind and body is connected, and learn that I could influence my health through cognitive tools

This virus was the beginning of a long period of health issues for me, which ended up with me being diagnosed with CFS/ME, and spending a long period as a bed bound patient. I tried every treatment I came across, but it was not until I learned that the mind and body are connected, and that I could use cognitive tools to influence my physical and mental health that I became well again.

I was used to my body recovering quickly from illnesses in the past, and was sure my body would recover in no time after Mononucleosis, so that I could return to my full time job and working out. However, for the first time in my life, my body wouldn’t listen, and over the course of several months, I struggled to get well and to get my energy and health back. I was gradually sapped of energy, as I continued to go to work and do my workouts, and every excursion just made me feel worse afterwards.

After many attempts to find the root cause by visiting doctors and specialists at hospitals, without any answers, I saw no other option, but to return home to my parents’ house to rest. I went on sick leave from work, and after I lay down in my bed at my parents’ house one day, I hardly got up again for 13 months. During this period of time, I experienced a lot of physical pain, declining cognitive function and post exertion malaise. I just never seemed to be able to rest enough and get my energy back.

Bjørne in different stages, before, under and after the disease period.

Bedbound and in need of care

I tried “everything” to get well. I tried all that the public health system had to offer, and also went to private clinics and tried many forms of alternative medicine. I got countless of solutions recommended and many different diagnoses. I was first told by doctors that it was all just stress. Then a few months later after getting worse and experiencing new symptoms I was told that I was burnt out, and that I was lacking one symptom to get an ME diagnosis. However, when my health continued to worsen in the months to follow and I experienced new and more severe symptoms, I was finally diagnosed with ME in the later part of 2015. 

For every failed attempt at treating my disease, my stress and anxiety levels increased, and my situation got worse

It is worth mentioning, related to my diagnosis, that I have been criticised for not having “real” ME, when I on a few occasions have shared my story in the media, and in a book I wrote about how I got well from CFS/ME. The reason that I have been criticised is because there were several things I didn’t know about my diagnostic history when I spoke about my journey in the media and in my book. I didn’t know when I spoke up in the media and in my book that there was so much controversy around this diagnosis and the criteria for setting this diagnosis. I knew that there was debate, but not that it was common to get this much criticism. I wasn’t previously aware of my whole patient history, which diagnosis I had gotten at which times, and what different doctors had said during my whole journey through the healthcare system, because I was too sick to read or understand anything at that time. After I got well I was more concerned about enjoying my life and sharing my story, than reading my own patient record. It is not until now as I am writing this in June/July 2021, that I have gathered all my patient records from my time with CFS/ME and discovered that my last doctor did in fact give me an ME diagnosis in the later part of 2015, and that any doubt around whether I had ME or just CFS, was several months earlier. As my situation had worsened and continued over a longer period of time, I did in the end get an ME diagnosis. This was obviously tough news for my family and I, as we were left on our own to figure out how to help me get well.

No one was able to provide me with a solution to my ME illness. The feeling of despair came over me, and for every failed attempt at treating my disease, my stress and anxiety levels increased, and I experienced a lot of post exertion malaise following each attempt. It all ended with me being bed bound for 24 hours a day, needing help to be fed, going to the bathroom, and with all my other everyday needs from my parents and brother.

If others can do it…

It was not until 13 months later, after spending all my hours laying in bed, while the frustration and sadness around my situation increased, that my family finally got in touch with someone who had been in a similar situation – and gotten well. Before we found this person, we had tried so many things, and everything had in the end only made me more fatigued and increased my pain. 

My family finally got in touch with someone who had been in a similar situation – and gotten well.

However, this person had been just like me in bed for a long time, and after attending a course called the Lightning Process, he had gotten out of his bedridden situation in a short amount of time. I had no idea how I would be able to go anywhere, or attend a three-day course, given that I currently needed a wheelchair to get around, and I couldn’t focus on anything for more than a few seconds and had a lot of pain. However, I found comfort in knowing that someone who had been in a similar situation as me, had managed to do it. If that was the case, then it could mean that I would be able to do the same. I had tried all the physical treatments and tests available to me, and I was open to a final attempt at something that I was told would look at how the mind and body work together, and how I could influence my own physical and mental health through cognitive tools.

Focused, goal-directed training

From being a bedridden patient, dependent on my family for everything, needing a wheelchair to get to the Lightning Process course, the change that took place during the course was dramatic. 

After the first day of the course I managed to walk to a café and have food with my family! I learned cognitive tools that I could use to influence my physical and mental health, which had an immediate effect on me. After the Lightning Process course, I have practiced the skills the course taught me about the mind-body connection on a daily basis. Over time my life has continued to improve as I continued using the tools from the course and adding on more tools from Mindfulness.

In retrospect, I believe that the stress, anxiety, and an isolated lifestyle made me worse. I was told to just rest in bed by doctors, but the fact that I wasn’t doing what I loved made me more sick. By getting back to life with the help of the tools that I learned from LP and later Mindfulness, I got my life and health back.

In retrospect, the stress, despair, and isolated lifestyle made me anxious, stressed and unhappy.

The Lightning Process taught me how the mind and body are connected, and how I can use cognitive tools to influence my health. I learned how to break negative patterns, change my emotional state, and use the potential of neuroplasticity to rewire my brain to work in new ways, and make happiness and wellness a mental habit. Immediately the results were amazing and continued to get better over time. Today, I am back to living a healthy life, and I have more happiness in my life than ever before. I will forever be grateful for the life essential skills that the Lightning Process course taught me, and for all the tools from Mindfulness that I have added on that have furthered helped me reach new goals in life.