The Mighty

No One Prepares You For The Grief Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Lonely

    By Asa Lovell  in The Mighty.   No one prepares you for the grief and feelings of inadequacy you get when you have chronic illnesses. They make such a huge impact on your life that they derail you, stop you from achieving the things you’re working for in the time you’d planned. You […]

Because Of ME, I Can Only Imagine Being The Mum That Others Get To Be

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      By Sophie Cooklynne in The Mighty.   Downstairs, my two-year-old son, Lucas, is playing. He’s a beautiful, clever and sweet little boy who lights up my entire world. Upstairs, I lie in a single bed, trapped in the shell of a body; bedridden permanently and suffering dozens of symptoms that mean that […]

When I Can’t Control How Chronic Illness Is Affecting My Body

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  By Laurel Younis in The Mighty.   OK, here it – the biggest and most important secret you will need to survive chronic illness. The key to surviving chronic illness is surviving it in any way you can. Now I know what you may be thinking, “Really? Is this seriously the advice you’re giving […]

It’s OK To Feel Angry Or Resentful Sometimes When You Have A Chronic Illness

Chronic Pain

  By Juliana Philippa Kerrest  in The Mighty.   Something I greatly struggle with are the emotional ups and downs that come with dealing with a chronic illness. I have three chronic conditions that have affected me to varying degrees throughout my life: psychological, neurological, and autoimmune. Most of the time, I handle it relatively well; I […]

Confessions Of A Chronic Fatigue Skeptic

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    By Shell Pettifer in The Mighty.   “Chronic fatigue, my arse!” I have a confession to make. I have oftentimes throughout my life internally judged people for being overly dramatic. There, I’ve said it. I am a closet censure. I am guilty of internal eye rolls, doubtful compassion and quite frankly some completely uneducated […]

Please Stop Trying To ‘Fix’ My ME/CFS

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  By Simone DM in The Mighty.   When you become ill, all you want is for others to be compassionate and understanding. Yet when you come down with something like ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis), that not even your doctor comprehends, it’s a different story. Others are quick to pass judgement, believing you are somehow causing your […]

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

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      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 […]

20 ‘Comebacks’ To Use When A Doctor Isn’t Taking You Seriously

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  By Erin Migdol in The Mighty.   When you have an illness that is invisible, complex and/or difficult to treat, that sometimes translates into challenging experiences with doctors. While there are many kind, compassionate doctors out there who are willing to put in the time to figure out your health issues, unfortunately many in […]

9 Relatable Comics That Nail What It’s Like To Have Chronic Illness

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      By Michelle Levy in The Mighty.   Getting sick is no laughing matter, but it often takes humor to be able to get through the ups and downs of chronic illness. While some of these comics make us laugh out loud in pained affirmation, mostly they raise awareness of chronic illness, and […]

How My Life Has Changed Since I Developed ME/CFS

Life Changing Event

  By Lisa Alioto in The Mighty.   When I was me… I always greeted you with a smile. I may have tried to say something funny to put a smile on your face and I was always excited about whatever plans we had for the day. When I was me… I worked out. Sweaty, […]

The Struggle To Balance Between Resting And Using Energy When You’re Chronically Sick

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  By Chelsea Morris in The Mighty.   Balance! How do we achieve it? I think for any human being balance is very difficult. But for those of us with chronic pain and disease it seems to be even harder. I wake up one day and feel actually pretty good. So I want to accomplish more than […]

18 Songs That Were Written About Chronic Illness

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    By Paige Wyant in The Mighty.   Music is often a source of comfort and emotional healing. Many people with chronic illness in particular find that certain songs or genres can be powerful in helping distract them from symptoms and cope with all the stresses and frustrations of life with a health condition. For Mighty […]

When Illness Makes You Give Up The Commitments And Activities You Love

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  By Lexie in The Mighty.   I just made one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Many of you can relate to my story. I’ve seen countless doctors, integrative general practitioners, naturopaths, chiropractors, and specialists over the last few years. When they couldn’t explain my symptoms, they diagnosed me with chronic […]

When People Judge Me For Not Working Because Of My Chronic Pain

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  By Lauren in The Mighty.   A “friend” recently said to me, “I may have a guy for you.” She knows I’m single and have been looking for someone special for a while now. We spoke over the phone and she asked, “What do you do? What do you keep busy with? I just […]

Why I Think ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ Is The Worst Name Ever

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    By Adele Paul in The Mighty.   Imagine the following conversation… Friend: Heard you weren’t feeling well lately? Me: You could say that. Friend: So you’re just tired all the time? Me: Yeah, and a few other things… Friend: Girl, I hear ya. When I got back from Hawaii in January, it took me […]

The ‘Activity Hangover’ I Experience Because of Chronic Illness

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  By Heather Wallace in The Mighty.   As someone who has recently moved to a new town and is trying to figure things out and find my groove, I have been out a lot more than I usually am, and I am paying for it. Having fibromyalgia means things are different for me now. Planning on going […]

21 People Describe What Sensory Overload Feels Like

Sensory

  By Melissa McGlensey in The Mighty.   Sensory overload happens when too much sensory stimulus is occurring at once — it can be triggered by a crowded room, a TV turned up too loud, strong aromas, fluorescent lighting — or a hundred other things. It’s often associated with certain diagnoses like autism, sensory processing disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic […]

Struggling To Accept The Days When Illness Keeps Me From Doing Anything

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  By Sally Doherty in The Mighty. I’ve had some of those awful days recently (they happen now and then, and more often than I’d like). You know the type: days when instead of your bed being somewhere that you go to rest, your bed becomes a prison that you can barely get out of. […]

We Cannot Continue To Let Doctors ‘Gaslight’ Chronic Illness Patients

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    By Siobhan Simper in The Mighty.   Author’s warning: This post contains experiences of gaslighting and abuse. Recently, I saw an all-too-common meme on social media: the inspirational disabled person. The image was of a Paralympic horse rider, with the caption, “no excuses.” Much has been written about the problematic nature of disability “inspiration porn.” What shocked me was when I […]

What My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Actually Feels Like

Vagus Nerve

    By Aanchal Chopra in The Mighty.   I have moderate chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and this is my own experience. Others may have different symptoms or manifestations because every individual is different. But this is a glimpse into what my life with CFS actually feels like. Living with CFS — or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) — is like swimming […]

When You Can’t Stop Mourning The Person You Were Before Chronic Illness

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By Jamie Janinski in The Mighty.   Four years ago, I went to my doctor complaining of excessive tiredness and having so much pain in my hands that I couldn’t squeeze my shampoo bottle while showering. Four years ago, I received a call telling me I needed to see a rheumatologist right away because my […]

12 Things That Happen When You Have A Chronic Illness

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  By Ally Teixeira in The Mighty.   Having a chronic illness isn’t easy. All of us chronically ill warriors may feel alone, but we all have a lot in common! Here are 12 things that happen when you’re chronically ill. You know you have a chronic illness when… 1. Doing your hair feels like some serious […]

When Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Feels Like An Energy-Sucking Vampire

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    By Caitlin Phillips-Peddlesden in The Mighty.   Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) fatigue. The invisible illness vampire. The blood- (or energy-) sucking beast ever at your shoulder, teeth in your neck. CFS fatigue is invisible. Many people with CFS have no visibly discernible symptoms. Only the bags under our eyes point to the constant torture people […]

To People With Invisible Illnesses, From A Paramedic Who Didn’t Believe You

Invisible Illness

  By Ashley in The Mighty.   I’ve been a paramedic on and off for 10 years now. I’ve seen the good and the bad — probably more bad than good, but I’ve opened my eyes to something different. I’ve seen people in Facebook groups post about how health care professionals treat people with invisible illnesses poorly because they […]

If Your Chronic Illness Is Making You Want to Give Up

Frustration Chronic Illness

  By Candida Reece in The Mighty. Having a chronic illness can mean life can be rough. It means going to the store with only one sock on because you didn’t want to go through the pain to find the other one; or maybe your shirt is inside out, or you have two different shoes, or clothes […]

5 Reasons We Should Never Assume Someone Isn’t In Pain

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      By Christina Carrell in The Mighty.   I was sitting in one of those canvas painting classes, waving a paintbrush back and forth in a very amateur attempt to recreate Monet’s “Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lillies” (spoiler: I’m not an artist and the end result bore little resemblance to the […]

Why People With Chronic Illness Can’t Simply ‘Push Through’

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  By Alicia Thompson in The Mighty.   It never ceases to frustrate me to realize how pervasive the “Just Do It” culture is. Whenever I discuss my physical limitations with others, I’m often met with the suggestion that I simply need to “push through.” Which leaves me wondering, what does this phrase really mean […]

To Those Who Say Chronically Ill People Are ‘So Lucky’ Not To Work Full-Time

Chronic Illness

  By Alexandra Ellen in The Mighty.   Have you ever had the “joy” of experiencing a conversation similar to this on a Sunday afternoon? “What time do you start work tomorrow?” “Ummm, I don’t work on Mondays.” “Ahhh, you’re so lucky!” I lost count of the number of times I’ve had similar conversations. I […]

How To Move Forward When You’re Grieving Your Life Before Chronic Illness

Chronic

  By Paige Wyant in The Mighty.   When many people hear the word “grief,” what often comes to mind are the complex emotions a person experiences in the wake of a loved one’s death. Though this is certainly an accurate representation of grief, it is by no means the only one. Grief is much […]

21 People Describe What Sensory Overload Feels Like

Sensory

  By Melissa McGlensey in The Mighty.   Sensory overload happens when too much sensory stimulus is occurring at once — it can be triggered by a crowded room, a TV turned up too loud, strong aromas, fluorescent lighting — or a hundred other things. It’s often associated with certain diagnoses like autism, sensory processing disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress […]

The ‘Energy Bubble’ Analogy That Can Help Explain Pacing With A Chronic Illness

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    By Christina Baltais in The Mighty.   Pacing is about energy conservation, both physical and emotional. When you’re living with a chronic illness, it’s an essential skill for preventing flare-ups or “crashes.” This “energy bubble analogy” can be useful to help you visualize and understand the limits of your energy, and help you explain them […]

We Need To Stop Talking About Chronic Illness In This Particular Way

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  By Annie M. In The Mighty.   Have you ever noticed how people talk about illness, even mild illnesses like colds? We often say we are fighting them. We battle colds and fight the flu. We call our friends with scary medical conditions “warriors,” and we encourage them in their “battle” against their illness. It’s true […]

14 Things People May Not Realize We Do Because Of Sudden Flare-Ups

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  By Cassidy Colbert in The Mighty.   Living life with a chronic illness is basically living life constantly walking on eggshells. One day you may be bouncing off the walls because you are so full of energy and the next you are lying on the cool bathroom floor — your only source of relief from the agonizing […]

Dealing With Anger Now That I Have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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  By Jamison Hill in The Mighty.   I love to break things. Yeah, I know, who doesn’t? But I get such a satisfying feeling when I break something. Maybe not a bone, or a really expensive gadget, but breaking something cheap and discardable is satisfying to me. Very satisfying! In 2011, after I was sick for […]

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