SUCCESS STORY - NICOLA
"My life, over the past 12 weeks, has changed beyond all recognition. I am not the person I was before the illness, I am someone new."
1. What made you decide you wanted/needed to start a pain recovery therapy programme?
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in January 2013, this wasn’t when the pain started, it was just the time in my life when I decided I couldn’t carry on feeling the way I did. From that point forward I tried everything that was recommended or suggested to me; Antidepressants, strong pain killers, exercise, physio, fresh air, CBT, ‘pulling myself together’… Nothing worked! A friend of a friend recommended SIRPA – I googled it and decided it wouldn’t work for me – I felt I was different to all the other people that it had worked for! Eventually in April this year, I decided to try it… I had ran out of ‘suggestions’! I was taking morphine and antidepressants and had just completed a course of CBT. I was swimming twice a week, getting lots of fresh air and exercise (I even bought a puppy to keep me company and give me a reason to get out) had left my teaching job and started supply work but nothing was curing me! I rang Maria and within minutes I had my first free consultation booked. She was my last hope!
2. What results have you achieved since starting your recovery therapy programme?
Arriving at the first consultation was nerve racking, as a sufferer of stress and anxiety for most of my life, I had thought of a million of reasons why I should cancel. I was brave – actually I was desperate… I went in! Maria was so welcoming and I instantly felt very relaxed in her company. We talked about where I was in my life, we discussed where I wanted to be! It was amazing to talk to someone who truly understood what I was going through and how I was feeling. I left after two hours with a determination to succeed. After a lot of soul searching I decided that I wanted to start with a clean sheet. How can I know if the therapy was working if I was still taking morphine? I made the decision within a couple of days to stop my medication – in for a penny, in for a pound! The chronic pain lessened within days, my head began to clear, I learnt how to deal better with anxious or stressful situations; Twelve weeks later and I am a different person! No… and I mean NO chronic pain! A few aches and pains occasionally, but a whole brain full of ideas and strategies to chase them away.
3. What do you like best about our personally tailored recovery therapy programme?
I felt so comfortable taking part in the therapy programme. Seeing Maria face to face on a weekly basis kept me focused on my goal of recovering. The time in between the sessions always gave me time to process what had been said and work on the next phase. Reading the book is a great way to learn, believe me I have read and re-read it many times but it doesn’t come close to the help you get speaking to someone – being able to ask questions, be pointed in the right direction and even listening to someone else’s experiences are the best bits. I realised very quickly that Maria understood my symptoms. I was able to talk to her about things that felt so insignificant when spoken aloud but where important to who I was and how I felt about myself. She never judged. She listened, helped, supported and guided ME!
4. What would you say to someone on the fence about joining a recovery therapy programme?
It works! You have to be open minded and believe in the process. I don’t want this testimonial to sound like the recovery programme was a breeze. It wasn’t. It was emotional, revealing and sometimes time consuming. Time well spent – time I invested in myself to support my recovery. One of the first questions Maria asked me was ‘Do you think you can do this?’ I had no alternative, I had tried everything. I truly believe that you won’t be able to recover from chronic pain without it. I cannot recommend it enough. My life, over the past 12 weeks, has changed beyond all recognition. I am not the person I was before the illness, I am someone new.