Gregg Charles Fisher, a CFS patient, writes, “Often, a poor self-image is at the root of the difficulties people experience when coping with CFS. A poor self-image can be just as debilitating as any physical symptoms and can exacerbate negative emotions. It is not difficult to understand why CFS is powerful enough to damage even the healthiest self-image. This illness may prevent you from being free and independent. You are no longer able to base your sense of worth on your accomplishments at work and at play. Now any achievements, even minor ones, my seem few and far between.
At least for the present, you need to build a new sense of self. I knew who the old me was, and I dream of who the healed me will be, but right now I have to concentrate on defining the present me. I accomplish this by doing what gives me a sense of fulfillment and purpose now, including activities I barely considered undertaking when I was well, such as doing a simple puzzle or growing plants. Your life may have changed, but it is no less significant. You must constantly remind yourself that you are important, and you may have to change ingrained attitudes about what constitutes self-worth.”
(Source: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A complete guide to symptoms, treatments, and solving the practical problems of CFS. By Gregg Charles Fisher, with contributions by Paul Cheney, M.D., Ph.D., Nelson Gantz, M.D., David Klonoff, M.D., and James Oleske, M.D.)