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Dear Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: You Hid in Plain Sight

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Dear chronic fatigue syndrome,

You and I have been friends a good long while, although my doctor only recently figured that out. I knew there was something going on, but everyone I was sent to was unsure of what to diagnose. You sure are a tricky one, hiding in plain sight like that. You’re so good at disguising yourself as so many things, and that makes it hard for doctors to see you. You are the ultimate player of hide and seek.

I have some things to say to you.

I am tired. My body hurts. My brain feels like it’s been replaced by cotton balls.

But mostly, I’m just tired.

You make it so hard to do things most people take for granted — simple things like brushing my teeth, cooking food and vacuuming. I miss being active. I miss my job, my friends and my hobbies.

I miss my life.

I miss being able to do what I want when I want to do it. I miss not having to plan out every detail of every expenditure of energy to see if something can be done more efficiently. I miss just existing without having to plan for it and know I won’t be able to do what I want to do.

It’s frustrating, being like this. It makes me want to scream at you some days, chronic fatigue syndrome. Why can’t you just let me be how I want to be for a day? No, I don’t even need a day. An hour. Please, I’ll do anything.

For many, that relief never comes.

You know, it’s a good thing we are resilient and can keep it together most of the time when you drag us through hell and back, trying to make us give in. We won’t give in, though. We are strong.

This story originally appeared on Learning to Be Me.

Getty image by Ziggy1.

Originally published: May 6, 2019
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