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My biggest challenge in my life is my many years of chronic fatigue syndrome - it challenged me on almost every aspect of life: relationship, financial situation, and the most crucial one - my self confidence.
The real challenge for most CFS sufferers, I believe is NOT the seriousness of this disease (even though it is far more serious than people have imagined), but the TIME – the long term's "disable" condition.
Under such challenge, I had big time doubt on myself because I used to be one of the most capable persons in dealing with challenges, but, for all these years I was inadequate for some very simple daily tasks. The consequence was I found people's attitude changed - I was taken as a "negative" person by many friends, even loved ones, thus I had almost no any support.
Now, not physically completely recovered, I am in much better shape. Once I thought all these years was a big waste of life, but now I take it differently. I have learned something I might not learn had I not have such experience - I have changed the attitude toward myself. If the reason that I loved myself during early years of my life was (only) because I was considered bright and loved by OTHERS, the love I have to myself now is unconditional - I love myself however I am.
Yes, self-esteem is unconditional. Someone might understand this easily but it took me huge chunk of my life to get it. Well, it is still worth it.