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What My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Actually Feels Like

I have moderate chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and this is my own experience. Others may have different symptoms or manifestations because every individual is different. But this is a glimpse into what my life with CFS actually feels like.

Living with CFS — or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) — is like swimming against the tide every single moment of every day. It’s like heavy chains are tied to you and you have to continuously drag them along. Your limbs feel like they weigh 10 pounds each and merely lifting them causes extreme pain and exhaustion.

Your head is unclear, and you walk around with a foggy brain. You try to make sense of your surroundings, but you fail and your brain doesn’t even understand the simplest of sentences.

You try to speak but can’t. You stammer instead and wonder what what’s wrong and then you feel awful. Your eyes are full of sleep throughout the day, but when you lie on your bed at night, all sleep vanishes, causing you to stay awake and be alone in your thoughts.

Your stomach is always ready to fight with you, causing you to throw up everything, even if you just drink a little water.

You get allergies, colds, coughs, fevers and bugs every other day because your immune system has gone on strike and doesn’t want to protect you anymore.

You can’t get out of bed because it feels like every part of your body is about to break. But you have to because you may be living alone or you may be forced to work to support yourself or your family.

Your heart is always racing. You get breathless just by simply sitting in bed.

And nausea. How could I forget that? Nausea causes extreme discomfort and makes you feel like you’re constantly on the verge of vomiting.

Fainting, headaches and body pain will want you to escape to a place where everything is nice and happy.

Imagine this and much more every second of every single day and then maybe you’ll get a glimpse into my life with chronic fatigue syndrome.

And this is the reason we need to raise awareness. Awareness is the key to a better life. And with more awareness, we won’t be treated badly by society and medical professionals. Then, maybe one day, people will see our illness as real and not something that’s “just in our heads.”

So keep raising awareness and keep sharing your stories because you never know who you’re inspiring!