Steve lives his dreams after overcoming ME

The OM hook
The OM hook
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Steve Anwar likens his recovery from ME to a miracle. The designer was bedridden for almost five years with the debilitating condition, which left him entirely dependent on his family.

But he says that discovering the power of meditation led him to regain his strength and rebuild his life – and now he’s hoping for success with an exciting new product.

“I’m living the life I dreamed of when I was lying in bed for all those years,” said Steve, aged 35, of Shirecliffe.

Steve fell ill a year after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in industrial design.

He had returned from a spell travelling in America, where he felt fit and healthy.

However, once back in Sheffield he began experiencing episodes of extreme fatigue, as well as bad migraines.

“It was quite hard to describe but I was really struggling,” he said.

“I was managing to hold down a job at a signage company, but the illness kept returning, to the point where it was happening all the time.”

Months later Steve could barely walk, and was diagnosed at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital with ME.

The condition – myalgic encephalomyelitis – is also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Many sufferers experience chronic tiredness and pain.

Steve had to be rehoused to a single-level home. He often had to be bed-bathed, his food needed to be cut up for him and neurological problems left him unable to enjoy simple activities such as listening to music.

But he added: “I was determined to get better. I learned about the power of the connection between the body and mind, and taught myself to meditate. I started to see things as an opportunity rather than a harsh reality.”

He was also introduced to hypnotherapist Jenny Gilmore, who introduced him to the ‘lightning process’, a course involving gentle movement, meditation-like techniques and mental exercises.

“She visited me every day for three days and there was a massive shift. I was whizzing around the house on my wheelchair. My mum couldn’t believe it. I’m pretty much living a normal life now. My family think it’s a miracle.”

He added: “The process isn’t a treatment or a cure – there’s quite a lot of brain science in it. I was in such a poor state when Jenny came.”

Jenny, who practises in Sheffield, Leeds and York, said: “The time I first met Steve he was affected by very severe symptoms caused by ME – bedridden, virtually unable to walk and lying in a semi darkened room.

“What struck me immediately was his total and absolute resolve to move forward from the extremely difficult situation he had found himself in, and to get back into life and follow his dreams.”

She added: “Steve was refamiliarising himself with the world, and building his physical strength. He started off by walking to the park across the road, then the local shops, soon he was taking the bus into town, and visiting friends.”

Steve has set up his own design studio, and has put a project into production which he dreamed up while in the throes of ME.

The OM Hook is a wall-mounted metal hook with a useful receptacle for holding keys, coins and other small items.

It is going on show at the London Design Festival next month.

Steve explained that the product’s name – OM – was inspired by the traditional yoga mantra.

“You repeat it quietly in your mind. I got the idea for the hook as when my brother comes to visit, he empties his pockets all over the house, and then can’t find his keys! That was the spark.

“They are in full production now and I’ve just got the first batch.”

n Email mail@anwarstudio.com or visit www.anwarstudio.com for details. Log on to www.generatingchange.org for more information about Jenny’s work.