Triggered by an answer to someone else’s post

Hi Brooke!

The main reason I signed up for this course was to help myself through my chronic illness and to change my thought patterns around it and other aspects of my life. I know this is going to be great for me because I already feel resistance and anger – which means I’m uncomfortable, which I know is good!

I’m sure I’ll be asking for help with my models along the way, but I got triggered by one of your responses to another student and would love feedback on it. The student mentioned they had an autoimmune disorder and was struggling with fatigue.

One of your comments was “You can make your tired more tired, your fatigued more fatigued by how you choose to think.” I agree with this wholeheartedly and can see how many of my reactions to my overwhelming fatigue over the past few years has made me even more tired. I’ve been getting much better about how I handle these episodes mentally so that I don’t make them worse.

But two of your comments really triggered me and I’d love more insight into them. They remind me of comments I’ve heard from others over the years, like “oh just drink some coffee”, or “oh just suck it up and push through”. (Both which would actually cause more physical harm to me and set me back farther). While it’s not fun for someone to not understand your situation, I’ve been able to handle these comments by saying – it’s ok, I can’t expect them to understand this situation because they haven’t been through it. But, it’s not so useful to think that the person helping coach me doesn’t understand my situation 🙂

1: “You can use your physical symptoms as an excuse not to make your dreams come true.” This really triggers me. A lot of my dreams require a very healthy physical body and the ability to exercise intensely. How exactly are my physical symptoms an excuse in this scenario?? I would literally be making my condition worse if I were to exercise with any intensity. This also plays into the mental limitations (and extreme brain fog) that come with the illness. For example, I completed a 9-month nutrition certification last year while sick (to learn more to improve my health). It was intense and really hard because my brain just didn’t process things like it used to. Yes, I graduated and was so proud for completing it. But no, I wasn’t able to get as much out of it as I would have been able to if I was healthy, and the intensity of the course actually hurt my health some. So I don’t see how my dreams aren’t somewhat limited right now.

2: “You can still get a lot done even when you are tired.” I’m guessing you’ve never been auto-immune tired. I would agree that there are still SOME things you can do when you are really tired, but it has been amazing to me how much slower my life is now and how many fewer things I am able to get done. I have to really pace myself and pick and choose what to do. And sometimes I may have enough physical energy to stay awake, but not enough mental energy / lack of brain fog to do something mind-intense.

Those two statements, if I were to believe them, would just make me feel like more of a failure because I’ve been trying so hard to maintain my life to some degree, but have had to make a lot of concessions. I know I can work on my thinking and my feeling sorry for myself, but that is not going to mean I’ll be able to go for a run or lift weights or study something mentally exhausting (which would be moving me towards reaching my goals/dreams).

I would LOVE insight on a different way to view this.

Thank you!