Today marks 11 years since my first medical appointment to begin investigations into what was happening to my body.
Living with #ME/CFS for any length of time is too long. I’ve had to live with it for 11 years. I therefore deserve cake.
You know me. I don’t let the anniversary of me losing my health slip by without some kind of celebration. A strange thing to celebrate some might think, but surely trying to mould a life out of the ashes of your old one is worthy of a slice of cake at least?
I just want to thank you for helping me make the best of a bad situation. For supporting me always, and for cheering me on.
There are people in this online space who saved me in so many ways back in 2010 when my life changed; people who had had to walk this path long before I did, and long before online support was available. They offered me comfort and they validated my experience when Doctors quickly became exasperated at my lack of recovery.
I have so many emotional scars and wounds as a result of these past 11 years. I’m not sure they’ll ever heal. I’m not sure my body ever will either.
But throughout my time with M.E. there have been countless usernames on forums or on social media who have lifted me up during what I felt were the most hopeless of times. They have always reminded me that there are people, scientists, medical professionals, charities, and patients dedicating every ounce of their energy to rectifying the wrongs that have been done to this patient community.
We have every right to be disheartened. We have lost so much: good health, families, careers, homes, friendships, marriages, our identities, and whole chunks of precious time.
But you can guarantee that when we are struggling with far more than just the constant onslaught of symptoms, that there’ll be someone online who unknowingly holds the power to reignite that glimmer of hope that somehow never quite fully extinguishes. Just a simple tweet can make someone else feel less alone. A photo of a clear blue sky can remind someone who hasn’t been outside in years, that the world will still be there for them when they are well enough to see it for themselves. A comment showing solidarity for what someone is going through makes a huge difference.
This community is special. Thank you for making it what it is.