Recovery Wisdom

Real recovery stories from people who have healed from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

We all must find our own way, but I hope sharing our ME/CFS recovery stories can inspire you on your journey and potentially make things easier for you.

"It wasn't about how I could prevent the fall, but how I could strengthen my body’s ability to bounce back."

Liz park

ME/CFS is a giant Catch-22 situation. When I tried to push through to hold on to my old life as an independent productive member of society, I lost my health, my savings, and became a barnacle. When I needed my brain the most to figure things out, there were days when even looking at a screen was a challenge.

To get my health back from viral-onset M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I took the “all of the above” approach.

After learning the hard way countless times, pulling back and going easy was necessary for my recovery (made possible with a mindshift that my health came first and the support of my now husband). Giving my body the right nutrients to support my energy and immune system and eating foods that were easy to digest also helped. Getting an environmental toxin at 100 times the safe limit (identified 2.5 years in) out of my system was important, but I still crashed after a combination of minor stressors.

To fully get “out,” I had to calm my brain’s dialed-up fight-or-flight system and support my body’s natural ability to bounce back.

Learn how I healed from moderate ME/CFS, recurrent EBV, and IBS through diet, removing environmental healing blockers, setting my own pace, and nudging my body into a healing state. Some helpful links:

My diagnostic odyssey & how I got out

10 things I did to heal from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / M.E.

My full ME/CFS recovery story interview on YouTube

Liz Carlson (Founder, Heal With Liz)

California

"It is possible to fully recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Know this. Internalize this. Carve these words into your soul."

At 30 years old, a viral onset of ME/CFS almost instantly had me housebound. For those first couple roughest years, this illness stripped away my social life, hobbies, savings, career, and marriage.

This illness maintained its grip on me for over a decade. As the years passed, despite my symptoms having somewhat eased up, I could no longer keep going where every single day was a struggle to endure.

In one final concentrated two-year effort, I found my way out by supporting my body’s innate ability to heal. It was all about trajectory. With every single thing that I did, I paid close attention to whether it was taking me closer to or further away from the vibrant health I was aiming for.

Read more about how Raelan got her full life back through nutrition, addressing her emotional well-being, strength-building, and an absolute refusal to give up hope.

Raelan Agle

San Francisco, CA

"My bed was my prison. Now I'm climbing mountains."

Looking back, it’s hard to believe how far I’ve come on this journey.

If I were to give my younger, bedridden self some advice it would be: 1) Quit all sugar and grains and gradually begin replacing dietary carbs with protein and healthy fats. 2) Do everything you can to get your stress levels under control. 3) Understand that this condition wasn’t your fault, but your recovery is your responsibility. 4) Find someone else who’s been through this and can support you in your recovery.

I did eventually learn all those lessons along the way and am happy to say I am now fully recovered. I realize how fortunate I am to have this second chance at life and this opportunity to share my story.

Read Japhet’s inspiring 10-year recovery journey from ME/CFS after a bacterial infection in Argentina and how he ultimately turned his life around.

Japhet Stevens

New Hampshire

"It’s only in hindsight that I can look back at my 7-year recovery journey and see it for the success story it is."

If anyone had told me at the time, that I’d look back one day and almost be glad that it all happened, I’d have considered thumping them!

M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome hit me after a failed operation while I was going through a particularly stressful time in my personal and professional lives. While I luckily received a diagnosis early on, the treatment protocol was almost nonexistent. When I took matters into my own hands, through a combination of research and trial and error, I began to see improvements (particularly by changing my diet and learning how to pace myself). Though it ended up being a long and bumpy journey, slowly I learned to believe in my own recovery.

Now that I’ve been recovered for three years and am currently helping others with this condition, I can see that I’ve come through the other side a healthier and happier person than before. I hope that you enjoy reading about my journey, and I’d love to hear from those who have any questions or would like my help.

Read Pamela’s powerful story and learn how her determination to take control of her recovery and the support of her friends and family literally got her back on her feet again.

Pamela Rose

United Kingdom

"I realized my power lies in choosing how I responded to the now."

When I was housebound and so deeply unwell with ME/CFS, I imagined being well, vibrant, full of energy and resilience again. None of these imaginings were as amazing and bright as the real thing.   

ME/CFS was for me a journey of trust, of self-love, of listening to and respecting my body and of taking full responsibility for where I was, how I got there and for what I wanted my future to be. 

To be clear, I did have my ups and downs—of course I did. But deep down in my soul, I know I would get through it, and I would do it my way. 

You have the power to decide what kind of experience it will be for you. Sure – it won’t all be roses – contrasts are where we reflect and learn…  but the roses, when they bloom will be intoxicating and beautiful, unique and full of promise.

Learn how Anaya fully healed from CFS/ME over a 2.5 year journey through diet, NLP, supporting her parasympathetic recovery system, and more.

Anaya Smiley

New Zealand

“Nothing is impossible. You deserve healing!”

I never anticipated that I would get so sick with multiple complex “chronic” illnesses. No one ever prepares a person for something like that. Six years ago, when my health spiraled leaving me primarily bed-bound, it was hard to navigate where to go through it all.

Family didn’t know how to respond, as they had never seen anything like CFS/ME or fibromyalgia. While some doctors told me that everything looked normal, others led to believe that these debilitating conditions would be my life forever. From the very beginning, I was stripped of hope.

When being given a diagnosis that isn’t well understood, that lacks real effective treatments, or hopeful prognosis, it is hard to move forward. It can feel paralyzing. I just could not live that way. I share my story with others of how I continued to search for answers, tried many healing avenues, and ultimately found a full recovery in order to combat that hopelessness.

My journey is also a journey of faith, which led me to the things that ultimately healed me and continue to support my wellbeing.

Learn how Katie healed from fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, and endometriosis after a four-year journey through treating underlying infections, a genetic test that led to medical intervention, and her faith in God.

Katie Gardner

New York State

“My life is like a slow sunrise after a long winter.”

From 2016 to 2019, I was completely bed bound, sound sensitive, had lost my appetite, and had chronic headaches. My nervous system was exhausted and malfunctioning after a lifetime of being terrified of my parents (but I didn’t realize this until after my physical recovery).

After touring the healthcare system for a couple of years, I gave up on them and they gave up on me. 

It was thanks to a self-help podcast that I stumbled across Ayurveda, the traditional health system of India, and I knew this was what I had been searching for as it centered around digestion. And lo and behold, it friggin’ worked. I learned we create our health every day and we can create and uncreate imbalances quickly.

I am now fully recovered from CFS/ME, have a job, live on my own, shake my butt, and dress up in sequins at every opportunity. I’m continuing to deeply heal from my traumatic upbringing. 

I hope to be a catalyst on your healing journey by sharing my story and the tools I found. Thank you for your time, and I want you to know that I am rooting for YOU!

Learn how Vera took her power back from severe ME/CFS, IBS, and emotional abuse, the Ayurvedic treatment that helped her heal, and how she’s living an authentic life.

Vera Wilhelmsen

Norway

Share your words of wisdom

We’re out of this together.

Do you have a recovery story? Or perhaps pacing tips, communication strategies, treatment insights, insights for navigating the medical system, mindset insights, or advice for loved ones that you like to share with the community? Are you a loved one or helper of someone with ME/CFS with advice for others?

Send us your wisdom, and we’ll be in touch.