Coping With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue

Anyone with a Chronic illness will tell you that’s it’s not an easy thing to remain positive, especially when your feeling stressed, chronically exhausted and your in significant pain. I certainly know this. After all I have experienced with my own health issues I wanted to share this post on coping with  Chronic Fatigue CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia.


Here are some tips and thoughts on remaining positive and avoiding the negative, downward spiral CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia can often send us down.

Replacing negative thoughts with positive thinking.

It’s very easy to question why me, why did this happen, why can’t I get well and what did I do wrong. CFS and Fibromyalgia are complex illnesses and usually the answer is not as simple as a maths equation with only one answer.

Rather than focussing on the reasons I am unwell, I now try to look at the ways I can overcome my illness. I may not be able to get rid of the symptoms, but I can control my thoughts and how I react and cope with my circumstances.

For instance I have the choice to say, “I can’t cope with this illness” or to ask “How can I cope with this illness”.  This instantly replaces negative and emotionally draining thoughts with more positive and empowering one’s.

In the past, especially when I was first diagnosed I would have felt and said, “but I can’t manage like this”, “I cannot cope”, “it’s too difficult”.

I’m not saying it’s not difficult, learning to manage and cope is a very hard thing to do but it is possible and will help reduce the stress we feel and reduce the negative emotions and energy used alongside the symptoms of the illness.

So how do I change my thoughts ?

It’s not always easy to identify negative thought patterns, especially if this is something we have become used to. I bought myself a little note pad and every time I had a negative thought I wrote it down. I then challenged my thoughts to find the truth.

The key to changing our thought’s is to challenge them!

For example,

If I thought, “my life is miserable, I cannot do anything and will never get better. I could write this down and then challenge this negative thinking. I might ask myself is this really true?. This would then lead me to create a more positive thought. ie, I am unwell, I can’t do everything I want to but I can do some things, my symptoms may improve if I take time to rest because this is a fluctuating illness.

Another negative thought might be,

“I cannot finish this task, I have no energy, it will burn me out, I’m in too much pain, there is no point, I might as well give up. If I were to challenge this, I may find a more positive reality for example, “I may not be able to finish it right now or today, but if I pace myself and take a break I can come back and do a little bit at a time. Then I’ll eventually get this done and complete the task.

It’s not easy to recognise negative thought patterns, never mind challenge them, which is why I started with a little note book. I then developed the ability to do this without writing my thoughts down and continue to challenge the negative thought’s that tend to enter my mind as my symptoms get worse.

I haven’t even mastered this myself. I still have difficult times. i simply need to keep trying to remain positive especially when I feel my worst.

Unhelpful Thinking

Here are some of the negative thought’s or thinking styles I found myself in as one diagnosed with CFS and Fibromyalgia.

1. Emotional Reasoning

Assuming that because I feel a certain way it must be true.

2. Should, Must, Ought to

Using critical words like “should” “must and “have to” can cause us to feel guilty and feel like we have failed.

3. Labelling

Saying untruths such as I’m completely useless and “I’m a loser”

4. Personalisation

Blaming myself for becoming unwell when it is not actually my fault.

5. Jumping to Conclusions

An example would be mind reading and assuming you know what others are thinking or predicting the future when you really don’t know what will happen.

6. Disqualifying

Discounting the good things that happen, such as a good day or a positive achievement when your unwell.

7. Castastrophising

Blowing things out of proportion to make it seem far worse than it actually is.

8. All or Nothing

This is sometimes called black or white thinking and causes one to think “I’m not perfect so I’m a failure” or if I can’t get out, then I will never be happy.


As I and other’s who suffer from CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia seek to recognise and challenge our negative thoughts, this can help us to remain more positive through chronic illness, to cope better with our challenges and have the confidence to know we can be positive despite the many difficulties thrown in our path.

To Read More about my health Journey visit the Adrenal Diaries.


  1. I really don’t know much about this condition but I have similar symptoms. I don’t suffer from the same thing but I suffer from severe depression which leads to all kinds of negative thoughts and feelings about myself and my life. The main thing for me is lack of motivation because it hinders me doing anything throughout the day. I’ve been getting better but I slip back into the same negative feelings alot and I should really try what you’re doing to see if it makes a difference. xx

    1. Hi Dawn…. The positive thinking can apply to any illness including depression and even to parenting in general.I’m still learning to do this myself …it takes a lot of practice and I wanted to share it as i knew it can help others. Angxx

  2. Great post Angela, and really helpful for those who struggle with staying positive. Sounds like you’ve been on quite a journey yourself! I currently follow a diet free from refined sugar and grains and can’t tell you how much of a difference it makes to my life. I’ve heard it does wonders for CFS. You might be interested in my other blog

    All the best, Reneé xxx

    1. Yes Becky, Me and my hubby tried a non processed and low sugar diet for 7 weeks and it did really help. I am dieting and losing weight but kind of slipped of the bandwagon with the above. I’m sure if I got back on track it would help boost my weight loss. i may give it another go next week. 🙂 angela xx

      1. Losing weight while dealing with Fibro is awesome! I feel like it is this vicious cycle. You are the first I have heard of to actually lose weight while dealing with this.

        1. Thanks…. i’m also on steroids… 3 times a day for my adrenal Insufficiency but I stick to the hospital rule of only 1400 cal every day and they check my weight every 6-8 weeks. I’m losing it much slower than dieter’s but at least then it may stay off and not come straight back on. 🙂

  3. That’s such an important post and will be so helpful to many people, not just those suffering from your illness. It can’t be easy to change your thinking & to stay positive when you aren’t well. Beautiful post, well done!

    1. Thanks Becky. I thought of you when I wrote this as your blog is all about positivity! Have a fab day. Angelaxx

  4. I believe that positive thinking can work wonders, I have suffered with depression in the past and I have used the basis of what you describe to help myself during certain bouts and to help myself feel less hopeless in general.
    I think you are so brave to share this and it will be so helpful to so many dealing with a variety of different things both physical and mental illnesses.

    1. Thanks Jenni! I have learnt so much in my life and have so much to share which will hoepfull help and inspire other people struggling with whatever trial they have. Angela xxx

  5. I am sorry that you are in such a difficult position but glad to hear that you are really working with what you have. It takes time to change our ways of thinking but it has a huge impact. It takes dedication and courage but actually with time it becomes second nature. Carry on the good work. You are stronger than you know.

    1. ME is another term for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It’s pretty much feeling exhausted after you do anything and not being able to recover from any kind of physical exertion no matter how much rest you have. Thanks for reading!

  6. So interesting to see that you are working your way to positive thinking with Fibro. My sister suffers really badly and is in bed most of the time with it too. I never know how to help and support her. I wish I had more answers and understood it as she has depression really bad from it. I need to send her this link. So sorry you are suffering too. I can’t imagine. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    1. Thanks Jenny. It is really difficult at times but the way I view it really does alter the way I cope. Thanks for visiting my Blog 🙂 Angelaxx

    1. Your very welcome. It has taken some time to accept my health difficulties but doing so has mace it easier to be positive.
      Angela x

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