The Challenge Of Explaining How I Feel As Someone With CFS/ME

 

Invisible Illness

 

By Emma England in The Mighty.

 

One of the most frustrating things about living with CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is that most of the time, I don’t “look” ill, and so people may not understand the fact that there’s anything wrong with me.

CFS/ME falls into the category described as “invisible illnesses,” which I think sums it up very well! Other invisible illnesses include fibromyalgia, lupus and Lyme disease, to name a few.

Living with CFS has made me realize how easy it can be to misjudge people. People may see me and think I look absolutely fine, whereas on the inside I am dealing with a debilitating chronic illness. This can be very frustrating!

My husband also gets frustrated as friends/family will say “Emma looks well” and he’s trying to explain that although I do, I’m actually feeling pretty rubbish — to put it mildly! If you also have CFS/ME or other similar illnesses, you may also know how challenging it can be to explain to people how you feel when they can’t see it. When you have an illness that is so poorly understood, we really do have a challenge on our hands!

 

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