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“Indescribably Life Altering!” Samantha’s Recovery Diary: Part 1

 

Samantha had been living in a camper on her boyfriend’s driveway for two years. She could no longer enter the house, wear most kinds of clothing and makeup, or eat the foods she loved. She was suffering from disabling symptoms associated with a host of illnesses that are related to limbic system impairment, like Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Samatha’s journey into chronic illness started 8 years ago. Despite her best treatment efforts with seeing dozens of specialists and undergoing many different protocols, she still found herself sliding back into a state of chronic illness. Instead of getting better, her sensitivities were increasing, and she suffered from severe reactions to minuscule levels of chemicals, mold and various foods. She describes herself as living “like the boy in the bubble.”

She signed up for the DNRS program and detailed her progress along the way in regular posts on our Global Community Forum. We’ve compiled her updates into three parts so that you can read her “recovery diary” in chronological order. We think you’ll agree, Samantha’s updates are an invaluable play-by-play of her experience with rewiring her limbic system through DNRS brain retraining and how it has impacted her life.

In her own words (lightly edited for length and clarity) here is the first part of Samantha’s recovery diary.

My Recovery Goals

I started this program like most of you, with the intention of getting back into society and living a normal life again. 

MY BIGGEST GOALS WHEN I SIGNED UP FOR THE PROGRAM:

  • To move out of the tiny camper in my boyfriend’s driveway where I’ve been for just shy of 2 years after needing to move out of his home and abandon my things (now stored in his garage)
  • To be able to buy items like clothing, general living necessities, and other items in the world without crippling symptoms
  • Bring more foods back into my diet that I used to love 
  • To fall asleep without scary symptoms
  • To be able to buy a mattress since I had to remove the one in the camper leaving me sleeping on cushions intended for a couch. 
  • To be able to wear makeup or use hair products again (haven’t been able to in 2 years)
  • To be able to go back into my boyfriend’s home or go near my old things again
  • To get vaccinated so I can socialize without fear and so I can be maskless around my boyfriend
  • To be able to get back to running my business that I love, as a portrait photographer

 

Samantha's future is bright

 

Week 8 Update: Indescribably Life Altering

For 8 weeks I’ve been very dedicated. I have not missed a day of rounds, I hired a Certified DNRS Coach, and started attending LIVING DNRS classes.. I’ve had worries about not doing the program right. To be honest, I talked to my coach about the fact that in the beginning, I had a lot of “fake it ‘till you make it” moments. I just wasn’t sure I was doing it right. 

I had some small but exciting changes so I was motivated to keep going. The Global Community Forum is always a great motivator too! After 5 weeks I hit a big ebb, and I remembered Annie saying this could happen and to not be discouraged. I tried to accept this as “neuroplastic gold” and while prior to that, I was seeing some little shifts that were exciting… things SKYROCKETED after I came out of this ebb.

48 hours ago something shifted. In a MAJOR way. These are all the things I have done and some really BIG things all happened at once in the last 2 days!

I CAN NOW:

  • Eat whatever I want (but I’m still eating healthy)
  • Buy anything in the grocery store!
  • I seem to be able to buy ANYTHING anywhere?! (I’m still scratching my head on this one.. like WHAT!?)
  • Wear makeup
  • Take waaaay less supplements! From over 40 pills a day to just a fraction of that!
  • Use hair products
  • I can eat CHEESE! I haven’t been able to eat dairy in 8 years!
  • I went from having only 2 shirts and 1 pair of shorts and limited undergarments to being able to buy 3 more shirts, a pair of jeans, and a pack of socks! Tomorrow I’m going to get more!
  • The scary sleep issues I was having have stopped!
  • I am not living in a state of constant fear! I am living in a state of JOY!
  • And the biggest thing of ALL.… last night I had my boyfriend bring me something from the house, the house I can’t go near, and I had NO SYMPTOMS. Then I had him open the garage where all my discarded items were (a garage I normally have to stay at least 30 feet away from when open), and I had him give me something from in there, and NO SYMPTOMS!! I then walked right up to the garage and stepped inside, then I burst into tears and we both cried, I have not had a symptom since!! 
  • Today I went and bought a new keyboard for my computer, scheduled a much-needed dentist appointment, an eye doctor appointment, and bought my first ever takeout in over 2 years. Up until this point I could not go INSIDE nearly anywhere!!

I am beside myself. I am so happy to have a coaching appointment tomorrow because I definitely need guidance on how to handle this WEIRD feeling of such rapid healing after living like the “boy in the bubble” in total isolation for 2 years. 

This program has me feeling so many things, like immense gratitude for this gift of life that’s been returned to me. I can’t wait to see what else happens and how my body responds to the continued practice, because I can tell there is more rewiring that needs to be done. My RING camera captured some of what happened last night and the best part is you can hear me saying through tears… “That Annie Hopper is a genius and I love her so much!” 

I don’t know what else to say other than I’m finally starting to dream again, to see my future, and it looks so bright!!!

 

Samantha's new mattress

 

Week 9.5 Update: I Have a Bed!

2 years ago I bought a camper and parked it in my boyfriend’s driveway, a house I had been living in for a year, until I could no longer be there. 

Very quickly the camper mattress became a source of environmental-related symptoms and it had to go! The dinette area has 4 cushions that convert to a twin-size bed… not the most comfortable, but it was better than being in a car, or a tent on the ground, and that is what I told myself for 2 years. 

Over the years I have tried unsuccessfully to get a new queen mattress for the actual bed area, I have purchased nearly 10 and had to return them all. NOT TODAY!! 

Today the new mattress came, and I knew I was putting it in no matter what. I would train with it if I had to, but I was NOT going to repeat old patterns of the past and tell my limbic system that avoidance behaviors were acceptable. 

I took the mattress out of the box and put it on the platform, put on the sheet and laid on it and OH MY! After not laying on a bed for so long, it was incredible—as you can see in my text to my boyfriend only minutes after testing it out!  

I can’t wait to go to sleep tonight, I can’t believe this day is finally here! 

 

Samantha's new mattress after training with DNRS

 

Also, this week I am continuing to incremental train in the garage full of my old things. I am up to standing in it for 20 minutes! I can’t wait until I can spend some time in the house. 

Other incredible things that happened this week:

  • buying clothing, 
  • getting back into my photo studio, 
  • booking clients, 
  • wearing makeup, 
  • ordering takeout, 
  • wearing hair products, 
  • almost no fear now when I’m in stores and I buy anything I want without sniffing it or examining it. Unthinkable just 3 months ago. 

It still feels like a dream, every day I’m still so amazed at what I’m capable of. My statement that I came up with when I started is “I am healthy, I am strong, I am limitless” and I write it every night 10 times as Annie directed us to, and I already feel like it has come true. 

Some new behaviors I have implemented while I’m rewiring:

  1. I’ve stopped watching most of my favorite shows that are drama and sci-fi. I didn’t love doing this but I understand you can get adrenaline rushes from media so I’ve started watching totally different types of shows: comedies (Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon), family-friendly shows (Heartland, Shark Tank, AGT), game shows (Generation Gap, The new Password), etc. Sadly my Game of Thrones, Westworld, and Handmaids Tale-type shows will have to wait until my 6-month mark—a small price to pay for this newfound freedom!
  2. I stop conversations that aren’t “limbic system friendly” to make sure I’m not getting pulled into negative energy conversations.
  3. I’m dancing! Every time I do dishes I’m either listening to an audiobook or music and dancing, if it’s quiet I’ll hum sometimes, and even just noticing I’m not engaged in anything I will put on a smile (because my limbic system knows, haha)
  4. I’ve limited my social media, and I’m staying away from the negative news.
  5. I have a Google Doc that I log every positive thing (no negatives) that has happened to me that day. I use that as a  daily journal so that I can go back and see all my amazing progress on days when I’m ebbing.

All these things are little but I feel like they are super helpful for me since I feel very influenced by other energies. Thought I’d share in case it might be helpful for someone else.  

Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3 of Samantha’s recovery journey, coming soon.

 

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