t’s not the sort of anniversary I should really be taking note of, but I’m reminded every year as the anniversary of the day I became ill falls around four family birthdays.
I started to feel ill at a Saturday night birthday party then attempted to go to work on the Monday but I couldn’t go more than 5 minutes before I knew I had to turn around. It was a steady decline of health from then. Six months on I was diagnosed with ME / chronic fatigue syndrome. He we are, 6 years later. The prognosis at the time looked grim, and maybe I’m not cured, but I have a husband and two wonderful boys to show for it.
At the time I felt like my life had been taken away. Now I see, my life merely changed. Where ME / chronic fatigue syndrome takes away, it also gives.
ME took away:
-Running, dancing, exercising, walking long distances.
-My brain and ability to study, formulate what I want to say, think straight.
-A head and body free from pain, aches, nausea, tingles.
-Having fun (or doing anything) without paying for it with bad health after.
ME gives me:
-The chance to work out my problems and calm myself down without needing distractions.
-The opportunity to find happiness from within, regardless of anything outside.
-A lesson in putting myself and my health first to benefit my family and friends in the long run.
-Knowledge of my body, it’s limitations and the ability to listen to it, know what’s good for it and how to manage it.
-Time to spend with the people I love most and who love me.
-People who have shown their true worth and love through selfless service, compassion, understanding and just being there even though I can’t give back.
-The possibility to take leaps of faith and trust in my feelings.
-A knowledge of a higher power that lightens my burdens when they get too hard and knows my needs.
These lists aren’t extensive, there’s more to each of them. Yet it’s easy to see from looking at them the gifts I’ve been given through this experience are far more valuable than what has been taken away. I still have faith and a hope that I will get better, and I’ll be a better person because of this.