In the third of the Community Reports Series we ask what “what in the midst of chronic fatigue syndrome enriches your life”?
From walks with the dog, to working out in the gym, to eating half a tub of ice cream (or just a bowl for god’s sake), taking trips to the movies, vacations, nights out with family and friends, most of us have had to give up activities that gave us pleasure and helped take away the stresses of the day.
Take the loss of work. We complain about having to go to work and we love to talk about how bad it is, but the truth is that work can also be important refuge, a place where we can immerse ourselves in something else for a time. Alot of people don’t have that refuge anymore.
Even if the drug for chronic fatigue syndrome was discovered tomorrow it would be years before it would become available and that means that most of us are probably going to be stuck with this disorder for some time and that suggests we might as well start to getting good at making it as pleasurable as possible. Dr. Friedberg, a psychologist with ME/CFS, has recommended that people with ME/CFS actively search for ways to get more pleasure in life.
Don’t laugh. Depression is rife in chronic illnesses and if you’re not actually clinically depressed I imagine you’re not feeling too rosy about things in general. (How could you?) It’s natural to feel down when you have a chronic illness and it can take work to feel otherwise.
I remember reading a story of how the great pianist Arthur Rubinstein; crippled and rheumatic, late in life, would become transformed into a graceful being once he started playing the piano. Being ‘in the zone’ helped him enormously with his pain and fatigue.
What, if anything, gets you into the ‘zone’. What gets you out of chronic fatigue syndrome? What provides relief? What, if anything, do you do to treat yourself?
In a nutshell the questions is
What in the midst of chronic fatigue syndrome have you found that enriches your life?
Maybe there’s not much…maybe it’s some really small things or maybe you’ve found a real refuge from the worries, pains and problems of ME/CFS. Whatever it is, please let us know what enriches your life; it could help enrich others lives as well.