One of the first things most people ask when you say you have ME is ‘Isn’t that the thing where you’re tired sometimes?’. After two years living with the condition I now either don’t even bother telling people I have it or I just say ‘yeah kind of’.
The truth of the matter is for people who live with ME is that misunderstanding or even total disbelief- even doctors- are the main reactions we receive. Well you know what? I’m bloody fed up with it!
ME is a real, very serious, extremely debilitating condition. In fact studies conducted by ME Research UK say that it is actually a more debilitating condition than MS and that suffers with ME are less likely to have paying jobs or a functioning lifestyle than people with MS. Now no-one questions the serious of MS so I think its about time people started to treat people with ME with the same courtesy that other long term condition sufferers receive.
To be an ME sufferer is to feel alone a lot of the time. Sometimes because when you can’t work or easily get around you end up being alone. But sometimes is because your with people who either don’t understand or think they do (the its all in your head people) and they can make you feel more alone even if you’re surrounded by 20 people.
So basically it’s time for people to get their heads out of their asses and accept the truth. It’s real, it’s crap and the person suffering needs your help. So give it. Think about them. Think how you would feel in their position. Don’t pass judgement or ask inflammatory questions. Just be aware and try for a little empathy. I’m sure if you had ME, you’d want nothing less.