Allow me to introduce this topic with an example. Imagine yourself talking to a person that drains you. You don’t notice it yet, though there is a voice inside you that signals a boundary. You unconsciously choose to ignore this boundary and the action you should take because it has become an egoic program to ignore your needs for someone else’s sake. After a while your body sends you stronger signals, this time it sends loneliness. In an attempt to escape from this feeling or emotion you try to bond even more with the person you are talking to. What you didn’t understand is that the feeling of loneliness (in this case) was a result of not seeing yourself. Since you don’t connect with yourself, your attempt to get close to someone else is not going to work. On top of that it is also the wrong person you invest time in. Eventually you will become frustrated and develop the emotion of anger. This anger is then buried in the subconscious making you both stressed and feel symptoms.
The first and initial trigger of ME/CFS is the root cause for your symptoms and might still trigger your symptoms. This in itself might be the ‘fight or flight mode’, but usually there is a reason why people with ME/CFS are stuck in the ‘fight or flight mode’ for at least one or two decades. For everyone the trigger might be different. For some it might be as easy as a change in diet or a heavy metal detox. For most of us however we are looking at a complex personality that has developed over many years. There are probably emotional wounds, suppressed in the unconscious, that have lead to the development of certain coping mechanisms.
A trigger might have almost revealed this emotional wound and the ‘bodymind’ protects you from it via what Dr. Sarno calls TMS. The ‘bodymind’ will only stay at a certain symptom if it is powerful enough to distract you from the emotional wound.
The trigger might have been a difficult emotional period or an accumulation of stress in the body due to the fight or flight mode and the inability to relax. Understand that the potential of symptoms has been around much longer than the final year before your fatigue started. The identication with coping mechanims will make it hard for anyone to see them and to change them. Having had multiple strong coping mechanisms myself, I can say that whenever I am involved in them, my ‘bodymind’ will create symptoms.
Dr Sarno has helped millions of people with ‘bodymind’ symptoms. In order for a bodymind’ symptom to work successfully it wants you to obsess and worry over your symptoms. This means the ‘bodymind’ will try several symptoms before it has found the one symptom that you are most afraid of. People with ME/CFS are people that have reached further than many other people, they have developed a mind that is usually not that much aware of the body. That alone is stressful and when we suddenly get struck by fatigue or pain, we probably felt like we need to listen to our bodies for once. Extreme fatigue might have been the only resource to make us listen finally. Dr Sarno encourages us to not take the symptoms serious and see them as innocent muscle tensions that create a slight oxygen deprivation in certain parts of the body. As a result we might however feel huge symptoms. In order for our symptoms to fade away we would need to not be afraid of the fatigue and try to listen to our emotional body instead. There are many exercises that can help you get in touch with your unconscious. Be open for the possibility that you are very angry deep inside. Maybe because of what others did to you, but most likely of what you did to yourself.