It was suggested I write this as if it was ‘Chronic Fatigue’, the illness speaking.
I’m your constant companion. I’m always with you and want your full attention. You see, I like to be centre stage. I’ve sapped your energy and weakened your muscles, so that you can’t work properly or enjoy the things you used to. Like going on walks with friends and social activities and things normal people do. There were times when you even thought you would end up in a wheelchair. I’ve watched some of your friends fall away, one by one, because they didn’t understand that you couldn’t keep up with them.
You are getting to know me quite well although I’ve plenty of tricks up my sleeve to get you puzzled. But others don’t understand me, even your doctor doesn’t know what to do for you, except offer pills to ease the pain. You’ve tried extra vitamins, diets and exercise regimes and they didn’t do any good.
I really don’t like it though, when you ignore me, but I have special ways of getting your attention. At the end of the day when your head is aching and every muscle in your body hurts, I whisper sweet nothings in your ear, like “It’s helpless!” or “You’ll never get through!” or “No one cares!” In the night I make my presence known so you don’t get much sleep. If you do drift off I sometimes wake you up drenched in perspiration and feeling chilled, so you wonder what’s happening. Just for good measure, when you do get out of bed, I fog your mind so you can’t think straight and forget things. My speciality is to knock out your temperature control – you call it your thermostat – so you feel you are either going to boil over or freeze to death.
I do worry at times when you start to get stronger and think you are getting better. I have to come in then with a big surprise and knock you down, so you are right back to the beginning again. That throws you, I’ve even heard you cry. The problem is you don’t take it lying down. You get up and start over.
Some people think I’m a control freak, but that’s not true. I just like to be in charge.
I want you for myself and so you feel lonely and afraid. I don’t like it when you spend time with others who know me, I can see that helps you. What I really hate is when you talk to this special friend of yours. I don’t know who he is, I’ve never seen him, but you call him “God!” or “Father” or other names like that. He seems to make you happy and contented. Even when you are very fatigued and weak you seem to have some sort of energy inside. It’s strange, because you get some strength from him to do things that you thought impossible. I really don’t understand that and it leaves me feeling left out and powerless.
So I’ll just bide my time. There must be a way to win this battle.