Emotional Healing To Slide Into Full Fibromyalgia Recovery
The last piece of her puzzle for long term recovery from Fibromyalgia. Beth’s Fibromyalgia Recovery Story – 15 Years Recovered After 10 Years of Fibromyalgia
Beth’s Story Of Overcoming Fibromyalgia Told In Her Own Words:
It’s been over to 15 years since I have been free of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. If you have told me that was possible in the earlier years of my diagnosis, I wouldn’t have believed you. Today, I share my story to let others know that recovery from Fibromyalgia is possible and additionally, that recovery doesn’t mean just surviving, but thriving! Here is my story of healing through a variety of strategies and my final fibromyalgia breakthrough from emotional healing on an energetic level.
Beth’s Experience of Having Fibromyalgia
It was just at the starting point of my adult life when Fibromyalgia stopped me in my tracks. When I reflect back, I had experienced a lot of the symptoms since my teen years, but it was as I entered my sophomore year of college that I found myself experiencing a variety of recurring symptoms. Some of the major ones at that time were severe fatigue, acute back pain, chronic migraines, insomnia, urinary tract infections, chronic sore throats and swollen glands, but over the years as is common, they fluctuated among the classical Fibromyalgia symptoms.
I had always been an excellent student, but at that time in college, I found that I struggled to get to class on a regular basis. I had what I later learned to be termed “Fibro Fog” and so found it very difficult to concentrate or study on a consistent basis. As many folks with Fibromyalgia do, at first, I tried to push through it, not admitting that something was wrong. I continued to attempt a full course load and two part-time jobs, which supported me in being a full-time student. By the middle of that year, I had lost one of my jobs due to absenteeism and was barely passing most of my classes. Still, I attempted to proceed as usual.
One day, I woke up and not only did I experience pain in my lower back, but I couldn’t stand up at all. At some point, I managed to “right” myself and found myself standing but totally bent over from the waist. Amazingly, I marched myself 10 city blocks through the streets of New York City to the school infirmary, all while walking totally bent over, my head facing the side walk and praying I would not crash into anyone. I was given a regimen of muscle relaxers from the doctor, who at this point had seen me so many times, he suggested I see a doctor outside the infirmary as what I was experiencing was clearly something beyond the scope of a school infirmary.
Through a family friend whose daughter had experienced some similar symptoms, I was referred to a rheumatologist in NYC. I was sent through a battery of tests and to several other doctors to explore what was going on. It didn’t take too long for my doctor to diagnose me with Fibromyalgia. When I was told I had Fibromyalgia, I said, “Fibro what?” It turned out that this doctor was working with a group of other doctors to research conditions such as Epstein-Barr Virus, CFS and Fibromyalgia as they were seeing many more cases with similar symptoms in recent years. Although a relatively new condition at that time, which was 1987, I quickly came to learn that a Fibromyalgia diagnosis was pretty much viewed as a lifetime sentence of suffering.
The other thing that I experienced was that depending on what doctor I saw, some would accept the diagnosis as a condition and others would not. This was very frustrating as a patient seeking treatment and support. Additionally, at the time, the only treatment considered was to take various muscle relaxers for the physical symptoms and anti-depressants for the depression associated with it. Although I felt minor relief from those treatments, I found they left me just as tired and unable to focus as before. I was forced to drop out of college after my second year.
I moved in with a friend and literally spent most of the next year in bed. Many days, I just couldn’t get up due to fatigue and/or body pain. One of the blessings that came during that time was that with so much time on my hands, I returned to a practice of meditation, which I had developed as a teen-ager. Also, on the days I felt a bit more energy or less pain, I began to practice some very gentle yoga. Little by little, I began to feel a bit more energy and positivity, but it was really up and down based on the day or week.
I was forced to accept that I might not be able to return to school or even work. I also felt that although I had been given a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, I found little support or answers from my doctors. The truth is they really didn’t know that much about it either then and even now, it seems like there is a lot of mystery surrounding it. On the days I could get out, I began to do some research on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which at that time required going to the library or bookstore.
I came across a few books, which focused on diet and supplementation for CFS & Fibromyalgia. I began a regimen of various supplements; I did a candida diet followed by food combining. I found my digestion got better, which had always been an issue for me. Also, having been on antibiotics frequently through my childhood and teen years, my immune system was very week. During that year, although still highly symptomatic, I began to feel better some days and less sick overall.
After that year, being the determined 21 year old that I was, I returned to college. This wasn’t only because I wanted to complete school, but because I needed somewhere to live and going to college created that space for me. The reality was I still was not strong enough to attend school full-time and I found myself struggling with feelings of failure, as I was unable to keep up with my course load.
It was around this time that I began to see a counselor at the college. And, this was the first time since I had left home that I began to talk about the trauma and abuse I had experienced growing up. I had never tried to do any emotional healing before. It was very painful and yet, I noticed that as I began to open up, I began to feel a bit better. I managed to make it through two more years of school, just barely passing at times, but nonetheless, graduating. Still, I considered myself a failure as I had not done well enough or found my career path by that time. Now, as I look back, I see what a tremendous miracle that was!
So at 22, facing the world of work, I found myself really struggling again. It was difficult to maintain a full-time job, but somehow I seemed to manage. At that point, there seemed to be some more information about CFS and Fibro coming out, so I continued my research and becoming well became my purpose. I knew if I could not find a way to feel better and be better, I would have no hope of a good life.
Beth’s Recovery from Fibromyalgia
I spent most of my 20’s exploring my options. I continued with Diet and Nutrition, Therapy and I also began to explore a variety of alternative therapies, such as Chiropractic, Massage, Reiki, etc. I found little by little, I would feel better. And, at times, I would drop into what I term, “Recycling”, when symptoms would return more severely. But, I began to see a gradual improvement overall. Since then, I have learned that healing is not a straight line, it is more like a spiral so it is natural to have up periods and down ones and that awareness can really help in those down times.
By the time I was 28, I was much improved, although at times I would have a “bout” of Fibro symptoms return. As I found my health improving, I was still struggling with what to do with my life. I liked my job but it wasn’t my passion and I felt like I must have some type of calling. Around that time, a friend suggested we go to massage school and start a business together. Since I had benefitted from massage, this felt exciting to me. I went down that week and registered. At first, I was concerned that with Fibromyalgia, I would not be able to do the work, but what I found was that I had recovered even more that I imagined. This awareness was a great gift to me!
After a year of training, I began a new career as a massage therapist. I had already experience in Reflexology, Reiki, Meditation and Yoga, so I had a good foundation in energy healing approaches as well. Amazingly, I found I was able to see 15 plus clients a week without experiencing the symptoms of Fibromyalgia – most of the time. Then, those “bouts” would take over and I would find myself depleted and in pain. I recognized they were less and less and yet, since I knew they might still arrive, I lived in fear of that happening.
I was blessed by that point to know many holistic practitioners and through a series of events, I began three different types of treatment in one year. They all focused on emotional healing but in a more energetic way. One of them was the Bach Flower Remedies, which I truly credit as being a catalyst for my moving out of the cycle of Fibromyalgia I had been in for close to a decade. It has since become one of the core tools I use in my holistic healing practice and one I recommend for anyone with Fibromyalgia or CFS.
After that year, I was totally free of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. It was as I reflected back on my decade long journey that I came to understand the importance of taking responsibility for my own healing process, using a holistic approach – one that addresses body, mind, emotion and spirit and finding tools and techniques that support continued self-care and well-being.
Beth Now that she has recovered from Fibromyalgia
It’s now been over 15 years that I am recovered from Fibromyalgia. Although there was a time that I saw that diagnosis as a curse, I have come to see it as a great blessing in my life as it opened the door to my life path as a holistic health practitioner. Since that time, I have developed an Integrative Transformational Healing approach, which incorporates the Shamanic Healing, Bach Flower Remedies, Energy Healing, Meditation, Bodywork and Holistic Self-Care. I have found that it is most important to treat the whole person, not the disease or symptoms. Emotional healing is a great part of that. I believe as Dr. Edward Bach, creator of the Bach Flower Remedies, shares:
“In true healing, the nature and the name of the physical disease is of no consequence whatsoever. Disease of the body itself is nothing but the result of the disharmony between soul and mind. It is only a symptom of the cause, and as the same cause will manifest itself differently in nearly every individual, seek to remove this cause, and the after results, whatever they may be, will disappear automatically.”
It is my passion to help people with Fibromyalgia, CFS and other chronic conditions to utilize a holistic approach to life and well-being by addressing body, mind, emotion and spirit; and supporting a return to a state of wholeness that is I believe is every being’s truest essence.
Beth Terrence is based in Annapolis, MD. She offers one-on-one sessions, programs, and classes & workshops both locally and via phone/skype. Learn more at www.bethterrence.com or http://theheartofawakening.wordpress.com.