Raelan Aegle

When I was 30 years old I transformed, almost overnight, from being a busy social worker, part-time university student, fitness enthusiast, and social butterfly to being a mostly house-bound and often bed-bound unemployed isolated chronically ill person. Although it took some time to get my diagnosis, eventually I was told that my new prison was called ME/CFS.

When I first was diagnosed with ME/CFS, I gave healing my all those first couple of years. After the mainstream medical system quickly dismissed mine as case without hope of recovery, I set off on my own to sift through alternative treatment modalities and a sea of snake oil pedaled by so-called experts, and relentlessly lived and breathed this singular healing focus of mine at the expense of virtually everything else. I lived with this condition in varying degrees of severity for ten years and despite the
tens of thousands of dollars I spent on testing and treatments, in the end it was my own self-directed recovery approach that finally freed me of this debilitating condition.

From all the information and experimentation I’d experienced and accumulated over the years, I devised for myself a fairly simple yet rigorous healing plan focused on four areas that I detail in my recovery memoir Finding Freedom: Escaping From the Prison of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. These were nutrition, movement, emotional well-being, and overall body healing support. Before long it was undeniable – my healing plan was actually working and I was getting better.

It took some massive changes and a serious commitment to healing, but putting in the work to get to where I am now seems like a bargain compared to a life consumed by ME/CFS. I went from being lost in a pit of despair and suffering to a life filled with surfing and hiking and running and scuba diving — and even finding new love. And sharing my
story through my book is a beautiful part of how I’m now emotionally healing and trying to give some meaning to all that I’ve been through. The only way I can live with all the suffering that I see so many others still enduring because of this retched illness is to take as many of those people as I can by the hand and see if we can’t just figure this thing out together.

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