I came across a FB live that Lilia did to promote the Heal Scotland idea in November 2018. I was really taken by her enthusiasm for all the types of protocols that I was already using on my own to help deal with my symptoms of CFS/ME (diagnosed 1991). I knew doctors were not the answer, or any kind of answer for me. I contacted Lilia because I was interested in seeing how I could be involved from an ‘offering help’ point of view and also ‘what am I missing?’.
After decades of ups and downs, slight remissions where I could work or study and had my family, I was at a place of knowing that I was doing a lot of the right things. Yet my energy levels were so low that I didn’t get out of bed from January to March 2019. My aches and pains could no longer be tolerated. However, in myself, I felt like I was in a place of great self understanding after a year of quite intense energy work, regression and work on my ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). I had found out that my very ‘normal’ upbringing, with no big TRAUMA had actually felt continually unsafe and traumatic from the viewpoint of a 1/2/3/4/5 year old. These patterns of coping set up in my brain at these early stages were a huge part of what was stopping me healing.
I did the taster session of the Wim Hof Method at Loch Lomond on 23 March 2019. It was a fundraiser for Heal Scotland opening weekend. I had a pretty exhiliarting experience but was not 100% convinced it would help me given that I had been practically bed bound, I decided to give it a go anyway. What did I have to lose? For the next week or so I did the breathing and started working up my cold shower time. I even went into the sea twice while at a very chilly Isle of Skye.
I did find it difficult at this point. I was having strong detox reactions and I knew I needed to get back to clean eating and keep up my daily meditations but I was struggling on my own.
I was watching the Heal Scotland pilot group on FaceBook and I knew what I needed most was the support of a community who were on the same track as me. So I contacted Lilia again and she agreed that I could come to stay for the 10 days that I wanted.
My first few days at Barmolloch were interesting. It was a very varied group and everyone had their own issues. However, this was not the focus. These were our old ‘stories’ and we were ready to write new ones! (I was anyway! With Lilia’s help).
I had also missed the part about the scheme where each person had to help out on the organic farm. This terrified me! I had been unable to do anything much at all since the beginning of the year and PEM (post exercisonal malaise) is the hardest symptom of CFS/ME to avoid because it is hard to tell that you are doing too much until after the fact. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do anything and, worse, that I wouldn’t be able to judge my limitsand do too much. This proved to be a very big learning experience for me, starting out, not being able to say ‘no’ or ‘I’ve done enough’ and causing myself to crash out for hours at a time. By the end of the 10 days I had worked that participating at the pace my body was able to rather than pushing hard to get things done was the way to go and stopping when I needed to and not pushing until the job was done. I also learned that I love planting things, cleaning out a chicken coop is horrible but bearable and collecting your own eggs is totally amazing.
The breathing and cold water got easier every day. The vegan diet was tasty and nutritious. We had various sound based therapists share their skills with us. I found I had a better voice than I thought. Even though I am still far from being a singer, the noise in a group setting is beautiful and the freedom of making noise on your own is releasing. OM!! I picked up various other useful tools. I go to bed by 10pm and up by 6am, avoiding unnatural light sources and my sleep in generally improving. I got advise on making changes to the supplements I was using and we learned lots of relaxation and releasing techniques.
I kept up a good regime when I got home and a few weeks later I had lost 5kg, managing to drive myself for my daily dook, went to the supermarket on my own and now I can drive longer distances and have a couple of hours in the day where I am actually OK!
I still have a long way to go! I noticed that if I slip out of routine or miss the cold water then my pain and fatigue gets much worse. So I decided that I will just do it every day.
It really has taken doing everything, every day to get this far and this has been done from a place of peace and compassion. Pushing is not the way for me to heal.
I am enough. I accept myself 100%. I am a peace-centred warrior!
Thank you Lilia, Hilary, Helen, Stewart and all the other amazing contributors.