By Samantha Taylor in The Mighty.
The Fear. The anxious, stomach churning, paranoia riddled feeling deep inside when you feel that something is about to go wrong. You feel sick, you’re sweating and there’s an impending sense of doom. You’ve felt it right? I think we all have at some point. I certainly have, considering having had anxiety most of my adult life – and I know I’m not alone.
But, the fear I want to talk about is slightly different. It’s the fear of a flare-up, or “flare fear.” It’s even the fear of good days.
“What the heck is she on about?” I hear you say. Let me explain.
I have myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Both are very debilitating, painful, exhausting illnesses to have. When flare-ups happen, there’s little to nothing I can do but ride it out, put my life on hold and wait for the symptoms to fade. This could be days, weeks or even months later.
People living with these conditions can spend days in bed too exhausted to lift our heads off the pillow, lights and sounds triggering sensory sensitivities, every single part of the body aching like we have a hangover and the flu at the same time, joint pain and brain fog so thick we can’t remember anything, can’t coordinate our bodies to walk straight and generally feel like poop. Sounds awful doesn’t it? Welcome to my life during a flare-up.
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