I crashed with chronic fatigue in the beginning of 2009 and I've been learning what I needed to heal ever since. I've recently had several people contact me about what I've learned, and always found myself a little stuck for answers.
Chronic fatigue is just so massive in so many ways and I don't want to suggest that there is a simple solution or "that one thing" that will change everything for you.
Healing chronic fatigue (adrenal fatigue) is a transformative process. There is no magic pill and a cookie-cutter approach doesn't work. Pushy approaches fail to heal it. Trying hard to get your old life back just makes things worse. It pretty much seems to be the disease from hell, but it isn't.
It's a symptom of an attitude. This attitude is pervasive in both people who have chronic fatigue and in those who don't. For some reason or another, those who have chronic fatigue have reached a point where the attitude needs to be transformed.
This may be because change was long overdue.
Often though, chronic fatigue is sparked by an event that marks a deep decision: the decision to live differently.
One of the things I've learned from chronic fatigue is that you are not required to figure out what it means. You are not required to figure out how to avoid having it. What you need to do is embrace it, surrender, without giving up on getting your energy back one day. It is the chronic fatigue itself that is the teacher. It is the chronic fatigue itself that is the medicine:
1. Chronic fatigue forces you to examine all the areas in your life in which you give more than you receive, and to let go of everything that drains you.
2. Chronic fatigue forces you to find a way to function that is not based on discipline, pure willpower, and maximal doing.
3. Chronic fatigue breaks down your barriers, the resistances you have to experiencing yourself in this moment.
4. Chronic fatigue shows you who is there for you when you have nothing left to give.
5. Chronic fatigue reveals your essence and the qualities inside of yourself that you can always rely on no matter what.
6. Chronic fatigue teaches you to ask for what you need and to take responsibility for the ways in which your needs are not being met.
7. Chronic fatigue forces you to be radically honest about what is and isn't there and to function based on what is available to you (as opposed to what you think should be available or are wishing would be available).
8. Chronic fatigue allows you to work through all these issues by putting you in the one single "container" of sacred rest in our society: illness.
9. Chronic fatigue (re)introduces you to the need to access unconditional love. When you are no longer able to "work for" being appreciated, you discover how conditional you believed love to be all along, and how that is no longer a viable way for things to be for you.
Chronic fatigue is a very strong illness. It needs to be. It is a counterforce to a way of living based on action, force, intellect and putting off until later what you need to have and be right now.
Our society is wired to reward certain ways of being and deny and punish others. This is why chronic fatigue needs to be a strong illness. If it were a passing thing, like the flu, it wouldn't have the ability to support you in transforming yourself.
When you are under a lot of terrifying pressure to be a particular way, then the antidote will either need to be overwhelming love OR even bigger fear. We are -collectively- not that good at receiving and opening up to love. If we were, chronic fatigue likely wouldn't exist.
As it is, fear is fought with even bigger fear. Going against the grain of societal conditioning is scary, but being chronically exhausted is even more terrifying. At one point, you get the message and start aligning with the forces inside of you that allow you to overcome both.