OK, I am posting this because I am really confused about the recovery process. I'm really confused about my own "illness" and I just want to get this out. I know I WILL get better. Firstly, because there is nothing wrong with me. Secondly, because I have beaten self-harm, bulimia, a huge anxiety disorder, alcoholism, Borderline Personality Disorder and more - I am not about to let this beat me. BUT I don't know how I am going to achieve this. There are so many conflicting opinions and stories on here about how much work to do, what to focus on etc. I don't necessarily need anyone to answer this - although you can if you like and have anything you think is helpful to say - but I want to set out my confusion in black and white. I sometimes find that posting on here increases my self-awareness AFTER I have posted. So here goes with my story so far and what I am confused about. I have medially unexplained symptoms that manifest as something called "Vestibular Migraine" (VM). I have had symptoms 24/7 for the past 5 years. I have had about three weeks "off" from it in total in all this time. Prior to this, I "believe" I was happy and healthy. I was doing work I loved, things I loved, volunteering for causes that were important to me, had (and still have) a wonderful partner, and was following and enjoying a Buddhist practice. I worked for myself and felt free. I didn't have loads of money, but I was confident and had a fulfilling purpose in the world. I also know that I was a workaholic, perfectionist, high-achiever, and goodist, sometimes to my cost. I put my own needs last. I have had psychosomatising since childhood, but never with anything this chronic. A couple of years prior to my VM, I had a bad case of sinusitis, which caused vertigo, dizziness and balance problems. It took me a few months to get considerably better and about 6 months to get over it totally including the fatigue. Seemingly out of the blue, I developed dizziness, balance problems etc. again. I didn't panic. I didn't have health anxiety. I continued working and doing my normal activities for the first 5 months believing I would just get better like I did before. It wasn't getting better, so I took a break from work but tried to stay fairly active, and believed it would resolve itself. It was only after a year of not getting better that I tried migraine prevention medication, none of which helped, supplements etc, and started (a bit obsessively) trying to find a way to get better, although I did also accept that I might never get better or it might take several years (based on other people's various experiences with VM). I got to a point of depression about a year ago and started struggling again with alcohol. I could not deal with being ill anymore. So, I got myself into my local alcohol service to get counselling, as I know I can not drink ever again. I started with a counsellor 6 months ago and about a month ago, I discovered that my mother has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which basically means she doesn't really have any empathy and used me (and my sister) to meet her own needs, with no regard to how this would effect us. I felt nothing but relief upon discovering this. I finally understood why I have the personality I do, why I can treat myself badly and put myself last, why I don't always ask authentically and people-please instead. It felt very freeing to know that there was actually nothing fundamentally "wrong" with me, but that this was a result of how I was raised. I also realised that my chronic VM started, and never left, the very day after visiting my mother after a long period of zero contact (on her part - she felt I had wronged her, which I hadn't). I had dreaded going and felt very nervous. It went OK, although it was totally bewildering to me that she never apologised for her behaviour or even mentioned the incident that had happened or the long time she had refused to speak to me. I understand it now that I know she has NPD. So I realised my symptoms were 100% psychosomatic. I actually feel OK when I go on short trips abroad - I thought it was for physical reasons (sunshine, better food, less artificial light etc). I guess now it is because there is no chance my mother can contact me. She texts me every night when I'm home. Not saying anything nasty, just texting random things about her day. OK, so I accept that illness is totally psychosomatic. I understand that I must have a huge amount of repressed rage. Over the past couple of weeks, I have increased my activities, which often makes my symptoms worse, although sometimes relieves them. I have done bits and pieces of the TMS Ed Program and Alan Gordon's and using suggestions from Steve Ozanich's book, including a bit of journaling, dream programming, and letting my inner child be playful. I am a lot happier now but my symptoms have been at their worst for 5 days now (The more I do, the worse I feel generally with this illness). It feels like I'm having a stroke, just to describe the symptoms at their worst - I know I'm perfectly well. I can't medicate myself every day as the only thing that works is Valium, which I clearly can't take every day as it's addictive. I only used to take it maybe once or twice a month on days where I "had" to be OK like weddings, or when I was so overcome with the migraine that I could barely even see through the pain. I saw my counsellor today and she said something which suggested I am being too controlling in trying to get over this. This is probably true and I am probably focusing too much on the outcome. But I'm so confused now. People are saying to push through, stay positive, stay active and do things you love (It tried that in the first year and it didn't work, but I am trying it again). Others are saying to relax and not bother about digging around in the past (I wasn't in the first year, but I didn't get better). So I do think I need to deal with my past but stay focused on positive things too and get out and do things. I think I need to change and be more authentic (care more about myself and my needs). That's what I'm trying to do. I don't know how to stay balanced with this at all. My counsellor seems to think I'm trying too hard. But what can I do, when I'm not trying? I'm either just debilitated then or feeling my symptoms as I'm not distracted. It's all so confusing. OK, so what I got from writing this is that I'm TOO focused on the outcome, which it's very hard not to be, but that is counterproductive and causes more stress and tension.