Poppy’s inspiring recovery story from severe ME/CFS

YouTube interview with Poppy [7 minutes]:

Written transcript:

Liz: In my new mini interview series, today Poppy is sharing her full recovery from CFS/ME and what helped her heal in this five minute overview.

Liz note: Unlike other interviews on my channel which are back-and-forth chats, Poppy just sent me a video telling her story, so that I can share it. Here is Poppy in her own words.

[00:12] Poppy: Hello, my name is Poppy Wildman. I’m 22 years old from Nottingham, UK, and I’ve recovered from severe CFS/ME. I first got sick about three years ago [mid 2020] during the COVID pandemic, and within about six months, my condition was really severe.

I was sofa bound for the next 18 months. My day just revolved around getting up a few times to go to the toilet or to have some food, and…that was it.

I couldn’t sit up without a lot of difficulty. I just found really, sort of, basic things like drinking water to be a challenge. I couldn’t hold the weight of my head up.

After a while I could go outside in a wheelchair, with a cushion to hold my head up. But until January 2022, that was basically what my life consisted of. It was really horrible, as I’m sure a lot of people watching this can relate to.

I saw my friends probably three or four times during that whole year and a half period because I just couldn’t leave the house to go anywhere and found socializing to be difficult, and it was just a really really dark and horrible time.

But in January 2022, I finally found that spark of hope in CFS School, which is run by Jennifer and Karden. It was a real changer for me. 

I’d done some brain retraining before, but it hadn’t really made a difference.

I’d also tried quite extreme diets and graded exercise and pacing. Nothing really made a difference, and some things just made me feel worse.

But I finally found this type of brain retraining in CFS School that helped me understand the trauma behind my illness and how to sort of resolve that and to retrain my brain to experience symptoms less.And over the next few months, I went from sort of being bed-bound to being able to sort of move around the house, being able to do a few sort of light activities like painting and, quite gentle things like that. But I still couldn’t leave the house outside of a wheelchair being pushed by my mom once a day.

So I still felt like there was something missing.

And so I had a one to one call with Karden, and that completely changed everything.

Just what we talked about on that hour, made me understand how to heal suddenly. Just having the belief that there wasn’t actually anything bad inside my body making me sick, it was this sort of, neural pathways being stuck, sending these symptom messages, mostly because of sort of trauma and other similar factors. 

And by the end of that call, I was just so excited and so sort of energized that I went out and got, went out my bike down to the park across my road and cycled down the hill to the playground and I played on the playground there and it was the first time I’d left the house under my own steam in 18 months, and it was amazing.

And I sort of had a couple more days like that over the next week or so, but mostly I was still sort of struggling to have a confidence to trust my body to go outside, on my own, on my bike or walking, until I came across a YouTube recovery interview by Rebecca Tolin. And I just immediately clicked with her way of healing.

Her complete belief that she wasn’t actually sick, and the experience is really real. 

And it’s not in our heads. It’s completely in our bodies, but it’s not actually being caused by any pathogen. 

She explains it much better than I can. And it just clicked with me. And after watching that video, I just went out on my trampoline, jumped around, and sort of since then, I’ve just slowly been building up that confidence to get out and do whatever I want, and that was about a year ago, and in that year I’ve done so, so many things that I just didn’t think I’d ever be able to do again. 

Liz note: A couple people asked in the comments on YouTube asked if Poppy did Rebecca Tolin’s program. Poppy (after CFS School) participated in Rebecca’s new Be Your Own Medicine cohort-based program and had a great experience. CFS School and Be Your Own Medicine are two of the 27 programs reviewed in the Lifestyle and Nervous System Regulation Programs Guide I made with Lindsay Vine. 

I’ve walked up mountains, I’ve been on nights out dancing, I meet up with my friends every day. I’m in the middle of doing a training course to potentially start working for the first time. And that’s exciting. 

Poppy, since this video was recorded, started working at a forest school.

And I’m just really, really loving life. And I’m really grateful, just so, so grateful that I found the thing that helped me recover because my life is, I just feel so much joy being out in the world again, and I just want to say to everyone watching this that you can recover.

I didn’t think I ever could, I saw all these videos of it happening to other people, and it just felt like something that happens to other people, but I don’t think that we all heal in the same ways.

I think we all have to find the thing that clicks for us. And when it clicks for you, you’ll know.

I just knew immediately that I’d found the thing that made sense to me. And I just want to wish everyone watching this, who’s going through a really hard time, that I understand. You will get better as long as you keep that hope alive that you can get better.

And best of luck to everyone on that journey. And thank you, Liz, for all the videos on your channel that give people hope every day that recovery is possible.   

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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