7 Secrets I’ve Been Ashamed to Tell Others About My Illness



By  in The Mighty.

I’ve struggled with severe ME/CFS for 11 years now and I’m only just realizing I’m ashamed of my situation. I think I’ve known it all along at the back of my mind, but only now has it formed itself into concrete words in my head. And on this piece of paper.

I’ve always been very private about my illness; I’ve never liked people beyond my family and friends to know. I don’t want people to pity me. But most of all, I now realize I’m ashamed of my life, or lack of it. I’m rarely well enough to get out but if I do, I dread bumping into somebody from the past. Questions like, “What is your job?” or “Do you have kids?” would make me feel such a failure.

Even though most of my wider circle of acquaintances now knows I’m ill, there are still details of my life I prefer not to admit. But I hope by sharing them here, some of you will feel that you’re not alone. So here goes:


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