Analyzing crashes and setbacks

Before you develop a crash or a setback, you might have missed lots of signals that indicate something. This page is a short introduction of what these signals might have been.

What was the first signal you got before your crash?

What was your thought response to it?

Was there a second signal?

How did you cope with that?

Were there more warning signals? What were they?

A thought can also be a warning signal.

It is remarkable that people with ME/CFS have so many commonalities in their personalities. It is therefore likely that one of the following beliefs and urges or similar ones are not unknown to you.

For example:

John had the strong urge to perform well and do some physical labour.
He started doing hard work and after 15 minutes, he felt a little tired. “Just a little more!”, John thought, and he continued. 10 Minutes later he realized he had to stop due to more symptoms of fatigue. He wanted to remain productive and chose to spend 10 more minutes preparing side work for the next time he continues. He later picked up something from the floor and felt dizzy as he stood up. He finished the preparation work and later that day a crash started.

Josephine felt guilty for not being the perfect mom and the burden she puts on her husband. She decided to join and help with the birthday party in her family. After a while  she was interacting with many others, preparing drinks, cleaning up some mess, etc. Her first signal was nausea. She didn’t want to let the others down and wanted to prove that she can do things. It was a special occasion after all. 5 Minutes later her clear thinking was disturbed and she got heavy legs. She wanted to quickly finish what she was doing. By the time she was almost finished, someone started a conversation with her. She felt really tired, but remained polite. She went to rest and in the middle of the night a crash started.

Jane was a young mother and she couldn’t finish her studies due to being a mother. She felt guilty for not meeting her parents’ standards. On top of that she also broke up with the father relatively soon. She became a single mum and soon found a man for her needs of safety. She secretly hates this new man and blames the children for having their needs. She doesn’t allow these feelings because she feels she needs to take responsibility and be a loving mother and wife. Her husband has been a providing figure and deserves to have sex every now and then. She develops fatigue as soon as the situation might present itself. One day she decides to give in, and afterwards she feels disconnected with her body (depersonalisation). The next morning she wakes up in a crash.  

Tom has a good day after a week of severe fatigue. He neglected the household and spent much time on his phone being drained. Today however he has more energy points. He needs to do the laundry and clean the bathroom. After one hour he noticed how he started to feel rushed, but he decided to finish the two tasks. He soon started to feel dizzy and lightheaded and was wise enough to rest for a while. Then a friend called him to talk about his divorce. He wanted to be a good friend and listened to him and tried to hold space for him. By the end of the call he felt so wired and he needed to distract himself by completing the household. He didn’t notice his elevated stress levels. The same evening he could not get up anymore.

Find out your specific schema that leads toward a decline in your health. Do you have some of the underlying beliefs:

  • Working hard proves I am worthy
  • People expect things from me
  • I can’t let others down
  • I have to be a specific type of person
  • It has to be perfect
  • I am my job
  • I have to keep the peace
  • fill in your own programs
    • ……………………………………………………….
    • ……………………………………………………….
    • ……………………………………………………….
    • ……………………………………………………….

It is hard work to deal with these kinds of operating systems in our unconscious mind. It is not your fault that you have them. It is a natural result in an unnatural society. Unfortunately with each example, the one they let down the most were themselves. As a consequence we let others down as well. Just like the airplane oxygen mask story.

Next time you experience a setback or a crash, please analyze your specific patterns.

An optional book about these thoughts, signals and urges is called ‘The intelligent body’. You can download it illegally and for free on the self study page.