I haven't talked about this very openly in recent years as I honestly never thought I'd be back here again. When I was 17 I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. I was sick for a number of years and gradually regained a measure of health and went on with my life. Over the past six months, I have been in a state of relapse and am now struggling with something I thought would be a distant memory.
There is a lot of stigma associated with these conditions. Some people, doctors included, feel that these disorders are predominantly psychosomatic. And if you've been following my blog, you may think the same thing. Sometimes, I even wonder myself. It's difficult to sort out what the mind causes and what other factors cause. There are seemingly a million factors that contribute to health or ill health and I have no idea how to make sense of it all.
It's true that I've had a lot of stress to deal with in the past few years. Yet, my body just doesn't seem to respond to stress in a normal fashion. Exercise makes me feel worse, not better. I can sleep for 12 hours and still wake up feeling like I haven't slept at all. Even on days where I mentally feel confident, happy and peaceful I still feel exhausted and if I even go out for a walk, I'm likely to wake up feeling completely floored the next morning.
The first time around with these conditions, I derived some comfort from my illusory beliefs in God and the hope that one day all my pain would be taken away. No such comfort any more. So, on top of everything else I'm dealing with, the reality of having a chronic illness just gets added on to the pile. It's a lot for one tall penguin to deal with.
I did come across something today that I found inspiring. One of my favorite bands is Belle & Sebastian. My boyfriend got me hooked on them and I saw them live about a year ago. In researching Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) I found out that the lead singer, Stuart Murdoch, was down with CFS for 7 years. And it was during that time that he began writing. On emerging from the illness, he started Belle & Sebastian, and well, the rest is history.
Kind of makes me feel like my blog is possibly a doorway to bigger things. Maybe?