This is a question that as a practitioner I get asked a lot from prospective clients. I can remember asking this very question myself when I was hopping from one practitioner to another – looking for an answer. Each time I became more and more disappointed. Getting better seemed so far out of reach, the costs for me at my lowest point seemed insurmountable.
I started to think about this but in a different way. After having yet another tearful conversation with my best friend, she asked me what had it cost me already physically, emotionally and financially?
I asked her what she meant, and in summary, this is what she said:
– Think how much you have lost in wages over these last ten years. I was lucky to have had a really good job managing GP practices so I had a good salary, but I gulped when we worked it out that my loss of potential earnings amounted to £360,000!
– She also asked me how much I had paid out to holistic therapists, nutritionists, online supplements, online programmes? I couldn’t give a definite figure, but I’m pretty sure it runs into the high thousands. We went for a conservative estimate of £8,000.
– My personal debts were horrendous not being able to work, until then I had completely ignored what I owed; car loan payments, overdraft, extension to the mortgage, personal loans, store cards and several credit cards. If anything I actually didn’t know, so we sat down, opened all the letters hidden at the back of drawers and in handbags…it came to £42,000.
Believe, me when I say at this point I didn’t know if I wanted to go on. It seemed insurmountable, but luckily for me my friend knew me inside and out. She knew there was a spark buried inside of me that wanted to get better, regain my health and feel ‘me’ again. She kindly booked time in the next day to come back and go through the physical and emotional side of things.
The next day arrived and my energy levels were on the floor. I was unable to get out of bed or even shower that morning. She still came anyway and sat with me, gently encouraging me to just answer if I could. She took notes and said she would come up with a plan of action and also contact people on my behalf to set up payment plans – I was so grateful and fortunate that she was so financially astute.
Emotionally, I was a wreck. Not only having all the physical symptoms to cope with ranging from chronic fatigue to fibromyalgia that all go hand in hand – I had spent yet another sleepless night, thinking about how much of a failure I was personally, I had nothing to offer anyone. The sleeplessness, anxiety, and fatigue was made even worse by the stress that I was under, I honestly didn’t feel that I had anyone to turn to. If I couldn’t be honest with myself, how could I be honest with anyone else? The emotional impact, bad life choices, adverse childhood experiences all contributed to my poor emotional mental health and physical state.
This conversation with my friend all started because I had found an The Chrysalis Effect online recovery programme. What was different about this one?
Well, the person who had set up the recovery programme, Elaine Wilkins, had recovered from M.E and Fibromyalgia. She had hundreds of recovery stores from people who had recovered using her programme. The way it was set up took all the guesswork and isolation out of having a recovery pathway – was I skeptical? Yes – absolutely, but it wasn’t thousands of pounds, or even hundreds of pounds. At that time it was £24.00 per month. I asked my friend to take a look for me as I knew that as a researcher she would really drill down on finding out how genuine it was.
Several weeks later she came back to me, and said:
“I spoke to Elaine and her daughter Kelly, and I told them all about you, they suggested that you signup for the 30 day free trial – it’s easy, accessible, and you also get to speak to people who have recovered to find out more. They have a buddy system and a Facebook forum that is positive, it comes out weekly over 40 weeks and I think you can do this. How about I invest in this for you!”
I was overwhelmed with gratitude, but also cautious as I had been down this road so many times before. What if I didn’t get better? What if I let my friend down? What if I couldn’t’t cope with what was expected of me? The questions worries and fears, the real ones and imagined ones just kept flooding my brain until I just froze. I couldn’t go forwards, I couldn’t go backwards, so I just left it.
What made me change my mind?
I figured that 30 days of anything free was worth trying. I could back out if I needed to. The cost per month was manageable, but most of all it gave me hope. Hope that recovery was possible. Hope that I had support from people who genuinely had recovered using this approach. Hope that hundreds of other people had been in a similar position to me and really understood my fears around not just recovery, but also going down this pathway. They offered me the support I needed to understand what was behind my chronic pain.
It wasn’t easy – in fact, it took me four attempts to get my head around the emotional aspect of recovery, but I am happy to say that I am now fully recovered and leading a full and happy life, not the life I had before. As that life is what got me into such a mess. I now have a life where I fulfil my true purpose and I am proud to say I now work with other people who are struggling to find the missing pieces of their puzzle.
If any of this resonates with you, then please do give contact me, your first step on the recovery wellbeing pathway could be as simple as a 30 minute call away.
Carole Randell, Chronic Pain Relief specialist, Wellbeing Coach and Psychotherapist