I have been living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia for 20 years. My symptoms being, severe bouts of fatigue, nausea, muscle weakness, joint pain, poor concentration, memory loss, rapid heart beat, persistent sore throat, tinnitus and because of the constancy of symptoms – depression.
I persisted with employment until four years ago when I gave way to the battle going on inside me and retired, which enabled me to rest, to find my peace, and embrace a new life style.
I heard about Dr Paul Lam’s taijiquan and the benefits of it. A chronic Fatigue Syndrome specialist advised me to try to strike a balance between activity and rest if I was going to learn Tai Chi, because CFS is exacerbated by activity. I took up challenge.
Anyone who has chronic illness naturally would like a speedy recovery, but there is not such thing. The psychology of Tai Chi is supremely important to the healing process. Learning to understand that any noticeable change will not be immediate. The secret is in the skills of perseverance and determination.
One of the hardest aspects of living with CFS is managing the emotional roller coaster. It takes a lot of emotional energy just to live with and manage a sick body, day in, day out, in some cases, year in year out. The meditation, relaxation and breathing supports my mind keeping it calm and positive so in turn it can support my body.
Eighteen months later, my focus on a goal of wellness, and an engagement with something bigger than my self-centredness is beginning to manifest.
I still experience some of the symptoms mentioned earlier, but much less intense. The friendship, interaction and bonding with people who share your love of Tai Chi is all part of an wholistic healing. The instructors are all very special people. Always stressing to those who have physical limitations, the importance of not moving beyond one’s comfort zone. Now, be warned, if you do indulge yourself, it can become addictive, to which there is no known cure – you are hooked. I consider I am very lucky in that my illness has led me to my passion. To a richer, more contented way of life.
I have found my peace.