Persistence with EFT Helps Chronic Fatigue
Dear EFT Community,
David and Mhairi Alexander share their work using EFT on David's chronic fatigue and how Mahairi helped him deal with feeling overwhelmed by the volume of concerns and anxieties that arose when he would try to deal with his past.
By Mhairi Alexander and David Alexander
I thought you’d be interested in hearing about our work using EFT with Chronic Fatigue. David is my husband, and in many ways, this made him a 'difficult’ client!
David has had Chronic Fatigue on and off since having glandular fever (which I think is known as 'mono’ in the U.S) in 1996. At first, he simply had bouts of being 'run down’ and tired, and minor aches and pains. These bouts of fatigue became longer and longer, and he was taking more and more time off work - he was a teacher.
We tried all the usual supplements, and medical tests ruled out any other conditions. He was simply left to get on with it, as there was no treatment. Not surprisingly, he became quite downhearted, particularly at the prospect of having to give up work at the age of 54.
Initially, David agreed to try EFT, but wasn’t able to remain motivated, and quickly gave up on it. This was where it got difficult, and where I wouldn’t have been able to put pressure on any paying client. In fact, I more or less 'bullied’ David into trying EFT again, and kept the pressure on him to persevere. So, at least one of us was being persistent!
He started to make sustained progress when he started tapping consistently for himself.
This only happened after we’d dealt with a number of his core issues. The following took place over a period of about two years, with a number of stops and starts. At the beginning, I was quite inexperienced with EFT, having only used it on myself at that time.
I was convinced that underlying emotional issues were significant, and having the advantage of knowing a lot of his history (we’ve been married for 27 years), decided to start with some bereavements. I wondered if he had grieved properly, since the various deaths had occurred at times when we had a lot going in our lives.
One by one we went through the losses, using the tapping and 'telling the story’ technique.
What surprised me was how little he actually remembered of the details, which I could recall clearly. It actually ended up with me 'telling the story,’ and David tapping. This was done over a period of time, and during it, he became very distressed, shedding the tears he hadn’t shed at the time. I suspect that the reason he couldn’t remember any details was that he had pushed them from his mind, to avoid any pain.
Once this process was completed, and he could 'tell the story’ without being upset, we moved on to his childhood memories. Again, we used the tapping and 'telling the story’ technique, as well as tapping on specific memories, such as David’s fear that his mother would die when he was at school.
Interestingly, David’s mother had a history of heart problems and anxiety. While she was genuinely ill - she died at the age of 52 - she may have used her health as a way of protecting herself from stressful situations.
When he started to recall the details of his childhood - which he managed to do by himself this time - he realised how stressful the household was, and how he had learned to deny his emotions by distracting himself in various ways:
“Even though I have this fear of my emotions, I choose to accept and deal with them.”
He also came to realise how dependent he was on other people for approval:
“Even though I’ve needed people to show me they care"
And how much he needed others around him:
“Even though I have a fear of being alone"
And how he saw himself as a failure compared to other people:
“Even though I’ve never achieved the level of success I should"
“Even though I don’t know what I want or how to succeed"
It was at about this point we noticed some improvement in his physical health, and this was when he started tapping on his own, and working on some of the issues himself. I think that this is a key factor in many situations, particularly in chronic illness - the person himself or herself has to take control and responsibility. It was at this point that he became comfortable “doing things for himself”.
We also dealt with the various stresses in his life around the time he got the glandular fever which appeared to start the condition - change of job, minor hospital operation, another bereavement, and the general daily wear and tear of having teenage children!
There were still 'ups and downs,’ in his condition, and we still had to deal with his thoughts and feelings about having Chronic Fatigue, and about getting better:
“Even though I feel I’m losing part of myself”
“Even though I feel stuck where I am”
“Even though I have this fear of being helpless"
“Even though this illness is part of me"
“Even though my body protects me by getting ill"
We’ve now reached the stage where he is emotionally much more resilient and relaxed. He has not yet returned to full health, but he’s back to 70 - 80 % of his former level of activity, and we don’t yet know how much more he’ll be able to improve.
It’s clear that he won’t be able to return to teaching - you have to be super-fit to stand in front of a class of 30 teenagers all day - but we’re confident he’ll be able to do something.
He now uses these affirmations, amongst others:
“My energy is a golden glow within my body.”
“I keep my energy within my body.”
“I deeply and completely accept who I am.”
“My future is bright”
“I create my future.”
“I am healthy.”
Just some notes to add to what my wife has written:
She says she bullied me. What she actually did was provide the motivation for me to complete EFT exercises when I felt unable to. Part of this was due to the effects of Chronic Fatigue, and part of this was due to feeling overwhelmed by the volume of concerns and anxieties that arose when dealing with my past.
It was a difficult and yet wonderful time.
After one particularly upsetting reaction I said to her, “You have given me back my childhood.” Her insight allowed me to tackle concerns I was not really aware of e.g. my preoccupation with doing things for others, but not for myself.
This proved to be a fundamental turning point in dealing with my health, which has now shown great improvement. Such has been the change that having my health as a number one priority has produced, that concerns about relationships, money and career have all been put into perspective. I have spent a lot of time changing the “writing on my walls.”
We’ve now started using EFT with a small group of other people with Chronic Fatigue, and we’re particularly interested in the area of motivation and persistence, as this seems to be an issue with all of them. We’d welcome other peoples’ views and comments.