My Christmas/New Year Message And Recovery Tips

I was recently invited to create a video to share as part of the Community Of Hope for Recovery from CFS/ME/FM Facebook Group’s 12 Days Of Christmas event. It has a few key tips that I’m finding helpful in my recovery, and includes a special surprise gift at the end!

I thought you might enjoy it too, so here it is:
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My Top Ten Songs For CFS

Music is a big part of my life nowadays. Shortly after I fell ill, I decided to start learning to play guitar. I thought it would be a great way to connect with healthy people without taking up too much energy, and it was. Rather than sitting around complaining about how I felt, I spent a lot of time learning the hand shapes, getting the hang of strumming and hanging out with other musically minded people.

It turned out that I had quite a bit of spare time available to practise while recovering. I also learned to play drums, and now I do volunteer work for a charity that provides music and yoga to disadvantaged people. Playing music with people whose lives are more challenging than mine reminds me to be grateful for the health I have.

So here are my Top Ten Songs for CFS:
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Woke up this morning feeling tense and agitated

Couldn’t get to sleep last night, so I stayed up late finishing off Richard Branson’s autobiography Losing My Virginity. I love the guy’s mindset; whatever he wants, he just goes after, seemingly without fear. Very inspiring.

Woke up this morning feeling quite tense and agitated. My cold/flu is gone, so I’m back to just feeling moderately lousy all the time. I had the dating workshop on the weekend, and found it quite stressful. Approaching women I’ve never met before and starting conversations with them is something I really want to master, but isn’t easy. I seem to do OK pushing myself at the time, but then feel the nervous energy hanging around a long time even days later. I felt a headache coming on as the last evening approached, and decided to bail, only to be talked around by my wing man… for which I ended up being grateful.

Everything I want to do with my life from here-on in seems to require overcoming some kind of fear or anxiety, and sometimes I’m in the mood, but today I’m not. I got up this morning and started pounding into my punching bag to try and release the nervous tension. That helped a bit.

Then things went further downhill when I put on my tape of the Australia vs Germany world cup match which was on at 4:30am local time… we got slaughtered 4:0. Damn!

Fortunately yesterday my old guitar friends got together for a jam, and I was able to go along. God it was good to see them again, and tell them my stories of what I’ve been up to at acting class, meditation retreats, etc. I love story-telling and making them all laugh. It reinforced that this is what I want to do career-wise, and helped motivate me towards the long road to get there.

One of the songs we played yesterday was Everybody Hurts by REM. It’s a beautiful song with poignant lyrics, and a really sweet arpeggio picking pattern. So I picked up my faithful guitar and started learning it… and the tears flowed freely. I seem to release emotions a lot better when I’m playing music. I feel a lot better now. I’m going back to play some more, but meanwhile you can listen to it here:

Happy long weekend Aussies!