What I’m Up To These Days: Music & Comedy

A few years ago when I was still struggling to get out of bed, I decided that once I recovered from CFS I would become a comedian. I was experiencing constant misery and wanted to create as much joy in the future as I could. I had no idea how I was going to do stand-up comedy when I was having trouble just standing up, but it gave me a goal to work towards that would hopefully improve my health but wasn’t illness-related.

I realised that social isolation was compounding my anxiety and possibly perpetuating my illness, so I looked around for some kind of course I could do that would get me out of the house and connect me to other creative people who weren’t physically ill. I did a stand-up comedy course a couple of years ago but it only lasted a few weeks so it didn’t do much for my social isolation. I wasn’t well enough at the time to do regular comedy gigs which are normally in the evening, so I looked for something else to focus on.

Continue reading “What I’m Up To These Days: Music & Comedy”

CFS Unravelled (2nd Edition) by Dan Neuffer

I first met Dan Neuffer, the author of CFS Unravelled, when he contacted me through this blog back in 2013. He told me at the time that he had made a full recovery from CFS by treating what he saw as the underlying cause of CFS: a dysfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).

When he first contacted me he had just published the first edition of his book on Amazon Kindle and set up the cfsunravelled website to offer hope and support to help other people recover more quickly. He was a man on a mission to spread the word, freely spending hours of his own time talking to suffering people all around the world, and was clearly a very genuine guy.

At the time I was dealing with a lot of anxiety and I remember Dan asking me:

“If you knew that you would soon make a full recovery, would you still be feeling so anxious?”

Continue reading “CFS Unravelled (2nd Edition) by Dan Neuffer”

Emotional Intelligence Webinar IGNITE: Energy for Life!

One of my most helpful mentors is a guy named Nicholas de Castella, who developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after a series of particularly stressful life events. He fully recovered years ago, and attributes his recovery to developing and using emotional intelligence.

I remember asking Nicholas during a private phone conversation a couple of years ago about his experience of CFS, and he said “Oh yeah; I’d forgotten about that”. I thought at the time: “That’s where I want to be!”

Nicholas gave up his previous career as an architect to teach what he learned to other people for a living, and since then he has helped thousands of people go from feeling stuck, blocked and frustrated to creating a wonderful life, relationship, and career of their dreams.

If you happen to be feeling tired, burnt out or overwhelmed and would like to ignite some energy and move forward in your life, then Nicholas has an exciting opportunity for you.

Nicholas is holding a complimentary emotional intelligence webinar called:

IGNITE: Energy for Life!

IGNITE is a fun and informative 60 minute training on using Emotional Intelligence to increase energy for life by mastering burnout (including overwhelm, anxiety, chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue).

He can show you how to have more energy, be more productive, boost well-being, improve relationships and achieve success with more joy and ease.

IGNITE will be held on WEDNESDAY 18th OCTOBER 2017 8.00 PM (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)

If the time doesn’t work for you, go ahead and register for the webinar anyway, and you’ll be sent the recording afterwards.

As a bonus for attending the webinar you also receive the IGNITE PACK consisting of:

  1. IGNITE: Energy for Life! Webinar recording
  2. IGNITE: Energy for Life! E-book Guide. Things to do to pep up your energy
  3. Rejuvenation Meditation – Create a calm inner state to boost your energy

To register click on this link.

Nicholas is a legend and I’m sure you will really enjoy his presentation.

In the meantime, take care
Graham

What Would I Recommend?

Just got this question via E-mail from a woman who has had ME since 1986 and thought I’d share my answer with you all:

Knowing how hard it is to be disciplined when one is exhausted, would you recommend Gupta, Dynamic NRS or something else?

My short answer is to focus your energy on getting the life that you want, rather than on recovery from ME per-se. That said: Continue reading “What Would I Recommend?”

Headaches: Overdoing It, Anger/Anxiety and Adrenaline Withdrawl

One of my most distressing symptoms of CFS for me is the tension headache that never really goes away. Another friend recovering from CFS recently mentioned her similar headache, and since I’ve got one right now and I’m in a bad mood, I feel like complaining a bit about it.

Back when I was a computer engineer, I used to get regular migraine-intensity headaches about once a month or so. I would spend hours every day engrossed in a computer screen and often felt a headache coming on in the afternoon. I was so obsessed with my work that I would just push through until the pain was so debilitating that I would need strong painkillers with codeine just to get through the day. Once I got to sleep I would be OK the next day, but if the pain was too intense to get to sleep, it would often escalate until the pain was so excruciating that I would be nauseous and vomit. Vomiting with a migraine was a horrible experience but would usually give me some relief, and then eventually I’d fall asleep.

The next day, I’d feel really groggy but the pain would mostly be gone and I’d be back to work. The day after that it felt like nothing had happened and I’d be back to go go go mode. Then a few weeks later I’d do it all again.

Continue reading “Headaches: Overdoing It, Anger/Anxiety and Adrenaline Withdrawl”

Reality Check For Compulsive Care-givers & People-pleasers

I recently came across a fascinating talk on YouTube by Dr Gabor Mate, a physician with a background in palliative care who wrote the book When The Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection. His talk covers the link between compulsive care-giving/people-pleasing behavior, and physical illness.

I really relate to what he says. I used to have a successful Engineering career from which I burned out several years before I came down with CFS. I too was a compulsive care-giver and people-pleaser.

While working as an engineer I was heavily involved at my local church and did volunteer work on a 24 hour telephone crisis line. I enjoyed the feeling of helping people in crisis, but I can see now looking back that I was in a constant state of stress. I often did late night shifts at the crisis centre with a migraine, doped up on codeine-based pain-killers and desperate for the shift to end so I could go home to bed before yet another suicidal caller rang. Meanwhile my relationship with my girlfriend of the time was slowly falling apart, I was losing interest in the career I used to love, and my faith in the religion I was brought up with was going down the toilet.

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My Anxious Brain

I’ve just finished reading Joseph LeDoux’s most recent (2015) book Anxious: The Modern Mind in the Age of Anxiety, in an attempt to get a better handle on why I feel so anxious as I recover from CFS, and what I might be able to do about it.

LeDoux is the neuroscientist whose earlier work inspired Ashok Gupta’s amygdala hypothesis for CFS. Another fun fact about him is that he plays music in a band called The Amygdaloids. I’ve noticed that a lot of highly intelligent and creative people love playing music, even if it’s not their main gig in life. My guess is that it exercises the emotional side of the brain that often gets neglected in our overly analytical western society. Writing books about how emotions work in the brain isn’t the same as actually feeling something.

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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:
Continue reading “My Christmas/New Year Message And Recovery Tips”

Breaking The Habit Of Being Myself

I recently read Joe Dispenza’s book Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself, which is all about how to use meditation to free your mind and body from the effects of your conditioning. I also spent a month using the associated guided meditations every day.

Overall, it’s a great book. It’s the kind of book I was thinking of writing in fact, so perhaps he’s saved me the trouble; but there are a couple of things in it that I found distracting:

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Loneliness and My New Men’s Group

I recently joined a men’s group which now meets at my house once a fortnight. The idea of joining such a group was suggested to me a few years ago by a mentor who developed CFS after a traumatic car accident in which a friend of his was killed, and subsequently recovered by studying and practising emotional intelligence. They’re also highly regarded in the men’s work movement and in books like Steve Biddulph’s excellent book Manhood. A few years back I started hearing about them all over the place and when I start hearing about an idea from multiple sources, I begin paying attention.

It’s taken a few attempts to find a group that really works for me; this is my third men’s group in fact. The first one didn’t meet often enough to really get traction, and some of the participants seemed so stuck in their own ways that I found the meetings very frustrating. We spent tremendous amounts of time on situations that had seemingly trivial solutions, like one guy who was in a lengthy and expensive legal battle with his sister. One the basis of his telling of his side of the story, we all thought he owed her an apology not more litigation. He didn’t see it, and instead wanted our moral support for continuing to attack her in the courts over a dodgy property deal that he had engineered. I didn’t enjoy being around physically healthy guys who were wasting their energy on crap like that when my health was stopping me from moving forward.

Continue reading “Loneliness and My New Men’s Group”