Self-Analysis Exercises in ME

ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is not “in the mind”. It is a physical illness in which the immune system is weakened.

Recovery from ME requires a reduction in stress which can include emotional and psychological stress.

This is not so easy as we are all complex beings. The vast majority of people with ME are sane, calm and non-neurotic. Some people in ME are very well-adjusted, but others who are also very capable, may not be, which is not to suggest that not being perfectly adjusted is in itself a "bad thing". God can use us, as we are.

1. In your first memories of the outside world, did you perceive it as an intimidating, alien place or threatening place, a place about which you could not say “I am in tune with this”?

2. If so, can you say what it was that caused these feelings?

3. You may have had a very secure childhood, but similar thoughts struck you later, say in your teens or young adult life? If so, can you say what it was that caused these feelings?
Was it for example:
  • because of some material reason e.g. your family was not as “well off” as other people’s?
  • because of some physical reason e.g. you felt that others were “fitter” for the culture and environment than you? Did you feel some inadequacy or shortfall - in what area?
  • because of some emotional and psychological reason e.g. you felt other people were not really like you, or valued who you are, and you felt you just did “not fit in”?
  • because of some religious or idealistic feeling e.g. because the world was not the kind of place you would like it to be?
  • because of some reason of abuse e.g. some inner hurt you had experienced which had damaged your feelings and trust in the wider possibilities of life, joy and true relationships?
  • because of some cultural reason e.g. you felt you were artistic (e.g. you love beauty) and the culture seemed nihilistic, mechanistic or even meaningless?
  • because of some reason of lack of depth e.g. you felt the world was insensitive or unresponsive - and you are highly sensitive or intuitive?
  • because of some lack of spirituality e.g. the world seems unspiritual and you feel a spiritual person in touch with God, or the unseen world?
  • because of some deep desire to give and receive love e.g. the world seemed cold and hard, and even well-intentioned love is delivered in a cold way, which has left you feeling empty, disappointed, afraid of, or angry with it and some people?

4. If so, can you now evaluate whether your perceptions were objective (meaning factually true) or subjective (based on your own feelings/perceptions entirely)?

5. If you saw the world as an alien place, what main mechanisms did you employ to deal with it?
These could have been psychological, material, physical or spiritual. Try to list them all.

6. Can you see any mismatch between any of your first or former thoughts in terms of your current level of understanding of life, cultural values and society? If so, can you modify any of them? Were some of them not very “well informed”? Were some true?

7. Having uncovered some of your earliest thoughts about the world and your thoughts about your ability to survive and thrive in it, can you uncover areas in which you had perceptions, made decisions or had aspirations which were:

a) unreasonable - you were asking too much of life
b) exaggerated - you were “making mountains out of molehills” or stereotyping
c) unrealistic - you did not take how you were made or your circumstances fully into consideration
d) over demanding - you drove yourself, you made yourself into a perfectionist
e) doomed to failure - because they were wrong choices against the grain of Nature - your nature.

8. Now that you are a mature person, do these thoughts and ways of thinking/being persist or need a bit of “rearranging”? Would this prevent thoughts that still cause you any underlying stress?

9. Can you develop your own techniques to do this, working at them yourself and regularly repeating exercises?

10. If you are successful, and if stress is reduced by doing this, how can you prevent negative or non-evaluated thoughts taking over in these areas again?