“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cake Wrecks and Charitable Donations

The wonderful people at Cake Wrecks are giving away $200 a day for the next two weeks to charity. Plus, they are asking their readers to donate just $1 to the charity of the day as well. They are asking people to leave comments to suggest where they should give their donations. I've left a comment asking them to donate to the Whittemore Peterson Institute. I thought others might want to leave a comment, too. This is a wonderful opportunity to help people become aware of the great strides being made in CFS research and to hurry along the research that could ultimately lead to a cure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Support Sytem: Are You In or Out?

You are not in my support system just because you love me.

I've noticed that the people who love me fall into three general categories. (I'm very left-brained. I categorize.)

First, there are the people who believe I am sick but think I'll get better. These are the ones who approach me with the worried furrowed brow, pat me on the shoulder, and ask with pity, "How are you doing today?"

Second, there are the people who believe my illness is psychological. They think that if they pretend nothing is wrong with me, I'll eventually catch on and agree with them. They are the falsely cheerful, "Hey! It's good to see you! I'm glad you're out doing something! You look great! ... ! ... !"

Third, there is the rare and amazing gem -- the person who understands. They believe I am sick with a real disease. They recognize that it is called "chronic" for a reason. They accept that it's not going away. They realize that I now have limitations and need to alter my activities and the way I live. They embrace my new normal and find a place within it.

These rare gems are my support system. My husband is my greatest and most reliable support. Because of him, it doesn't matter how small the rest of my support system is. Without him, I would certainly become depressed, go to bed, curl up in a ball, and stop living.

I don't want anyone to think I'm pointing the finger at them. If you're not in my support system, it is my fault. I've discovered I'm not very good at communicating this disease to other people. I've seen so many puzzled looks when I've tried!

So, if you want to join my support system -- follow my lead. If I am with you, it is because I am well enough to be there. Embrace the moment and enjoy it for what it is. Make me feel normal, like the same person you've always loved, but lower your expectations and be flexible. Notice if I seem to start to "fade," and make it easy for me to leave or take a rest without feeling awkward. Don't expect me to be too reciprocal. And don't forget me.