Monday, June 21, 2010

CFS - the biggest challenge in my life

Water confidence course.Image via Wikipedia

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.
We all in our life would have serious diseases once or even many times, but we all can more or less keep our hope as long as we know we would get well again, sooner or later. But keeping being ill for years (some of them basically have to live with it), it takes totally different mentality to keep the grips on hope.
Second to the time issue, another challenge CFS patients face is the mental loneliness. Partially misled by medical professionals, almost inevitably most people would take CFS sufferers as mentally depressing people, because not only CFS doesn't sound like a real name for disease, not only CFS sufferers don't look like ill people, but also CFS never has been considered as any actual physical diseases by medical institutions. So CFS patients eventually have to give up on people’s understanding - which they well deserve to have - and choose to live alone, because even the loneliness is better to deal with than being treated without respect.
These 2 reasons made me personally believe that the challenges that CFS patients face are greater than the challenges that many other people with more "serious" illnesses face, as long as their illnesses have "formal" names.

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.


  1. Through our suffering we have become conscious of the suffering of others and of who we really are at our core. We have re-examined the life that was and made peace with our life that is We struggle every day to make the happiness choice and when we succeed we are truly winners - winners who gain the most precious prize of all self awareness. This self awareness makes it possible to love of our self and become our own best friend. This love in turn renders us able to love others at a deeper level than we could previously. A limited life may not always be a good one but it remains a precious gift. I salute your courage and your openness. May love and peace be with thee always,

  2. Yunyi, you're an incredibly positive person; it shines through in your words and your general attitude. I had no idea that you had to cope with this additional burden. My challenges seem unreal compared with yours.

  3. Real strength comes from the realization that we possess nothing, that everything we take pride in and that gives our lives value can be lost or swept away. Then you're free and start to live for life's sake, appreciating the gift of each day.

  4. TiTi,
    Tears in my eyes. You said it right, "become our own best friend." And how lucky I am for having you and all other friends here.

    Thanks for your being so understanding! How I wish I was as wise as you to enjoy sports when I was younger.
    Even though hardship did teach me many things, I still want to say this, Ana, stay physically healthy, and let your passion to knowledge fly higher...

  5. NP,
    Wisdom of Zen - the emptiness.
    Yes, it we take everything we get in life as a gift, the perspective changes, and we follow the streams and enjoy every views we see.