Sometimes it's necessary to retreat. To lick our wounds and admit we are fragile.
Lately, I have had to do just that. I had a birthday at the beginning of the month and have gone downhill markedly since then. I am confined to bed much more than I was previously (and even previously it was a lot!), I am unable to take care of my daily 'maintenance' tasks such as washing etc. I haven't had the strength to write to many of those who were kind enough to send birthday gifts and cards. I haven't had the strength to go back to see my doctor or to have the remaining blood tests done. I haven't even had the strength to have a telephone conversation with my own mother for the past three weeks.
I have had to abandon thinking about anyone other than myself. I haven't been able to do any work on the projects I was hoping would benefit the M.E. community and I haven't been able to support fellow sufferers in the various groups I am a member of. I haven't had the strength to take my pills some days.
All of this isn't said to gain any pity. I think there is a larger point I want to make. Actually, there are two, maybe even three!
Firstly, the personal aspect. A lot of my sense of self worth has always been dependent on my output. On what I achieve and on what I can provide others with. I am largely a rescuer by nature - trying to intercept and fix problems. The past few weeks have taught me how damaging that is to my health. I literally have the energy supply of someone who has congestive heart failure and yet I'm beating myself up for not being more supportive of others. That can't be healthy, if you excuse the pun.
Which takes me onto the second, more general, point. For all of you reading this - whether sick or healthy - do you also need to consider whether you are looking after yourself enough? I'm guessing the answer is "yes" for most of you. Please give it some thought as health is so very valuable, I realise that now. And, even if you are sick, the current level of health you have, however low, is also to be cherished and protected. Don't let well-meaning personality traits take that health away.
And finally, the PACE trials that have managed to generate so much worldwide publicity. Why is it that the mainsteam media are able to ignore most of the scandal and the meaningful biomedical research on the subject of M.E. but are so willing to swallow the dishonesty provided by a bunch of UK psychiatrists and a study that any fool can pick apart with ease? I must admit, I lifted my head off the pillow on the day the news hit, looked around me with despair at how widely it was being reported, wrote a grouchy post on Facebook and went back to sleep. So depressing. My guess is that the only way to counter this is to win the PR war. For that is what this is, in my view. The truth has become irrelevant. Most of the world take, without question, what they hear in the mainstream media as gospel. Only by accessing that powerful influencer of the masses will we be able to fight back.