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Recovery is a concept that is viewed with doubt, suspicion and hope by many under the heel of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. We want to get better. We have tried many treatments and techniques to do so. And most of us have crashed again after most of these attempts.
I have been moving slowly in recovery for a few years and have made surprising headway, in spite of the ups and down along the way. Am I There yet? No. But I am getting There.
Here are a few thoughts about this recovery process.
1. The thought of recovery is frightening.
This is not because we don't want to recover. This is not because we are really suffering from depression and are in hiding. Rather it is because it is so hard to recover from CFS and for each step forward there is the real risk of a crash to end all crashes.
It is dangerous business to step up and step out. This makes it hard to hope.
2. Recovery does not follow a straight line.
The path of recovery is a treacherous one. For every up there is a down. And with every down there is the reality-based fear that we'll never get up again.
3. Recovery is a fragile process.
And it is a longer trip than you might think. When I first started getting significantly stronger I thought, I will be healthy very soon. I began to do too much, stopped taking enough rest breaks and ended up flat on my face again for months at a time, compliments of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
4. I had forgotten pieces of myself.
As I continued to heal, I would occasionally be brought face-to-face with aspects of myself from my old life that I had forgotten about. Whole segments of my personality had been submerged in the CFS quagmire for years.
At different points along the way I have been reminded of who I used to be and ... took a deep breath ... reached up ... and began to baby-step in my own former footsteps.
5. We could use some help from the outside.
I had lost my old communities due to my years of sickness. I didn't know anyone outside my family anymore.
What a big help it would have been if someone from my old life had stepped up and walked ...