It takes strength to be weak.
I’ve had CFS for a few years and I must say, it’s a bit shit. I have recovered a fair amount and gone from inability to walk and virtually living in my bed room for two years of my life to now being fairly active and quite happy. Other people will have had it worse than me and my heart goes out to them and others will have not had it as bad and my heart still goes out to them. Chronic Fatigue is a shitty thing to live with no matter the degree you suffer with it. But I’d like to focus on the positives I personally gained from the experience.
I was a bit of a self centred person before I was really struck down by CFS. I was racist and homophobic to some degree, cocky and all around a bit up myself. Spending weeks at a time with adolescents with terminal illness and conditions far worse than myself when I stayed at the hospital humbled me, because it was rare that I saw anyone bitter or aggressive in this hospital. They were all so much better than me. These two years had me re-examine my entire world outlook and helped me shape me into the person I am today, in many ways being the polar opposite of what I once was. I’d hated those years but I shall never forget them because of the formative effect they had on me.
My two years made me reliant on online communication to maintain friendships and I actually made a great deal of friendships through these means. I also had the opportunity to invest time into my interest in history which has since become a passion and I now hope to study it next year at university. And of course, my hobby in the form of gaming became my all consuming world which made my life bearable and is now a massive part of my life and lead me to an interest in gaming personalities on Youtube which lead to an interest in games ‘journalism’ and writing (that’s how you’re reading this) and the creation of the Youtube account I run with one of my closest friends. My respect for the NHS and passion for social justice and equality led me to an interest in politics and I’m now the local Labour Youth Officer and work closely with my constituency’s Labour Parliamentary Candidate and participate in the political process. Of course, because I’m no longer an intolerant bigot, I can also enjoy the amazing relationship I’m in with a mixed raced girl that would have never happened if my developing shitty beliefs had never been questioned and redeveloped. In short, everything I love in my life I have now because of CFS.
I imagine many other people with CFS have taken it as a chance to re-examine their lives and look at things with a new perspective. Being the kid in the wheelchair that catches people staring makes you think how awful it must be for every person you stared at. To anyone suffering with CFS, I know it’s shit but this is your chance to become someone who gets shit done and to fight back whatever level of fatigue you suffer with and take this as a formative experience. It’s hard to be different but this will shape your life and way of thinking in years to come. So make yourself proud. Because it takes strength to be weak.
P.S: I’m still a bit on the cocky side, hence my opinions being shoved in your face via this blog