Using the Lightning Process to ‘do’ a happy healthy Christmas

11 Jan

It wasn’t magic or luck that saw me able to enjoy Christmas 2013. It wasn’t a special potion or spell either.

The Lightning Process had a lot, no everything, to do with it. And as my LP practitioner pointed out in my follow up yesterday, it’s not so much the LP but my work, use and application of it. So basically well done me!! And well done to Mr B, my sister Lou and my Mum and Dad for giving me the space to use the process whenever I needed. They were great in not minding me dash off to the bathroom to talk to myself for a few moments as I coached myself through the LP steps to get myself back onto an even keel and away from whatever stressor was about to take me into the pit – be it doing (unreasonably) tired, achiness from pushing myself too hard, annoyance at some little thing, snappiness, busyness, temperature swings, early morning waking, headache or stuffy foggy head. Any and all of these saw me pop off and talk myself through the LP. I have to say I am much consistent and better at using the process when I am by myself or just with Mr B, but I tried really hard to keep self aware enough to take myself off when I felt myself on precipice of the pit.

In the run up to Christmas, in addition to baking lots and filling my freezer with Jess friendly Christmas goodies, I did a lot of prep work using the LP as well. I needed to create for myself a bank of positive energy filled memories of Christmas replacing the negative doing ME/CFS memories that had been my norm over the last few festive seasons. Using the LP I ‘brain rehearsed’ cooking Christmas food and spending time with my family ‘doing good energy’ (rather than doing exhausted and in pain). I used the LP on issues such as doing calm whilst being in the kitchen cooking with my Mum and sister, on staying calm and not taking on family members’ moods should they arise as well as doing confident and independent when receiving gifts. Both before and during the festive period it was important for me to keep touching back to base with LP reminding myself that I had the tools to do a great calm happy energy filled Christmas. And largely I succeeded, see my last post for all the good stuff!

Of course I didn’t do a perfect Christmas. But really, who does? I did do tired, I did do achiness from trying to do too much. Yes there were tears of exhaustion and frustration. Yes I am ashamed to say I did do some stress and snappiness (something to do with hot plates I seem to remember, sorry Mum…) I don’t want to dwell on these negatives too much. Suffice it to say I’m not looking back with rose tinted glasses. I know there were some issues. Rather than dwelling on the negatives and pulling myself down, I think it is much more helpful to look at what I have learnt from these dips/slip ups/ digressions. They provide helpful indicators of what I still need to work on.

I am not ‘better’. I had a stark reminder of this a few days before Christmas. Lou arrived home on the 18th and came straight to our flat. We had a wonderful fun filled few days of cooking together, shopping, having manicures and generally hanging out like two ‘normal’ healthy sisters; something I had longed to do for so long. This was the first time I’d seen Lou since doing the LP and I wanted to enjoy, and use to the max, every minute of her being back in England for the holidays.

You can probably guess what happened. Yep I crashed. After 3 days or so of living like a whirlwind, albeit having a fun time, I was doing very tired. I was doing achy. I was doing tearful. I was doing stress, snappiness etc. In short many of the patterns that I ran when I was doing ME/CFS resurfaced. ‘I thought I was better’…I cried to Lou….And yes this is where I learnt an important lesson. I wasn’t, and am not, ‘better’. I am doing much ‘better’ than I was six months ago but better in absolute terms I am not. Nor perhaps will I ever be. At the moment I am in recovery, I am in rehabilitation. I still need to listen to my body and not push myself too hard too fast. I am slowly rebuilding my strength and my stamina. This takes time. Lots of time. It does not happen overnight. Nor would you expect it to. I’ve had three years of doing ME/CFS, so severely I have barely been able to look after myself at times never mind work, plus at least 5 years prior to that of having ME/CFS but not knowing it and pushing through, collapsing at times, recovering and pushing through a bit longer. I am not magically going to jump up and run a marathon tomorrow. If I’d broken my leg I would expect to need physiotherapy and rehabilitation to be able to walk again. Running would only come much further down the line after much painstaking time, effort and rebuilding. And so it is with me and ME/CFS. I of course knew all this prior to Christmas but perhaps I didn’t really know it.

Accepting this and not doing stress when I have a dip and not doubting myself or the LP is vital and something I am using the LP itself on to achieve. Doubt leads me into the bad place. It leads me into the pit where my nervous system goes mental, my stress response kick into over drive and all the ME/CFS symptoms reappear. So doubt we very much don’t need and luckily I have a tool to help me curb this.

This is not to say I won’t forget when I’m doing good energy and avoid pushing on that step too far again. I’m sure I will. In fact you could say I already did – day after hosting Mr B’s family for lunch on the 29th, Mr B and I decided to go to the sales. Yeh that was a stupid idea. I felt so shakey and weak I had to collapse into a seat before my legs gave way. We had a quick lunch and swiftly came home. Sales shopping is insane for healthy fit people never mind someone like me….. I am not stupid. I have degree from Cambridge University, that proves I can’t be stupid but sometime I do wonder…

Overall Christmas 2013 saw big changes for me both physically and mentally. I was (mostly) a calm, relaxed, energised and pain free Jess.

As we move on through the New Year, long may it continue and improve further and further πŸ™‚ both for myself and for all fellow spoonies on their recovery journey.

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9 Responses to “Using the Lightning Process to ‘do’ a happy healthy Christmas”

  1. Jumping_Jenny_444 January 11, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    That’s wonderful that the Lightning Process is working out so well! πŸ™‚ These methods aren’t exactly a cure, but they can at least get the chronic illness under control. I haven’t done LP, but since I’ve had fibro for over a year I told myself, “Well, since I’ll have this for life, I might as well try to adapt to it.” Ever since my realization, I have been able to do a little more (with crashes after of course πŸ˜‰ ).
    It truly is “mind over matter” that gets us through. Keep up the great work, Jess! πŸ™‚

  2. currankentucky January 11, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, its so interesting to see how the LP is helping you. I truly believe acceptance is an important element of our journey to well being. I sat in front of my current consultant for the last time yesterday and boldly told her how “I can survive if running never returns to my life”. Imagine, I can say that, I’ve accepted my current limitations, accepted I don’t know the future and accepted to face into the challenges ahead… more re my final meeting in my next post! For now I again wish to toast you!! xx

  3. triciaruth January 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    Well done you! Glad it is working for you. I remember one of the best bits of advice I had was that you can often learn more about your limits and progress from a setback than when everything is goin ok.

    I effectively “turn my frown upsidedown” when I have a setback by deciding to have the “best” setback I can by having extra time in bed, slowly coming to and taking great pleasure in resting, recouperating and evaluating what exactly triggered my setback.
    By doing that I not only turn the negative thoughts of ‘not another setback rarrarararraarrrr’ to positive ones of ‘I’m rocking this setback like a winner!’ And most times my evaluation brings about the realisation that I had done much more than I had previously been able to (like when I was feeling rubbish and then realised that it was because I had done 22k steps!!) which also boosts the positive thoughts.
    By flipping to the positive I usually find that my setbacks are shorter than before.

  4. thehomeschoolingdoctor January 12, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    I’m expecting and feeling miserable in the first trimester. When I get feeling really sorry for myself, I think, “Let’s just do my own mini version of LP.” So I sit there and focus on parts of my body that feel good, the sunshine, etc–whatever it takes. Ha! Ha! I know it’s not LP, but it’s my attempt that I learned from your blog. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you had a nice Christmas! I’m glad LP is giving you much more normal life. But please, rest, too! My husband always chastises me about not cramming in too much. He hates it when I do that, and I don’t stop hearing about it!

    • myjourneythrume January 13, 2014 at 7:33 am #

      Congratulations!! That’s so exciting! I had been thinking of you and hoping all was okay as hadn’t seen you around the blogosphere recently! I hope the first trimester miserableness passes and you can enjoy a happy healthy pregnancy. I am resting too! Trying to make sure I have some rest time everyday. I love that your using LP in your own way, that’s great to hear I hope it’s helping πŸ™‚

      • thehomeschoolingdoctor January 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

        Maybe I should advertise my own LP process for pregnancy. No, wait. I’d better not–it’s NOT working so great! (Smile.) And there won’t be another chance to perfect it. (Smile again!) Thanks for the congrats. It’s still a little early, and so anything could happen still. I’m hoping my energy comes back soon. You start wondering if it ever will.

      • myjourneythrume January 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

        You start wondering if it ever will…trust me I know that feeling! I’m sure your energy will return, it presumably did with the first three? So this is the fourth and final time then?! I have everything crossed that God is kind and you have a smooth and easy pregnancy.

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