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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Ten Ways to Handle the Isolation

By HERWriter
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1. Take that empty time and rest
It's hard to turn away from the loss incurred by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when emptiness stares you in the face for weeks, months, or years. But time spent resting is time being restored. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system and releases healing chemicals.

Close your eyes. Forget the clock and the calendar. Contemplate the inner terrain. And when you can, sleep.

2. Read if you can
I couldn't for about a year. But when I could read again I spent hours every day on my bed escaping into another world. I tuned out the world around me with its hustle and bustle that had nothing to do with me.

3. Restful hobbies
During the year I couldn't do words, I picked up my knitting needles and made an enormous blanket. I never used it. It was the wrong yarn and weight.

Didn't matter. The repetitive motion and the awareness that I was creating something soothed me. I saw only the emergence of each new stitch and felt only the solid coolness of the metal needles and the soft warmth of the wool.

When I was healthier I played simple tunes on my piano and began, after years of being muted by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, to sing again. I sounded like a crow with a throat full of phlegm. But I sang anyway. Gradually the raspy voice mellowed and my spirit began to soar beyond my sickness.

4. Go online
I found Facebook and tried to think of people I used to know. I friended relatives, former schoolmates. Short comments were manageable, they could be read or written when I was up to it.

Any response triggered huge reassurance in me. People heard me. People were talking to me. I was still here.

I found an online CFS community where people understood what I was going through. I cried. I laughed a lot. I no longer felt so alone.

5. Talk to yourself
I did this for over a year. After dinner, I'd go to my bedroom and ... I talked. To myself. Complained. Babbled. Heard my own CFS-inspired fears spoken aloud. Listened to my own thoughts, caught my own self-destructive beliefs.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.