What I Miss About My Life Before ME/CFS

I am getting a pair of shoes ready to send to this year’s Millions Missing event. I have been asked to attach a tag with the following information: my name, how long I have been ill and what I’m missing. The “what I’m missing” part got me thinking about the life I have left behind and my emotions hit me like a sledgehammer. So what do I miss?

I miss the simple things – the sun on my face, the breeze blowing in my hair. I miss walking to the local shops just to browse. I miss meeting up for coffee with my best friends and putting the world to rights. I miss sitting in the park watching everybody rush by as they go about their busy lives.

I miss growing my own vegetables – watching a plant grow from seed is so satisfying. I miss nights out with my husband. I miss work. I miss having a purpose in life. I miss being needed. I miss the seaside – the salty smell of the fresh breeze. I miss family gatherings – weddings, birthdays, even funerals. I miss crafting – there is something so rewarding about creating something out of your own imagination. I miss shopping. I miss buying clothes and shoes just because they are pretty – not practical. I miss long relaxing baths.

I miss getting drunk with my friends. I miss music – loud gigs where you have to shout to be heard, even when you are standing next to each other. I miss getting dressed up, doing my hair and makeup – I miss feeling pretty. I miss nature – watching birds bobbing around on the ground looking for food. I miss the vivid colors and the sheer beauty of the world. I miss my Mum, she also has ME/CFS and fibromyalgia so we hardly ever see each other. I miss cooking and baking. I miss caring for my husband and spoiling him with treats I have baked. I miss the satisfaction of a clean house. I miss my tidy house – I hate the clutter I now live in.

I miss traveling – the excitement of discovering new places. I miss making plans. I miss talking for hours about everything and nothing. I miss singing and dancing around the house. I miss laughing so hard my cheeks ache. I miss being spontaneous and carefree – not having to worry about the payback from my adventures.

ME/CFS has stolen so much from me but I have also gained a lot too. Being ill has forced me to pause and think. My life was so hectic and busy before, I didn’t have time to enjoy or appreciate the small things. I have learned patience and mindfulness. I am thankful for every smile and every happy moment. I have gained so many friends online who have supported me through the tough times. I truly appreciate my dear friends who have stuck by me through everything life has thrown at me, and my life is enriched by their presence. My husband and I are closer than we have ever been and I have learned to appreciate everything about him. I have gained a better understanding of me and ME. I have found my voice and I will continue to write as long as there is someone listening. I am stronger because of what I have endured. Take care.

Getty Image by Dziggyfoto

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