Although not my best work, this accurately depicts how I feel when the ME/CFS is acting up. Art by Michelle Buchheit-Schill

I have mentioned recently that I felt my health has been improving. I am having more good days than bad days, which consist of spending the day in bed with massive fatigue and body pain. I have found that when I have a bad day it now lasts only one to two days; whereas, before, it would last for weeks or months.

I believe the reasons for this are many but the biggest reason is that I have a much better awareness of what I need to do to take care of my health. The first thing I did was to invest in and experiment with vitamins and supplements. Although it took me quite awhile, I feel I have found the combination that works best for me. The second thing is being aware of the signs my body is giving me that the ME/CFS is about to rear its ugly head again. I then stop and take it easy. In fact, I am much more willing to rest now that I know my boughts of illness are much shorter.

I believe the biggest thing I have learned, which has benefited my health, is that I need to concern myself more with me and less with others. In other words, I needed to learn to put me first. I realized that I could not care for others if I did not take care of me first. I began to learn to use the word “no” and become familiar with my limitations.

A huge thing I have realized is that if there is something bothering me and weighing heavily on my mind I will become ill. The past few days have been a perfect example. There has been something that was bothering me and I knew I needed to make a decision about it. The fact that my decision could hurt another person was causing me to not be able to make up my mind. I began to feel ill on Saturday evening and ended up very ill all of yesterday.

When I awoke this morning I was still not feeling well. Then something happened which caused me to make a final decision about the situation. The decision I made was in my favor and in my best interest. I immediately began to feel better. In the past my decision would have been much different because I would have thought it “the right thing to do”, yet not the right thing for me personally.

I had shared this burden with my ex-husband because I needed to discuss it with someone who knew me well enough to understand my predicament. When I made my final decision this morning, my husband responded with “good, you do not need a needy person zapping your energy.” This got to me thinking how energies have an effect on health in a holistic manner: physically, mentally, emotionally and Spiritually.

We must begin to understand the power of the energies that surround us. When we can begin to accept this concept we can then begin to make decisions which will benefit us and then will also benefit those we care about. We will begin to rid ourselves of the guilt of taking care of ourselves first. This will cause us to be healthier and, in turn, be able to be there for others. We will then begin to find that we enjoy our loved ones and our lives so much more.

For those who suffer with ME/CFS, I came across a great blog this morning, which I am now following. It is about ME in Australia and the data the writer of this blog has come across. It does not matter where you live, following a blog such as this is important because I believe advances and changes in one country will trickle down to the rest. In the United States, my first hope is that our country will call this illness for what it is and not sugar coat with names such as CFS or CFIDS. If one more person says to me, “oh, you are just tired”, I just might scream. Anyway, I digress. Here is the link to this blog. If you suffer from this illness or anything similar, I suggest that you check it out: