I'm still HappyBarnet but recently my ME has reintroduced me to SleepyBarnet....I'm not quite so keen on her!
Chronic Fatigue (aka ME or Post Viral Fatigue) is one of many invisible conditions out there. It's thought around 250,000 people in Britain are affected by this illness (I guess it's nice to know I'm not alone!) but it's still not very well understood which makes it extra challenging for those who haven't experienced it to wrap their head around what it really means.
For me, although my ME is nowhere near as bad as it once was, it can still come back to bite me every now and then and recently I've been reminded just how overwhelming that can feel and more importantly how incredibly lucky I am that, when it does, I have people around me who understand what it means, what I need and what they can do.
So to my friends, and to those helping others fighting against the all consuming monster that is fatigue, here are some thank yous I'd like to share:
Thank you for understanding why I cancelled on you....AGAIN
I know it can be last minute or might not make sense when I managed something the day before but thank you for knowing I wanted to be there and didn't have a choice.
Thank you for continuing to invite me to things
Thank you for not giving up on me and knowing that if I can I'll always be there.
Thank you for sending that message to let me know I don't need to worry.
I'll still feel bad for letting you down, so it's nice to hear you tell me it's okay and you understand. It means I can switch off and rest.
Thank you for knowing when I'm just not myself
I know sometimes you can tell just looking at me or if I've gone very quiet. It means a lot that you know that version of me, isn't the real me.
Thank you for knowing sometimes I need quiet and sometimes I need your energy
It's so great that I can let you know what I need and you accept it even if it can seem contradictory at times. You know sometimes I can kick-start myself again by feeding off your conversation and energy and other times it can all just be too much to cope with.
And to those who talk openly about their experience of fatigue....
Thank you for sharing when you feel the same
I read your updates and blogs about fatigue and I've seen your comments on mine saying you really do get it and I know you do. It makes the world of difference to know I'm not alone.
One of the reasons I started this blog was to be more open about my experiences with conditions like fatigue. I appreciate they won't be the same for everyone else and for posts like this I hope you understand all I can really do is share what I know myself. I will share more soon but in the meantime if there's something you'd like to ask, or an experience you'd like to share, please feel free to post in the comments below.
And now, I'm off to rest up for a bit.
Love, as always, Barnet x