This week, we virtually chatted with Lucy, one of the co-founders of lunasilverstein.com, a self-healing and discovery blog, which focuses on the duo’s own learnings on everything from toxic relationships to living with chronic fatigue, and encourages their readers to invest their energy in their themselves and their own personal development.
Hi Lucy! What inspired yourself and Fiona to start up lunasilverstein.com? Are all the themes that you cover on your blog something yourself or Fiona have personally experienced?
Me and Fiona have been good friends for a few years now and have supported each other through thick and thin during some very difficult times. A few months ago we got talking about how much we had learned along the way whilst learning to live with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), as well as recovering after leaving difficult relationships, healing from past abuse, and all sorts of other life lessons we have learned along the way. We were trying to work out how to be there for other people all over the world who are either going through similar things, or are also working on recovery. It was important to us that lots of this information was available to people for free because there are people out there willing to exploit those who are suffering. Some have been encouraged to part with lots of money for “miracle fixes”. So, out of all of this discussion came the idea for the website!
And yes, we try to write about the topics which appeal to us or have been big life lessons. Fiona has a particular interest in writing about relationships, self-esteem and boundaries, and food/ diet related topics. Whereas a lot of my blogs focus on recovery from abuse, living with ME/CFS, and natural products and systems that provide alternatives to chemical or drug-based products.
What do you hope to achieve by starting up the website?
Our main aim is to support people who are looking at all their options with regards to leading a happy and healthy life. We want to encourage a sense of hope as well as promoting things like self-esteem and people’s right to choose what is best for themselves without judgement.
If sharing our stories and things that we have learned along the way helps even one other person, then it will all have been worth it. No one should have to feel that they are alone in their problems, and everyone has the right to feel heard and respected for who they are.
Some of the blog posts, such as Recovery From Sexual Abuse are deeply personal - has writing about this and sharing your recovery journey been a positive experience for you?
Definitely! This topic was a tricky one for me because in the past I felt like other people had a monopoly on my story, and that it wasn’t mine to tell (particularly during the whole police and court process). Also, we often hear all the gory details of people’s abuse in the media and the story of the actual person and their feelings seem to be ignored because it doesn’t sell newspapers or fulfil some people’s need for drama. I desperately wanted to avoid writing about it in such a way. It was important to cover it from the angle of hope, and how it is possible to go from living an unbearable life, to experiencing joy and self-worth for the first time. I wanted people to know that it is not about the story and the details of the abuse, it is about the possibility to go on and lead a very fulfilling and worthwhile life. So, yes, it was very empowering to speak my truth publicly for the first time.
You write about your personal experiences with ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - are there any misconceptions you’d like to dispel about this condition?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that ME/CFS doesn’t actually exist, or that people are just pretending. One of the most unhelpful things I ever heard on television was a Ricky Gervais joke about ME. He was talking about a lot of other awful conditions and was being sympathetic, and then he described ME as the one where people just “don’t feel like going to work today”.
Jokes like these are super hard for us to hear because ME/CFS is a genuine autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body; and can leave the sufferer completely bedridden and in constant pain. – Plus, I noticed that all the other people I know with this condition, including Fiona, are usually super hardworking people who push themselves too far because they hate to leave things unfinished. Perfectionism is one of the most common characteristics of someone with ME/CFS.
How would you say having a chronic condition has affected your menstrual cycle?
This is a very interesting question, and one we hadn’t thought about before! Both of us have very heavy painful periods and had never made a link between this and ME/CFS. However, our bodies go into pain response very easily so there may be a link.
Last year you tried BeYou Patches for the first time, and now you have written a blog about your experiences. What would you say to someone who is considering trying them but is unsure?
It’s one of the best purchases you will ever make, take the plunge and do it! You won’t regret it. I too was dubious about how well a sticky patch could work for agonising period pain, but it makes a massive difference. I take way less codeine (and sometimes none) during my period now, and I used to have to take loads just to cope with the pain. BeYou patches are also great for ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and Arthritis pain too!
You recently wrote about attending a government funded ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome course. In your own personal experience, did you find this beneficial and were there any learnings you took from it that you’ve put into practice in day-to-day life?
Yes! I found it hugely beneficial! I have gone through all the main take-aways in my blog; but pacing and learning to accept myself were two of the most helpful things I learned on the course. Pacing involves stopping and resting as soon as you notice you are getting tired, or preferably before. This can stop the body from going into a flare up response (where the body gets exhausted and painful). It was a big learning lesson that the world wouldn’t end just because I hadn’t hoovered that day, or because I was too tired to finish a task. Part of the process is learning to respect the person you are now, rather than resenting the body for not being able to do what it used to do. – Ironically, it gets easier to do things once you stop fighting your body, which can then aid recovery.
You’re passionate about sharing what you have learnt about a range of topics which affect people in the BeYou community - is there a topic you’re particularly passionate about that you haven’t covered yet?
Perhaps the area of body confidence. I think body confidence is an important area to touch on because no matter what shape and size you are, you deserve to love your body. The body allows us to experience life, so it doesn’t deserve to be resented for stretchmarks and cellulite. Every bump and blemish is a mark of strength and survival that should be loved and celebrated.
We love a podcast here at BeYou HQ so we were excited to see you’re launching one soon! What topics can listeners expect to hear first and why? Will you also be inviting guests onto the show?
We are super excited about the podcast too! At the moment, we are both working on audio recordings to go with each of the blogs. These go into more detail about the topics, as well as allowing us to connect more naturally with the lovely people who visit our site. We also have some inspirational people lined up to be interviewed about topics ranging from life skills, to self-confidence, to people sharing their own life stories. So, we are really looking forward to recording these.
What does the future look like for lunasilverstein.com?
First of all, we hope to reach as many people as possible in order to help spread the message of hope and possibility. We are also discussing setting up some live sessions, or maybe even courses to help people to apply some of the skills we discuss on the site in a practical way in their lives. We will continue writing and recording on a wide range of topics too.
We would also love to continue working with BeYou as we love your products and adore your ethos! We both want to say a huge THANK YOU for believing in us and giving us so much support at the start of our journey! – Please keep a look out for our blog and podcast reviewing the entire BeYou range, which will be published soon!