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A Thief Of Dreams

  [ 35 votes ]   [ 4 Comments ]
By Clarissa Shepherd • • May 11, 2017

A Thief Of Dreams
Living with ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, Lyme disease or other such chronic illness, can take so much from us. It causes us to feel inadequate and not good enough – in numerous ways.

We lose so much of our independence – from going out alone to being able to drive at all. Many living bed bound or house bound – feeling so isolated and lonely.

We lose positions and careers that we loved – adding to our grief, sadness, and sense of self-worth.

We lose our place in society, as well as with family and friends. We miss out on family events, parties, holidays, and more. While many around us never see this pain, it's ever present with us.

We lose confidence in doing simple tasks, such as taking a walk, cooking or baking, driving, speaking out for ourselves, trying new things, taking care of our finances, and more.

We lose that simple peacefulness of "just being" – never feeling that quiet calm, we once knew before illness walked into our lives.

Often times, we feel defenselessness. We feel as if we're bare skin, exposed to all that surrounds us – as if we have no protective barrier – physically or emotionally.

Such loss of self-confidence and independence can lead to anxiety, fear, and/or depression. This we bear in addition to all the many physical symptoms of illness.

Our type of illness is truly a "thief of dreams" and emotionally painful beyond proper words of description. We don't require sympathy but we do need understanding (two very different things).

Chronic illness is traumatizing, to say the least. Yet, our being ill isn't a true reflection as to who we are. However, we may still feel this type of deep pain within our heart and very being.

We are not our illness and we must give ourselves credit for how we've learned to maneuver down a difficult path. Not everyone can change gears in mid-stream and still survive with such grace.

To walk this path daily requires courage beyond measure, so never think yourself "less than." Know you're strong, even when you don't feel you are. Know you're brave, even when you don't feel you are. Carry that truth with you, each and every day – knowing that many incredible people walk this journey alongside you – are surviving alongside you – understand your struggle as well as rejoice in your triumphs.

May our hands join together in spirit – across the miles – for together we're truly made stronger.

May each of us find new ways to create, dream, imagine, and live beyond the confines of our illness.

Clarissa Shepherd

Clarissa Shepherd is founder of the uplifting Fellow Travelers: Support and Chat (ME/CFS/FM) online Facebook support group and author of the book of natural healing: Find Your Way: A Guide to Healing While Living With Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Fibromyalgia; A Thief of Dreams
Posted by: dawn306
May 11, 2017
This article really hits home with me, as I am a sufferer of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. The author, Clarissa Shepherd,who also has a chronic illness, is an articulate and compassionate champion and advocate for the rest of us who quietly live with this crippling condition. Her articles show a deep understanding of what it's like to live with a chronic disease like fibromyalgia, sharing this knowledge with everyone who will listen, giving gentle support to fellow sufferers, and educating those who are friends and companions of sufferers. It's hard enough for us who have this disease to understand and accept the limitations it puts on our lives; it must be ten times harder for those who don't feel our pain, and can't see our suffering, because we don't have any outward signs of being ill. Clarissa, with her insightful writings, is able to shed light on our suffering, bringing education and understanding to all who will listen. Fibromyalgia truly is "A Thief is Dreams".
Reply Reply

Posted by: ClarissaShepherd
May 12, 2017
You truly filled my heart with your beautiful comment concerning my writing and the work I do. Its such a comfort to me to know I can help others - to know even though this illness has robbed me of so much, I can still be of help to so many who are living in pain and sorrow. Thank you so very much.
Reply Reply

Posted by: Danesh
May 12, 2017
Thank you, Clarissa, once again for seeing into our hearts and minds, as fellow sufferers of ME/CFS and FM. Your love, compassion and information helps me to keep the perspective I need to keep going. God bless you!
Reply Reply

Thank you
Posted by: ClarissaShepherd
May 13, 2017
I'm so blessed to hear that my piece spoke to you. It gives us a bit of validation to know we're not alone. Thank you so much.


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