Patient 1: Anonymous

I believe my journey has been quite difficult for me to understand and incredibly hard to come to terms with.

I was initially very ill with sinus problems, severe headaches and neuralgia in my face and head. I have been experiencing these symptoms for several years and to be quite honest it was becoming very debilitating, I couldn’t think properly most of the time. At my worst I would sit around at home on the sofa as I felt I had no energy. I couldn’t sleep at night as I was waking up in the early hours and lying in bed for hours thinking and worrying. I did not want to leave the house or drive my car. I had virtually no social or leisure activities, all the things I used to enjoy did not seem to register. 

Normally, I am the life and soul of a party I enjoy all aspects of a family ‘get together’. I am a free spirit. The problem was juggling my work and social life to an acceptable standard – I am very conscientious and probably what one would call a perfectionist. I like things to be just right, so when things go wrong I am not happy bunny.

I realise now that I was probably my own worst enemy, taking on too much and forcing myself to go on when I was worn out.  I also had some family worries that were bubbling under the surface; these were a worry without me being aware of it. 

Eventually I became so physically ill that I could not work, I made an appointment to see my GP for help.  At this stage believing I had yet another sinus infection. I was extremely worried and anxious as I knew I would have to take even more time off work. My blood pressure was high due to the stress and pressure because I was so worried.  I have been ill on and off for several years now almost always with the same type of symptoms.

 Fortunately for me my Doctor recognised the signs of anxiety and depression and suggested I took a course of anti-depressants’.  Initially, I was shocked as I did not believe I was depressed but I was desperate and willing to try anything.  I was fed up with feeling so ill.  It was also suggested that I attended the ‘Pain Clinic’.  I had no idea what to expect.

I was assigned to a Pain Specialist Practitioner, we mainly talked about my situation and how I felt about myself.  I was given a link to access ‘Mindfulness’ on line and a brochure ‘Supporting you with your Pain Management’.  It was extremely informative and very helpful, I believe it encouraged me to make important changes to the way I managed my pain and my life style.

It is a slow process, there is no miraculous recovery and you do have to work quite hard and take part in all the sessions to see the improvement but it really is worth it if you can persevere.

 I was surprised how helpful the relaxation and breathing exercises are.  They make a huge difference to the way you cope with your pain and anxiety.  The downside is finding the time to do regularly however it really is worth making the effort as the end result is amazing.

The Goal setting exercise made me realise that I was expecting too much of my self and some things just had to give.  My practitioner gave me realistic goals to achieve to enable me to go forward and make the necessary changes in order to achieve my target.

 I understand now that it was me who had to make the changes to my lifestyle in order to go forward – I was lucky and had help along the way.  My thanks go to my GP who thankfully recognised my symptoms. By giving me all the help and support I needed and suggesting I attend the Pain Clinic. I truly hope that you give the Mindfulness Course a fair chance as it could make a real difference to your outlook on life.