A DUNFERMLINE woman has reached the Amazon bestseller list after realising she felt "dead" inside.

Maureen Sharphouse, 65, suffers from chronic pain and illness but has now released a number one, international best-selling book, Unhackable Soul, a guide to how she overcame her difficulties and changed her life for the better.

She told the Press: "Twenty years ago, I was in a really dark place, I spent my days waiting for carers to come and dress me, get me up and put me in my chair. They always used to sit me in the same chair beside my fireplace in my front room, they put a hot cup of milky tea beside me and then off they would go.

"I was sitting there, and it was just after nine in the morning, it was still dark outside. I'd been got up by my carers and I was looking around and there was a wheelchair in the hall and a Zimmer frame beside me and painkillers on the coffee table.

"I flicked through the TV channels, and I just was not in the mood for any of it that day so I put on the radio. It was this song by The Lighthouse Family, 'Though it's darker than December, what's ahead is a different colour'. Those were the words.

"It had always kind of uplifted me, ever since I hadn't been able to work, but that day, I found myself screaming and shouting at it and saying, 'No! For me, it's all the same. It's not a different colour.'"

"It was in that moment, I realised that my soul had been hacked, something had gained unauthorised access to my life.

"I was physically alive and I was breathing but inside, I felt dead."

Maureen has been diagnosed with multiple conditions, including degenerative disc disease and arthritis, bi-lateral neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) and multi-site multi-system Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which has been dubbed 'The Suicide Disease', as it's said to be one of the most painful diseases and there is no cure.

Since then, Maureen made changes in her life, she grew to accept that while she might not feel fine physically, that is okay and it is still possible to live a full life while in pain.

"I have such a widespread pain, I use a wheelchair outdoors, I live on a liquid diet, I don't even eat solids, I've got a stoma bag, you name it, my physical body is not in good shape. Yet, on the inside, I have this deep peace and this deep contentment and I live a life of passion.

"I do stuff I love and it doesn't mean I don't have really hard times, because I do. I still find that, some nights, I'm rocking on the floor naked, pleading for relief, but the difference is, I have the tools to get myself out of it again, to see that every moment passes."

Now that Maureen has done all the hard work of navigating a pain-filled life, she has collated everything she knows, every method she feels can help others do the same, into her book.

She continued: "Basically, what is in here is how I live my life. It is the book I wish I had 20 years ago.

"I want to be the real voice of pain that says to people, 'Yes, mind body is hugely important, you must understand the power of words, how you communicate and how they're all interlinked. You need to feed your mind, body, spirit, soul, everything and look after it all, but sometimes your physical body won't be fixed or cured, and you will be facing a life with illness.

"But it doesn't mean you can't have a rewarding, fulfilling life. If you get yourself well on the inside, you can still live that life of joy.

"I don't see myself as a physical body and I don't see myself as a self-limiting mind. I'm a soul and spirit in me."