A Quick Recovery Is Possible - My Story of Beating CFS

Hi, thanks for visiting my story. I hope it helps you see that you don't have to keep suffering with Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome/CFS/ME.

I'm going to explain the long story of how I got sick and how I got better.

Just this past February, my tonsils swelled up and wouldn't subside. I took lozenges and thought nothing of it, believing they'd go down in time. They didn't. It was the first outward sign that something wasn't quite right.

Some context - I was in a job that wasn't for me and my relationship was going nowhere. I wasn't sleeping well but kept working out despite it. I look calm on the outside, but I've always had difficulty slowing down unless I've reached total exhaustion.

In March, I caught a cold that didn't lift. My system just wouldn't fight it. Some symptoms got better, but most got worse. I had no energy, fevers came and went and I started waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat.

I tried to keep working, but by April I'd reached the end of my rope and went to the GP looking for answers.

My blood tests were all normal. I was eventually diagnosed with Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome, which is pretty much CFS/ME, but with fewer system-wide complications. My GP put me on extended bed rest and suggested graded activity, promising slow but gradual improvements.

I stuck to her advice, but my symptoms didn't abate. Simple things like doing chores or going food shopping became increasingly difficult. My muscles were almost constantly sore, as if from running a marathon, and I got blister-like psoriasis for the first time in my life.

I'd spend days recovering from social outings, regardless of how low-key they were. People said I looked fine and didn't really understand when I tried to explain what I had, so these outings soon ended.

I tried keeping calm by reading online forums. Sometimes they helped; other times, I'd spiral into panic, because why some people recovered, some stayed the same and some got worse made no sense whatsoever.

By the end of July I was exhasperated. I was sick of waiting around for my elusive recovery, sick of looking to other people for answers and sick of watching my muscles waste away as life passed me by. I gave up on specialists, new blood tests and the medical system at large. I decided to heal myself.

Getting well as quickly as possible became the sole focus of life.

I began with the medical literature on PVFS/CFS/ME, watching conference presentations by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum. I learned that I felt like hell on the outside because on the inside, my hypothalamus was running a mile a minute, wrecking havoc on my hormones, immune system, adrenals and internal thermostat. All sources of stress and upset were hunted down and removed from my life.

I plastered my walls with Louise Hay-style healing affirmations that I parroted through the day with the enthusiasm of a drama nerd preparing for audition.

I accepted ALL responsibility for my condition and ordered books about the emotional and energetic roots of disease. I was particularly taken by "Why People Don't Heal and How They Can" by Caroline Myss.

I cut ties and set boundaries with anyone who attracted undue negativity or spiritless pooh-poohing, my GP included (found a new one).

I fell asleep listening to satsangs on illness and health. I woke up and meditated, affirmed and forced myself to believe in the body's ability to heal itself when all levels of the mind accept that such a thing is even possible.

I abondoned my Christian-like cries for help and began ordering the God within to show me the answers. I shit you not: people, circumstances and signs started to appear, one after the other, the crumbs of a trail on whose head I now stand. I kept a journal of any advice or sudden insight that sounded like a step in the right direction.

I found a professionally trained counsellor who had CFS/ME for 10 years and now devotes her time to helping others recover. We did phone-based sessions because I live in Ireland and she in the UK. Most of her clients have made quick and full recoveries. (If your medical tests are in good order, I HIGHLY recommend finding someone who has been through this before and is now trained in helping others make significant progress.)

The real turning point was this: whenever I felt a flare-up in aches or fatigue, I'd sit upright on the couch and say to myself, "I feel sick because my hypothamus went into overdrive and is now stuck in a loop of sending faulty signals to my muscles, immune system and hormones. I am NOT sick; all I require is a stress-free, emotionally positive environment to continue my speedy recovery." (Write this down and try it yourself. It will shorten the length of each flare-up.)

In August I began to notice a slight shift. I was sleeping through the night and could move around a bit more. It was as if my cells were responding to all the work I'd put in.

In the last two weeks, I've seen huge gains. My energy is returning, the pains are fading and the bizarre sweats and fevers are less frequent than ever before.

Yesterday, I walked to a park near my flat and sat in the grass doing fuck all, happier than I've been in years, happy just to feel a bit normal among the people and trees. When you lose your health in a big way and begin to regain it, you walk through the world with the wide-eyed wonder of a child, seeing the smallest of things as miracles you never realised were yours before you got sick.

I never fully believed I could heal myself. I knew that miraculous turn-arounds from cancer and other serious illnesses are well documented in the current research, but I was cautious to believe in my own abilities to do so. The only reason I tried was because I had reached a point of utter desperation to do anything to get better.

Friends, no two bodies are alike. My answers are not yours, and the answers of those who suffered before me were not mine. But the clues to your answers are already inside you. The trick that reveals them lies in quieting your mind and priming your subconscious enough to access them, one by one, until you've returned to the place that brought you this sickness, to know it and love it for the first time.

You can do it. All that's stopping you is the belief that you can't.

Rate this Story

Related Websites
Action for ME, a UK charity for CFS, ME sufferers
This site includes a forum and live chat, as well as articles, advice and stories from CFS sufferers.
Blogs, articles and lists of web resources for CFS and Fibromyalgia
HealingWell.com Resource Directory
Information about CFS and treatment at me-cfs-recovery.co.uk and me-cfs-treatment.com

By Mariana, 26-Apr-2015 18:35
Thank you SO much for sharing this Sarah Jane. You have helped me more than you can know! I hope your recovery is going amazingly! Peace and light:)
By Sarah Jane, 08-Jun-2015 07:10
Thanks Mariana. I am completely recovered. These days I use the affirmations described above to create new and wonderful opportunities for my life. I'm the happiest I've ever been.
By Angeline, 02-Jul-2015 10:17
I believe this too. The brain is a powerful thing. I felt like I was dying with a multitude of symptoms, all of which flared up each time I ran. Pain in my chest & back, burning spine, thumping heart, chaotic buzzing in my chest, flu symptoms, nausea & tingly & cold hands, fatigue beyond belief. I told myself whilst looking in the mirror that I must remember how I usually am. My body is designed to heal & there is no reason it cannot repair from this. It is working. Aside from a tight chest & a mucusy feeling in my throat, I'm almost normal. Energy levels are still low and I know I cannot exercise yet but I've gone from feeling like I'm dying to being so much better in just 3 weeks. It's because I am telling myself I can heal. And I believe I can & will. So I will. You can too.
By Sara Jane, 02-Aug-2015 10:12
Hi Angeline, that is fantastic. The mind-body connection is incredibly powerful - science is only just beginning to catch up with what Eastern practitioners have been advocating for thousands of years. The great thing about this technique is that it continues to work even after full health has been regained, so that you can become stronger and more energetic that ever before, both physically and mentally/emotionally. It's only up from here.
By ash123, 25-Sep-2015 03:21
Hi sarajane thank you for sharing you healing.I am fron ireland been suffering from what seems cfs brought on by b6 toxicty strange.Id like to get chat with you if u are still on this forum.
By Sara Jane, 29-Sep-2015 11:35
Hi ash123, sure feel free to ask me your questions.
By ash123, 30-Sep-2015 08:42
Thanks what vitimins herbs etc would you recomend? Ive felt like this over 2 years my flares/ crashs seem to be getting better thankfully If i exersise i use get ear pain for 5 days after now only a day.Sometimes i get eye pain aswell the flu like systons dont last as long either.Do you think its possible to fully recover from this? As it diddnt start with flu was b6 toxicty im on forum on fb that lots people have fatuige its systom of b6 toxicty but no flu like systoms does say cfs can be triggered by stress.
By Sara Jane, 30-Sep-2015 13:27
Full recovery is possible if you believe it is possible. There are people in the world who were far, far sicker than you (stage 4 cancer, etc.) who have recovered by practicing the methods I described above. Unless you have a broken bone that needs mending or a flesh wound that needs suturing or a dislocated shoulder that needs resetting, pills and vitamins and supplements won't really make you better. What makes people better is the belief that they will get better, regardless of what is taken. This is ESPECIALLY true of diseases of the immune system such as CFS, ME or whatever else you like to call it. Please just apply the technique that I've described above whole heartedly for a few weeks and see what happens. But don't even bother if you don't believe that it will work. If you don't believe it will work, it won't.
By Sara Jane, 30-Sep-2015 13:30
EDIT *Unless you have a broken bone that needs mending or a flesh wound that needs suturing or a dislocated shoulder that needs resetting, medical attention won't really make you better. Neither will pills or vitamins or supplements. Vitamins and supplements help, of course, but they won't cure CFS. What cures CFS, ME and other problems with the immune system is a down-regulation of the over active hypothalamus via methods of psychological "self healing", i.e. the techniques described by me on this website.
By SaraJane, 30-Sep-2015 13:32
Mickel Therapy is also extremely helpful. Google search it.
By ash123, 30-Sep-2015 13:44
Thanks sara what techniques would you recomend? I walk about 5 tines weeks i make veg juices smooties to boost my immune systom cleaned my diet up.Would you recomend yoga? I do beleave stress was major cause of my cfs.
By ash123, 30-Sep-2015 13:44
Thanks sara what techniques would you recomend? I walk about 5 tines weeks i make veg juices smooties to boost my immune systom cleaned my diet up.Would you recomend yoga? I do beleave stress was major cause of my cfs.
By SaraJane, 30-Sep-2015 14:11
Hi ash123, The techniques I would recommend are those described in my story above on this web page. If you need further professional guidance by a team of medical doctors and counsellors who can explain the science behind what is happening to you, do a Google search of Mickel Therapy and sign yourself up for a course of sessions. Best of luck.
By Hi Loretta,My therapist was based in London which , 17-Oct-2015 13:24
Hi Loretta,My therapist was based in London which was aleboutsly fine, when I first spoke with him I was bedridden and couldn't even feed myself so going to a clinic was not an option, so talking on the phone was the best for me. It's been the most profound life changing experience of my life, it sounds dramatic I know but it's true. In a year and a half I've gone from being totally bedridden told I was going to die from a GP to living my life the fullest I have ever done, all thanks to this therapy.I'm happy to chat with u on skype about this if you wud like, I'm just trying to spread the word about this therapy as I hate the thought of anyone going through what I did and I now kno how relatively easy it can be healed. U can email me at and we can organize to chat, only if you want, no pressure! Otherwise all the best in ur recovery
By RayBones, 22-Aug-2016 05:24
Hey SaraJane - thanks for sharing your story, I certainly buy into the power of the mind , and believe my CFS was brought on by the stress in my life , especially the stress that I have not dealt with. I felt immediately better once I put two and two together , unfortunately the stress I'm talking about is going to remain which may mean this horrible CFS lingers on. Anyway this what I need help with and was hoping you could pass on the therapist name as I'm London based. I saw someone last week but I just didn't think he 'got it' and understood what I was going through. If the offer of a quick chat is still going (saw your earlier post) I would love to ask some questions - seeing you well and happy has inspired me , it's amazing how sudden it can happen (feeling better). If yes then thanks - and I will pass on my email address.
By SaraJane, 30-Aug-2016 08:54
Hi RayBones, can you leave your email or an alias email in this section and I will contact you that way?
By RayBones, 29-Sep-2016 05:57
Great thanks - I think I was able to send you a personal message through this site , let me know if you got that - Cheers SaraJane
By vivek rana , 24-Apr-2017 06:26
hey sara jane . i m from india & i like ur story .. r u fully recovered by self beleive that i m nog sick .. pls rply
By SaraJane, 27-Apr-2017 17:14
Vivek rana, yes I am fully recovered by self belief that "I am healthy, well, and fully of vitality".
By vivek rana, 27-Apr-2017 21:02
thanks a lot sara . after how many days by doing this we feel the effect? .. i m currently on antidepressants for brain fog , it also helps in cfs but i want to quit it because it has many side effects .. i want to follow your foot step .. hey do you give me your email id ..
By vivek rana, 27-Apr-2017 21:52
& how many do you kno recovered from this method .. u r inspiration for us .. thanks a lot sara.
By SaraJane, 10-May-2017 14:00
Hi Vivek, sorry for the late reply. You should start to feel the effect of this method after about a week of daily practice. Every week after that will get better and better. If you want to quit taking antidepressants and also be fully recovered from cfs, simply affirm something like, "I am happy and grateful to be fully healed, healthy, full of energy, and medication-free!" Also find a doctor who supports you in your decision to taper off the medication so you can do so safely.
By vivek rana, 11-May-2017 01:34
its ok sara .. thanks for explanation..& thanks a lot ?.
By Maj123, 20-Aug-2017 06:26
Hi SarahJane - could you recommend the counsellor you saw please as I would like to book one who has come highly recommended like yours? Many thanks
By Dominique, 22-Sep-2017 12:37
Hi sarah jane. Thanks so much for you post. It is super helpful. I was wondering what was the name of the counsellor you spoke to? thanks
By SarahJane, 21-Nov-2017 09:30
My counsellor's name was Anita Nolan. If you google "Anita Nolan CFS" you'll find her contact details.
By DawnyG , 15-Jan-2018 01:50
Hi Sarah, firstly thank you for sharing your story it has helped me once before. Needless to say this is not the first time I have experienced fatigue. So my question is how can I implement changes so that I doesn't happen again. I had been under stress but thought I was managing it and then I got a 'virus' couldn't shift it and the rest is history. I know I can recover but I want to break this cycle. Also I think I vaguely remember you posting some information on line, a detailed pdf on the hypothalamus and it's effects, can you send me a link to this please. Thanks again Sarah, your words are a great help.
By SarahJane, 03-Feb-2018 22:57
Hi DawnyG, I know how discouraging it can be to have a recurrence of fatigue. The important thing to remember is that the method I describe above works every time, so long as you're diligent in applying it and get the help of a professional counsellor who has experience in helping people not just cope with, but RECOVER from, CFS. I haven't posted any other resources online so maybe you're thinking of someone else? Anyway, I'm sure you will get better again: you've done it once before, you can certainly do it again. Best of luck.
By emily, 14-Feb-2018 11:13
I have CFS which was brought on by mono last year. I have extreme fatigue, get this awful sick feeling throughout my body, headaches, nausea, sore throats (had my tonsils removed 3 months ago and still get sore throats)...its terrible. I am a stay at home for a 5 year old and it is SO DIFFICULT. I will try all of this and hope it works...i feel like i need a miracle, not sure how much longer i can last like this
Make a Comment:
Comment By:

This recovery story is in categories: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME (myalgic encephalitis), Post viral fatigue syndrome