Life hasn’t always been like this, though. For eight years my life was a never-ending downward spiral. I had to rest between 12 and 18 hours a day, and every time I ignored this infernal need for constant rest and looking after myself, I invariably had to pay the price in the form of fever, sore throat, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, swollen glands, aching and throbbing muscles, sore, red throat and burning soles of my feet – even on days I had not been standing around much.
I chose to work a little bit, but in such way that on those days when I did work for a couple of hours, I had to keep the rest of the day free, as anything else would have been impossible. I suffered from ME. I am still not clear what triggered it, and maybe that is not so important, there was probably not just one clear incident; – life happened. More important is the fact that I have recovered, I am well again, from a disease I had accepted and actually thought I would struggle with for the rest of my life.
I am well again, from a disease I had accepted and actually thought I would struggle with for the rest of my life
In the beginning I simply started to feel so enormously tired, no matter how much rest I got. For three years running I went to the doctor with the same symptoms, a little bit more exhausted with each passing year, and in the end I simply could not do it anymore. I was put on a 100% sick leave and started on a long and thorough medical examination. I was first checked for depression, but scored very low on all tests, which was good. There were innumerable blood samples, I attended the sleep centre at Ahus hospital, I saw an ear, nose & throat specialist, I had X-rays and MRs done of my brain. I was then referred to the neurological/psychoneurological centre in Oslo, which finally gave me the diagnosis. And that was it. I was left to my own devices. The Norwegian Health Services could no longer help me.
An ME diagnosis is something one simply must learn to live with; you need to learn what works and what doesn’t work for you. You challenge your limits until the symptoms screech through your whole body. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe. As an ME sufferer I tried almost every advice for getting better. I have gone on countless diets, cut out sugar completely, tried out LDN (low dose naltrexone) plus homeopathy, I have seen alternative practitioners, tried cognitive therapies, pacing, and just resting it away. None of these efforts made me any better. To a certain degree I was able to keep on top of it by quitting whatever it was I was doing before I became completely exhausted, but suffered from poor quality of life as a result – everything was all about achieving this balance, which would sometimes work but other times not at all.
Everything was all about achieving this balance
I actually heard about the Lightening Process and Live Landmark pretty early in my period of illness. I joined Facebook groups where this method for getting well again was derided and mocked, and where Live Landmark was described as a cynical person who had become a millionaire by helping so-called ‘ME-sick’ people. They could never have been really sick, obviously. People with ‘real ME’ can never get well again, and certainly not by cynical alternative snake-oil salesmen such as the LP practitioners.
I searched the web, discovered Live and Recovery Norway’s webpages, and read the stories of people with similar medical histories and symptoms as me, and this kindled a small ray of hope in me. The first hope, actually, ever since I’d fallen ill
Despite it all, by 2018 something made me decide to check out this LP method and try to find out what it really was. I searched the web, discovered Live and Recovery Norway’s webpages, and read the stories of people with similar medical histories and symptoms as me, and this kindled a small ray of hope in me. The first hope, actually, ever since I’d fallen ill.
In the Norwegian health system, many ME patients have been met with distrust, had their symptoms questioned and disregarded. Many have been told to ‘pull their socks up’, think positively and pull themselves together. I think this has resulted in a desperate and unhappy group of patients that are very adamant that ‘ME is not in the head; it is a physical ailment’. For me personally, it’s never been important whether this is a physical or phycological disease. Its manifestations have certainly felt like they were one hundred percent physical, but as the brain is undeniably a part of our physical bodies, why separate the two?
Having read up on LP online, I realised I had to read Live’s book. It was just like reading about myself! She described the illness that I was living, and once I had finished the last chapter I sent her an e-mail that very same evening. To begin with it did feel like a lot of money to attend her course, but I also knew that if I could have popped a pill knowing it would heal me, I would have borrowed astronomical sums of money to get it. Seeing that this was the most logical thing I had read about recovery since I had fallen ill, I decided to check it out! A few days later I attended a course with Live. My husband came along for support, and we both learned about quite basic neurology and about the functioning of the brain. How the brain effects the body and the reverse. And – most importantly – I learned how to stop the negative connections and signals from the brain to the body, and to replace them with positive ones. This is not about thinking positively, it is much more intricate. After a three-day course I was not recovered, actually I was quite beat; all the information was a lot to take in! But there was a lot of logic to it and I now had a tool to get me and my body out of my old, set patterns.
But there was a lot of logic to it and I now had a tool to get me and my body out of my old, set patterns
We had many follow-up conversations and I knew that as soon as I was struggling or lost my focus, Live would be ready to get me back on track. I used the method several times a day, and some days many times per hour. I can understand how this method does not work for all. You have to be willing the take the full and whole responsibility, you are the only one who can do this job. I am intrigued and fascinated by our brain; what it is capable of, how we ourselves can control our bodies, to a much greater extent than most people will ever realise. The brain is so cool; it is completely magical, but sometimes it gets stuck on a track that isn’t good for us, even without us knowing it.
Eight years of being sick is in the past. My son once again has a mother, my husband a wife, and I have a life!
I live my life so much more in the present now, compared to before I fell ill. I spend as little time and effort as possible on stuff – emotions, thoughts, and situations – that are not good for me.
There is so much I want to do that I simply don’t have the time to not feel good.