THE BIG B: BALANCE
|Overwhelmed/moody - This can sometimes be a signal that intensity needs to be reduced. This is a common need because of the organism's sensitivity with CFS.|
|Anxious/stressed - Addressing the concern and considering the CFS limitations help cope with reality. Focusing on what IS known and what CAN be done in the present is helpful. Concentrating on one thing at a time can quickly reduce stress and simplify projects.|
|Sad - With the multiple losses and disappointments experienced during CFS, sadness can be a familiar feeling. It is comforting to know that deeply expressing the emotion (e.g., crying, talking, writing, etc.) helps move through the pain and heal it.|
|Depressed/Angry - Depression or anger occur if we don't believe our needs are going to be met. Developing concrete plans to make sure all needs are met helps. Anger also happens when a person is hurt. Processing the feelings and taking action to prevent similar hurts can be an important part of healing.|
With the onset of CFS, many "givers" find there is little ability to give to someone else. Alarmingly, receiving from others becomes necessary and strong feelings of neediness emerge. This change can create problems in both friend and family relationships. Part of developing support systems is balancing the give and take within existing relationships as well as adding friendships which are nurturing. At some point in their CFS journey, most want to strengthen their spiritual connection. Balancing the day so that there is quiet time for this Relationship can be a gratifying shift.
Some thoughts which support making lifestyle modifications are:
|People who have improved and recovered have experienced lifestyle changes. (I have found no exceptions to this.)|
|Whatever I am stopping now is less important than getting well.|
|I can follow my pacing and timing and still succeed.|
|I can choose the lifestyle changes which work for me.|
Some find it helpful to read these when motivation is down or the old habit is looming. Finding what works in the "new way" makes the new behavior "stick." It is then possible to make the new behavior part of a healing lifestyle. Building on this little by little can result in substantial changes.
Barbara Pino, MA, MFCC, is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Diego, California. Having recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after four years of disability, she specializes in working with immune system issues. Ms. Pino is a CFS resource contact person in San Diego and regularly writes and lectures to promote education in the area of immune system problems. For more information on CFS, please call her at: The Life Strategy Center (619) 295-9313 or contact The CFIDS Association of America, Inc. (800) 442-3437.
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