A week ago, one of my best friends, Corinne, celebrated her 1st wedding anniversary.
It was obviously a very special day for her and her husband but it was also – in different ways – a special day for me.
A reminder of how things had improved so much a year ago – three months after starting DNRS – that I got to be at Corinne’s wedding from start to finish.
Something which had seemed beyond impossible before DNRS when I was housebound due to multiple chemical sensitivity and chronic fatigue syndrome.
And also a reminder of how things continued to improve so much since then that things which were a huge deal back then are now just a normal part of everyday life.
So I thought it would be nice to look back on what I had written a year ago.
Not just as a reminder for myself of all this.
But also to show anyone who’s just getting started in their DNRS journey or anyone who’s thinking about starting DNRS what could be possible for them.
So here’s what I wrote on the DNRS community forum just before and just after the wedding:
"After starting to go out again following a bad bout of flu during month three of my DNRS practice, I realised that my sense of smell was more heightened than before the flu.
Since there were only 3 weeks to go till the wedding of one of my best friends, Corinne (one of my big goals), instead of remaining cautious, I consciously started to choose challenging situations and viewed them all as training for the wedding.
Towards the end of month three I almost completely stopped using my mask!!!
Some symptoms were inevitable, but I pressed on, using all the tools DNRS has given me to try to bounce back as quickly as possible. I really started to feel that I could do it.
I now feel like a completely different person from the one who had gone for a walk with Corinne in January (about a week before starting DNRS) to explain to her that it would be better if I wouldn't be her bridesmaid as I was unsure whether I would actually manage to be at the wedding.
She kindly said it was a chance she was willing to take and so we left it at that: full of uncertainty.
But I told her if I did manage to be there, I might only manage to be there for an hour or so and I definitely wouldn’t go to any of the events before the wedding itself, to try to remain well enough to be at the wedding.
This photo was taken the day I told Corinne I'd better not be her bridesmaid. She had avoided all fragrances to meet me, but still I made sure not to make any direct contact with her as we took this photo.
This week I hugged her for the first time in months!!!
There’s now less than a week to go till the big day. I can’t wait to be at the wedding from start to finish, including getting ready with Corinne and the other bridesmaids.
I’m also looking forward to an evening of drinks at Corinne’s parents’ house and the rehearsal.
I know all of this is only possible thanks to DNRS and I'll never be able to explain how grateful I am."
"Yesterday was the big day: the wedding of one of my best friends, Corinne.
I was one of her bridesmaids and managed to be there from start to finish, including having my make-up and hair done at her house.
I stuck to all my natural products but was around everyone else using perfume, deodorant and hairspray. I'd never have thought that would have been possible!!! In all, I was out from 8am till around 11:30pm.
Such a defining moment for me and I was so incredibly grateful to be able to celebrate with Corinne, her husband and family and all our friends and my family.
I was calm throughout, met and caught up with people I hadn't seen in months and kissed and hugged so many people too - perfume and all!
It was incredible to have been there yesterday from start to finish and also to have managed to attend all the events before Saturday, and it's all thanks to DNRS.
I went to the airport on Monday to meet my amazing friend Becky, another bridesmaid who came from Australia for the wedding; went to Corinne's parents' house for an evening of drinks on Tuesday and went to the wedding rehearsal on Wednesday.
My friends were amazed by the transformation and I can't put down in words how grateful I am.
So once again, thank you Annie and DNRS for giving me hope again and giving me my life back, to the whole DNRS team and to each and every one of you for your support and encouragement."
And if you or anyone you know is suffering from a mysterious chronic illness, DNRS can give you your life back in the same way.
You can find out more about DNRS here.