The Thank Yous I Need to Say to the Friends Who Help Me Fight CFS/ME


Chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis and post-viral fatigue) is one of many invisible conditions out there. It’s thought around 250,000 people in Britain are affected by this illness (I guess it’s nice to know I’m not alone!) but it’s still not very well understood. This makes it extra challenging for those who haven’t experienced it to wrap their head around what it really means.

For me, although my myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is nowhere near as bad as it once was, it can still come back to bite me every now and then. Recently I’ve been reminded just how overwhelming that can feel. More importantly, I’ve been reminded how incredibly lucky I am that, when it does, I have people around me who understand what it means, and they what I need – and what they can do.

So to my friends, and to those helping others fighting against the all consuming monster that is fatigue, here are some thank yous I’d like to share:

1. Thank you for understanding why I cancelled on you…again. I know it can be last minute or might not make sense when I managed something the day before, but thank you for knowing I wanted to be there and didn’t have a choice.

2. Thank you for continuing to invite me to things. Thank you for not giving up on me and knowing that if I can I’ll always be there.

3. Thank you for sending that message to let me know I don’t need to worry. I’ll still feel bad for letting you down, so it’s nice to hear you tell me it’s okay and you understand. It means I can switch off and rest.

4. Thank you for knowing when I’m just not myself. I know sometimes you can tell just looking at me or if I’ve gone very quiet. It means a lot that you know that version of me isn’t the real me.

5. Thank you for knowing sometimes I need quiet and sometimes I need your energy. It’s so great that I can let you know what I need and you accept it even if it can seem contradictory at times. You know sometimes I can kick-start myself again by feeding off your conversation and energy and other times it can all just be too much to cope with.

6. And to those who talk openly about their experience of fatigue, thank you for sharing when you feel the same way. I read your updates and blogs about fatigue and I’ve seen your comments on mine saying you really do get it, and I know you do. It makes the world of difference to know I’m not alone.

One of the reasons I started my blog at www.happybarnet.com was to be more open about my experiences with conditions like fatigue. I appreciate they won’t be the same for everyone else, and for posts like this, I hope you understand all I can really do is share what I know myself.

And now, I’m off to rest up for a bit.

Love, as always,

Barnet

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