How to Successfully Navigate Through Chronic Illness


Well-Known Member
Here is a summation of some of the principles, or truths, of the conscience that I’ve touched on:

-Denial or escapism is wrong
-Reassurance is insufficient
-Society cannot protect or save us
-The intellect cannot save us
-Reality is both oppressive and redeeming
-We are both imperfect and good
-It is a necessity and a moral duty that we strive toward our potential
-Aiming at truth and meaning is where we want to be
-Chronic Illness is suffering and despair, but has the potential to speed up our development
-We will do better over the long run if we feel our way through life instead of think
-Pay attention, recognize the patterns, abstract the principles, and implement through discipline and the Will.
-When things get overwhelming, simplify: stabilize, breathe, know where you are, know where you want to get to, then look out for the traps, detours, and obstacles

Here is my summation of some of the things that I've touched upon
1) One of the main symptoms of ME/CFS is called brain fog which is also known as mental fatigue
2) Mental fatigue can make it hard to focus, pay attention or manage our moods
3) Your principles, or' truths' continue to over look the above two facts.

Don't get me wrong. I totally get what you are saying. I've spent time with Buddhist monks in the past. The tune you are humming is very familiar to me.

The thing is, not all human brains are the same.

Let's try this though experiment. Would your 'truths' work for someone who is in a coma? How about someone with head trauma and only has access to half of their frontal cortex?


Active Member
I’m going to apply this model to the following blogpost that I saw in another thread:

Anything from the blog is in bold.

-I thought the world was being unfair to me. I resented the way all my plans—professional and personal—had to be dramatically altered.

-I blamed every doctor I saw for not being able to “fix” me.

These both stem from a combo of mistaken beliefs: that reality is only redeeming and that society is supposed to protect or save us. We feel betrayed and resentful. Our intellect builds a narrative in which we are the oppressed victim.

At first, we will be unaware that we are caught up in it, which will likely lead to some type of outburst. Our conscience will then pass negative judgment on our behavior. It’s important that we take our medicine so that we can be aware that we are acting on false beliefs. Recognizing this will put a dent in those beliefs and lead us one step closer to self reliance.

-I hated my body for not recovering from what had appeared to be a simple viral infection.

-I hated my mind because I thought if it were strong enough mentally, I could
will myself back into health

This self hatred is a perversion of the truth of our current state of imperfection. Our defense mechanism, not wanting us to access our Will and confront the chaos, instead will conflate our imperfection into a harmful belief that we are undeserving or unworthy of reaching our potential.

We can falsify this narrative by remembering the good about ourselves. By doing this, we neutralize the intellect because it cannot simultaneously hold two conflicting beliefs. Once we recognize this trap once, all we have to do is notice when it’s happening in the future and we will be able to quickly free ourselves from it.

-I felt judged by family, friends, and co-workers because I was convinced they thought I was a malingerer since I continued to be in poor health.

-I blamed myself because I thought I was continually letting others down by being so limited in what I could do

We are evolutionarily adapted to have contempt for free riders since they can potentially jeopardize the welfare of the group. This is not an excuse, but it’s useful to understand where this is coming from and why we are sensitive to it.

A long time ago, being identified as a free rider could’ve gotten us ostracized from the group which threatened our ability to survive. This causes anxiety, which has been passed down to us.
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Active Member

-I hated my mind because I thought if it were strong enough mentally, I could will myself back into health

While the self hatred is untrue, the idea that we can will ourselves back to health is a truth of our conscience. It is a call to reach our potential. This is the point we want to get to.

At this place, we may feel a sense of urgency and frustration for feeling stuck. There will be a lot of resistance here but it’s important that we don’t turn away from this call.
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Active Member
The patterns and principles I’ve mentioned here are discovered if we pay attention, as I said, but it’s important to be precise in what it means to “pay attention”.

In an effortless state, we tend to bounce back and forth between extreme mindsets. The preferred mindset is described by a state of security, comfort, and order.

Since everything is in order, this mindset is one of unconsciousness. We are in autopilot, with very little to no self consciousness, which keeps us blind to seeing the higher truths and principles.

The other mindset is the distressed mindset, which is marked by chaos, insecurity, and anxiety. We are more conscious in this mindset, but the chaos also impedes our ability to recognize the subtlety of the higher truths and principles.

Where we want to be in order to see these subtle truths is right in the middle of these two ‘all or nothing’ mindsets.

We want to be within arm’s length of the chaotic pain without it being too chaotic, while at the same time being within arm’s length of security so we are stable without becoming so secure and comfortable that we become unconscious.

That is the aware or ‘mindful’ mindset, which is the starting point. The more often we are in this mindset and paying attention, the quicker we will be able to progress toward resolution.

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