For those of you who don't have the time to read it, here is a very little snippet:
This snipped horrified me. It made me stop in my tracks. You're probably wondering what illness this Jenny has. She has M.E. The same disability that I have.Jenny is still alive [this is the most positive statement that we can issue]. She is just battling to survive every day, putting all her energies in trying to get enough food down her throat each day. This takes so much out of her and weakens her a lot, but is the most basic thing you have to do to stay alive: eat and drink. The rest of the time she has to lie completely still in order to be able to do this.
Lately I have been feeling down, hard done by, unlucky and generally angry at my situation. Why has this happened to me? Why can't I live a normal life? (For those of you who don't know, I have had M.E. for 8 years now, but it is only recently that it's changed my life. In the past 6 weeks I've managed to leave our flat once. In my wheelchair. For just over an hour.)
And then I read those words. I've always been aware that I am 'lucky', in the fact that until now, I've been able to lead a relatively normal life. Even now, I know that I can do quite a bit more than many with severe M.E. Yet it is so easy for me to forget how lucky I am. I have been blinded by what I can't do, to what I can do.
I don't know Jenny. But I know I owe it to her and to everyone else living (if you can call it that) like her due to chronic disabilities, to not forget how lucky I am. I can still get up everyday. I can write. I can sew. I can read. I can watch T.V. I can make myself food (most of the time).
M.E. is real. It is not a mental disorder. While it may effect our mental capacities, it also affects our physical existence. M.E. sufferers are not delusional. We are not making it up. I am yet to meet anyone with M.E. who doesn't wish they could have a full-time job, and a family, and a normal life. I often wish I was making it up. I wish I was lazy. I wish I could sit at home doing nothing, not caring that I am not contributing to the world. But I'm not and I can't.
And I really have nothing else to say right now. I am horrified. I know that my first thoughts when I read about Jenny were entirely selfish. My first thought was - I hope that doesn't happen to me. But I also know that there is nothing I can do if it does happen to me. I just hope I will have the strength to believe that life will get better. Right now, I'm thinking of Jenny and the millions of others trapped inside their homes, their beds, their bodies. And I hope you will spend a minute thinking of them too. Because I know that they all appreciate it. I know because I am now one of them.
If you didn't read the post I linked to - please click here and read it now.