After all the doctors and all the treatments, ‘coping’ is what many of us are left with. The drugs may help, the diet may help, the supplements may help, but the core of the disorder with its considerable physical, emotional and mental impact remains, and few of us are probably ready to deal with a chronic illness effectively. We don’t get classes in how to, as Toni Bernhardt puts it, ‘be sick’ in school. We pretty much have to figure it out on our own.
In this blog we introduce a section called ‘Conversations for Coping’ in which two or more people talk about what they’re doing to reduce the emotional and mental burdens ME/CFS places on people with this disorder. In what will hopefully begin a series of blogs, a Christian – Brenda, and someone interested in Buddhism and a course called Landmark Education – Cort, talk about some techniques they use to reduce the emotional and mental burdens of ME/CFS.
First, Brenda talks about how she uses prayer to reduce the frustrations she encounters, and then Cort talks about a process he uses to reduce the force of the upsets which threaten to consume him.
Brenda – Using Prayer to Release the Frustrations ME/CFS Produces
A friend would call with complaints about her very troublesome day at work. She had so much anxiety it would overwhelm her. A demanding boss caused stress in her daily routine, frequently affecting even her home life and social life. She had trouble sleeping, not because she was ill, and the illness caused anxiety, but because she carried such a heavy load in her position at work.
I’ve been in the same place so I know those challenges well. Being out there in the working world can tear one up at times but that was nothing in comparison to the daily pain of this illness. Once I became ill it was obvious I needed something really, really big to get me through my weaknesses, my fears and my sense of loss.
As a Christian, I had a whole lot of questions for God. I wondered, if He is such a good and merciful God why would He allow me to suffer? What had I ever done to deserve this illness? Couldn’t he just give me an occasional day where I felt like I did before this monster overtook my body?
I know some people do regain their former good health. I just don’t know any of them. (Do you?)
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Mostly, I wondered how I could thank Him for anything in my life, when this daily delivery of fatigue and frailty stared me in the face.
My friend needed someone to smooth the ruffled edges of her damaged life so I used my first-hand knowledge and we did the same thing I learned to do when confronted with stress. We prayed for God to guide us down the path of least resistance. We began to have conversations with God.
Amazingly, my friend found herself developing a sense of calm in just minutes. Shortly after we started these healing sessions she started talking to Him on her own throughout her hectic workday.
After a month or so she still called often but not daily. Soon, I noticed the direction our conversations took no longer wreaked of frustration and anger. This was the beginning of her ‘Letting Go’ and what I call ‘Letting God’. She now prays daily, asking him to help her carry her heavy load.
So today I pray often. I pray for that sense of calm. With our new spring weather, we are awarded Mother Nature’s beauty and grace. Simply opening the windows and doors, hearing the birds sing, feeling that warmth in the breeze that is ‘oh so welcoming’.
I thank God today for the sunshine. I ask Him to give me enough energy to get a few chores done in the house. I will ask Him later to take a short walk with me to the mailbox. I thank Him for providing me with the ability to rest whenever necessary and then utilizing most of my limited energy wisely. Without prayer I often feel some restlessness in my day.
Prayer is not a guaranteed way of making my life peachy, but it does give me a sense of contentment, even joy. That is huge….
Here are two of the scriptures that I rely on. One suggests that we seek God’s strength with prayer (Matthew 26:41), and the other suggests that if we rely upon our own strength in difficult times, we may fail (Proverbs 28:26;Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 26:33).
Cort – Dealing With the Inevitable Upsets
I, too, feel a sense of strange restlessness. In my case it takes the form of what the Buddhists call ‘monkey-mind’ – my mind flitting from object to object seemingly without cease. Along with that comes tightened painful muscles and fatigue. My guess is that having chronic fatigue syndrome induces this state of monkey-mind and the stresses that come along with having it make it worse. The fact that brief returns to health have always been accompanied by a calmer state of mind suggests to me that this kind of distracted thinking is a core part of my ME/CFS.
I’ve thought of these symptoms as troublesome but minor by-products of an illness that I had little control over. Now I’m beginning to wonder about how minor they are. I believe that rushing mind and those clenched muscles are surely taking their toll on my already depleted energy state.
The question is how to bring contentment and peace into my life. There are no easy answers for me. One of the things I’m doing presently that does help at times, though, is below.
Dealing with Upsets
There is a process for dealing with ‘upsets’ I learned while doing a seminar from Landmark Education. Landmark is all about getting us into the ‘here and now’ and this process can do that for me.
‘Upsets’ at times seem not just common but almost relentless; if it’s not one thing, it’s another and every upset is a potential energy drain…
I’m the Source – The first step of the process is to recognize that being upset; ie that being angry that something is not right, that things should be different– is centered in me. That anger, and that frustration (as well as the idea that ‘X’ shouldn’t be happening) is something I’ve added to the situation. That means that it’s something I can be ‘responsible for’ – something that I can ‘own’. That suggests I hold the key to reducing the hold upsets have on my life.
Dealing with upsets is not about changing whatever happened that I thought was ‘wrong’. It’s about changing my reaction to that incident.
It happened in the Past, So Let’s Leave it There – The first step is recognizing that whatever triggered my upset happened in the past but that I’ve drug it into the present. Say Doctor Y said something that was upsetting. Getting clear that that upset happened at a specific time and place (and then was essentially over) can be quite enlightening. Whatever happened – it’s over, it’s really over and now there’s just the present to deal with.
Recognizing the Commitment -A second step is recognizing that I was only upset because of a commitment in which ‘something wrong’ could show up. A natural commitment and desire to feel well, for instance, is behind an upset about feeling poorly. A commitment to pay my fair share of my expenses is behind my upset that I’m not doing that. Recognizing the commitment behind the upset can return me to my commitment instead of leaving me absorbed in my upset. It allows me to get back on track.
Recognizing the Pattern – Looking back to the past to see where I reacted similarly to similar situations allows me to see that I have a kind of typical behavioral response to upsetting things that was most likely created when I was very young. Seeing this takes some of the heat off the upset; it enables me to see that the stomping around, the anger, whatever the behavior is – was a strategy I probably developed as a young child for getting what I wanted. The problem is that I forgot that it was a strategy and now I’m just stuck with this energy depleting behavior. In the face of the many upsets I have to deal with simply by having ME/CFS being angry is not a great strategy.
Choosing a Different Path – Finally, when I see that a) it all happened in the past and should belong in the past b) that my upset was only in reference to commitment I had, c) that I was basically caught in a behavior pattern that was established early and doesn’t work very well in my current situation, I can choose to step out of that familiar behavior pattern and do something unfamiliar.
I notice that when I’m upset or confronted with something I fear is going to affect me badly; say a climb up a hill or an energy depleting task – I tense up, then rush and try and get it over with as quickly as possible. Running on adrenaline is not a particularly good idea for someone with ME/CFS. A far better approach would be to approach the problem calmly, so in the face of that upset or fear I can choose to insert calmness into the situation. That allows me to slow down, take it easy and that helps me maintain my health better.
I was standing in the store today. My body was aching, my muscles felt like they were on fire, I was on the verge of a cold, and I could see myself beginning to react; my breath rate was increasing, my jaw was clenching, my body was tightening up – but this I caught that pattern and did something ‘unfamiliar; I stopped trying to fix it and just observed it.
Just watching was an unfamiliar way of dealing with the physical upset of being upright for too long and pushing too hard and it helped. I still had pain but my mind was clearer and I was less ‘upset. I’d say it took maybe 20% of the pain of my symptoms away.
Like Brenda, these practices haven’t made my life ‘peachy’; I would say that most of the time I’m not calm but there are times that I am and I love it when they occur. When they do occur I feel like a piece of me that was missing is back.
Quality of Life Plus Some Health Benefits
For me this approach has mostly resulted in quality of life benefits. I have not increased my ability to exercise; in fact, I’m exercising less now because this slowed down approach to ‘upsets’ is helping me recognize more and more when I am going too far. It more and more also confirms for me how important it is to pace myself both physically and mentally.
I more and more recognize, for instance, the need to take short breaks, and I’m using some of Johannes Starke’s ideas and tools to help me do that.
However, I have not yet found the levelness of calmness that Brenda has found…
How do you deal with upsets? How do you find peace?
Feel like joining in the conversation? Want to start your own Conversation for Coping? Use the contact tab at the top of the page to get in touch. .
I have a constant feeling of heaviness on my diaphragm / stomach. This prevented a relaxed breathing. My breathing is disrupted since I’m sick. Do someone understands this?
I wish I did. I too have trouble with relaxed breathing at times…It seems like my body wants to resist it but I don’t know the cause…
I do know that the muscles that move the diaphragm are some of the most aerobically active in the body…If there is a problem with oxygen or nutrient delivery to the muscles, I suppose they might be among the first effected.
From my own experience with breathing issues I will say, for myself, it’s usually if I am having some anxiety. Unfortunately, many do not recognize that what they’re experiencing IS anxiety. One method I use to put myself to sleep is to listen to my breathing. If I try hard to take relaxed breaths I totally blow it. Getting into that comfy position, letting the mind float and listening to my own breathing does the trick. I also keep a low fan on for white noise effects. You should soon feel the tension ease up and next thing you know, it’s morning….:o)
Don’t dismiss the pressure in your diaphragm as simply an irritant though. I have dealt with esophageal spasms which are brought on by stress. Check with your physician (GI doc) for possible testing…. Best wishes for a positive outcome. Keep us posted. I will pray for your improved breathing…does anyone else out there have any advice?
From your comment I can hear how difficult it is when you cannot breathe without pain. I can’t guarantee that my two suggestions below will work for you, but I think they might be worth trying.
Focus fully, 100%, with all of your attention, every single particle of your being, on your breathing. When your entire mind is full of the sensation of breathing, even if it’s a painful sensation, there will be no more space in your mind for suffering and thoughts such as, “this is difficult. this is hard.” In my experience, when we focus 100% on whatever we’re doing, any effort drops away.
Another benefit of focusing 100% on your breathing is that the focusing will turn into a meditation. By focusing on one sensation for a prolonged period of time, your mind will calm down and get more focused. After you’ve meditate for a little while, your body will be more accepting of the sensation; you will feel more at ease with it. The peace and focus that comes from this type of meditation is one of the greatest miracles I’ve experienced on my recovery journey.
Sometimes it is hard to focus when you have ME/CFS. That’s why I’ve created a free guided audio meditation that will make it easier for you. Feel free to download this “Melt away tension and experience peace” recording here:
Think in mini-steps. If focusing on your sensation seems difficult to do for 20 minutes, just focus on it for as long as it feels easy. Once you’ve focused on it for a mini period that feels easy–let’s say 2 seconds–you now have the choice to stop focusing on it or to continue for however long feels easy now.
I usually focus on it again, and again, for as many easy-feeling mini-periods as it takes to be completely at peace with it.
If I had focused on the sensations for 20 minutes at a time, it would have been overwhelming and full of suffering, but since I only focused on it for 2 seconds–again and again–it was seemed easy. Funny how easily we can trick that little brain of ours 🙂 But it works!
To learn more about the mini-step approach and access a recording on it, visit my article, “Why is Pacing so hard? And One Simple Technique for making it easy”:
I hope this will ease some of your pain, Gijs. Please let me know how it goes!
I saw a breathing consultant at Carlisle Infirmary who said most of us have forgotten how to breathe properly and if you only breathe from the top part of your lungs all sorts of health problems result. The key is to ensure you breathe from the diaphragm so you should feel it moving in and out. It is really easy to retrain the body, starting with focusing on breathing properly perhaps every time you stop for a drink. Another issue when talking is that phrases should be short to enable proper breaths to be taken. The example he used was
Jack and Jill went up the hill breathe
To fetch a pail of water breathe
When Jack fell down breathe
He broke his crown breathe
And Jill came tumbling after breathe
It is worth taping yourself when you are speaking out load on a memo app for example and checking to see how many breaths you take when you are speaking and the intervals in your expressions. There are also certain circumstances such as hyperventilation which badly affect breathing so learning to recognise if you are hyperventilating and if you are how to slow your breathing down can also be helpful.
Hi, i have done therapy. it did not help. i do not get control over the problem. it feels like my brain constantly want oxygen. maybe the braintem is the problem. if you can get the problem under control with relaxing it think you do not have the same problem. it is more like Cort said. it is not hyperventilation.
I found your description of what Buddhists call ‘monkey mind’ and it’s cascade to be very apt to CFS.
Your commitment to being ‘present’, living in the moment, and letting go of past grievances is key to not just coping with illness, but key for any being a person living in the world. Or living alone in your house.
To be fully present and focused on the moment, it’s helpful to have techniques to quiet the mind.
Meditation and breathing techniques have proven to be helpful for this.
Meditation is a practice, and there are wonderful youtube videos online that can help in learning techniques that help to quiet the mind.
Breathing techniques go hand in hand with meditation, and again there are a lot of free online videos to help.
Deepok Chopra, a well known doctor in American culture has outstanding and free help with this. Here’s a website if you want to get started. http://www.chopra.com/community/online-library/guided-meditations
Several years ago we had a US Surgeon General who made the claim that the most important thing a person can do for their health is meditate ten minutes a day. Wow!
There are many gods and goddesses and many religions in the world today. I’ve lived in China, and respect other cultures, so I don’t assume that anyone prays to God, or to any god or goddess I have knowledge of, but I respect all religions, and consider myself a spiritual person.
Meditation is common to the most of the religions in the world today.
Thanks for all that Questus 🙂
Cort, may I ask if you are able to moderately exercise? And did that ability come after a few years of illness? I am functional most of the time however i have not been able to really exercise more than just taking walks. I am just curious…
Thomas, do you really need to do more than ‘just take walks’. Seriously. Walking is one of the best exercises I know. It doesn’t need to be fast or even a normal, healthy person’s pace. Forget your old idea of what constitute exercise. Forget about the old sports or gyms or whatever ‘exercise’ meant for you in the past.
I do a lot of slow walking, taking in Nature. Listening to the birds in the nearby gardens and trying to work out which bird call belongs to which species.
I watch the wind blowing the foliage in the tree tops and get totally transformed by the rustle of trickling water. I’ve learnt to appreciate the environment and developed a more in-depth love of Nature.
Walking Mindfully, keeping in the Present Moment, regularly, becomes a form of meditation and 97% of the time, I arrive home pain-free and feeling totally relaxed and mentally revived. Of course, it does help no longer having my chronic health problems at the centre of my thoughts these days.
All this week I have been housebound with a bronchial-type flu, but what am I thinking about? Not ill health, but where I want to go (when I’m over this flu). I’m thinking about whether the weather will be fine for a nice long slow walk next week. Which direction should I go? Will there be good light to take some photos? What photo subject while I challenge myself to next?
Accepting your chronic ill health and moving beyond that mindset onto other subjects is crucial to living your life the best you can (despite ME/CFS/FM).
Prayer, Meditation, doing something creative or enjoyable – find what takes you BEYOND your Health, is key to finding a satisfying life that is worth living.
Um ya I need to do more than just take walks. I’m 34 years old and don’t feel like taking up bird watching as my main source of activity just yet.
I may not return to pre-illness type exercise but I certainly intend on hetting to the point where i can play some sports and lift some weights.
Not ready for bird watching just yet…I love it. :). Good luck – I hope it works out. I would try doing the weight lifting in short bursts with rests in between, letting your heart rate come down and then starting again. That does work for some people.
I have found, for myself, that exercycling works well. The strength and duration of your workout can start slowly and build over time. I will do just five minutes at a time, going back to repeat every hour or two throughout the day. I end up getting miles in a day accomplished but don’t put too much continual stress on my body, demanding more than what the monster is willing to give.
No need for good weather here. This can be accomplished within the confines of my home with heat and/or AC. I will pray for success in your endeavors to move forward.
Good to hear your perspective & advice to Thomas, Victoria. I know just where you are at emotionally and spiritually. How often do we get busy, be it physically or mentally, not having time to think about the pain? But once we slow down, relax and take a few deep breaths, we can and do feel the ugliness much more. Now, combine that with the fact that we don’t have any choice but to rest, frequently. It spells trouble. Yes? Thomas’ young body and brain crave an active life. We know we have massive limitations, but our bodies are all different and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other.
I loved your words, listening to the leaves rustling in the wind, watching the poplars and aspen leaves fluttering in the wind, so gracefully, and wonder how God could have created something so beautiful and spectacular????? We have achieved that sense of calm, allowing us to breathe so comfortably. Don’t you agree? I think Thomas does accept his illnesses and it’s limitations. I suggested exercycling as it works great for me and can be done in intervals of time throughout a day.
I wrote a 260 page fiction novel in 2008 while I’ve been sick. Much of it was written in bed. Conquering that feat was humongous in my life. I then felt very worthy and valued my creative self more than ever. Thanks for your warm thoughts.
@ http://tnhaudio.org/ I listen to dharma talks by Thich Nhat Hanh when I am extremely ill, curled up enduring. The talks distract me, and also offer techniques of focus, breathing , methods of approaching and loving what seems overwhelming and unembraceable, techniques with potential to help physically, mentally, emotionally. I am Buddhist. But I think dharma talks have potential to help anyone open to the idea. A pleasant teacher -listener relationship is important.
There are talks on youtube. There are sites all over the net with audio talks by different monks of different traditions. You may find that one speaks to you, helps, but yet another that is irritating. Look around the net.
Many thanks to you Nina for sharing your knowledge with others reading these posts. I am a Christian so I will pray for your success in alleviating any and all pain or fatigue and all the other issues we’re confronted with. Sincerely, Brenda
Your post is appreciative to me, But this particular thread to \ Thich Nhat Hanh in German makes me monkey mind crazy LIstening to GERMAN.
Nothing makes me more monkey minded than hearing a language other than German, Chinese, or Eastern European
The guru you mentioned is wonderful, but a translation that doesn’t set my teeth on edge would be great. Please post a link, because he’s wonderful…But this translation is painful.
Would very much enjoy his teachings with an English translation.
I regret that you experienced unpleasantness listening to Thay’s dharma talk. Please google Buddhist Dharma talks, see what you find that does please you. I have dozens and dozens, ok, hundreds of links, and not knowing you, it would be difficult for me to guess which monk, which monastery/Buddhist Society/vehicle/tradition/nationality/accent would be a good fit for you, if any at all. This illness can be so devastating neurologically, mentally, emotionally, that what helps might vary exponentially from one person to the next. I do hope you find what you are looking for… ~ Nina
Cort- I suprised you feel your muscles and jaw tighten up. mine were too but i just never realized it since i guess itd been that way so long. I tried magnesium oil since i was sure my Mg was low eventhough bloodwork wasnt sensitive enough to pick it up. I just rubbed it on my legs and belly before bed but it can get itchy as it dries so i put coconut oil over it. i did this for a tear til i got lazy. but recently i ate a bunch of cheese- causing a Mg
imbalance again- as noted by tightening muscles and being extra tired all the time- more so than my usual cfs self. one application of mg oil and my jaw muscles went slack again and by the next day i was back to my regu
lar tired self- but much less then the days before. hope this helps someone else…..i used a spray bottle to apply- and ive used many types of magnesium but this is the best by far eventhough application is kinda a pain.
I’ll give it a try..In the past when I’ve done things that really relaxed my muscles it was as if my body rebelled; my joints started popping, I had trouble finishing sentences, got fluey and eventually had severe fatigue…It was almost as if my muscles wanted to be tight for some reason. I look forward to trying this though…it’s a new one to me 🙂
Cort, Swimming would probably be a real beneficial muscle relaxer for you………..food for thought………..
I know I’m sounding like a broken record but all the problems listed can be abated to a large extent by treating the gut. That means eliminating all wheat products because the gluten and glyaden degrade the compromised gut lining, allowing toxins and undigested food molecules to enter the blood stream and then through the compromised blood brain barrier to the brain and it appears the problem originates in the brain but it actually originates in the gut. Casein in diary products is a problem as well, for the same reasons.
Perhaps we don’t know what the original pathogen was that damaged the gut but perpetuating the problem with the wrong foods and chemicals is a path to misery. Yes, no doubt there is probably a genetic component.
What chemicals? Mostly in pre-packaged and canned foods, flavor enhancers, preservatives, citric acid is a sneaky one and so on. When these things enter your inflamed tissues, perhaps, delayed hours later, (insomnia) they are poison, be it the brain, joints, muscles, tendons, whatever.
To combat the autonomic nervous system issues,(irregular heart beat, lazy diaphragm) give it multi-minerals, especially magnesium and omega three fish oil daily. Take digestive enzymes before each meal and in-between also. I drink only bottled spring water.
To get a good handle on the spiritual reasons for this “cross we bear”, I suggest my book “Boot Camp To Eternity” in the Kindle section of Amazon on line. Why? I have been living with ME/CFS for forty years! RP
It’s so interesting to read your message regarding the gut. I recently saw a psychiatric NP who tested my blood, found my folate to be high & stated that is an indication of leaky gut. I’ve known for years that mine started in the gut as a few days after accidental carbon monoxide poisoning my IBS started. It wasn’t until eight months later that the CFS hit me bigtime. I fell into a deep sleep, had to quit my job and ended up in the hospital within a few weeks with congestive heart failure. All of my CFS symptoms began to attack all of my body systems. I was also told by the NP that I am most likely gluten and dairy intolerant, according to my lengthy list of health issues. So I have done a 100% change in diet. She believes she can likely eliminate at least 50% of my health issues related to what I thought was the CFS, but she says can be controlled by diet. Also, compounding various minerals and vitamins that my body is lacking in. Instead of taking 10 different supplements, it will be just one. I had toxins enter my body with the poisoning, hitting the guts first thing. I will certainly look into your book “Boot Camp To Eternity”, with God’s blessings, of course.
Best of luck Brenda. For many years I tried every supplement known to man. They were helpful, especially the omega 3 fish oil and minerals to mitigate irregular heart beat. But the biggest factor of all was eliminating the grains, except for rice and the other things I mentioned.
A very simple and all natural diet for a few months may allow one to cheat on occasion without a big problem. Also, NO coffee or teas of any kind! Sorry.
Eliminating was much more rewarding in overall health than all supplements combined and of course much cheaper. The dietary enzymes were most helpful but require experimenting with brands and types for the utmost results. I use Swanson Vitamins brand. Rich
Thanks Rich. I’ll keep those dietary enzymes in mind and check out Swanson vits. Appreciate the heads up………..
Hi Rich….Just wanted to send you an FYI as you said you buy your supplements from Swanson. I just learned from another website that a gal had someone steal and use her credit card # for $1000 who ordered from Swanson. Just thought you would appreciate the heads up.
I wanted to wait until I had been off of the gluten and dairy before I returned this note to you. Peeps, I’ve got to tell you, Rich is absolutely correct in stating that many symptoms can be eliminated via the changes in your eating habits all affecting the gut.
What changed? If you are interested in learning about this easy process, just reply to this segment and I’ll share it with you. Going off of gluten wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as I had anticipated. There are several meals and treats you can buy or make yourself to fulfill your desires. Different kinds of flour, minimal sugar too, using Stevia for a sweetener. Dairy has probably been the hardest for me to do without as I love dairy products. Even here, again, ice cream can be bought or made with almond, rice, or coconut milk.
Summer fruits and vegetables are in good supply with summer here. They will still be available for a few months. Most meats are acceptable but, as always, eating lower-fat cuts and quality kinds of meat will keep you healthier. I have lost 12 pounds in the past month and I cannot exercise much except for the exercycle.
Buy whole foods and those road side stands are in large supply right now so you know they’ve been grown locally and hopefully without chemical/pesticides.
I saw a psychiatric nurse practitioner a month ago and again last Friday. I learned much from our visits that you will want to learn about. I will respond if I get some interest. Find out what she said indicates leaky gut syndrome and what supplements she wants to start me on and meds she wants to get me off, eventually.
Hope your weekend is going great and the sun is shining for you today. God Bless! Brenda
Live blood analysis revealed the leaky gut (along with other surprises) for me, whilst I had already made dramatic diet changes (massive reduction in gluten/grains, no dairy/beef as now massively intolerant, added enzymes and probiotics, slowcooked meats, no sugar as hypoglycemic now) the addressing of the leaky gut has made a dramatic difference. And I think it was the first symptom following a chemical exposure. I have visibe changes in my oesophagus tissue (stage 5) caused by reflux the G says, but I do not and have not suffered with Reflux???
Gut Relief is the product that soothes, contains slippery elm, Magic!
Gijs, thanks for writing about your trouble breathing. I’ve noticed (repeatedly through the years) that I hold my breath and only breath deeply when I “have to.” For me, I think it’s some kind of subconscious defense against feeling what’s going on in my body. I think I’m trying to help myself by going numb (or something like that). I’m going to follow some of the links here to see if I can develop a practice of breathing mindfully — if only for 2 seconds at a time. 🙂 (Thanks, Johannes!)
Brenda and Cort, thank you so much for sharing how you receive your life in this body at this moment. I’d much prefer to order my health and life circumstances from a menu of infinite goodness, but somehow the server never comes to take my order…. So, here I lie, doing the best I can to accept and surrender to what is.
A friend recently said something about life that helped my perspective. “Suffering is a given. The discipline is finding the beauty.”
I’ll share one other twist on perspective helped me recently. I was riding in the car with my husband, and I had one of the negative thoughts that parade through my head unbidden, leaving a heavy residue in its wake. The thought was, “I am nothing.” I just felt like I was at the bottom of a dark pit. Usually I don’t share those kind of thoughts. But this time when I couldn’t seem to shake its effect, I took a chance and did. His response was, “How Zen.” It made me smile, and I’m still smiling about that amazing choice in perspective.
Many thanks to all of you who share in this precious community.
Thank you for your heartwarming words. Words that you also have a hard time sharing with others. Finding the beauty in our pain is priceless and Godly. What I have gained in perspective about my purpose in life has grown tenfold. Cymbalta, nortriptyline and recently, 2mg daily of Abilify help me so much regarding pain and positivity. I hand everything and anything over to my creator, God, and His Son, Jesus Christ. Your friend has been through their own pain to have learned about the beauty in suffering. Keep that friend close at hand. Prayers going out for you Sarah. Godspeed……
Happy to share Sarah……….
I really enjoyed that discussion, everybody. All good stuff. I also have breathing issues, and they are really noticeable in weather changes. I live in a place where extreme changes happen quickly and, as part of my reaction to the changes, my energy drops and breathing becomes labored.
I have used oxygen 2 litres/minute to help out during those times which seems to lessen the difficulty. It is like the body, due to such low energy levels, cannot get enough oxygen, and the muscles are unable to get the energy to move easily for breathing. In fact, my diaphragm barely moves at that time.
It seems closely related to the barometric pressure which makes sense because that affects blood volume and flow. No normal adaptation to the changes.
Anyway, I will be using some of the practices and prayers from your discussion.
I would like to talk to whoever had the onset from CO2 poisoning if I can. Was that Brenda or Cort?
Also to Rich about the supplement stuff. Can you connect us, Cort, by passing on my info?
Also thanks to Johannes for the reminders: mini-steps (I like it).
Yes, it was me, Brenda, who spoke of the carbon monoxide poisoning, Val. I can likely answer just about any questions you have in that regard. Sorry to hear of your frequent breathing struggles. The numerous symptoms of these illnesses are so overwhelming. I would surmise that the lack of oxygen with barometric changes, your limited energy, and low blood volume are major contributors. I just posted a quote from Kay Murray on Facebook about meditating on one of the Psalms throughout the day. I believe getting ourselves into a deep sense of calm while visiting with God is so rewarding, feeling His peace taking over our body. BTW, “CO” is the acronym for the poisoning. Pretty close, LOL. I made that mistake too.
I am sending you the copy of Jesus’ phone list for scripture reading via your personal email account. I love it too.
What can I share with you about the CO poisoning? I’m pleased you found our conversations for peace, contentment and improvement. That is our goal, to help others, which will be covered a bit in our continuing blog segment. Thanks for your reply Valerie, and Godspeed to you.
thank you for the emergency phone list,
a place i go for a ‘reset’ is Hiskingdompropesy.com
such as this:
Above please find the name of the website regarding Leaky Gut Syndrome, which is what I have just learned about, with supplements and herbs used to improvement. I was very intrigued with his advice about sticking with the gluten/dairy free, natural foods diet. He stated that seemed to help more than any supplements but each of us is different. They are spendy, however. Good luck Valerie. They will also have a listing for CFS supplements, etc. but it is much more limited than the leaky gut resource. Hope this helps… Herbs2000.com Brenda
Oops, sorry. I meant carbon monoxide poisoning (not CO2) . Also I wondered if Brenda could help me find that rose picture with the scriptures on it that is big enough to read. I tried to enlarge it but did not have any luck. It is beautiful. Thanks.