What is Recovery?
Recovery is a uniquely personal journey and can mean different things to different people.
Recovery involves making sense of and finding meaning in what has happened, becoming an expert in your own self-care, building a new sense of self and purpose and discovering your own resourcefulness.
At Restoring Balance Wellness Clinic Amanda focuses on your personal recovery and suggest different ways that you can help your own recovery. Amanda says “I know that people often need support to recover and that is why I am here.”
At her clinic Amanda uses a recovery-based approach to encourage people to become experts in their own self-care and wellbeing, giving clients the tools to make informed choices and to manage their health and wellbeing.
Hope is central to recovery. Without the possibility of a better future for yourself it is not possible to rebuild your life. We also need others, like our friends, relatives, supportive communities and professional support to help us through the ups and downs of our Personal Recovery Journey.
It often feels as if our chronic pain and chronic fatigue are totally beyond our control and that only the experts can sort them out. However, in my Amanda’s personal experience she has seen her clients, that working alongside a specialist practitioner with tailor-made treatment plans and therapies, each person can become the real expert in their own self care.
Taking back control of your life is an important part of recovery. Self-management tools can help you to become an expert in your own self-care.
Having the chance to do the things that you value, that can make life worthwhile is critical to recovery.
We use the Wellbeing Wheel to help you identify which areas of your life need to be addressed first. Amanda often sees in her clients that ‘Life Purpose’ is a area most common that needs working on. Whether this is trying to go back to something you have previously been doing or starting something new you would like to do.
Your Personal Recovery Pathway
At the Restoring Balance Wellness Clinic I use the SIRPA Approach where chronic pain is the main issue and The Chrysalis Effect Recovery Programme for Chronic Fatigue, ME and Fibromyalgia. Both approaches have many overlapping treatment methods and this is why working one to one with a Specialist Practitioner, such as myself, I can tailor your Recovery Pathway and add additional complementary therapies not covered in either of the online programmes.
Your Wellbeing Coaching Sessions togetherwith the online courses will help you to understand more about what you are experiencing, what can support your recovery, the difficulties you face, how to take back control of your life, identify your goals and ambitions and find and access opportunities.
You may choose to just work one to one with Amanda and not enroll in either of the online courses and that is fine too, as she will be covering many topics in our sessions.
How do I start on my Recovery Journey?
My Fibromyalgia Story
by Amanda Collins
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1999, after many years of experiencing pain and fatigue following a car accident in 1991. I remember coming out of the doctor’s office and standing on the corner of the street, just crying my eyes out, not knowing then anything about the condition or even how to spell it. I was devastated.
I didn’t know where to start to find out about this condition, at that time nobody I knew had even heard of it. I remember buying a book about Fibromyalgia that said that there was no cure and I had to learn to live with the symptoms. Great, I was only 33 years old, with two small children; I felt that my life that I had imaged for myself was over. I had lost my dad when I was 18, my brother was diagnosed with renal cancer in 1992 and my mum had just been told she had ovarian cancer, and now this.
Having gone through the normal conventional treatments of graded exercise and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), my symptoms were no better. I was also sensitive to all the pain medication and so embarked on my journey into complementary therapies. I spent thousands of pounds over the next couple of years trying many different therapies, some helped more than others. I needed to have a deeper understanding so I started my training as a complementary therapist in 2003.
I found The Chrysalis Effect Recovery Programme in 2012, having spent the previous 21 years since my car accident in 1991 in chronic pain and experiencing many other chronic symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia. Having exhausted all the NHS treatments and resources at the time, my pain and fatigue were just as bad as it had always been.
After following The Chrysalis Effect Online Recovery Programme and also working one to one with a Specialist Chrysalis Effect Practitioner, I would say that I have now taken back control of my life, and found a new purpose. I now have a life beyond my illness and chronic pain and I have hope for the future that does not involve me managing pain on a day to day basis. I can plan and do the things that I enjoy. I can be a mother and a wife again, sharing the joy of my family, friends and my lovely dog.
Before doing The Chrysalis Effect Online Recovery Programme back in 2012
My life now
I was on the strongest opioid medication for years for my wide spread pain
Now I take no pain medication
Had to have regular steroid injection into my joint just to move freely.
Now I don’t need injections
I used to lay in bed too scared to move in case moving made the pain worse
Now I walk with my Husky dog for 60 – 90 minutes every day up and down hills with no problems
I would bottle up my emotions and suffer with anxiety and low mood
Now I understand how my past childhood traumas have affect me and I have learnt of ways to release these emotions
I suffered with bowel & bladder symptoms
Now I have eliminated the majority of my symptoms and can function as a ‘normal’ person again, not worrying how my body reacts to foods
Brain fog and mental fatigue, I could not think clearly
Now I manage my time and energy better, enabling me to function on a mental level – reading, studying, being creative and running my own business
There were times that I just didn’t want to wake up in the morning, just so the pain would end
Now I wake up with hope in my heart and excited about all the things I can do, all the things I can learn and all the joy I can give and receive
This is ‘My Personal Recovery’.
Yes, I do have to set boundaries both with myself and others, I have to prioritise my self-care, I am mindful of what drains me and what things make me worse. But the best bit is that I now know what is good for me and what makes my heart sing. I have come so far and will continue to grow and be well, but on my terms and that to me is Recovery.