When I was in high school I did this thing called Cadets. Every Friday those students who did Cadets would come to school in their military uniforms and undergo lessons in a variety of training areas, such as orienteering, abseiling, and first aid. In order to progress my knowledge I also took part in an external first aid course run by the local ambulance service. It’s fair to say that by the end of my time in Cadets I had a pretty solid grounding in first aid treatment. So when my wife and I did a first aid course last week it was encouraging to find out that a lot of what I had learnt all those years ago was still valid.
However, there were a few area’s that caused me to stop and question what I thought I knew, and I’m glad that it happened because it reminded me that when it comes to health matters, there are times when perceptions matter. Here’s one example that I found interesting.
GP’s over-prescribe antibiotics. Why do they do this?

Don't just take my word for it

Anyone who has read through the bulk of this blog will have realised that a lot of what I’m writing about really revolves around self empowerment. It’s about freeing yourself from the myth’s that stigmatise conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The mind is a powerful thing, so powerful that we have barely scratched the surface of what it can do. If you haven’t read the book, ‘The Brain That Changes Itself,’ then I would encourage you to do so. It totally revolutionised how I thought about my brain and what I could do with it.
But that book isn’t a one off, there are many resources out there that take the neuroplasticity mindset and apply it to all walks of life. So I thought for this post I would talk about one that I recently came across that really made me stop.

Learning from my son

People always told me that when you have kids your perspective on the world changes. I never believed them, until my son arrived. Watching him explore the world and learn how it works has opened my eyes to a way of being that many adults, including myself, have forgotten about.
All of his actions are performed with a wide eyed enthusiasm. He’s willing to give anything a try at least once because he hasn’t learnt to hate on things yet.
He doesn’t take no for an answer either. He’s spent the last few weeks learning to walk, and if you’ve watched someone learn to walk then you’ll know it involves a lot of falling over, and my son’s no exception, but most of time he just picks himself and tries again. He doesn’t associate falling as failure, he just sees it as part of the process.

What's your favourite type of mandarin?

All my life I’ve eaten Imperial mandarins, I guess somewhere along the line I got it stuck in my head that when it came to eating mandarins they were the best. I can’t tell you why I formed that opinion, but when it came to trying other varieties I would simply shake my head and decline. After all nothing could compete with an Imperial.
And, most of the time that was a justifiable statement, the Imperial was sweet and juicy, very satisfying. But there were also times when they were terrible, inedible in fact. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve unwrapped an Imperial only to throw it out because it was dry and tasteless. Yet dispite this hit and miss relationship I continued to buy Imperials. It even got to the point where I would buy extra Imperials in case I got a bad one.

Success Stories

So here’s my list of things that helped me to get healthy again. If you want to add any items to the list that worked for you then get in touch and I’ll add them. The idea behind this list is that there are no wrong answers. You might find that some things are helpful and others are not, but they are all here as things to try. I was able to overcome my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because I said, ‘what the fuck,’ and allowed myself to be receptive to new idea’s. I no longer cared if they were considered appropriate, and I stopped listening to only the negative comments that were made about them. Instead I researched the topics and made a decision for myself. Hope it helps.

It's OK to be tired

Not only is it ok to be tired, but it’s also normal. That’s right, you’re supposed to get tired after you do an activity. Sure, you’re not supposed to feel like you’ve run a half marathon after emptying the dishwasher, but the activities that fill our dailies lives drain our energy well, and we recharge that well by sleeping.
Yet, when I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I spent a large part of my time trying to conserve my energy. Now that I look back on it I suspect that I spent too much time trying to conserve my energy. So much so that I would often find that when the day came to an end I hadn’t actually done anything.


Any good gardener, which is not me, will tell you that the best way to keep a garden healthy and thriving is to prune back the plants. They say you have to remove the older growth so that the young, fresh growth has a chance to thrive.
In my fish tank, the old leaves were taking all the nutrients out of the plant in an attempt to stay healthy, and that was preventing the new growth from establishing itself. It was also unbalancing the health of the tank overall, by disrupting the water quality that everything relies upon to survive, fish and plants both.

Keep on stretching

It’s really easy to justify not moving when you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I would do it all the time. I’d tell myself that it wasn’t worth getting up because I would feel tired after and then I’d just have to lie down again, so why bother getting up in the first place? It seemed like a valid argument to me, but the problem with this mindset was that because I’d remained static for so long my muscles had contracted, because they weren’t being used, and this in turn made it harder to get up and move around, because now it hurt when I tried. My muscles were fighting against me, instead of doing what they naturally wanted to do, which was to move. I found that I’d got myself stuck in a viscous cycle where I didn’t want to move because it was too tiring, and now I couldn’t move because it was too painful, and also tiring.
So what was the solution?

Keep on smiling

I’m a pretty stubborn guy, and in most cases I have to learn something the hard way. So, it’s possible that people tried to give me the following tips early on when I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I ignored them, only to discover their benefit later on. I thought I’d split them up so that if you like what I have to say you can spend the next fortnight working on one, then the other. Remember, small steps are the key to making massive improvements in your life.
Todays post is about smiling, and the benefits it had on my health.

I have to do this.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this in my life. I have to stay at work late this week so I can meet my deadline. I have to work harder, work faster, so that I can achieve a result that will please others. I have to do a better job than everyone else.
The phrase ‘I have to’ immediately puts pressure on myself. Even writing the words now is increasing my anxiety levels. It’s crazy how much stress it adds to my life, and it’s not just my life that it’s adding stress to.

Are you really committed to change?

I’m adding an extra blog post this month in honour of International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases, of which Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a part of. I thought I would take it as an opportunity to discuss at greater length a topic that I mentioned in my article for today. And that’s making your life the life you want it to be.
A few months ago I was offered a job back in the visual effects industry. It was a good job for a small company that was extremely talented, and the role was exactly the type of role that I would want if I were to return to that life.

My Story - Part 6

We do a lot of waiting when we have chronic fatigue syndrome. We get told that if we hang in there it will go away. But what happens when it doesn’t go away?
For almost 2 year I had waited, impatiently, for my CFS to go away. I’d done what I could based on what modern medicine had in its arsenal, but at best I was 65% of the person I wanted to be. It was time to start looking outside the box, because I had a wedding coming up, my wedding, and I wanted that to be a joyous day that wouldn’t leave me exhausted.

My Story - Part 2

Prior to my run in with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I’d had a long history with haemorrhoids. The first time I noticed blood in my stools it scared the hell out of me, mainly because I’d lost my father to complications resulting from bowel cancer just a few years before. I knew that cancer ran in my family, so I got myself off to the doctor asap.

My Story - Part 1

Over the next six or so blog posts I’m going to tell you my story about how I got diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and how I overcame it. These posts are designed to be a top level view, more of a summary of my life and times over a two and half year period. I’ll use later posts to delve deeper into topics that are mentioned here. I encourage you to read these posts before you read the rest on the site because it’s important to understand why Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is able to take over people’s lives in the first place. 
This post is about why I was a good candidate for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.