The "Roller Coaster Emotional Ride" of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome

CFS will fracture and splinter your liveliness and spirit. Every aspect of your life that you worked so hard to accomplish and perfect has been obliterated in contracting this sickness. It is arduous to keep looking forward and try to be positive when there is so much negativity to confront in having to cope with living this type of adjusted life style. Your emotions will rebound from one day to the next. You have to sustain some kind of delicate balance to the internal struggle that you now face on your roller coaster ride with this illness. The senses of loss, deprivation, anguish, and pain combine to create an unbearable, agonizing perception of the new life that you have to participate in not out of your own choosing.

There is no plausible end in sight for the upheavals and struggles that you have to defy either as a direct result of having chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome or as an indirect consequence from the people in your life who can't seem to manage living with you and/or the syndrome. There appears to be no true compassion or empathy from the majority of your family and/or friends. When they realize that you aren't recovering as fast as they want you to, the few sympathetic ones quickly run out of patience. The inevitable acknowledgment that this disease is truly chronic indicating you will be ill for months or years on end is too long of a time period to inconvenience their lives. These constant disruptive "battles" with them will wear at you little by little and your self-esteem will plummet further and further with every bout. Your precious energy is steadily used up in having to contend with all of these petty inconsistencies. You will find yourself wondering if there be anyone along this CFIDS journey who will be supportive, nurturing, and temporarily place your requirements for love and acceptance before his own needs.

Thinking or planning anything for your future is mythical. Living with this syndrome forces you into functioning on a day by day basis and its dominance is in the present. Any life tenets or beliefs that you compiled in the past are no longer applicable to your present set of circumstances. Your past life is in your yesterdays when you were well. The uncertain future holds many vacillations and doubts. You wonder how you can begin to cope with the actuality that all of your dreams and goals for your future have been whisked away because of this illness. It seems so unfair and unkind that this situation happened to you. All you can feel is anger, grief, frustration, and a sense of loss melding together-eroding all remnants of who you once were.

Once you apprehend that no doctor has any answers to explain your condition, you will find yourself questioning the Source to try and get direct answers from the only entity who truly knows why you became ill with chronic fatigue syndrome. You will be determined to seek out some kind of justification to explain why this occurrence happened to you and not someone else. There has to be a reason why it was you and not another. What did you do to ever deserve suffering through so much sickness and loss? Why did this situation with this disease happen at the point in your life where you finally thought you had a grasp on where your life was headed? How can you feel so many negative emotions all at once? Are you going to have any sense of normalcy in your life ever again?

After you have exhausted yourself and used up all of your precious energy searching for the truth and some vestige of justice in life, you will eventually return to the same sensations that you initially felt-anger, grief, frustration, and a sense of loss. But, a new one will arise inside of you as well. A fear of the future. . . your future. You will ponder what your future holds for you now you are ill and where will this path of disease lead you. What will be the "costs" along the way of being sick? What and who will be waiting for me at the end of this CFS journey?

All of these queries indicate how fearful you are of your unpredictable unsure future. It is permissible to be apprehensive when there is not much that you can count on as a stable foundation to build prospective goals. You won't feel any more secure or positive about using your varied past experiences as a foundation for your future. There has been so much deleted and eliminated from your life that trying to feel objective about what good things could be waiting in your impending future appears to be unnerving. Every time that you consider what the future holds for you, an overall dread surfaces because there is no indicator that this syndrome will end on a positive note. It is very difficult to perceive an enlightening future that does contain joy and happiness when you are so overwhelmed with the negativity of the past and present.

Be prepared to lose your self-confidence because you will feel that there is nothing that you can do any more without getting extremely frustrated. Some of what you used to do is no longer possible since you can't function within the same previous life parameters. The idea that all you used to be able to accomplish has somehow been eliminated or eradicated out of your life and that you are now only capable of minimal survival within a limited environment is almost unbearable at times. How can you begin to feel good about yourself when at every turn in your chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome journey you meet with another disappointment or frustration? How can you feel worthy about who you are now when every external indicator you have encountered in your adjusted life shows that you are less of a person than you used to be because you are ill? Why should you feel wonderful about you when everyone you have contact with treats you with silent contempt and frustration?

Enduring this disease seems to be a continual test of personal courage and emotional stamina. You, as a person, have not changed or altered way deep down inside of yourself. It is a fact that you have to learn to adapt to this disease out of necessity, not out of choice. You are the same individual that you have always been, just stronger and more in tuned to your body and its requirements. Who you are as a person is still ingrained in the core part of your personality and shines through the confusion and frustration of being chronically ill. It is just that your "light" isn't as bright as it used to be before you became sick.

Nevertheless, others may perceive you as being different or altered from who you were as compared to who you project to be now. In many regards, you have changed and the most obvious to them is in the way you express yourself and your demands in being ill. This change in character is what other people see as modified in you. Can you remember how you used to be the caregiver for everyone else's needs before you became ill? Remember how you used to put everyone's requests before your own welfare and the way you would drain yourself of all energy to fulfill other people's petitions? You never really said anything about how you were really feeling inside about their selfishness. You kept your thoughts and feelings to yourself and continually satisfied everyone, except for you. You rarely demanded anything from others because you felt that if they wanted to do anything for you, they would do it out of the love that they had for you. This premise of not having to ask for help and that other individuals should want to do for you may have been your old philosophy of silent communication with all the people in your life. There were no confrontations or discussions of how much your good nature were being taken advantage of from one day to the next. Now that you are requesting some understanding, empathy, and help from them, they are at a loss in how to respond to you and your inquiries. It is easier and more acceptable for these individuals to see you as changed or altered in some way as compared to acknowledging that they were selfish and self-centered in expecting so much from you. They may or may not be aware of how much that they had demanded and expected from you before you were ill. Either way, these people have confronted the "changed" you and aren't very comfortable in providing any sustenance for you or your demands.The harsh reality for you is to see that it was agreeable for you to help them with no conditions or restrictions. Yet, now that you are asking something from them, they don't wish to satisfy your requests. You face the solemn actuality that their love for you is conditional and totally self-motivated. The end result to this silent disclosure is that you can't help but feel that you were used when you were healthier and are not worth anything to any of them now that you are ill with CFIDS.

There is another kind of devastating emotional loss in suffering with this syndrome. The different kinds of gratification that you used to have with your spouse or significant other are now close to nothing. You can no longer feel the happiness and sheer joy that you used to feel being in your mate's arms. He seems to regard you differently from one day to the next. There are days when your companion dotes over you and loves you unconditionally and then there are times when he repels you and makes it clear that he can't wait to get away from you and/or your illness. This quavering sense of loyalty that your mate has for you causes sensations of misgiving inside of you. Can you truly believe in your heart that the love you once had for each other will survive this bout with chronic fatigue syndrome or can it be that this disease has already in some way destroyed the love that you once had for one another? The intimacy that existed in your relationship appears to have almost vanished along with everything else in your life that you worked so hard to accomplish. Your mate doesn't want to have any type of sensual contact with you because there is almost an unspoken expression of distaste and fear in being close to you at all. The sex life you used to enjoy and revel in is now non-existent. You are very cognizant to his or her dislike for the way you physically look since you have been ill. Your spouse is too afraid, angry, and frustrated to be close. . . to be intimate. . . to be loving. Part of this rejection could stem from a silent condemnation that you are somehow at fault for making yourself sick and causing so much chaos in your lives. Yes, your worlds have been turned upside down and inside out but not because of you or anything you did or didn't do. The root of the problem is with the syndrome, not you. He may be aware of this actuality, but refuses to disassociate you from your illness. It is almost as if your spouse perceives you and the disease as being one in the same. You can't help but wonder if he sees you as being the reason there is a black cloud of misery hanging over your lives.

The fear of catching CFS from intimate contact could be another factor. The lack of accountable data or misinformation in how the viruses are transferred from one person to another could be fueling his inability to disassociate chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome from AIDS. You can't help but sense his fears. The idea begins to conceptualize that you are carrying some destructive transmittable disease that can ruin people's lives even though you know that this supposition isn't true. He may blame you for shattering all of your hopes and dreams as a couple and family. All of the plans that you made for your present and future are no longer schemes that you can justifiably see to their conclusions. They may even have to be nipped in the bud of creation. Your mate may remind you in an outright way by verbalizing his anger and frustrations in not being able to conduct your lives in a "normal" way. Your loved one could also opt to be silent exhibit body language, and a non-caring attitude that shows you he is not happy with the destruction that is occurring as a result of you being ill. It doesn't really matter what his reason is behind the repulsion that is directed at you. Having a spouse with this attitude can make you feel that you are less of a man or woman because you can't sustain the image of what your mate desires and wants you to be as a lover and companion. These feelings are a major blow to the essence of who you are and what you felt attracted your mate to you in the first place. No matter how much you seem to profess that this disease is not a result of anything that you have done to yourself or him, you can't help but feel that you are somehow at fault for the possibility of an impending disintegration of your relationship. You may find yourself becoming hesitant in discussing your feelings with your companion because you get the direct message that what you have to say doesn't really count or matter much any more. It seems that ever since you have become ill, you get the impression that what you have to contribute or say is not as important as it used to be. Your relationship has altered into something where there is little discussion of how you feel and what your needs are in the alliance. Everything seems to be focused more around the illness and how it affects your mate as compared to how you are surviving with it as a major portion of your life and how CFIDS directly influences you. Furthermore, how can you confess your true outlooks and emotions with someone who is so out of touch with what you need now that you are ill? Will he or she honestly listen and be concerned about what you are really feeling? The odds are against it-especially if he or she is wrapped up in being so self-centered and distant.

While you are suffering with this syndrome, your children can be the source of great displeasure and disappointment as well as a lot of joy and satisfaction. They may not be able to totally comprehend what an ordeal living with this disease is for you and how much you will have to sacrifice for yourself in order to maintain the order of life that they are used to living. It is normal for children to want and need satisfaction from their parent and/or parents. However, you aren't capable of providing a total sustenance for them any longer without directly suffering yourself. You don't have the energy to work, to clean house, to take them places and to have fun playing with them any longer. You can't cook meals or be involved in any major family oriented activities. Out of necessity, they can and will learn to live around you now that you are sick with this syndrome, but may slowly shun you in the process. If you can't provide for them, they may conceptualize that you no longer serve a direct purpose in their lives and will find no need to continue a close knit relationship with you. Even though you have no doubts that they do love you very much, you end up feeling very disposable as a parent and a person. They won't be able to understand how much this illness is eroding your beliefs and stabilities in life. Children tend to live in the present and future and don't concern themselves much with the past except for when they want to emphasize and benefit from the justification of a past issue. The idea that you used to be able to do many things with them and that you can no longer officiate as a parent warrants their neglectful attitudes and behaviors as being permissible and acceptable. They don't and won't want to be bothered with what you are coping with, how much you have lost in your life, or all of the emotions that are feeling along the way. Their concerns may only be for when you will stop being sick (as if you have some magical control over when the chronic fatigue syndrome will go dormant!) and when will you be able to start doing for them again. Their insights will be limited and very self-serving with no true concern for your feelings and emotions. Your role of provider is dominant in their minds, not the reality that you are a sick person who should be honored and respected as being their parent.

Your family's attitudes could be very similar to your children and spouse's viewpoints. Their only true concerns could be for when and what you can no longer provide in your relationship with them. There could be concern for you and what you are living with, but there is more overall energy focused on their agendas getting filled. The image that you are appearing to project to others isn't necessarily how you are actually feeling about this particular set of circumstances. Contending with all of these skeptical attitudes can make you feel as if you are a human bottle with many nipples all over your body so that everyone can keep sucking every ounce of energy out of you to fulfill their own needs with no consideration for "refilling" you. The contention that family should be there to help you and your immediate family for the duration is not a believable allegation.

You will also experience another loss which will illicit an emotional upheaval within you. The enjoyment of your home and your leisure time that you had around the house no longer exists. Leisure time becomes bed or couch time because any break that you have from sleeping is your only opportunity to having any pleasant interactions within your home. CFS could keep you bedridden for a long time and in that time everyone's life in the household will focus around activity. You are no longer able to keep up with the movement around the home and can be eventually eliminated from participation in specific activities. At times, it could be that your loved ones are being sensitive to your predicament and are not intentionally inviting you out of respect for your illness. At other times, they are just too fed up with you not being able to do anything that they want and it is easier to not deal with you at all. You start to feel as if you are a burden and a stranger in your own home. The family's neglect and omissions say something to you without anyone saying a word. You begin to think that you are better off keeping yourself occupied and not expecting anyone to be sensitive to your needs to be included and wanted as a family member. Before chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, you found simple delight and pride in keeping your home clean and decorated to your liking. Now, with this disability, you can no longer manage to sustain the environmental image that you once relished in as pleasurable and enjoyable. How can you attempt to keep your home pleasant when it takes every ounce of energy to just get out of bed? The idea of washing the bedding and curtains, exchanging the room's accessories in different areas, or cleaning the carpet or flooring is unrealizable and impossible. You are confined to this area for a major portion of your days and nights. It is very difficult to constantly observe all of the dirt and litter that surrounds you. Your family may not see your environment as being an important component to you getting well and could care less if the home is neat and clean. There is no priority for them to doing anything to improve your surroundings. You begin to sense that you can't be very special to your family if no one cares enough to at least make your climate more pleasant and health inducing. How can you not feel anything but frustration, anger, and disgust for yourself in this situation? You can't help the set of circumstances that you find yourself living within. The actuality that you can't make others sensitive or empathetic to your needs is a hard one to face. It can seem that your own family and friends have abandoned you at the time when you need them the most. It is like your entire world has crashed down around you. The tumbling, crumbling sensation seems to never end. Every portion of your life seems too impossible to deal with.

The dreaded visits to the physician can cause a variety of emotions to surface as well. When you go to a doctor, you expect that she will be able to notice and concede that you are ill. It makes logical sense that you aren't going to waste your energy, time and money to go to see her if indeed there is nothing wrong with you. You are very sick and require her services in diagnosing and aiding you back to recovery. In the process of searching for answers to this puzzling dilemma called CFIDS, you immediately detect that your specialist has no idea to what is bothering you and has no clue to what this syndrome is or how to diagnose it. You will instantaneously wonder if you are indeed imagining your symptoms and begin to doubt yourself when there is no indication of any diagnosis. However, you do know that you are truly ill and that just because no one physician can discover what is wrong, it doesn't mean that you aren't sick. Exasperation and annoyance surface and you may feel that you are never going to find anyone who can help you. As a result of the many visits to many medical practitioners and the constant insinuations that you are not really sick, your self-image will dwindle down to practically nothing. How can you feel good about yourself when you look and internally feel so lousy? Having doctors tell you that you aren't ill only creates more stress and anxiety which in turn makes you feel very bad about yourself. You are perplexed because you just can't cope with being sick any longer. You just want to find out what's wrong with you and to have someone figure out what the cause and cure is to this condition that can't be diagnosed. Why doesn't anyone know what is wrong? Is it just that they do know and aren't being honest with you about having a fatal disease?

Feelings of melancholy can arise and create a sense of hopelessness, negligence, and depression. You can't help but feel downhearted and disheartened. There is so much sadness in realizing that you are going to be sick for a long length of time with no actual hope for a pain-free, healthy future. No one, not even your physician, appears to actually know anything concrete about the viral onslaught and can't even offer any substantial advice in discovering the cause or cure. It is hard enough to fight off these depressing emotions without having a doctor, family member, or friend stating that these feelings are the actual root of your sickness. You know better than they do. These reactive, responsive emotions are the result of feeling so helpless and frustrated with your adjusted life style and having no substantial information about chronic fatigue syndrome. They are not the basis for why you are ill. Why is it that you aren't allowed to have these types of feelings? Is there some kind of law that states that you can't be a little down or perplexed whenever you feel like it because you live within the boundaries of a chronic illness? You will wish that others could feel how it is to agonize with CFS for just one day and then see how much they would complain or infer that you were "imagining" this disease. They would be equally downhearted and frustrated and maybe they would begin to understand what trials you undergo day to day. However, others will interpret your negative emotional reactions in whatever way they choose because they have no other reference point in attempting to comprehend what you are coping with in living with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. The more they condemn you for having a negative emotional counteraction to this syndrome, the worse you are going to feel about your own self-worth, your relationship with yourself, and your inability to cope. You will begin to have more intense feelings of guilt and start to put yourself down for being ill. Don't allow yourself to slip into that mode of thought and emotions! Accept the depressive emotions as a part of the CFIDS puzzle and understand that it is all right to feel some pessimism in coping with your situation. It is a difficult- almost impossible-life style to be forced into having to live. You can't let others around you gauge who you are, judge what you are feeling, and proclaim which sensations are the right ones to have in your predicament. Entitle yourself the freedom of feeling whatever uncomfortable sensations that you wish to experience as part of your healing process.

Once they comprehend how sick you are and that you aren't getting well within their time frame, these same individuals will enforce isolation on you. You will be lucky if you have a few loyal, special people in your life throughout the duration of this illness. Many will find it easier to abandon you or quickly move out of your life out of their own selfishness because you can no longer give to them through your relationship, fear of contracting the same disease, or that you can't keep up with living their life style any longer. You are too sick to involve in any activities that they want to do and there is absolutely no allowance made for your disability. It is more comfortable to eliminate you from their lives no matter what the cost to you. You will discover early into the chronic fatigue syndrome journey that your relationships with certain people in your life will disintegrate into nothingness. You will end up feeling so alone and rejected and will blame it all on this uncontrollable disease. The harsh reality is that it isn't as much the syndrome as it is the people. They are the ones who are not capable or strong enough to overlook their own intolerances and discriminations. These individuals have judged you incompetent to be in their lives based on their own presuppositions and condemnations. You don't fit into their perspective of how they view that you should live your life. They can't be wasting their time with someone who is chronically ill. How does it make you feel to have these people treat you this way? Are there enough words in the human vocabulary to express all of the emotions that one can feel in this situation? There is no overall description that could recapitulate the exact feelings that you will have in coping with this situation. It isn't bad enough to go through every ache and pain of the actual disease, but to feel so much neglect and repulsion from others that you counted on for support and love is worse. The agony of being dismissed as a person solely based on your inability to participate in life as others do is unbearable. The enforced isolation makes you feel less of a person. You feel discarded, abandoned, and unloved.

Boredom will creep into your life once you have been left alone to fend for yourself. Your perspective of life becomes very limited and self-focused once you are basically alone. You miss the happiness and joy that you used to feel when others would spend time with you. Boredom can cause life to appear to slide by at an accelerated rate where days seem to meld together and you can't differentiate one week to the next. You have to look for things to occupy all of the unused time that you used to spend with others. This feat can be difficult when you are so fatigued and there is so little that you can do now you are ill. You may wish to skim through this ordeal without exerting any true effort in trying to survive because apathy has overridden your actual focus of self-fulfillment and interest in your own life.

It will take a phenomenal amount of inner strength and belief to overcome these feelings of indifference and listlessness. Get beyond these emotions! You have to have an active interest in your own life. The only real empowerment that you require in this set of circumstances is for you to capacitate yourself to care, to love, and to support you. Have an interest in your own life. Since you have no choice but to exist within the confines of this disease, don't perceive them as limitations. You should look at your situation as a test of your own imagination and emotions. You will go through special steps of loss in grieving your old life and letting it go. This particular episode of your CFS journey is an integral part of the entire process of ownership, release, and transformation. It is necessary to sense each nuance of every level so that you can grasp the entirety of the experience that you are encountering and actually feel the end result of faith and hope permeating your entire being.

Upon contracting chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, you will have many emotional mood swings. Your heart will contain doubts that others aren't telling you the truth to fears that your life will either be shortened or never be the same again. Desperate thoughts and feelings of inadequacy will linger in your psyche. The overpowering affect of these emotions will begin to surface bringing along perplexity, skepticism, and self-doubts. You are not only coping with the idea that you are chronically ill, but are also expected to deal with all of these foreign sensations that are absorbing every ounce of your emotional energy.

After you have thought and felt the introductory shock of being this sick, your next reaction will be a predictory statement such as "The doctor is wrong-I am not chronically ill with this disease." It will seem as if you are in someone else's nightmare and you aren't sure whose it is. All you can feel is that the thought of having your life flipped upside-down and inside-out and then getting an explanation that chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome is a long term condition that there isn't too much information about it is too much to bear. It is a lot easier and more convenient for you to deny the whole mess is really happening instead of confronting the ordeal head-on. There is a sense of safety and ignorance in living with this refusal. You may temporarily believe that you aren't truly sick and that this condition is only momentary. You can delude yourself into perceiving that this syndrome will go away as quickly as it came into your life. As the rejection of your reality increases, you start to feel better about the whole predicament. A sense of relief crops up from deep inside yourself and you begin to think that you are going to get over this illness. You convince yourself with the absurdest justifications that your bout with CFIDS is not that at all. Instead, you are telling yourself that you have a flu bug or a strep throat. You can't seem to observe your situation from an objective perspective. At the point when you think you have totally persuaded and brain-washed yourself into an oblivious state of denial, you have a really severe onset of many debilitating symptoms all at once. Now you have no choice but to acknowledge this set of circumstances for what they truly are. You are chronically ill and can no longer abjure that actuality.

What is your immediate response to conceding to saying you have CFS? Anger! How could this illusive chronic disease happen to you? Why you?? You have every right to be upset and mad. Your life has been torn apart and there is no future to look forward to now that you are sick. There is nothing left to plan. . .no dreams to pursue. . . nothing but pain, animosity, and misery. Life becomes something surreal where nothing in it seems to have any substance. All you can do and feel is rage. You worked so hard and sacrificed to get every thing that you had in your life and now all of it is gone in the blink of an eye. Your health, job, life style, and relationships obliterated with no residue of the efforts that you executed to make each and every one of your life goals an actuality. It seems as if fate is playing a dirty trick on you because you tried so hard to succeed in life and it was all for nothing. The life style you are being forced to lead is not anything that you would have imagined that you would be living at this point in your life. Your dreams of having a wonderful future are shattered.

            There is nothing that can be redeemed from the chronic fatigue syndrome ashes. Once these viruses entered your body, they made sure you would experience heart ache, pain, and loss. The worse part of this whole situation is that there is no one to explain the whys or hows. These viruses don't talk and they don't feel that they owe you any type of justification for the damage that they have done to your life. Why shouldn't you be anything but furious at this viral infestation? It has destroyed a major part of who you are and now unmercifully inflicts constant aches and pains to remind you that you are chronically ill. Another portion of your anger will be directed at all of the people who are involved in your life. How come they didn't get this sickness? Why was it you? How is it that their lives can go forward and yours is "stuck" in anguish and grief? Why don't they empathize and sympathize with all that you are experiencing in being sick? Where is the justice when other "bad" people can go around doing much worse than you ever could have done and never get chronically ill? All of these queries are a vain attempt at refocusing your anger away from what you actually have to cope with in your life. You may find it more agreeable to be enraged at others so that you have a real-life human being to direct your anger towards instead of an invincible viral infection. It is also more accommodating to blame others for something than to accept partial responsibility for what has happened to you. Your anger will boil furiously and this set of emotions will only create a more intense sensation of frustration, disbelief, and hostility towards everyone and everything. You will offend others with your bitterness and they will make themselves scarcer in your life until they are no longer there. This is just the opposite reaction that you really want from others. You want them to embrace you not to reject you. However, once these people have ostracized you, all you will be able to see is that they have abandoned you. You can't objectively perceive that you and your overbearing angry feelings are the real reason why they renounced you, not because you are chronically sick. If you allow your fury to overwhelm you, it will swallow you up whole. You will end up being completely hollow and bitter on the inside.

When you can see beyond the anger, making a deal with the Supreme Being is the next phase of emotionally coping with CFS. You have reached a stage of where you have stopped denying that you are chronically ill and are no longer irate at the idea of suffering with this syndrome. Yet, you sense that if you wish to overcome this horrendous illness, you will need help from the Source. The possibility of being healthy again means that it will take a miracle and there is only one being that can perform this feat. You will find yourself beginning to negotiate a contract with Him stating your desire to conquer chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. The frightening part is that you will find yourself proposing absurd terms to introduce to your pact to the Supreme Entity. You will try to convince yourself that if you do as you are supposed to do, you feel that you should get a "reward", such as getting over this syndrome, for your good behavior. There is no allowance for this situation being a pre-planned learning experience of life. All that is in your heart and mind is the idea of vanquishing this disease and becoming a survivor no matter what the cost. Your agreements may also be about other things or people in your life. You may find yourself proposing that if you can be well now, you will devote the rest of your life to helping others. The statements will take on a life of their own and you will find yourself averring these ideals more frequently over time. It is as if you have to convince yourself that someone is listening to each and every promise that you make and will release you from your suffering with CFIDS because you have made these pledges even though your logical mind tells you otherwise. The covenants you offer get more desperate and you eventually end up promising your entire life's existence at the cost of overcoming your chronic disease. When there is no direct or apparent response to your propositions, you end up being frustrated and depressed all over again. You have experienced being desperate, denying that this predicament isn't really happening to you, being angry at the world and beyond, and then negotiating your life away all for naught. You have no choice but to tolerate this syndrome. You are in this situation for the duration. No one, not even the Source, appeared to hear your cries for relief. There seems to be no hope and no faith left inside of you that there will be some kind of miraculous recovery. You can't help but feel dejection and despair.Your life appears to be in shambles and there are absolutely no expectations of anything getting any better. The important people in your life have forsaken you and choose not to be by your side. Suffering with this disease is almost intolerable at times and to think that this agony will be the essence of your life is upsetting. There is no positive future to look forward to any longer. All there seems to be in front of you is misery, sorrow, and gloom. Your insides feel so hollow and you can't help but fear that you are falling into the dark pit of depression. How can you hold your head up and proceed in a forward motion to life when there is nothing to sustain you but negativity and hardships? Where is the joy in living life if it is going to have so many painful restrictions and harsh limitations?

You may wish to give up and no longer put up a fight to overcome chronic fatigue syndrome. There is a sense of control and power in surrendering to the ravages of this disease. You can prove to yourself that you do have the ability to say that you no longer want to confront the viral warfare occurring in your body. It is also much easier to just give up and crawl inside of yourself because of the many setbacks that you have to face. No matter how despondent you get, there will never be a bottom to how bad that you can feel. Depression has a way of eroding any fiber of joy and hope until it digests all of the faith and love you have for yourself. Your value of your own life can also get absorbed into the negativity because you could relinquish yourself to your own melancholy and decide to impulsively commit suicide as an outlet for releasing your emotional pains. You may feel that you have reached your tolerance level and that this is the only way out of living this kind of nightmare and having some kind of solace. However, the unfeigned decision of suicide should not be an option for you!

Accepting that you are chronically ill with an illusory disease is the last step of living with this sickness. You can't allow yourself to feel that your life is meaningless because you are ill. Yes, there is no question that living with this disease is going to have times where it will be unpleasant or unbearable. Yet, you were put on this planet to fulfill a purpose and enhance other people's lives just by being who you are. If you cut that life short out of an inability to cope, imagine how many people will be affected by your decision. Every person or thing that you encounter in your daily living is impressed by you-from your loved ones, to your neighbors, your family, your friends, your pets, to the birds in the tree by your bedroom window. Your simple smile could be the only thing that can help lighten up someone's day who is suffering with something more painful than what you have to endure. A hand shake or hug could be a life saver for another who is truly depressed and wants to give up on finding joy in living. Your presence in the same room is all the security that a loved one may need just to know you are there nearby. Without even making any true efforts, you do so much for others in just being alive.

You are a special person who deserves to have a life filled with joy and happiness. Your life has so much value to others as well as yourself. You have to sense your importance of being who you are and that you are an integral part of other's lives in your existence. Don't allow this disease to consume your life with despondency, denial, anger, and/or depression. Realize that from the space where your despair and misery is at its worst is where your choice to end your life emanates. If you are having a hard time with suicidal feelings, contact a suicide hot line, professional counselor, or a crisis intervention agency. Nevertheless, the decision of suicide is not viable for you because you still have many more lives to impact in a positive way. Your love of living and zest for life can sustain you through the rough times that you will have to face. You just have to believe in yourself and your own inner strength. You have yet to feel the best that life has to offer you!

Try to reconstruct your life based on CFS as only being a part of it-not its entirety. Once you can accept that you have no option but to concede to the disease's involvement in your life, you can begin to have a different, more positive viewpoint. No longer will you feel tied to the old premise that the syndrome has the upper hand in this predicament. You will start to see life in a brand new way. There are future possibilities full of hope and joy that you can accomplish even with being ill. You can do some of the things that you dreamed of doing before you contracted chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. There are restrictions that will be imposed on your life, but they aren't the end all to having a fulfilling life. If you can embrace these limitations as just a small price to pay for being alive and experiencing life, then you will be able to proceed with your newly aspired goals and dreams.

You can get "stranded" in any level of coping with this syndrome if you yield to your negative emotions. The key to moving from one step to another is to allow yourself to feel all of your emotions and to react to them. If you bury how you are actually feeling for whatever reason, you are imprinting these pessimistic sensations into your psyche. It could take days, weeks, months, or years, but you will eventually feel the delayed effects of these sensations. Hopefully, you can express your true feelings in your environment with no fear of being rejected or ridiculed for your sentiments or opinions. You have the right to reveal your actual susceptibilities and never let anyone tell you any differently. You are a strong person who is encountering a difficult, debilitating disease. There is no more running from CFIDS to escape it because it will find you wherever you are as you are part of the illness.

You can sound very depressing to healthy people that aren't suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome. They perceive you as constantly complaining about your various symptoms and never feeling good at all. It is difficult to be around someone who is always ill. There is no enjoyment in watching someone else suffer. You can't seem to have any kind of fun because you are continually tired and exhausted so you aren't able to do very much. Other people will become worn out with hearing of your endless agony and all of the nuances of tolerating this disease. These individuals won't have the necessary patience to sustain you for the long duration of the disease. Over time, they will start to express their intolerance of your situation through body language, facial expressions, and/or sarcastic comments.

You may find yourself being subjected to many signs of narrow-mindedness throughout your bout with CFS. Occasional eye squints and "here we go again" sayings from your loved ones will become common place each time you try to verbalize the torture that you are going through. Most of the time the only reason that you even say aloud what's on your mind is so that they can begin to understand how arduous it is to live with this syndrome. How about the person who states that he truly cares about you yet when you are having a "bad" day, he is the first one to satirically say that you are never going to get better, this condition is all in your head, and then immediately asks for you to go and do something with him? There is no true concern for the dilemma that you are in because he doesn't really believe that you are ill in the first place. The focus of his interest is on doing whatever the activity to have someone to participate in it with and you are the privileged chosen one.

Then, there will always be one "supportive" silent soul who turns herself into a human pretzel every time the two of you have a conversation that you have to instigate about chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. She finds talking about this subject a taboo and her body language verifies that opinion. As you are conversing with her, you are enthralled with the many different positions that this individual can get herself into without breaking any bones or straining any muscles! It appears that the topic of CFIDS is agreeable to mention but not to discuss in any detail. You can't help but feel sorry for this individual because she is trying so hard to act comfortable when there is obviously so much tension in talking about this subject. Why would this person constantly put herself through so much turmoil all for the sake of self-satisfying her need to be discerned as an important "support" individual?

What about the person who comes to visit, informs you of all that is going on in his life, then he hesitantly inquires about your health when there is nothing else to share-only to immediately change the subject just as you are about to say something in response to his inquiry? This individual is exhibiting his non-caring attitude and selfishness from the moment he alters the topic of conversation. This person may sense a small iota of decorum in feeling at least he does inquire about your welfare, however, in reality, there is no true caring or empathy for you. The inquiry is his way of saying that the topics of conversation have been drained and there is nothing else to talk about, so he decides that this break in the discussion is an opportunity for you to talk about the grim, depressing details of your ordeal with this syndrome. You endure enough heartache in having this disease and then have to emotionally suffer because of other people's selfishness, prejudices, and narrow-mindedness. You can't feel anything but frustration and anger at their ignorance about the disease. If these individuals truly cared about you the way that they pretend to, then they would try to learn about what this illness is doing to you and then be a little more empathetic to your situation. All they have to do is ask you about what facts that you know and have you share this data with them. They could take it upon themselves to go to a library or bookstore or use their computers to learn more about CFIDS so that they can truly begin to support you instead of belittling and ridiculing you.

An impassioned question that you may find yourself silently asking over and over again in response to every time that someone asks about your health is "If they don't really want to know how I am truly feeling, then why do they ask in the first place?" They don't really care one way or another. These people are going to hang up the telephone, walk out your door, or walk past your home once they are done conversing with you. They get to cast-off the sick you who has this strange disease. These individuals do forget about you and your suffering until they talk to you again. It is too bad that you aren't as fortunate as they are to ignore yourself and your calamity. Your energy is precious to you and wasting it away on responding to pretended, pretentious sentiments only makes you feel more taxed than you already are.

The more time that passes for you in coping with this sickness and with these types of people will cause you to become wiser about their egotistical motives. Believe it or not, you will have some semblance of sympathy for their predicament. You will see these frail, self-centered beings for who they really are. The truth is that they don't know what to think or how to react to the sick you. You have an illness that doesn't produce any major physical changes. They can only associate sickness or disease with some tangible proof that you are ill. These people truly have a desire to help another human being in need but don't have any idea on how to do this. They also know it is "good" to help someone else and none of them wish to be "bad" or to be perceived as such by their family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Their reputations are at stake and it is more important as to what others think of them as compared to what they feel about themselves and about you. These people are watching out for themselves first. Your welfare is not an important factor in their existence. It is not a direct energy output for them to gain something from any longer. You can't give to them and they are not allowing you to take at all. Consequently, you can see these people for who they truly are-individuals with agendas setting out to fulfill their own needs.

Your own faith and sense of self-love is the key in learning to deal with selfish people. You will be able to tell which individuals in your life are truly concerned about your ordeal as compared to the ones who aren't. The tender caring ones will encourage you to speak and express yourself and your feelings in coping with CFS. These beings will be empathetic and understanding of your set of circumstances, want to help in any way that they can, and will make these efforts without any prompting from you. They won't tire of your disclosures as quickly as those who don't care. There is a sense of genuine goodness and love for their fellow man that motivates their supervision of you and their responsibility towards aiding you in your time of need. These "good" people can be found in your circle of co-workers, neighbors, friends, or family.

However, there are going to have to be times where you will need to be more considerate to other people's feelings than your own. Sometimes in your own misery, you can become overbearing and greedy in making demands on other people's time and energies without even realizing it. You could be angry or upset over your set of circumstances and want to lash out at every loved one who has contact with you because they are healthy and able to have an active life style and you aren't. Since you can spend so much time wallowing in your own self-pity, you tend to forget how much these special people in your life are doing for you each and every single day. They can be making exceptional personal sacrifices to satisfy your needs and you don't acknowledge their relinquishments because you are too busy feeling sorry for yourself. You should take a serious look at your closest support people in your life such as your spouse, significant other, immediate family, and closest friends and acknowledge their efforts. They are the ones who give so much to you when you are feeling low or want to surrender to the disease. Yet, these special ones have needs as well as you do. You should be kind and considerate to their life requirements. You may not be capable of physically or mentally complying with their demands, but you can be emotionally supportive and nurturing by showing some interest in their lives and outside activities. Make more attempts to agonize with your predicament in silence when you can sense that those closest to you are having their own difficulties. Try to keep your cantankerous, cynical attitude in check. Remember that these loving people have made a commitment to stay by your side for the duration of your sickness. You don't want to drive them away with your irritability and self-centeredness.

There will be many challenges to confront in recovering from chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome that will drain you emotionally. You have to prepare yourself the best that you can for all of the major disruptions as well as the minor disputes. Your body is in a state of flux and many hormonal and chemical variations are happening to it. Your emotional status is directly related to all of these deviations and you will find yourself suffering with sensations that you may have never experienced before in your life. Emotional changes, including panic attacks and bouts with depression about battling this sickness and the alterations that it is causing within you, should be anticipated. They may be tumultuous to endure. Anxiety and uneasiness for no explainable reasons, tension, and stress from simulated frustrations will surface systematically. You will become extremely moody and pensive as compared to your pre-chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome temperament. Others may perceive you to be more serious and sedate at times than you actually are.

There are many things to do that can help lighten your overburdened emotions so that you can begin to cope with this illness with a more positive frame of being. Finding a good support group is essential! You can gain so much emotional endorsement and support from people who are going through the similar situation of surviving with CFIDS. Who better than to understand and commiserate with your expressions of emotions than someone who is feeling the same way? You may feel awkward at your first meeting because of your problems with self-esteem and self-recriminations. However, once you have sat down and listened to others discuss their feelings, you will sense the camaraderie that all sufferers have with each other. All sufferers travel down the chaotic road of chronic fatigue syndrome together as well as individually. Everyone can sense each other's feelings and know how it feels to experience a situation from the same perspective as you. There will be a comfortable, relaxed sensation that you get from sitting in a room full of other sufferers. You are not alone in your battle with this dreaded illness. Briefly scan the room and note each and every person's face and body language. No matter how different that everyone appears, below the surface, every individual in the room is the same. Every single being is tormented by a viral infection that won't subside no matter what they do or what is done to them. You can speak freely while in attendance at your group meeting if you so choose because whatever confidences are shared in these surroundings, they are confidential. It is a tacit understanding that no one should ever discuss anything personal that is revealed in this environment. Various discussions of personal philosophies, therapies/ treatment ideas and plans, and personal accounts of living with this disease will tend to dominate most of the time that you share at these meetings. The emotional support that you procure from a support group cannot be obtained in any other situation or environment. No one, except for other agonizers, can truly understand and appreciate the full repercussions of tolerating this syndrome. It would be advisable to incorporate the support people in your life (spouse, significant other, family members, friends, and neighbors) into attending your gatherings with you at a future point in time. They can benefit as much as you can from listening to other sufferers and their support circles. When these people attend a future support group gathering, they could discover that some of the emotions that they feel while caring for you are the identical ones that other support people experience as well. It does help everyone to have a safe place to unburden themselves and to feel vindicated for feeling the way that they do. CFS has robbed not only you but also them of having a healthy, sane, and normal life. There is no way to unburden themselves of the disease itself, yet they can vent their frustrations and anxieties when they attend a group meeting. This forum allows everyone to have an opportunity to verbalize how they feel about this illusive syndrome and to direct those emotions towards the sickness, not at you. Your support network will begin to perceive that you aren't the sole person on this planet who is coping and living with chronic fatigue syndrome. Endowment and empowerment will emanate throughout all that attend support group meetings. You will improve your own life through understanding, listening, and acknowledging your own expressed thoughts and feelings. Question yourself on the way home from the meeting about why you sensed the feelings that you did when someone else exposed a sensitive topic or why you got such a strong emotional reaction to something someone else said to you. You should take into consideration what others share for medical, social, mental, or emotional advice at these meetings. However, be sure to segregate out what isn't practical or applicable to your specific set of circumstances and don't ever try anything new without consulting your primary health provider first. Remember, what may work for someone else may not work for you. It takes so much energy to be capable of getting to meetings so each person who attends should be congratulated for his or her efforts. Enjoy your special time there and rejoice in the opportunity to make some new friends-even if it is through the common bond of this disease. You never know if someone that you meet through an encounter at your support meetings could become your next best friend and mentor.

On a personal note, you should perceive your life on a more balanced and relaxed scale. You know that you can't keep up with other healthy people any longer and you are just abusing yourself if you keep trying. The acceptance of the influence that chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome has in your life is the key to beginning to heal. Learn to live in the present-not tomorrow, next week, or next month. You should live each moment as if it is your very last. The enjoyment of what you can do as compared to what you can do is another positive, life enhancing affirmation to promise to yourself. You need to sense some kind of internal acknowledgment from all that you can accomplish in your limited life style. You should acknowledge that whatever you can do is satisfactory and adequate enough to make you feel that you are living your life to its absolute fullest for you right now in the present. You have to stop comparing yourself in the present to the one in the past or the future. Be who you are now!

You should try to stay as sedate as you possibly can when confronted with any perturbing or upsetting predicaments or situations. Remember that you have no control over how other people perceive you or your situation-you only have command over your responses to their reactions. Focus on your own inner strength and don't allow others to dominate or negatively influence you in any way. If they have any skepticism over not believing that you are actually chronically ill, you can choose to ignore them. You have the authority to select who you want to have in your life and who you don't. You shouldn't latch onto people who aren't sympathetic to your predicament out of a fear of loneliness and dependency. Retain your sense of self-respect and self-worth by believing in you and your discerning perception of who is acceptable to you and who isn't.

You have to allow yourself to be happy and light-hearted even when you are confronting your lowest times. There is an end to this misery and suffering. If you aren't hopeful and positive, you can't expect to help yourself get better. All you will do is encourage a negative point of view that can only elongate the duration and intensity of your bout with this syndrome. Take advantage of any opportunity to alter a negative emotional reaction into a confident one. Laugh at yourself, your life, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your children. Seek out a source of comic relief to help assuage the overwhelming intensity of your life style. You have to lighten your load somehow and learn to experience life in a less serious way. The Supreme Being did not wish for you to go through life only having rough times. There is supposed to be an equal portion of your time devoted to having fun and enjoying yourself.

You shouldn't feel any guilt because you are ill about having fun once in a while. If anything, you deserve to have some good times more than your average person. You are the one who is living a very restricted life style that doesn't have too many enjoyable moments. Life is truly a wonderful, joyful experience and you are an important part of it. Make an effort to smile, joke around more, and laugh at all of the absurdities around you. Go for the gusto (within reason of course!) when you sense that you need to let loose and have some fun. You should let the little child within you to come out and play. Be spontaneous and relish in the delight of just being alive.

Finding some kind of satisfaction in living your current life is so important and vital to recovering a sense of control in your overpowering, havoc-stricken life style. Try to enjoy what you are capable of doing and appreciate the fact that you weren't able to do this same thing yesterday, a week, a month, or a year ago. You are emotionally progressing and moving forward.

You can and will note some minimal improvements in your attitude and activity level. Remember that with more strength comes more mobility, and with more movement comes more independence. You will eventually be able to resume some of your old life style habits at the conclusion of your CFIDS journey if that is the option you choose at the time. For now, you should be grateful for all that you are capable of feeling and performing. There are activities which take a minimal amount of effort that you can do from the very onset of the disease-some even from your bed-such as organizing photo albums, watering plants, helping the children with their home work, to making craft items. You should let yourself feel the freedom of finding acceptance and gratification within your current proficiency.

There are so many other portions of your life that do offer joy and contentment but you aren't seeing them from this viewpoint. You can feel bliss from just about any everyday occurrence that you used to take for granted. The old attitudes can no longer apply to how you feel about yourself and your life now. Attempt to see things from a different perspective where achievement is not as important as the aspiration that it took to get where you are. One of the many life's lessons that you are beginning to understand while enduring your chronic fatigue syndrome quest is that reaching the conclusion of this experience is not as rewarding as what you are learning in the process of coping with this syndrome.

You may be determined to read a chapter in your favorite book while you are bedridden. Yet, you know in the back of your mind that you don't have the best of concentrative skills right now. There may be an internal question of if you can do it, but you are obstinate about it. You begin to read and can only comprehend three pages. Instead of emotionally beating yourself up, you should find the satisfaction and happiness in reading those three pages. The sheer enjoyment of just being able to read is a privilege.

There may be a sink full of dishes in the kitchen and you have decided to wash all of them. You should be proud of yourself for just making the effort to do them. It is hard enough to take on such an overwhelming chore being so fatigued. However, you may clean up a third of the dishes and then be too exhausted to finish them and have to immediately lie down. Instead of being frustrated because you couldn't complete this task, you should be glad that you were capable of washing as many as you did before you felt weak. Give yourself a pat on the back for what you can do!

The entire family may be having an outing at a lake or pond. They do understand that you are ill and don't expect for you to be able to attend the outdoor event. You are frustrated with missing out on all of the past fun family events and are resolved in going to this one. Everyone is shocked to see you there in attendance and are so happy to see you out and around. However, after you are there for a few hours sitting and conversing with relatives, you get very weary and have no option but to go home. Instead of being angry at yourself for not being able to stay until the outing's conclusion, you should look at how much you did accomplish. First of all, you made the choice to go to an exhausting event that you knew was going to drain you. Then you stayed outside and endured those environmental triggers. Thirdly, you managed to carry on conversations where you actually instigated and parleyed with others. Next, you succeeded in integrating yourself into other people's activities. Lastly, when you were tired, you acknowledged your own body's demand to go home and rest. Why wouldn't you be self-satisfied for all that you achieved? You found joy, love, and happiness in just being around your relatives. As you ascertained, it really didn't matter how much time you spent or what you actually talked about with your relatives which is what you would have previously perceived as being the most significant reason for making the effort to go to the outing. The important result to going to spend time with your family was in the simple act of just motivating yourself to attend the event.

In all three of these examples, the satisfaction of the event comes from not what is being done. but from conceptualizing your desire into a reality. You can get this same level of gratification with any every day incident. You should try to find the subtlest of joys in the most inconspicuous places. Alter your perceptions and feel the world around you in a whole different way. Behold life with all of its possibilities for love, joy, and contentment.

The most important emotional lesson that you will have to learn is to feel the depth of your own self-love. You can love who you are now-sickness and all. Celebrate your strength! You are an individual who is undergoing an important, overwhelming struggle with a chronic disease. You are worth loving and caring about-even if it appears that no one else truly cares. It is so vital to show yourself some of the same compassion and empathy that you would exhibit to anyone else in your predicament. Cherish the special person that you are and care enough about you to want to help heal yourself. Remember, if you can't love yourself, you can't expect to begin to get well!