The Book

A Guide to Recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)/ (M.E), Long Covid, post viral fatigue (PVFS), Burnout, Tired All the Time.

From SURVIVE TO THRIVE

The Chapter that got away!! Scroll down.

The book takes you through a journey of recovery, based on Jan’s background knowledge as a lecturer in health and social care, with over 30 yrs of expertise as a therapist and trainer as well as her own experience of recovering, on her own, from post viral fatigue and CFS/M.E. The book incorporates information and tools from her “Reset to Thrive” training programme as well as giving in-depth understanding of the science behind the illness, the saboteurs to recovery, detailed step by step guide on what it takes to recover and deal with setbacks. Having relapsed herself and learnt what she had to do to stay permanently healthy, and fully back to normal, the second part of the book is about living a healthy life, staying robust and resilient, no matter what challenges life throws at us. It is also for anyone who is surviving not thriving, experiencing fatigue, burnout, or “tired all the time”.

Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up" Nelson Mandela

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I was so upset by the practise and beliefs about CFS/M.E that I promised that one day, when life permitted, I would write a book to tell everyone who wants to hear it: “You CAN Recover from chronic fatigue syndrome and M.E”- and all the other conditions caused by the autonomic system going out of balance, including Long Covid, Fibromyalgia, post viral fatigue syndrome and Burnout or Tired all the Time. Sadly, even today, clients with CFS tell me that specialists and professionals still say patients have to learn to manage it, there is no cure or treatment, in alignment with NICE Guidelines. Many patients having Long Covid for over a year are being told the same thing, although thankfully, in many areas the picture for Long Covid is brighter. CFS conditions has no physical damage, as is true for the vast majority of Long Covid sufferers. It is our survival system kicking in  inappropriately, to shut us down, so we have to make the healthy system work and stop the protective system running the show.

Reset to thrive

The book starts with an introduction explaining my experience, what causes CFS and gives an overview of the following chapters. It describes how current thinking in the M.E world and in current practise can cause people to get stuck in the illness and deteriorate, causing many people with the condition to give up, to despair, become frustrated or anxious about the condition and everything that “could exasperate the condition”. Even today people are told they need to let go of the person they were, to grieve for that person and to accept the “ new you” who has limited capacity. Patients are trained to be careful, cautious, analysing what will cause them to crash and to be terrified of normal neutral events. They are taught “ they will pay for it if they do too much” and of course we can always find evidence for anything we are looking for. Instead, based on my own experience of recovery, we need to develop a perspective that enables us to recognise that the body was shut down as a protective mechanism and once it has had sufficient restorative rest, it is appropriate for us to use it again. Rather than believing we are going to pay for it if we do too much or that events and situations make us anticipate disaster, we need to be revising how we do everything, to get success and to thrive. The book then goes on to explain the maladaptive system that is creating symptoms and describes the scientific evidence to support this. It also clarifies why triggers cause the body to shut down and how our lowered threshold means we barely exert ourselves before being shut down or put into arousal mode for our protection. You will learn how unwittingly certain actions and reactions get us caught up in a perpetual cycle and the rest of Part One in the book offers a guide on how to counteract this and how to recover. The guide is intended for anyone at any stage of M.E/CFS/ FM or Long Covid and post viral fatigue because you can learn to master the core values and resources even during the period of calm, restorative rest. There is a questionnaire on the website for you to access just how familiar you are with the necessary resources and how much you do them. It would be normal, given the seriousness of the condition and the advice you hear from some quarters, that your resourcefulness has been eroded and this will have affected your recovery. You can go at a pace that suits you; if you feel you have all the resources but had gone off track because you hadn’t understood the condition, you may find you can move very quickly on your journey of recovery. Others may be established in the condition and rusty on essential resources outlined in the book and so will need to practise a bit more, consistently and always knowing you will recover, no matter how many times you may have setbacks. Every journey starts with a single step, so you can read the book, excited that you have made a start and when you take it one step at a time, you will achieve your goal. This is not a race but an amazing journey of discovery and recovery. Part Two of the book is called “ Staying Healthy” and relates to my relapse and what I learnt from this experience. Rather than make the same mistakes, this section is for you to understand what may have caused your body to have shut down or gone into survival mode and how to rectify this in future. In a nutshell, biologically, we are either in thrive or survive, so we have to do practical things to make our world healthy and nurturing as well as skill up to ensure we stay healthy and robust, no matter what challenges like throws at us. Then we never have relapses and we return to our normal human threshold, doing whatever we like that is within healthy capacity. Part two also includes a few techniques I learnt from NeuroLinguisticProgramming ( NLP) which I learnt during the relapse. The title is “ Breaking Free from CFS and Long Covid” because everyone wants to break free from this awful debilitating illness that leaves many of us bedridden, housebound or severely restricted not because we want to or because we are depressed but because the body had physically shut down, malfunctioning automatically. It will show you how to Break Free and Thrive again. The subtitle “ You CAN recover from CFS ( and other conditions): The Answer Lies Within is because I want to let everyone know they can recover and for specialists to be fascinated how people do recover and realise that this maladaptive illness is recoverable from. The Answer Lies Within refers to a lovely lady I saw for healing who just kept telling me “ the answer lies within”. And of course, it does. Once you know how to rebalance the autonomic system that lies within you, you will know how to recover.