Updated: Jan 14, 2021
If you've recently received a diagnosis of CFS or ME, you may be feeling that your life is over, that you'll never be able to do many of the things you used to do. On top of the symptoms you already have, you are probably also feeling very low.
All these feelings are perfectly understandable. This is a life change that you had not anticipated, and one that you certainly don't want. Sometimes, people react to developing CFS by going into denial, and trying to exercise or do other physical activities to try and prove to themselves that this isn't happening. That's also understandable, but sooner or later it becomes obvious that this isn't going to work, and you have to accept that you have a chronic illness, and find ways of managing it - and even looking towards how you can recover.
Acceptance is in fact the first step in moving towards recovery. You may not be able to get back to the very active life you had before, but you can move towards a different life - and one where you don't constantly feel exhausted, achy, depressed - and all the other associated symptoms of CFS. For many people, accepting that your life needs to change leads to a life that is even better than the one you had before.
So, if you've had a CFS diagnosis, please consider the following:
--- Your life is not over. It may need to be different, but in no way is it over. In time, it may even be better.
--- This is not a fatal disease. Be thankful that your blood tests came back negative.
--- Be kind to yourself. Start listening to what your body wants, and don't push yourself.
--- Try to stay positive. There's a lot of negativity around CFS. It's good to join communities and forums - but if you find there's too much complaining and defeatist negativity, remove yourself. Find forums and websites that offer positive and useful advice.
--- Believe that recovery is possible, and find healthy ways of improving your symptoms.
--- Remember that you are not alone. There are a lot of us who understand exactly how you feel.
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