People ask me how I do it, how I cope with feeling awful day after day for such a prolongued period. I genuinely don't know. It's sink or swim stuff and I guess I just don't want to sink.
But sometimes I wonder if my focus is all wrong. I don't feel sorry for myself, but I feel overwhelming sadness for my friends with M.E whose lives have been torn apart like mine has. I feel so upset for them being young and missing out on everything that normal youngsters do. Losing their jobs, their cars, their independence. I see them being strong and it inspires me. But I do not see myself in the same way. I am just me, getting on with things, taking each day at a time. Why would anyone be sad for me? I'm fine!
Self-pity is very far down the list for me. I feel guilt for putting my family through the stress and worry of seeing me so unwell and having to care for me. I feel sad for them to have to see their wife/ daughter/ sister/ auntie/ grand-daughter/ friend so helpless and needy. I feel sorry for abandoning the children I taught and sadness at how easily I was forgotten and replaced.
I worry all the time. I worry about how my parents are coping. I worry about if my husband is getting enough rest. I worry about what people think when I say I will do something and then cancel. I worry about my friends and what they think of me. I don't really worry about myself, because if I started I wouldn't know how to stop.
I hold it all together for as long as I can when I'm with others, hiding the pain and discomfort until they are gone, saving it all up for when I am on my own and can rest and recover.
How can I feel sorry for myself when I'm so busy worrying about everyone else? Don't worry about me, I'm fine.