Sense is "possessing judgement and intelligence" whilst sensibility is "capacity for refined emotional response to feelings and experiences, involving delicate sensitivity to moral and aesthetic issues"
I am not that familiar with the text of the book, but when reading about it this quote jumped out at me;
“My illness has made me think… I considered the past; I saw in my own behaviour since the beginning of our acquaintance with [Willoughby] last autumn, nothing but a series of imprudence towards myself, and want of kindness to others. …My illness, I well knew, had been entirely brought on by myself, by such negligence of my own health”.
and another version of it;
"My illness, I well knew, had been entirely brought on by myself by such negligence of my own health, as I had felt even at the time to be wrong. Had I died, it would have been self-destruction.”
I know that I run myself into the ground most days instead of taking care of myself and being sensible about what I can and can't do and putting the needs of others before my own. I always worry about what other people will think of me and what other people need from me, but then complain about feeling so ill, but having no choice but to carry on. At the same time I can't assess everything before I do it and work out what things are best use of my limited abilities. Then how am I supposed to deal with things that only I am around to do or have the time to do, but not the energy or ability?
I should know after 20 years of being ill how I react to things and that I should be more sensible. To anyone else I will say rest, forget about things, your health is more important etc, very sensible, but why can't I say things like that to myself. Nor is it helped that we seem to live in a culture where people have to do as much as possible and juggle many responsibilities and leave little time for rest and relaxation. Which is ok for a fit and healthy person, but even they need a break sometime, but that is acceptable as they are so busy and productive.
How can I do the sensible thing, whilst meeting my own needs and other people's needs?
Sensibility can be defined as;
"Mental or emotional responsiveness, especially in being offended or in having one's feelings hurt" (Free dictionary) is often the way we react to what people think or say about us .
In ME many of our senses seem to be hyper sensitive and I think our emotions often are too and we become very sensitive to this that are said and often take things the wrong way and are very sensitive to things happening around easily being upset or distracted especially by emotional issues even if they don't affect us directly. The "acute capacity to respond to blame or praise." (free dictionary) or "of being readily affected by external influences" (free dictionary) which makes every day life quite draining.
These definitions of shyness, also in the novel, I can relate to;
"I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness."
"Shyness is only the effect of a sense of inferiority in some way or other.”
Finally this quote;
"It is not what we think or feel that makes us who we are. It is what we do. Or fail to do...”
I am not sure I completely agree with this as what we think and feel does shape who we are and how we behave, but other people will only notice what we do or don't do and judge us by that without knowing anything about us or what we think, feel or experience.