Una's Blog


Una’s little world 21. Gifts






by Una Hearne.

So, if there are no good or bad events, just life events and the labels we give them, am I at the point where I can honestly say I’m grateful for having ME/CFS? Hmmmmmm.

Obviously the fact that it has taken my ability to do the work I want, my social life, hobbies, holidays… OK that’s all a bit crap. It would be understandable to wallow in misery, but that’s not a life I want either. Since I believe our super power is our ability to choose our thoughts, it is my practice to list the gifts I’ve gained from tough challenges. So let’s see how I’m doing listing gifts from ME/CFS…

The first ones are the big gifts that we all receive from challenging (or shite, if you like) experiences.

  • People. In tough times we really find out who is there for us. For me, my heart friends have sustained me and made my life sparkle.Then there’s my new online tribe of fellow ME/CFS sufferers – it is remarkable to share feelings and information with people who really get what you are going through. And a lot of other people who have supported me or enriched my life.
  • Life lessons. Well, regular readers know my blog is essentially a record of the big life lessons I am learning/re-learning. While it can be painful, the rewards in wisdom, resilience and quality of life are huge.
  • Meditation and mindfulness. Just so helpful.

There are also a ton of things which are not so obvious, but definitely gifts. Examples below are a result of having tiny reserves of energy, memory problems and not being able to stand for more than about ten minutes without significant pain. Awful I know, but I promise these ridiculous symptoms have give me gifts: πŸ™‚

  • A simpler life. We really have lost the ability to do nothing and enjoy it. I spend most of my time ‘doing’ nothing and rediscovered the joy – and that it’s not nothing.
  • Prioritising. This is a tough one for all of us. How do you choose between the ten most important things demanding your attention today? On a good day I can choose to do one thing. I have learned to focus on that thing and enjoy the hell out of it, letting everything else go.
  • Lists. Having very poor short term memory, I have developed my own paper memory system. At work I had a reputation for being super organised and forgetting nothing – only Sinead knew there was nothing in my head! πŸ™‚
  • Ninja efficiency (Thanks Sara for that phrase!!) My home is designed to be super easy to keep clean and I have grocery shopping down to a fine art (yes, a list). And because clothes shopping is painful (all the standing) I reckon I’ve saved a fortune in fancy clothes and shoes over the years. Bonus!
  • Nutrition. I don’t cook (all the standing). Since I hate cooking this not a sacrifice, it’s a freedom. Yay!
  • Because I spend so much of my life lying down I have always made sure I have a really comfy sofa and bed. Nice!
  • Another advantage of the memory problem is I can watch movies and read books multiple times – with no idea how they turn out in the end. Marvellous value!
  • And finally, I REALLY don’t sweat the small stuff. I don’t have a single iota of energy to spare for stressing over stuff that doesn’t matter. And most of the stuff we stress over doesn’t matter.
    Imagine, the world failed to stop turning when I stopped worrying about it…who knew?

ME/CFS is not a barrel of laughs but I am happy about the gifts. πŸ™‚ Getting there…


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