Do you know what CFS teaches us? And what it can do to us?
CFS teaches you to be afraid of fatigue, to dread being tired, and to freak out and get anxious when you have worked hard. But what we forget, is that fatigue is normal in day to day life- EVERYONE GETS TIRED. It’s just that us M.E/CFS folk have a different kind of tired to deal with on top of everyday tiredness.
CFS is not normal tired, we all know that, but what we forget and need to relearn is the difference between normal tired and CFS tired, because it’s okay to be normal tired!
Towards the better end of the CFS, the recovery phase, I was terrified of being tired, because every time I was tired, I worried I had ruined all of my work and worried how far it would set me back. That’s why it took me so long to realize I was healthier than I thought.
CFS tired is when your symptoms are always there, the constant aches and pains, the 7 + symptoms you get when you over do it or even have on an okay day. CFS tired is that constant fatigue that is there in your body that you feel a lot of the time. Normal tired is getting to the end of the day and wanting to go to bed, it an be the 3 pm slump when you feel like having an afternoon nap, or it can be just normal general tiredness which all humans experience from time to time.
Don’t be afraid of being tired, as long as you have worked for it, listen to your body and just accept and rest. Don’t be afraid to get sick either, through recovery you will build up your immune system to be better than it was, but it’s also not invincible so don’t hate on yourself when you get a common cold, because guess what- EVERYONE DOES.
The good news is as you start to recover and improve your HEALTH. CFS tired starts to dissolve and normal tiredness comes back in, in a good way. To the point that you can wake up feel good, exert your energy levels, get to the end of the day and fall asleep naturally and have a good nights rest. This was a dream of mine when I had CFS and now it is a reality. Don’t worry I didn’t believe it either until I started to improve slowly but surely. But it is possible!!!!
So what you need to remember and learn, is the difference between CFS tired, and normal everyday tired, you know there’s two different types of fatigue, it’s now about listening to your body and registering which is which.
Another thing you need to remember through CFS, you are still YOU.
Our confidence is shattered through CFS just like our energy supply. But you know what, just because you can’t do what you used to, doesn’t mean your not the same person. What I’ve noticed people struggle through most is the confidence drop, and having no belief or trust in themselves. But you DO know what is good for you, and believe it or not, you do deep down know what you can and can’t do!
Throughout CFS, the self doubt begins, and progressively gets worse, even through starting recovery, one of the things that holds you back most- is your self confidence. During CFS we learn what we can and can’t do the hard way- usually we push it too far and our body tells us in a not so nice way, symptoms flare up and we get a setback minor or major. What you need to remember is that through all of those times, you have learnt something new, through every bump and setback, you have learnt something new about your body.
“Without challenge, there is no growth.”
Although you may not be able to do all the things you love or have the bubbly energetic personality you used to, it’s very important to remember you are still you, and one day you can be whoever you want to be. Remember that you’re not lost, you’re just learning.
Precautionary rest!!! What does that mean? Why do we need to do it?
With CFS we usually push ourselves until our body shows the signs that we should stop, and usually we pay for it later. What I’ve found that works best to prevent it, this means including precautionary rest into your baseline, that means allocating time in your day EVERYDAY for just rest. You need to reboot and refresh the body, and in doing so before you push yourself too far, you find you can take on more throughout your day.
This is me (Raeya B)
What energy are you using?
We know that sometimes the body goes into fight or flight mode, but how often are you doing that to yourself, and can you tell the different between adrenalin energy and natural energy?
We know it’s the body’s natural instinct to use adrenalin to deal with certain situations- like being able to lift a car off you parent- and usually we can feel the adrenalin rushing through our body.
But day to day when we push our bodies too far, or we have too much on our plate and stress, we forget to listen to our bodies.
How often have you gotten through something really important that you knew would probably set you back (ie a party or a wedding) but you haven’t felt bad until the day or two after? Have you ever thought about why? That’s the adrenalin working for you.
But have you also realised that an adrenalin crash is much worse than a ‘I’ve pushed it a bit too far’ crash. This is because when you have the adrenalin energy (the false energy) it’s so much easier for you to push your body past breaking point.
What you need to remember- there is different types of energy, and through listening to your body you can tune into which is which. Start keeping a diary- what you’re doing in your day, activities, symptoms, energy levels and tasks- when are you pushing and crashing, and what energy are you using?
Some of the worst crashes I ever had were adrenalin crashes. Why? Because with being in the ‘fight mode’ the body turns over sensitive and reacts to all stimuli it usually wouldn’t respond to. You know those days you randomly have that little spike of energy you have no idea where it came from? Listen to your body and don’t push it, which energy is it?. Because you know the more you push it through the good days, the more bad days will come.
It will take some time to register which energy is which, but once you learn it, it is
Remember you are amazing, If I can do, you can to. There are thousands of people running around and feeling great again post CFS. So you can to. Keep growing and keep going.
Article written by CFS health coach Raeya B – To join our world wide online recover program or to book in a one on one session with Raeya via Skype or at the centre Click below and fill out an application http://www.cfshealth.com/products-resources/the-cfs-health-centre-melbourne/