Mike’s Long Covid and chronic fatigue recovery story

YouTube interview:

Our interview was recorded October 2022 and contains a happy update from Mike from February 2023 at the end.

Written transcript:

Liz:  It’s so good to see you Mike. I’m so glad we could be doing this interview.

Mike: I’m happy to be here. 

Liz:  I just wanted to introduce you to the audience. You’re going to be sharing your full recovery story from Long Covid, and I’m just so grateful to be sharing your story today.

Mike:  I really appreciate hearing that. It’s lovely. It’s so nice.

Liz:  I’m so glad Jackie could connect us. She’s such a great lady.

Mike: She is. Yeah, so Jackie’s a friend of my dad’s. I went to her wedding when I was like one, one year of age.

Liz:  Oh wow.

Mike:  She’s really sweet. An old family friend.

Liz: Yeah. So do you mind sharing with our audience what your purpose for sharing your message today is?

Mike: Definitely. I think for me that such an important part of my recovery story was, connecting with other people’s stories. And last November, December, I was going through a period where every single day I’d wake up and I would say, if there’s one thing you do today, find somebody else’s recovery story and just connect with that.

And so I genuinely just feel really grateful to now be one of those people and to be able to put that back into the universe. And just to kind of also… I guess it’s also partly like an acknowledgement of, you know, I am here now I am sharing the story. 12 months ago, I couldn’t see this being a possibility.

Liz: Ooh.

Mike: To be here now and to say that I’m better. It’s a really big deal.

Liz: And I’m just so honored to be sharing your story with the world. So Mike, can you describe how your journey with chronic illness began?

Mike: It’s a really good question. The Long Covid journey began, New Year’s Eve 2020/2021 when I contracted Covid, and it took a few weeks, really.

The Long Covid, it was this kind of gradual decline and then quite a sharp fall that’s like this. And it’s like.. oof.

Yeah. So I didn’t really know what was wrong, and I kept going to the doctors and I had blood tests and I had urine tests and I was like, “Oh, have I got diabetes? Have I got this? Have I got that?”

Because I just kept getting these really strange energy level crashes. But I’d gone back, you know, after the 10 days of isolation, I had put myself back out into the world really quickly.

I wanted to go running again. I wanted to go back to work straight away. And I wasn’t really listening to what my body was saying.

And then I had a family bereavement, a couple of months after getting Covid. And my, my mum passed. 

And that, after that happened, that was the really sharp fall.

Liz: I’m so sorry, Mike. I’m so sorry about your mom. Yeah, I mean, the stress of Covid on her bodies, pushing through and then your mom dies.

Was it a shock to you, or had you known about it for a while?

Mike: I, I knew it was coming, but it was still of shock.

Liz: Yeah.

Mike: And where I was with, you know, still dealing with the aftermath of Covid, I, I wasn’t in that grounded place. So I think when it happened, the two things together – unmoored me, they really did.

And I think that, the grief was playing into the chronic fatigue and the chronic fatigue was playing into the grief. And it’d be very hard to separate. Well, you can’t, because it’s my experience.

And the two things came together. So you really can’t.

Liz: And I know, we’ll talk about it later, there’s lots of people who like to look at it organ by organ system and part by part.

But it all works together. It’s all integrated when it comes to our health.

Liz: I think you had also told me you had some health issues beginning in 2015 around sleep.

Mike: Yeah. So when you asked the question, when did the chronic illness begin? And it’s, something that I’ve thought about quite deeply, particularly during Long Covid and during that period there was this awareness that my body had had these sort of forced shutdowns before.

The first period was around 2009, where I went for a period of, chronic insomnia.

It happened again around 2015. But I’d also had periods of burnouts as well. My body getting to a point where life had to stop because of, the state I was in and what was happening with me health-wise.

So I think actually it’s been this really long journey of working out this and changing this relationship with my body and being more aware of the connection between your mind and your body and the way that your thoughts and stresses can play into these chronic illnesses.

Liz: And was this something that you considered back in 2009, when you’re having these bouts of insomnia and burnout? Did you realize that at the time?

Was there any seeds that were planted or did you kind of just push through trying to get through life?

Mike: Yeah, I was pushing through self-medicating with sleeping pills or alcohol.

The first time it happened, I didn’t even really have much of an awareness of what was happening internally.

2015 kind of started this journey into meditation, and that’s when I first became aware of, I guess the patterns of my thoughts and the way that I was constantly thinking anxious thoughts about sleeping and then not sleeping.

It wasn’t until I started meditating that I kind of tuned into what was really happening, and I sort of noticed that the pattern was there and that the pattern was always coming before the issue. 

And then the issue was reinforcing the pattern, and that they were a vicious circle. So feeding into each other.

Liz: And I discovered meditation, too, early on in my health recovery journey. And it was really helpful just to learn how to be a conscious observer of your thoughts, and just like, yeah, reflect on them and kind of watch the thoughts go by like a cloud.

I did a meditation app and it taught that metaphor, which I found helpful.

Mike: It’s a really nice metaphor.

Liz: Yeah, yeah, so that was a seed that had been planted, but then you go through Covid and your beloved mom passes away. So what was your experience then? What were your key symptoms then when your health fully crashed?

Mike: Yeah, it was chronic fatigue. I mean, there were secondary symptoms. I had chest pains and, you know, when your hands and feet kind of tingle and go numb, that sort of strange thing that happens. 

Um, all these like liver spots came out over my chest, which are still here. But they’re benign. These sort of tiny red dots. 

But yeah, so for most of my experience, I was housebound.

Even having a conversation for more than sort of 15, 20 minutes would cause crashes.

Liz: Yeah. I remember. Yeah. it sounds like you had the brain fog. Your physical stamina and your mental stamina were decreased.

Mike: Yeah, I still had clarity of thoughts, but…

Liz: Oh, you did, okay.

Mike: It was just that, that doing that thinking was, incredibly fatiguing. Basically the life that I was living was, you know, I would do a task for a small amount of time, and then I was taking lots of therapeutic rest. 

So it would take me three or four hours to get up, have breakfast, have a shower, brush my teeth, and then maybe do like a very small thing around the house – that would take me the whole morning.

I’d leave the house once every day. I’m quite lucky. I live, um, I walk out the door and I’m directly into a park, so you know, the nearest bench in the park is about 150 meters. And I’d be able to sort of walk there. 

My legs would be shaking, I’d be feeling a bit dizzy, but I could get there, and I could sit there and I could sort of be outside in nature.

But I didn’t leave the park and I didn’t, you know, go out into life in a normal capacity for that experience for the time the chronic fatigue lasted. 


Liz: And I’m sure that’s tough for your friends, your family, like I guess you weren’t really able to have much contact then.

Yeah. And that must have been really tough.

Mike: It was, ironically, because it was during Covid and it was during lockdowns and so a really good friend of mine who’d been staying with his parents, during the first and maybe the second lockdown that we had in the UK. And I’d been, on my own, on a different flat.

My housemate had gone to stay with her partner. And so we were kind of like, oh, well why don’t we move in together? Why don’t we change this environment and this dynamic? And Mum passed just before we moved in. So I moved into this flat with a really good friend that I’ve loved for years.

And you’re right, I, I wasn’t able to connect with him.

I wasn’t able to show up in the world as me. I wasn’t bringing lightness and energy and positivity into our interactions. I was in this place of stuckness and this place of struggle. And it’s not a good energy.

And it’s not a good energy.

Liz: And it’s hard because some people might not understand. But I think there’s more awareness now. But, still if you’re living with a person and they’re going through this, I can feel like, oh, they don’t like me or something.

Liz: So did you get any medical answers at this time?

What were other people saying that you had? Or what did you think you had, did you look at any medical treatments or options?

Mike: I’d realized it was Long Covid a few weeks before mum passed. As I said, it was this weird thing of kind of, sort of slowly becoming, gradually more fatigued and then the other sort of Covid symptoms of the chest pains.

And the sort of the flu-like feeling. Just kind of, oh, hang on a second, not only is this stuff not gone, but it seems to be gradually going down the slope.

And I remember going into my GP, near the beginning and seeing the nurse, for blood tests. Cause they, did do a lot of tests, which was good of them.

And I remember her saying, most people have this for about a year.

And it’s really interesting because 12 months passed before anything started to shift. I mean, it took me about 14 or 15 months in total till I was fully recovered. But, you know, what I was hearing is “you’re stuck with this.” And what I was hearing is “we don’t know what to do about it.”

Liz: Interesting. So they didn’t tell you anything to do, but they did say it’ll take a full year.

Mike: It was one of those sort of passing comments, you know? It was, it wasn’t like, you know. You come in with a blood test. “Oh, it’s so terrible, you’ve got Long Covid. Oh yeah, you know, most people we see have it for at least a year.”

And I didn’t think anything of it at the time.

It wasn’t like I took that home with me and stared at it, you know, but I remember it being there, near the beginning.

The NHS, um, I kept having slight abnormalities in my liver enzymes and they could never really figure it out. So I kept going back for blood tests, and they’d always say, we’re not concerned by it. It’s not quite right. Come back in a couple of months.

I got a lot of literature to read on, pacing and, you know, like graded exercise therapy and sort of occupational health related things, you know, so if you are finding it difficult to stand up while you’re cutting the vegetables in the kitchen, have you thought about getting a stool?

And, you know, these things are really important and they’re really practical in terms of making the way that you are interacting in your own home more manageable, you know, easier.

Liz: So you got the tip of, okay, I’m gonna be chopping my vegetables on a stool. And some pacing tips, and then some graded exercise.

But it sounds like you weren’t really able to do much exercise, rather it was just go walk to the park bench once a day?

Mike: Yeah, yeah.

We spend our lives going into doctor surgery and going into hospitals and seeing them as this, authoritative, you know, I’m going to come in and you’re gonna tell me that you understand what the problem is and that you have something for it.

And it’s very disconcerting to be greeted with, “We don’t know, we would love to help, but we don’t know what this is and we don’t know how to deal with it.”

And so you just, you feel very, very, alone with it.

Liz: Yeah. And there’s now millions of people with Long Covid who do feel alone. And millions of people with CFS who do… it is lonely.

In the beginning, you feel like you’re left to Google, which I’m sure you probably did.

Liz:  So did you find any answers on Google, maybe diet or supplements? And did those help?

Mike: I tried a lot of things. I did try a lot of things. I tried like a paleo / keto diet for a while, which is just like cutting out the carbs, eating lots of meats and fruits.

I tried an antihistamine diet. I tried, a whole range of supplements. I tried, I’m not sure if said skenar or scene-ar (SCENAR) therapy, which is kind of using electromagnetic poses along your chakras and meridian lines and stuff that.

Liz: Sounds interesting. I’ve heard of acupuncture, I’ve heard of biomagnetic therapy, but I haven’t heard about scenar therapy. Interesting. So did that help any?

Mike: I found that with, with all of these interventions there was like a mini boosts, you know, I think I was reaching out and go, “Maybe this is it.”

And that belief or that hope that maybe this was, it would create a brief period of “Oh, I do seem to be a little bit better.” 

Not massively, you know, I’m walking further around the park.

Liz: You’re going to the next bench. You’re still not leaving the park.

Mike: Next tree.

Yeah, exactly. Which was a big deal actually, you know, making it different around the park. That kind of was, yeah.

And I learned a lot about the wildlife in the park over that year. It was kind of beautiful.

But as a lot of people out there, who have chronic fatigue at this moment, you know, that it can be a bit like this (makes an up and down wave-like motion), you know, and sometimes it felt like it was never staying still.

I would be perhaps gradually, having a gradual improvement for a bit. And then it’d be this sort of gradual decline in this sort of a limited zone that you’re just sort of gradually floating up and down like this.

So, you know, I would say that by the time I reached November 2021, I felt that I tried everything that I could find on the forums and from Googling things, and I’d then decided to go private.

And I went to see I can’t remember what kind of specialist they’re called, but they’re a specialist in like the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system.

And he was seeing a lot of people, treating a lot of people with Long Covid.

But that felt anti-climactic because again, we sat down, we had this conversation, and I was paying more to have the conversation, but the conversation didn’t change that much in terms of what was being said to me.

It was very much a conversation about, “Are you pacing properly?” You know, and “how could you change like the pacing that you’re doing?”

Liz: Yeah. I think a lot of it with some of these specialists and of course consult, trusted medical professionals if you want…This is not medical advice, but a lot of times when we pay out-of-pocket, for me, it was to get validation because I didn’t get a real answer before. For me, it was part of it. Like I was hoping for a little bit (of advice), but for me I was like, “Okay, tell me what I actually have.”

I guess you already knew it was Long Covid, but when you feel that there’s someone, an expert in it, you’re like, “Okay, this is a real thing.” And for me, that’s was a part of it. But it was helpful for me to see a specialist cuz she did run some blood tests and found some stuff.

But yeah. It sounds like you spent a lot of money and didn’t learn anything new?

Mike: Yeah. You could say that. You could say that. Yeah. But you’ve gotta do it there, haven’t you?

You’ve still, you’ve gotta go and have that conversation if you’ve got the means to do it.

Because you are literally, you’re banging on every door. And saying, is this the door? Is this door gonna open?

Is this the one that I can walk through?

Liz: Yeah. And so did I guess pacing, did that help? Can you describe your experience with pacing?

Because I know, I mean, if we would’ve paced in the first two months of this, maybe it wouldn’t have got that bad.

But I’d like to know just candid thoughts on pacing, because I think for me it would’ve been good to know, in the beginning. So it didn’t have to get so bad when I was pushing through all the time, not knowing what was going on.

Yeah. But then it was more just…it was helpful, but it wasn’t like moving the needle. It wasn’t getting me better. It was just something that was keeping me from getting worse.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah, I hear you on that.

For me, 12 months on, after all the pacing that I tried, I was no better than when I crashed hard after mum passed.

I found that pacing was invaluable in terms of getting through my day, but it was about surviving.

It was about, I have to feed myself, I have to wash myself. I have to do these things at some point, and I can pace to make them, me.

Pacing was kind of about just being able to do those things.

I was really grateful that I’d spent a long time meditating before, before the experience of Long Covid, because for me, I would have like hour long meditations and I would just, I would lie there in this kind of deep meditative state and it would be restorative.

And then I would be able to, I remember after lunch at about two o’clock I would spend, you know, an hour and a half or an hour on the sofa.

I wouldn’t be sleeping, but I would just be meditating and then that would enable me to get up and between like five and a half, six I’d be able to do some more stuff, you know, sort out dinner, get other stuff done in the day.

And so I think that I learned to listen to my body more. That’s definitely something that came out of it.

Liz: Yeah, so, alright. Were there any other things that supported you along the way before you found the modality, or paradigm that ultimately worked for you?

Mike: Definitely, because you, need support along the way.

I was really lucky. I think I had it in a few different places. 

One was, was my brother. Obviously what was difficult was while I was, sort of accepting and getting used to this new normal of chronic fatigue, I’m still trying to process and work through losing mum. 

And, me and my brother, we’d leave each other like 40, 50 minute voice notes, every few days where we just let it out.

You know, all the stuff that wasn’t coming out in other places because, and I think that this is slightly tangential, but when you go into that space of chronic fatigue and when it happens quite suddenly, all of your coping mechanisms…I’m a bit stressed, I go for a run…you can’t do that, or I’m feeling like this, I have a glass of wine…you can’t do that either.

So, having this space that he opened up for me so that I could put, you know, just to have that kind of release. It was a really beautiful thing that happened for both of us, I think.

And I really appreciated it, and if you’re watching this, thank you, Joe. Those voice notes did kind of save me during that time, so that was a big thing for me, in terms of the emotional support. 

And, another one, it might sound a bit sort of cheesy to say it, but it was the park. 

It was the park outside my door. It was having, I just watched the world change slowly and I learnt the names of the trees and I paid attention to the wildlife and it was, it felt like an extension of my house.

Liz: You know, there’s something so healing about nature, too. And just the seasons and just, I myself have a much greater appreciation of nature, which I mean, I noticed, but I didn’t really notice before, so.

So that’s, really beautiful that you could become more attuned with, nature, right near you.

Mike: I’m glad that was part of your experience as well.

Liz: Yeah. And I actually, I didn’t live right next to a park, but it just made it when I was able, when I started to improve and could walk a little bit further, there would just be a neighbor who had a beautiful flowers, and I would just take them all in.

So it was just, really nice. And then just being able to notice that when I was able to do more, so, yeah. Yeah. was there anyone else that supported you along the way?

Mike: I mean, you know, my friends and family were all really good. and we’re all supporting me in, in the best way.

They knew how, you know, they always held the space and they kept on inviting me to things. They made sure that I didn’t feel, like the world had disappeared. And even though 99% of the time it was, “No, thank you,” “Thank you, but no, thank you. I can’t do it.” 

They, they kept on doing that. And, yeah, I really appreciated that as well,

Liz: Oh, that’s great. Like, being thought of and then being cool that you said that you couldn’t make it, but yeah.

Mike: Yeah. I’m showing that understanding, you know, not, sort of pressurizing you. “Oh, come on, but surely if you just.”

Mike: But I was also going to therapy once a week as well.

Liz: Did you find that helpful? 

Mike: Oh, yeah. Really, really.

Liz: So, and did you start working with this therapist, after your health crisis or had you been seeing him before or?

Mike: I’d been going for maybe a year beforehand. I started going because, know, mum, mum had a terminal condition and I needed support with that. 

But I was also in some ways unpicking, these health issues that had come up in the past, you know, the periods of insomnia and burnouts so in a way, before I even got Covid, I had already started kind of unpicking, some of what was going on, just in terms of traumas, in terms of emotional blockages, in terms of the way my mind and body were kind of relating to each other, and having the space while I had chronic fatigue. 

It was… it was invaluable, I think, for me, because I was just trying to figure out what was going on and what was wrong, and to kind of be able to do that in that kind of relationship. 

And I think sometimes, when you see people, you don’t wanna give them the thing, you know, like if you see your friend and it’s like you haven’t seen your friend in ages and you kind of wanna just… but obviously in that space you can just go, “This is what’s going on.” You know? 

Liz: Yeah. It’s nice to be able to get out your emotions.

And yeah, for me, sometimes I would have a big ugly cry or just vent a little, but I didn’t wanna certainly dump it on my now husband, like every single day either. Yeah. But I can definitely see, and for many people, how therapy can be a really supportive thing, so you can have that outlet. 

Mike: Exactly. Someone that is definitely gonna listen for the whole hour as you were saying.

Liz:  Yeah. I’m glad that you had a supportive therapist.

Liz: So you’re going through this journey. Was there a point you had that was your absolute rock bottom you felt really hopeless?

Mike: I think that Christmas, Christmas last year (2021).

Christmas last year was one of the lowest points. Yeah. To be around everybody that you love and to want to connect…to feel so disconnected and isolated.

Ad, you know, I can just remember, just sitting in the room upstairs, just sort of literally sitting on the floor, like slumped against the wall, just listening to everybody playing games downstairs and just being like, “What is this? Like, what is, what has happened to my life?”

Liz: Yeah. Oh my gosh. yeah, I totally relate cause Christmas for me used to be, it was so all about family and we have these little games that we play and we’re all laughing, and then I had my weird diet too, where I could only eat certain foods, and I couldn’t drink, of course.

And my family, you know, they drink the wine, and so I was just basically felt like the Grinch of Christmas. But not being able to participate and feeling disconnected. And the holidays can be really hard, even if you have family who understand…but um…ya know… 

So, okay, so you have your rock bottom.

Sometimes the rock bottoms can be like our launching pad. I like to say cuz.

Mike: Oh yeah. I think they’re our launching pads. They’re, because that’s the point where you’ve stopped going lower than that. You know, it’s the rock bottom. That’s why, that’s it. It’s not going lower than this.

The only way can go now is launch myself back up. 

Liz: Yeah. Alright, so when did you discover the paradigm that ultimately would work for you to help you heal?

Mike: I found out about it about three months before I used it, before I actually connected with it. Which was really interesting.

I ended up using this, this program called The Lightning Process. And I found out about it completely by chance. A good friend of mine, we actually live together now, but he was at a house party, and he was talking about, well, like a dinner party and, you know, my name came up, “a good friend of mine has Long Covid,” and someone else there said, “Oh, my housemate is a health coach and she works with people with Long Covid, helping them to make full recoveries using this thing called the Lightning Process.”

And so he came back and he gave me the email and I just kind of, I didn’t do anything with it. I didn’t… it seemed too good to be true when I first looked at it. 

And so it took me hitting what bottom of Christmas before I went, “Okay, I’ve tried everything else. There’s this one thing over here, that I haven’t tried yet.”

So try it out because, you can’t do this. This can’t be how it’s always gonna be, you know?

Liz: Yeah. So what made you actually pull the trigger and go for it? Did you watch a recovery story? Or did you just research more online?

Or was it just one day you’re like, enough I’m gonna sign up?

Mike: I think it was, I think it was mainly the latter.

I remember doing it at my dad’s house a few days after Christmas and like, “Oh, screw it. I’m just gonna sign up for it.”

What was very important for me in actually doing that was when I went on to the page of the practitioner that I ended up working with, and I read her story, and she had had an autoimmune condition for two years and she had had chronic fatigue during that time and she’s been told “There’s nothing we can do. You’re stuck with this. We dunno how long it’s gonna last.” 

And there was something incredibly powerful about, reading that. And as I said at the beginning of the chat, you know, so around that time, I started realizing that I needed to keep on connecting to recovery stories because I knew that I kept sliding into these periods of losing that hope, losing that belief. 

Just being like, “What if this is how it’s always gonna be? What if this is me stuck?” So, you know, she had lots of information on the page about how it worked and you know, explanation of the science, all this kind of stuff. 

But the thing that mattered was me going, “Okay, you’ve been where I am and look at you now.” 

You are, you are glowing, you know?

And, um, okay, so you’ve done it. How do I do that? You know, yes, it was that, and it was Christmas together, and I went, “Let’s do this.”

Liz: Let’s do this. I love it. Let’s do this. Yeah. And the recovery stories were what changed things for me because I was always googling cures or supplements or herbs or “what is it?”

And then I saw coach and she was like, Google “recovery stories,” and I was like, “of course.” And of course not everyone’s gonna have your same exact symptoms or your same exact story, but when you can find similarities there, there’s a lot of people out there who have recovered, so no one is gonna have the exact same identical situation.

But when you see someone who’s been in the same boat as you, it’s just so inspiring. And I’m even inspired of recovery stories from people who were in different boats than me, but it just shows the power of the body to heal itself.

Mike: And the power of stories.

One of the greatest agents for change, we all respond to stories. 

But, I wanna say this while we’re talking about this, just genuinely how inspired I am by the fact that this is what you are putting back into the world. And the fact that you are reaching out and you are giving people this space to share their stories, I mean, as soon as I knew, as soon as Jackie said that this is what you were doing, I was like, “I would really love to be able to do this with Liz.”

So yeah, you’re doing something that the world really needs.

Liz: Oh my gosh, Mike, thank you so much, I appreciate that so much more than you know, I’m really grateful for those kind words, and I’m so glad to be sharing your story.

Liz: Alright, so now you connect with this coach. Can you tell us about your experience with the Lightning Process?

Mike: The first thing that I want to say, and I just wanna frame it in this way first, was that so you start off and you do like a three day seminar with your coach. And then you’re supported, continuously supported with all these follow up sessions and checking ins during the period of time, however long it takes, your recovery journey.

And mine took about 12 weeks, and I have never experienced anything like learning to walk again and to run again and to go dancing again. 

I mean, I was happy doing the washing up, you know, but it was like this genuinely, it was like the whole world went technicolor and there was so much joy in all of these small, everyday moments.

And it’s almost something that I can’t describe, but the experience of coming back into yourself and coming back into the world. 

It was happening during the spring as well, so the flowers are blooming and the trees are coming back and I was just like, “Oh my God.”

Like, you know, it was one of the most beautiful things that’s ever happened to me. Perhaps the most beautiful thing that’s ever happened to me.

Liz: I did a brain retraining program. The founder actually went through the Lightning Process, but created her own version. I also started it right after Christmas.

And then I really had this healing as it turned into spring, and it was just so amazing. So I know exactly what you’re talking about.

Mike: I mean, I literally felt like I was drawing energy from the earth, you know? So it became like this really visceral thing. I’m so happy that was your experience as well.

It sounds like there’s quite a lot of similarities. You know, Christmas was also a turning point for you then yeah, into your program as well.

Liz: Yeah, I didn’t actually go home that year for Christmas cuz I was like, “I can’t relive one of those PTSD Christmases.”

Yeah, but so that was like the first year and my entire life that I didn’t spend Christmas with my family and my grandpa passed away, Christmas Eve. And then, two days later I clicked on Twitter. And I saw this thing. It was a link to this… it was actually linked to the Toxic Mold Conference.

But then there’s all these like detoxer professionals on the list. And I saw this one lady and it was like “NLP and brain neuroplasticity.” I’m like, “I did that detox stuff. What’s this lady talking about?” And then I did the program. So I think it was, yeah, my grandpa looking down on me or something.

Mike: Yes. Giving you that wisdom that you needed at that time.

Liz:  Yeah, yeah.

Mike: Actually like to go back to what you were saying, a little while ago when you were talking about recovery stories, and how you won’t find people with exactly the same experience, but one of the, before doing the Lightning Process, there was this audio book by (Lightning Process founder) Phil Parker, I remember I listened to it in the bath.

It was really lovely and relaxing. And just kind of talk you through, a little bit about what the Lightning Process involves and, you know, a little bit of the science around mind-body connection and stuff. 

One of the really important things was the message to go out there and to find examples of people that have done it. And then to ask yourself the question, “What is similar about them?”

Liz: Ooh. So focusing on those similar.

Mike: On the similarities.

Liz: Versus, “Oh, they didn’t have this one random symptom I had,” it’s like, “Oh, what are the similarities here?”

Mike: Find the congruence.

Find yeah what resonates with them and with you.

Liz: That’s so interesting because the one story that resonated with me the most, it was just a little anecdote that she had shared, and I’m like, “That was totally me.” And she had something called CIRS, Chronic Inflammatory Response, whatever.

That was her label for what she had. And I had all those symptoms, too, but I just got the CFS label, but there was one anecdote she shared. I was like, “I totally relate to this lady. So if she did it, I can do it.”

Mike: Exactly. Because as soon as you’re saying, “I can relate to them,” that’s so empowering because then you are connecting with, you know, that sense.

If they can do it, so can I, right? 

Liz: Yeah. 

Mike: So I went on YouTube and I watched, every single Lightning Process recovery story from chronic fatigue, Long Covid, or ME that I could find. I watched them all, and by the end of that I was like, “Cool, I found all these similarities to all these people.” 

I think for me that was actually a really important part of it because it meant that when I arrived at it, I believed in it.

I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I had seen enough stories of change.

Liz: Yes. I think, You gotta be ready. And it can’t be forced upon you either. I did read that one story about a child that whose parent forced her to do it and it didn’t go so well, but it sounded like the mom was really pushing her.

So it’s like, you gotta decide this for yourself. Someone can’t push this on you, cuz  it’s a very empowering modality, and if someone pushes it on you, it’s missing the point. .

Mike: I really agree with that. I think it’s something you’ve gotta look at it and you’ve gotta. You gotta ask yourself that question, “Is this the right thing for me and is this the right time for me to do it as well?”

Liz: And is this the right time? Yeah.

Mike: So I think what was really interesting about doing the Lightning Process was obviously I was coming out of it, and I was using the exercises and I was noticing these changes quickly and these really significant improvements in the way I was feeling, and the way I was interacting with the world.

Mike: But I was a bit like, “How’s this working? What is happening right now?”

And a lot of that is really explained through the course. 

I think one of the really interesting things that came up initially that really helped my understanding was this idea of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.

So the the sympathetic nervous system is the fight or flight response. And that’s what we do when we feel that there is a threat. Or when we are in, a place of anxiety, where we are thinking that something right now in the present or something in the near future is gonna be fascinating.

And the sympathetic nervous system because it’s producing all this adrenaline or this cortisol, and it’s getting you ready to deal with an immediate physical threat. It actually has quite significant impact on your immune system and the way that your organs are functioning. 

And if you are in that state for prolong period of time, it’s very difficult for healing to take place because, the body is not in that relaxed, calm states where everything’s flowing and the nervous system, the immune system, can work, to their greatest potential.

Liz: I do wanna touch on that, because it’s about healing. So can you clarify does the Lightning Process say you caused Long Covid or ME in your mind?

Mike: No. A hundred percent not, and I wanna be really clear that none of us have caused this, but one of the things that the Lightning Process gave me A. an awareness of, and B. tools to influence was this understanding of how much time I was spending in that sympathetic nervous system. 

Because every day all of these small things like cooking and having a shower and stuff — and this is my experience, this is just for me personally — but I got to a place where these things were threats.

They were things that I didn’t feel like I had the capacity to do. And so they came with anxiety. 

I think what’s really interesting now is I also sort of look back on the issues I had with sleep in the past. And I realized that in those places as well, I was also in this sort of sympathetic nervous system. 

That wasn’t me making it happen.

Liz: Yeah. And I just read research. There’s a big study out showing that Covid can cause, a spike in our glial activity, so can elevate our brain’s response to things. So it’s not like we’re choosing when we get these conditions to have our sympathetic nervous system activated, whatever knocked you down.

Whether it was an emotional trigger, something pathogenic, it can impact our brain and and can impact our nervous system. These things are very real. They’re showing it in the science and more precise tests. But the question that I think we have to ask ourselves is now, okay, how do we heal this now?

Mike: Yeah. Exactly. It’s you know, the pathogen, the infection, the thing that’s happened and you know, your mind and your body they’re trying to defend. It’s a defensive thing, it’s a response. Again, we can use our minds to change that response.

Liz: Yes. So can you talk a little bit about that, from a scientific perspective?

Mike: Yeah. So after I did the Lightning Process, I really started geeking out on all of this stuff to do with the mind and the body connection. And so the first premise is that, you know, we say mind-body connection, but really the mind and the body are two sides of the same thing.

So the thoughts that you have affect the hormones and the chemicals that are running through your body, and then the things that happen to your body affect the thoughts that you have. So they’re all, they’re just looping into each other, right?

Liz: It’s all interconnected.

Mike: It’s all interconnected. And what’s really interesting is, we’ve all got this internal pharmacy inside of us that can be activated, by influencing the movements and the thoughts and the conversation that’s taking place between your mind and your body.

But when I first started describing the Lightning Process to people, I’d often say it’s, It’s kind of like figuring out how to hack the placebo effect, but without anybody giving you a sugar pill, without anybody giving you a dummy injection. But that is, that’s the power you’re harnessing.

Liz: And the placebo effect is really powerful.

My twin sister works in the pharmaceutical industry and, they know their drugs made it when it beats the placebo, but a lot of times the drugs don’t do that. The placebo is very powerful and everyone knows about the placebo effect, but this is actually actually giving it to yourself.

Mike: Yeah, you are, you’re turning on this internal pharmacy in a way, and there’s loads of really cool studies about just the things that this pharmacy can produce. So, as your sister perhaps knows when they do these placebo tests with antidepressants, and I think it’s something like, often the placebo is 70 to 80% as effective.

So a lot of people are taking what they think is an antidepressant, but the brain is actually creating the serotonin or the oxytocin or whatever it is that is expecting to receive from the pill itself. But it’s doing that just through the belief that you are receiving an antidepressant.

Liz: Yes. But for every drug, of course, there are side effects, too. Are there any side effects to doing the Lightning Process?

Mike: For me, I did the process without knowing anything about it. It was a very pure experience. And then once I had done it, and sort of connected with perhaps a wider perceptions of it,  there are some people that I think have had experiences that weren’t as positive.

Liz: And why do some people, does this work? Is it because your disease was just caused by the mind and they have the real disease? Because I’ve heard that like, “Oh, if you heal with this method (brain retraining), it means you just had the psychosomatic version. 

And we had the real version.” 

But I do wanna extend just a big hug out to everyone who have tried neuroplasticity programs, and who it didn’t resonate with and it wasn’t the thing. So what were your takeaways when you started now learning about the people who might not have had a positive experience?

Mike: Well, in terms of how it actually works, there isn’t anything negative in that, in terms of the exercises that you’re being given, they’re very gentle meditation like exercises that you do at home in your own kind of pace, and it’s just body movements and visualizations and things like this.

I think that what was put across very well, when I did it was this idea that you are gently pushing and expanding what you are able to do, but you’re not pushing through.

You’re not leaving the house and going for a three mile run if that conversation between your mind and your body is saying that you’re not ready for that.

And so I feel that for me, it was just about being very kind to myself.

Liz: And being kind to yourself and being attuned to your nervous system. And I think, yeah, you had that foundation of meditation, too, which had helped you with that as well. 

Mike: I think that did help. But there’s like a check in system built into the way the lightning process works, so that before you do anything, you are kind of checking in and you are like, “Am I ready for this yet?”

And yeah, I think the really powerful thing that happens with the Lightning Process, the rate of change would be different for everybody. And for me it was these small things started changing first. 

So like seven days later I went for a roast dinner at some friend’s house, and I stayed for about three hours.

And so I wasn’t walking far. I got a taxi there, but I did a social thing and I sat there and I chatted and I laughed with people and I was like, this is..[mindblown sigh]… I’m so happy to be here! 

And the more changes that happened, it felt like I created this virtuous circle where the more changes that happened, that belief grew stronger and then more positive changes happened.

And then I was just kind of going round, slowly ascending of what I could do. Yeah. But I was always making sure that I was, how long was it?  It was probably about, maybe six weeks before I did the 20 minute walk into town to get the bus to my (therapy) session. 

So it was what I was doing all the time was, I was checking in with myself, “Am I ready for the next thing?”

Liz: Yeah. So I love how we talked about, it’s about self-compassion. And there is that element of checking in with yourself. Yeah. So if someone is super type A and has a pattern of trying to super achieve and push through and ignore their body, it sounds like the program does have checks in place, but still someone who like pushes through. It seems like I had to learn that lesson before doing a brain retraining program that I couldn’t do that. 

And I had to learn that lesson the hard way, that I couldn’t just push through when my body was saying otherwise.

Mike: What’s kind of interesting is, since then, I’ve really started sort of learning how this beautiful stuff works and in my head then when you were saying a type A person that wants to push through, and they’re doing the Lightning Process, then I can really imagine that a lot of what they’d be doing in the Lightning Process would be around kindness, compassion, patience.

Acceptance, you know, just kind of, “Okay, I think I’m gonna push through, what do I need in this moment?” Or actually “What I need in this moment is I need patience.” And, we all kind of learned that on the way, but I think you probably also learned some of these things when doing your course yourself, right. You know, you come at a certain point and then, that point expands during the intervention as you learn more about just that conversation with yourself, you know?

Liz: Yeah. And I know the program is standardized and stuff, but I think it’s also how we apply it, and I think the coach probably does matter a bit, there’s probably some influence on if the coach is a good match for you, and it’s probably important that you resonate with your coach.

Mike: Yeah, I had like a 30 minute call with my coach to check in before committing to it. It’s where you kind of like, you check in. You have that conversation, you start laying the groundwork. You’re right In any coaching relationship. Yeah, it’s about connection. 

Liz: Mm-hmm. Because the people I know who did have that powerful experience, they were ready for it, and then they also vibed with their coach, yeah.

Okay. So we’re talking about such good stuff here, sorry if it was like, I’m grilling, but you know, there are like people who aren’t excited about the Lightning Process.

Mike: No, I’m, I’m happy to, I’m just happy to. I’m very happy to keep talking about this. Don’t worry.

Liz: So what I do wanna acknowledge is, so the lightning process I’ve heard it teaches you to think about things like, “Is this helpful?”

And it does encourage a positive outlook. But you’re also going once a week to your therapist. So how does that work?

Mike: For me it felt like the two things really complimented each other. I don’t know if I would’ve been ready for the Lightning Process when I was, if I hadn’t been going once a week to have that therapeutic conversation.

And I do feel that your relationship with trauma or the emotional blockages that it’s being caused, and therapy is really good at that. Therapy is really powerful with that. 

That was my journey. These two things coming together.

I think it’s just a personal decision, isn’t it? 

For me it felt like therapy enabled me to see the patterns. And the Lightning Process gave me something very practical that I could do about them.

Liz: Practical, but also that gave you all this joy and

Mike: Yeah. Yes. I mean, you know, there are lots of aspects of the Lightning Process that felt like therapy as well, you know.

We talked about the connection earlier with the coach and the most important coaching relationship in the Lightning Process is the coaching relationship that you are trained to build with yourself. 

And so what I’ve now developed a stronger sense of is being my own coach.

And when you do that, you change the conversations that you have with yourself. and you gain perspective, and you feel like you gain more choice in terms of how you’re responding to situations. 

And I think there is something about that conversation and that relationship that is inherently therapeutic because you are showing yourself love and kindness and acceptance and seeing yourself in ways that maybe you didn’t before. 

And so for me, it definitely felt like there was a therapeutic aspect to it, but I wouldn’t sit here and say to somebody, if you’ve got an issue from your past, and you wanna go into a therapist and talk about it, and you feel that’s right, then don’t trust that judgment.

Liz: Yeah. Oh, I love that. It’s helping you be the coach of your own life. Yeah. I sometimes think of it as like being my own best friend. But I like the coach.

Mike: Yeah those two things, you know, they don’t completely overlap, but yeah, a good friend will call you up on something in a loving way, you know?

I think that the the person we speak to the most is ourselves. So when you change that conversation and then, the whole mind body connection by doing that, you change the hormones and the chemicals and the physiological processes that are happening in the body. And you can feel better.

Liz: Yeah. And we have such a powerful pharmacy in our brains. And some of the treatments that are alleviating some people’s symptoms or things like low dose naltrexone. I looked at the side effects, and I was like, I’m not ready to risk it. But that one, I think it blocks your opiate receptors. So then at night your endorphins go down, but then during the day, the serotonin and endorphins increase. 

[Nothing on my blog is medical advice.]

That was kind of validating for me to just do neuroplasticity because I’m like, “If I can give this to myself.”

Mike: Exactly. Without any side effects. Yeah. I mean, one of the studies that I love is they got people with pain issues or chronic pain and they had them on a drip.

And they said, right, you’re on a drip. And at some point when you’re on the drip, we’re gonna give you a very powerful opiate. And what they found was that if they told people that they’d given them the painkiller and nothing had changed in the drip, that the people sitting there produced their own opiates and the pain threshold decreased just from being told this painkiller has come through to you in the drip before it had.

And if they gave them the painkiller without telling them again, not much changed, they needed to hear, they needed to know that they were being given it. And that had a profound effect on its efficacy. So, pain is in the brain.

Liz: For sure.

Mike: Yeah. If you step on a drawing pin, you feel it in your foot. But all the, neurotransmitters and stuff are up here.

We are able to turn on and off these kind of responses ourselves.

Liz: Yeah. it’s processing our environment. It’s processing pain, everything. 

Liz: Alright, so I wanna go back and.. okay. when you were told by the doctor it, it’ll be a year now can you see maybe… well isn’t good. 

But then if the doctor just said, “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with you?” What should the doctor say?

Because if they say like, there’s nothing wrong, that can lead you to pushing yourself. but if they say, “Oh, it’s gonna take a year…”  Because I’m against both.

Mike: You know, I’ve actually thought about this question. It’s a good question, isn’t it? There’s this very inspiring, person called Dr. David Hamilton. He talks a lot about, the, the mind body connection. I’d really recommend his, he’s got all these talks and stuff that you can check up online, and he talks a lot about the importance of not listening to the prognosis.

Because if they say this is what happens to the average person. The average person, it lasts for a year, right? But there’s all the people up at the top end of this that didn’t have that experience. And acknowledging the power of placebo and acknowledging the power that expectations have on your health outcomes.

Perhaps a conversation where they say, we can’t guarantee how quickly you recover, but some people recover in just a few weeks. You know, obviously not promising it, but acknowledging, the positive outcomes rather than giving you, and obviously I acknowledge here that you can’t go around promising people they’re gonna get better really quickly. 

And I think you’ve got to say we can’t guarantee things, but it’s interesting to think back. What would my experience have been like if I had believed that I was only gonna have it for a short amount of time? 

Liz: Well, I was told it was like nothing, and I don’t think that was helpful either.

It was like, you don’t have anything, Liz. Even though I had lots of stuff.

Mike: Well being told nothing’s wrong with you is…

Liz: Made me go crazy. Cuz then I was like googling all these things, what’s killing me? But if I knew “It was your nervous system, Liz. That’s why you have these reactivating viruses. That’s why. You had this perfect storm of events and this build it up of stress.” 

If I knew it was my nervous system, and I was told to take it easy, remove your stress, and then rewire your brain to build resilience. Yeah, that would’ve been great. 

Because being told “it’s nothing” isn’t great, but given hope is so important, too.

Cause I don’t know… I’m about to tell a personal story. So I actually just saw my cardiologist yesterday, and I was actually born with many heart conditions. Like I had heart surgeries. So then when I got CFS, I was like, “Oh, the doctor’s supposed to fix me.” But I’m really glad that I wasn’t told, “This is gonna be your life.” And so when I hear that doctors are telling like kids, that this is gonna be your life forever. It’s like, of course you wanna acknowledge them, that this is real, right? But taking all that hope away. And the best doctor I ever saw, there was a printout of my heart and it was showing all these not great percentages.

And I go to the doctor, I was like, “I wanna live, doctor” (I was 12). And he took out another sheet, I don’t even know if this was a real other person, he was like, “This person is surviving with out a heart chamber or something. You are gonna be fine.”

And that doctor told me, he was like, “Elizabeth, you’re gonna live to your 95.” And I was like, that was the best thing that doctors ever told me.

Mike: Yes. That’s, that’s what you want to hear.

Liz: And what if the doctor said like, oh you’re…

And so it just like… I know when parents are fighting for their kids to get acknowledgement about chronic diseases, like yes… we need more research funding in all fields.

And I think the mind-body connection should be one of the cause it is part of our body. We need all types of research, but I think we gotta be giving people hope, too, and looking at what people did who healed. Because you’ll find there’s so many patterns and you’ll find that it’s not only just a one thing, and it’s also the timing.

What other factors were at play as well. And the real truth and the real hope is in our stories. And I just wish, like…yeah. Anyway, but I just wanted to share how important it is and how important it was for me. To be told that.

Mike: I’m so glad that that doctor said those words to you. You know, because that is a very powerful moment that still resonates with you now, you know, having somebody say, and after all the times of hearing, whatever kind of negativity or uncertainty, and to have someone, yeah. 

And to say, here’s someone living without a heart chamber, but you know, this person’s fine. You are gonna be fine. You’re gonna live here 95. You know, I, I think there’s a lot of power in that, there’s a lot of power in the stories. 

And if doctors can’t find anything, why not just say, “We understand that there’s something the matter, and we haven’t figured it out.”

Liz: Yeah, I guess some doctors do say… like, I was told it was anxiety, but like anxiety, it did play a role because I didn’t know it was going on. It’s that perpetual cycle that we talked about. But um, I wish, they would be like, “We don’t know,” but giving you hope as well.

Yeah thankfully I wasn’t told there is no hope. But I do know people who are told that there is no hope, which is not good.

Mike: No.

But then there’s all these people that have recovered, so surely there is hope.

Liz: Yeah. And the thing some people like, “Oh, it’s luck.” And I’m like, “Well, I actually did so many things.”

So I know there’s people who do try everything, who do these different programs. but I don’t think for me it was just luck. I feel like I really had to put in work. I had to rewire, I had a very healthy lifestyle habits as well.

Liz: I feel like I really had to put in work. I had to rewire, I had a very healthy lifestyle. Habits as well. Did you have healthy lifestyle habits?

I mean, you obviously couldn’t drink, but…

Mike: I ate well, I was eating really well. Yeah. I was taking all the vitamins.

Liz: Yeah, I spent a lot of money on that and it was like a crutch, I would say those vitamins.

Mike: Of course. And you know, like it is super important yeah to be looking after yourself. 

But what you said then about working at it, that really resonates for me as well. I mean, you know, they said to us when I did the Lightning Process, do these exercises 25 to 30 times a day. Oh, okay. And at the end of each day, you’ve got this homework where you write down, you’re kind of keeping a record of the day.

And I just threw myself into this process and I was like, I am doing it. I am doing every single part of it. I’m giving it my all. And, I think when you’re rewiring, that is work. The brain is a muscle, you know, you I had these routines at certain points in the day. And I just sort of made sure that I did what I was supposed to be doing.

But I think, when you’ve tried everything else, yeah. For someone to say to you when you’ve tried all these passive things, apart from diets, diets are obviously quite active as well. And diets have helped a lot of people as well. I think getting your diet sorted  is a really good, powerful thing to do.

But being told that here’s a process that you can do. You are active.

You have agency, it’s in your hands. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. 

It’s a very different thing to sitting there saying, “Have you got something I can take,” isn’t it?

Liz: Yeah, And that is a big difference.

And I just, it was so clear to me after, I guess, well, the first year or so of things that I was gonna be the one who had to save me because with my heart stuff, I never even would Google it because I’m like, “Oh, the doctor’s just gonna fix me. The surgeons will fix it.”

And so this, I had this realization like, “They don’t know. I’m gonna have to save me.”

And I was ready. I’m like, “This is what’s gonna have to happen.” And people might not be there yet. So I think before doing these types of things, you gotta be willing, to have that mentality, right? Yeah.

Mike: Yeah. But I would imagine that what you are doing here, you’re creating here, for the people that are watching this, cuz it’s not just my story, I’m not the only person.

You’re sitting down to talk to talk to all these different people. And, what you are doing is, I believe is, you’re helping people to step into that space where they feel ready, I think. I think that’s why what you are doing is so important, you know?

Liz: Yeah. Well, it just went full circle.

Yeah. Because for me, I think it was seeing another recovery story. It was a guy named James. And he share the message of like, “It’s not gonna come from a supplement. It’s what you do every day.” And he had a big mindset aspect and calming his nervous system.

And so that was a big turning point for me. Yeah. All right.

Liz: So real quick, I wanna talk about, did you have any setbacks while doing the Lightning Process? 

Was it just like, boom, or did you have any, like a setback and how did you deal with it? Or did the coach help?

Mike: Yeah, I had one wobble about two weeks later where I, I tried to push through with how far I was walking.

Liz: You were pushing through versus…

Mike: I pushed through a little bit. I had a little wobble with it. And Lauren, who was my coach, I had her on Voxer and we got her on the phone and she gave me these things to do. She was like, “Cool, okay, yeah, no problem. This is how you respond to it.” And, a couple days later I was back where I wanted to be, so it felt like a really small thing, and it was very supported.

And it just kind of reminded me, you are in your Zorb ball, keep moving forward. 

But you’ve got, you’ve got that boundary, keep moving forward, but stay in your safe place, you know? 

And that literally was it. I think that so much of what you’re doing is you’re prepping yourself for what you’re gonna do. 

So you know, it was my birthday about six weeks after doing the course, and I wanted to go out in the evening for dinner, and I hadn’t gone out in the evening for dinner in so long. And so I just made sure that I was laying the groundwork and doing the prep and getting myself into the place where I knew that I was ready for that.

And I think a big part of it was, prepping yourself for where you wanna be.

Liz: Yeah. And I still do the visualizations (sometimes). Like I actually did it before my wedding, I was sitting with the bridesmaids. It was one of the most beautiful experiences cuz we went around the room envisioning what we hoped the night would be, and everyone was sharing, and it was just so wonderful.

And then, yeah, I’ve taken all this stuff, with me, too.

Mike: Oh, hundred percent. Yeah, me too. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun, isn’t it?

Liz: Yeah.

Liz: So how is your life like now, Mike?

Mike: Oh, that’s an amazing question. You know, I had a moment a couple of days ago when I was, you know, sort of reflecting on us having this chat.

And I just connected with 12 months ago, you know, halfway through October (this interview was recovered October 2022). I was still a few months away from even starting the Lightning Process. The days were getting darker, I was running outta things to try, I was stuck in the house. 

And, um, if, if I could have gone back then and told me at that moment and shown me at that moment what I’d looked like in 12 months time, all these wonderful things that have happened. 

I’m in a new relationship. I’m studying, I’ve reconnected with friends and family. I’m, living with someone new in the house, all these really amazing, wonderful things have happened. 

And if I could have gone back and shown that to myself a year ago, I, I would’ve cried. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, I genuinely would not have thought it possible. I am grateful for what happened to me. 

I wouldn’t, I’m not grateful for the pain and the suffering, but I’m grateful for what came out of it.

And that might sound a bit weird, but…

Liz: Yeah. Sounds so relatable. Yeah.

Mike: It’s, you know, post-traumatic growth, like I am a more grounded. More compassionate, more centered, more giving, more energetic, more. I just sit in myself better. You know, it’s a really beautiful thing. And I honestly feel like that is now a permanent turning point.

There is life before Long Covid and the Lightning Process, and then there’s life after. And those two things are different chapters, you know?

Liz: Whew. All right. So what are some final words of wisdom that you’d like to share with people listening?

Mike: I think I’ll just keep it really simple and just say:

So anybody out there that, feel stuck where they are, with the symptoms that they’ve got, that change is the one constant in life. You know, everything changes. That is the nature of, of our experience. It’s the nature of the world.

So I would just say, hold on to that, and just remember that where you are now is not gonna stay the same. Where you are now will shift. Things will change. And, with that in mind, me and you’ve talked about it so much, Liz, we’ve talked about the stories.

I would say to anybody out there, you are already in the right place because you found Liz and you found these stories, and keep on connecting with them. 

There is a paradigm, there is an intervention out there that will work for you, and when you find it, embrace it.

Liz: Ooh. So powerful. Oh my gosh. Thank you, Mike. I’m just so honored to just share your story and thank you for just being so vulnerable and authentic and sharing your truth and all the hope that your story brings and all your insights. I really appreciate it. This is one of my favorite interviews that I’ve done, so thank you.

Mike: Oh, thank you. Thank you for giving me the space. Honestly, like I said in the beginning, there’s something, you know, I acknowledged getting better a long time ago (spring 2022), but to sit here, talk about with you. I mean, just thank you for hearing me and for listening and for connecting. And, I have really, really enjoyed this conversation, with you, and I really in awe of what you’re doing.

So big. Thank you as well.

Liz: Oh, thank you so much, Mike. All right. I hope you have a great rest of your evening. You, too.

Mike: Enjoy your  afternoon now, right? 

Liz: Yeah. Oh, it’s the afternoon her already. All right. Take care. Bye.

Mike: All the best, Liz.

After our chat that was recorded in October 2022, Mike sent in a video update in February 2023. It’s included at the end of our YouTube video.

Mike: Hey Liz. I know you lovely people who’ve watched the interview I dunno if you can hear the bird song above me, but it’s a beautiful spring day here in Brighton, February 2023, about five months since me and Liz recorded our conversation that you gave me Liz to share my recovery story. 

Liz and I both thought it might be quite nice to add on, like an update, like, “Oh this is Mike, five months on,” you know, because life’s continued getting better. It really has.

I’m just coming up to my first full year back at work. Got a personal trainer. I’ve never had one of those before in my life, but I’m actually so motivated now to exercise and to really feel the best version of myself. 

Also signed up to do a half marathon in a few weeks time. I find myself bouncing out of bed at 6:00 am without the need for caffeine to go for a 10 mile run as the sun comes up, because I really love starting my day, running along, listening to the bird song in the park.

Did dry January, which is quite nice. Enjoyed a lovely Christmas. You know, so much better than the Christmas before. 

I think we spoke about that, Liz, didn’t we? You know, Christmas being that that real rock bottom where I realized that I wanted to reach out and engage in the wonderful process that I did to get better. 

But you know what, the most exciting thing I think in all of this is that 12 weeks of going from chronic fatigue to being completely better, it got me, you know, like an archeologist. just wanting to uncover and excavate and really find out what happened. Like how did I do that?

How does the mind body connection work? What’s the science behind it? It’s part of how I connected with Liz. But I’ve listened to podcasts. I’ve read brilliant books on the placebo effect and expectations and all this wonderful stuff. I’ve also signed up to do a clinical diploma in NLP Coaching and hypnotherapy.

If you’re not sure what that is, hypnotherapy isn’t stage hypnosis, that kind of thing. It’s the therapeutic process of helping people change their states from being an anxious state to a calm state. Feeling lethargic to feeling like you’ve got the confidence to go forward and do that thing that you really want to do.

And NLP is really interested in the patterns that we run. Neurologically, the conversation that our mind and body has around things that are coming up in our life, and I’m actually training to be a coach in this. And this has all come…this is the post-traumatic growth that’s come out of my long covid experience.

And I’d like to say that right now I’m offering free coaching sessions, for a limited period of time, when I finish the course. So if any of you wonderful people out there who’ve watched this interview connected with my story and interested in seeing what a free taste of session would be like, to get a sense of whether NLP can help you with where you are and the places where you are stuck.

Then I do believe there’s a place where you can link to a document and leave your name and your email address, and I’ll be super honored and really happy to hear from you and to work together. So hopefully I do connect with some of you lovely people in the future.

That’s all for me. A big thank you once again to Liz. The work you’re doing is so important, the energy you’re putting out into the world, the hope you’re giving people. 

And I just wanted to say to everyone that’s watching, wishing you so much love and so much faith and so much belief that you are on your journey and you will find your way back to where you want to be.

Mike doesn’t currently have a website or social media, but you can reach him through this Google form. This blog is independent from any program, healing modality, or coach and is for information and inspiration only.

If you’d like practical and uplifting health recovery information, please sign up for our newsletter below. This blog is not medical advice nor meant to contradict what you have discovered yourself to be true. 

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