Are you mentally strong?

23 Jan

This post really made me think.

Before I was forced to embark on my journey thru ME/CFS, when I was / thought I was “well” I can’t claim to have had many, if any, of these attributes to my name. I wasn’t mentally strong. I didn’t know that then, it’s only with the beauty of hindsight that I see it now.

And now many more of these attributes ring true for me. ME/CFS has led me on a journey towards mental strength.

It makes me think, when we are mentally less strong, are we physically weaker too? I would hazard a guess as yes. And so if mental weakness contributes to physical weakness then surely that means it leads to / can contribute to illness, especially chronic illness such as ME/CFS.

The mind, meaning the brain and neurology, and the body are intrinsically linked, yet western medicine is only beginning to get to grips with such thinking.

This is all just my bed time hypothesising, over to you, what do you think? The less mentally strong you are the more susceptible to illness you become? Seems logical to me.


I found this on Pinterest today and when I read through them it made me think. I don’t practise some of these things that β€œmentally strong” people do. Maybe I should start. Have a read and let me know how you get on…..

Mentally strong

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17 Responses to “Are you mentally strong?”

  1. Jenny Barber January 23, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    Makes sense to me too, I agree it’s all connected; our mind, body. I think if we are to have a chance of becoming well then we need to become mentally strong. Love this post, thank you!

    • myjourneythrume January 24, 2014 at 11:29 am #

      Glad you liked the post Jenny, it struck a cord with me!

  2. Lauren January 23, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    I definitely believe that the mind and body are closely linked and that lacking some of the attributes on the list can contribute to getting ill- eg, if we spend all our time worrying about pleasing other people, this can be incredibly draining in ways we might not even notice. But I also don’t think mental strength can be categorised in a list like this- it looks different in every person. Makes me sad to think that someone might read that list and label themself mentally weak because they struggle in some of these areas.

    • myjourneythrume January 24, 2014 at 11:29 am #

      I totally agree, every person is individual and unique and any list of attributes is I guess arbitrary. But it’s a good starting point. Tho I hope people don’t take this list to heart to such an extent that they feel they are mentally weak. I think this list is the ideal and we’re all capable of being as mentally strong as we want to be whether we meet this list or not.

  3. averyfranksenior January 24, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Mind – body nexus analysis works for me too. Those things mentally strong people do certainly ring true. This is written as someone who has a very bleak view of the world and people, and sadly is seldom proved wrong, but keeps trying to be optimistic about the human condition. Very thought provoking post and re-post.

    • myjourneythrume January 24, 2014 at 11:26 am #

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post Frank and can see the truth in the list of attributes. I’m also glad to hear you keep trying to stay optimistic! Keep trying, I think it’s good for your health πŸ™‚

  4. Dead Men Don't Snore January 24, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    It is interesting to read other people’s experiences on this topic but my own is almost completely the opposite.

    I met all but one or two attributes in the list before developing ME but struggle with a lot of them now. I find it much harder to move on/invest my energy in the present/think productively/demonstrate staying power than I did when I have a full and active life. I used to love spending time alone but now I get so sick of my own company. I am more concerned about what other people think of me than I used to be, mostly thanks to the stigma and stereotypes that surround ME.

    Much of my time and energy in recent years has been spent trying to tackle these issues and rebuild the mental strength I had when I was well.

    • myjourneythrume January 24, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      That’s interesting that you were the opposite if me.

      I totally relate to what you’re saying. I think I got worse before I got better with these attributes, like you say, I struggled a lot with what people thought of me having ME when I was first ill. It took me a long time to realize that was sapping my energy and come to accept my situation.

      It very much still work in progress for me on some levels.

      I think everyone is individual and there’s no one size fits all especially true with ME symptom wise and how we deal with it.

  5. Tanya January 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    While I do firmly believe that cultivating a strong and positive attitude can definitely help people cope with the life-altering nature of having a debilitating chronic illness, and certain emotional factors can effect the body’s ability to cope with illness, I think that to assume that mental ‘weakness’ (however or anyone else chooses to define it!) contributes to susceptibility to M.E. is about half way down the slippery slope to “It’s your fault you’re sick” and, more dangerously, “You can simply choose not to be sick by changing how you think”. I’m not at all saying that YOU think this though, so I hope you didn’t take it that way πŸ™‚

    That list basically summed up my personality before I become ill, and I can relate a LOT to what Dead Men Don’t Snore said in their comment. M.E. can, and does, happen to all sorts of people and I believe that the experience of being ill can help us find strength in ourselves that we maybe didn’t realise we had before.

    • myjourneythrume January 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

      I know exactly what you’re saying and the same thoughts went through my head when I was thinking about the list and concept of mental strength. But the conclusion I came to was that mental strength is at a subconscious and neurological level, the place where you can’t choose what you think because it is an automated subconscious response. And to change that response takes neurological (like the lightning process) intervention. That’s how I think of it anyway. I definitely definitely do NOT think that it’s a persons own fault they’re sick cos of how they think. It’s just not that simple, god if only it were!!

      ME definitely helped me discover my real mental strength, or at least some of the characteristics that forbes lists at any rate. Whether that’s an accurate definition of mental strength is a different matter and a post topic all of its own!

      • Tanya January 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

        I think there’s a lot of strength in admitting weakness too, if that makes sense. Like it takes some guts to say “I’m having trouble coping right now and need help”. There’s strength in embracing vulnerability, which is definitely something I’ve learned since being ill. God, it changes you, doesn’t it!

      • myjourneythrume January 24, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

        Gosh me too. I think it takes real strength and courage to admit you need help. It really does change you or at least it’s changed me a lot, all for the better I think!

  6. currankentucky January 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    I love this post. I was recently told by a stranger that I was on “The Green Platform”, having no clue as to what this meant I googled it and low and behold discovered a book by an Irish author “The Green Platform”. It basically says there are two types of people, those on the red platform and those on the green. Those on the red, when faced with a challenge etc focus on the negative while those on the green, while having the same challenge focus on the positives. The book teaches people how to move from the red to the green…Also, I remember speaking to someone who knew of two people with breast cancer. Thankfully, both went into remission and one focused on the positives, people wanted to be around this person and the path to well being, while hard, was immersed in love etc. While the other person focused on the negatives and people didn’t want to be around the person, they then had a harder path back to well being. All that said, I cant imagine how hard it must be for the most severe of ME patients to remain focused on the positives.

    • myjourneythrume January 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      Yes it must be so hard if you’re bed bound. I know that the times I struggled the most, the times when my mum was worried I was slipping into depression, was when my physical symptoms were at their very worst. Eurgh, horrible memories. The Green Platform is a great analogy, I think we’re both firmly on the green and not the red πŸ™‚

      • currankentucky January 24, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

        Thank goodness our Narnia landed us there… may we continue to stay here!! πŸ™‚

      • myjourneythrume January 24, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

        Yes most definitely do not want to cross over to the dark / red side. No way.

  7. Mark kent January 26, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    hello,i get your blog. i have m.e with lot other health problems

    i take part in a lot research from lot universities

    if you would like to e.mail me chat please do


                   mark________________________________ > Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 21:35:34 +0000 > To: >

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