I have taken my place amongst the creatures of fabled lore -- the Loch Ness monster, the unicorn, the Yeti ... Yes, I am highly controversial and hotly disputed. I am recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Some say I don't exist. Some say I can't exist. There are a number of different schools of thought on this position.
Some say there is no such illness therefore I can't be recovering from it.
Others say that there is no such thing as recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. That I am a cruel joke, taunting those who are sick with something that nobody with CFS can ever have -- a life once again.
Still others say that since there is no such thing as recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, that I must never have had it in the first place. I have read such things actually written about me, by people who don't know me, who have never met me.
It was a shock the first time but I don't take it personally now. And though I think it's too bad that they wasted their time writing about someone they don't know, on a subject they know nothing about -- meaning, me -- I can kind of get where they were coming from.
I am now in an interesting spot. I'm just not as sick as I was. I am able to have a life.
I still have my times of contending with CFS symptoms but they are so much less than they used to be. I'd compare it to someone with diabetes who mostly is fine, as long as they monitor themselves, and build in a few protections for themselves.
When I was very ill I couldn't write at all. I could hardly write my own name. Having to do anything with pen and paper -- or computer -- would exhaust me mentally and physically in under five minutes.
I would have to retreat to my bed, to vibrate there helplessly while the inside of my brain was like a tilting kaleidoscope or a runaway rollercoaster ride off its rails and slicing at all angles across the sky. I was like a ship lost at sea, being tossed by storming waves and riotous gales.
I was certainly in no shape to report such goings on. It was taking all I had to survive it. And that was all I was doing for a number of years. But things have changed dramatically since I was a vegetable.
I wonder, am I now too healthy to be of any use to the CFS community?
I spent 15 years losing the battle against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Four years ago, I found treatment that worked for me, and now I am making a comeback.