Jenny is a medical doctor who has struggled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dysautonomia, and Sensory Sensitivities since 2018. Her symptoms were so severe that she couldn’t leave the house and had to move back in with her parents so they could help care for her.
In her own words (lightly edited for length and clarity) here is the letter Jenny wrote to our community at the one year anniversary of doing DNRS. She reflects on her many victories and the ways that the DNRS practices continue to improve her life.
She ends by reassuring anyone putting their trust in DNRS that “…you are on your way to healing and to a completely new life that will be better than you could ever have believed!”
I am not very active on this forum anymore, since I got my full and active life back and I am busy doing all the things normal, healthy people do. When I started DNRS 1 year ago I was mostly bedridden for 4 years, living with my parents who had to help me with basically everything except personal hygiene. I could not stand up long enough to take a shower or leave bed for more than meals. What a complete contrast to the life I am living now – having practiced DNRS for one year – I am as healthy as anyone. Probably healthier than most.
I have no physical limitations. I am biking everywhere and enjoying the freedom of exercising and going wherever I want, whenever I want, to the fullest. 20 km does not even feel like a long distance to bike anymore, and that would have been far even for my pre-illness self.
I am not counting the “first time I did this since I got sick” anymore. I am beating the records that I had before my limbic system impairment. I biked 60 km, which is a LIFE RECORD. I am not only the strongest I have been since I fell ill, I feel like I am stronger than ever before in my life.
One Last Hurdle: Work Life
The one thing I am still training on (that I just started to train on) is work. I just started going back to work and even though I feel that is within my training zone with some margins, I still do the DNRS practices because I know I have some limbic over-firing regarding work since even before I fell ill. I use tips I got from retraining friends and I’m participating in a Living DNRS class, and it is going great so far.
I decided that I am not going to think of work as a stressful threat to my health anymore. Instead I’ll think of work as something fun and easy and relaxing that is good for me. I can feel my attitude towards work and previous limbic responses change day by day. Some of the strategies I use is to think of going to work as going to a spa. I go there to relax and have fun. I enjoy a fruit break every day and I laugh at myself in the mirror when I take a trip to the bathroom.
I take small moments before, during or after the day to read and add new things to my list “Things I love about my work”. During my DNRS practice I visualize having fun at work, feeling professional, feeling valued and appreciated by patients and colleagues. I use my best work-related memories from before I fell ill and I use the new ones I am creating now since I started work again. Like laughing with colleagues during the lunch break and feeling connected, feeling like I am part of something meaningful.
I celebrate every new work-related victory, like completing tasks. I feel good about myself for what I accomplish, and focus only on what I actually did – not what I didn’t do yet. I do a DNRS exercise on my way to work and on my way home from work.
Using DNRS Strategies for the Long-Term
One strategy that I use in general with my DNRS practice is inspired from Rick Hanson’s book Hardwiring Happiness, and that is giving myself the opposite feeling, that is – the one I am needing right in the moment. For example, if I am feeling lonely, I focus on a memory of having good times with friends or my deep connection with a loved one. If I feel stressed and busy I visualize being on vacation, relaxing or going to a spa.
If I feel like I am useless or not enough I do a round of DNRS practices with the theme of being appreciated and loved. For example, I’ll focus on a time when someone did something that made me feel valuable to them or when I did something that was very appreciated by others. I find this to be a very effective way for me to make the rounds help me the most in that specific moment.
I feel like I am in control now and that I have the tools that I need to retrain my brain about basically anything. I know that with training I can take control of my limbic responses in whatever shape they may show up, and fill my life with whatever I want to have instead of limbic reactions.
I will probably be training on work the coming year or so, to really take the time to fundamentally break those old, unhelpful limbic system reactions associated with it. Not because I have to, I might do fine at work anyway feeling healthy and all as I already do now, but I want to move beyond managing and into thriving in and enjoying every area of my life.
I want to keep training not because I have to in order to be able to do things, I already do things now, but I want to make my life as magical and joyful and enjoyable as possible. I want to keep training beyond being healthy to actually being truly happy and grateful every day. Because it is more than possible and I (and everyone else) deserve that. Life will always throw challenges at us, and I want to handle them as smoothly and easy as possible. My time is too valuable not to.
This Is Only the Beginning
I am not the victim of my automatic responses to my surroundings anymore, I am the creator of my best responses and my best life possible every day. It will be a lifelong exciting project and a magical journey without limitations. This is only the beginning of all that is still to come. I know anything is possible, having made it back to a second chance at life. I am forever grateful for this knowledge and for these tools to make anything happen.
I wish everyone in this community the very best, you are on your way to healing and to a completely new life that will be better than you could ever have believed. And I wish that everyone that is not yet in this forum but in need of it will find it and begin their own journey to health and happiness 🙂
By the way, if you read my 5 month update, I wrote that my next goal was to be able to travel – and oh I did!! Starting with small steps like just going out of town, and now I am traveling anywhere! This August I traveled with my boyfriend to the other side of the globe to attend my friend’s wedding in Vietnam and we stayed for 2 weeks. I enjoyed every part of the journey without any symptoms — I even slept fine in a completely wrong timezone, ha ha!
6 months earlier I was probably among the most inflexible and immobile persons on this earth. Miraculous. Sharing some pictures from the great victory of going to Vietnam with you here below!
All the best!
P.S. If you are wondering whether or not to sign up for a Living DNRS class, do it! I hesitated but did and it was so worth it!!