Meet our Founder
Now here is Elaine's story that took her from bed-bound to now, recovered and running a thriving community of other recoverers.
In 2000, I returned from a long haul trip with my company with a virus that left me feeling wiped out.
I thought this debilitating fatigue was jet lag but after a month I was still weak and exhausted and I found my concentration was really badly affected.
This was only the beginning of a horrible journey. As each day went by more symptoms emerged taking hold. It was frightening and my symptoms just kept increasing:
Then I totally crashed and was bed bound with:
The anxiety increased exponentially when my speech and memory deteriorated so much that I would lay awake all night convinced I had an undiagnosed brain tumour.
I had endless tests. In the beginning I still kept dragging myself to work whenever I could but when I returned home I was like an empty shell and could barely move for days. I was embarrassed about feeling exhausted all the time. I felt lazy. So, I pretended I was too busy to speak to people who tried to contact me. I was ashamed of an illness that didn't seem to exist as far as GPs were concerned.
M.E. was finally diagnosed 18 months later. In that time I had lost my business, had to sell my home and was reduced to claiming incapacity benefit of £34 per week. I also had two teenage children who could not work out what had happened to their happy, dynamic, busy mum. My husband rolled up his sleeves and at the end of each day took on all the things I could no longer do for our family after working a long day himself. He never once let me see how scared he was as he watched me sink lower and lower into an illness none of us understood.
At times I descended into chronic depression. I battled fruitlessly with local services and a health model that did not seem to have any real explanation or treatment protocols available. I was, however, determined to find answers. So, I spent borrowed money on trying everything I could. Things that didn't work and there were times when I felt like I would rather die than carry on. I would cry at the thought of what I had lost, not just for the material things, but for the person I had been.
My spark was gone and my energy a distant memory; my life had become small, quiet and lonely.
A turning point
One day a friend came to my house and noticed a book on my bookcase about M.E /Chronic Fatigue and asked who in the house was a sufferer. I admitted for the first time I thought I may have it.
It really felt like an angel had walked into my house that day. It was great to meet someone who understood, had been through it and looked well. I realised what I had always believed deep down that recovery is possible and how vital a recovered person is to embed that belief.
I still had a very long way to go but I knew I would regain my health.
I realised my illness came to give me an opportunity to honestly evaluate the way I had lived my life. I had not been taking care of myself physically or emotionally for many years which took its toll and left my body vulnerable to disease. I was forced to stop pushing myself hard so I could make new choices and create a life that allowed me to enjoy optimum health.
It took relapse after relapse and a final crash that forced me to give up my life as I had known it. I learned so much about the process. My experience of M.E. seemed like a curse, I know now that it was a gift.
Read Elaine’s full story in Finding ME.
I fully recovered in 2006, however, it took me over 6 years to discover the path to regain my health. That's 6 years that I can never get back which is why I am so committed to doing everything I can so others do not have to go through such a lengthy recovery.
M.E. CFS and Fibromyalgia - the Perfect Storm
I believe these multi-faceted conditions have served as the perfect storm for the long overdue change to our healthcare models. There is a sickness culture that has permeated our Western society which is an approach based on treating and numbing out symptoms with addictive drug based protocols which costs taxpayers billions.
The system and the health professionals have reached breaking point. Failing to address the true cause of physical and emotional suffering and is no longer an option
The fast moving world of 21st century society requires a model that gets beneath the symptoms, honestly addresses the underlying causes so people can adjust their lifestyle, choices and behaviours to create not just recovery but sustained health and wellbeing.
The Chrysalis Effect owes its success to implementing a new model of healthcare that does just that. A model that harnesses cost effective online technology to leverage expert knowledge, education and immediacy to empower and coach our citizens to confidently take responsibility for their own wellbeing.
I have founded Chrysalis Effect Health to apply the same model to other areas of health needing a new approach to prevent and promote recovery from anxiety, depression, eating disorders and addiction.
Elaine is married to Rob, and is Mum to son Kristian and daughter Kelly who works closely within The Chrysalis Effect. She also has a lovely son-in-law Tom and two adored grandchildren, Joshua and Oliver.
- Post Graduate Certificate of Education and Training
- Accredited Coach - ILM CMI
- NHS Trainer - coaching & mentoring for Health Professionals
- APCTC Courage to Change Award
- FHT Excellence Awards Tutor of the Year
- Founder The M.E., CFS and Fibromyalgia Recovery Association
- Author of Book - Finding M.E. The Authentic Self
- Author of over 40 training programmes
- Founder and Author - The Chrysalis Effect Supported Recovery Programme
- Accredited Training Provider
- The Wellbeing Coach ILM Endorsed Accredited
- The Chrysalis Effect Foundation Level FHT
- The Chrysalis Effect Family Dynamics
- The Chrysalis Effect Specialist Practitioner Training Programme FHT
- The Chrysalis Effect Specialist Mentoring Programme