By Gemma Cresswell in The Mighty.
Years ago, I was able to confidently see the positive sides of how myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) had affected my adolescence and made me the person I’d become. Yes, it had been tough, isolating and upsetting, but being seemingly on the other side of it, I could see how the condition had highlighted and drawn out beneficial qualities I never knew I had. This realization came at a point when I was feeling much better – ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), felt like it was in my past. It felt like something I’d lived through and survived, and I was now OK.
But that didn’t last. Now in my 20s, I’m dealing with a relapse that’s lasted around two years and I struggle daily to accept it. I feel it more keenly, perhaps, because I finally felt that I was living life the way I wanted, only to have it taken away from me again. I’ve gone through a rollercoaster of emotions from denial to resentment, struggling with feelings that my body has let me down and continues to do so. That it has stopped me becoming the person I feel I should be and living the life I want to live. Sometimes I’m angry and sad; I grieve for who I was before this and the person I thought I could be today.
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