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A Path Of Emotional Growth

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By Clarissa Shepherd

May 12th is Awareness Day for ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia. I dedicate this to each of you living a daily battle within yourself. In this, you're not alone.

So many of us have lost our place in society due to illness. It's a fact that we feel left out, are out of touch and isolated.

We may even find we can't keep up with the lives of family or friends. We miss many daily events, leading us down a path of fewer and fewer invitations – thus leading us to more emotional pain.

We lose touch with current affairs, what's going on in our own community and the world around us. When communicating with others, we may feel untethered, as if we no longer connect or fit in. Many times we feel trapped in illness, trapped in our body, and trapped in a world in which we can't participant, living far from where others roam – going to movies, taking trips, going out with friends, etc. 

While others seek and find new friends, go on to college, new careers, move to a new home or another city – all because they choose to do so, we may not have the ability to make such choices. Many times, our type of illness becomes the decision maker for when, where, and what we do.
This certainly is a difficult path and not easily traveled. We may feel a heightened sense of emotions, such as anxiety, being on edge, tearfulness, or restlessness – while living with the lack of the quiet peacefulness that we once knew. Only those of us who live in this type of world can relate to the loneliness and isolation of it all. This affects us mind and body.
Living this way is not weakness – quite the opposite. It's sheer, true bravery – held together by an unending courage.
The people who've lived a life of chronic illness, or shared a similar path, are those we seem to connect with. Due to illness, we learn new ways to exist, creative ways to live. In this different type of life, we grow emotionally due to our many challenges.

If a person doesn't have this type of experience, they typically stay the same on their emotional path. The truth is, although adversity is not a road we would have chosen, it is one of growing – emotionally and spiritually.

Your light shines, even in the darkness, so cling to that truth.

You're a true warrior on this journey that is chronic illness.

Know that in this, you're not alone – for many extraordinary people are walking this same bold path.

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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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (46 votes, average: 4.55 out of 5)

7 thoughts on “A Path Of Emotional Growth”

  1. Danesh says:

    Thank you, Clarissa, for this piece that touches our souls. Yes! I feel as if I don’t fit in, even with my family members, I feel untethered. For a very social person, this disease of ME/CFS has been devastating. But what you say is true. We are growing through it, emotionally and spiritually. As people going through an adversity. Ours is endless it seems, yet having support from fellow sufferers like you makes the journey a little less painful. God bless you. Denise B.

    1. ClarissaShepherd says:

      So glad it touched you in such a huge way dear. I understand, not feeling as if you fit in. Its a journey only understood by those who walk it. Thank you from my heart for your support.

    2. goldielocks says:

      Clarissa, such a well written article. This is unfortunately our world now with chronic illness. But I love the last part of your article how you see it as being brave and letting our light shine. This is how I see it to. Although I may not have chosen this path it’s mine to walk no matter how rough it gets sometime. I choose to bloom where I’m. Planted. There are different things we can do with our lives now one being to help others down the same path. We all can helped each other.

  2. cphero says:

    I have been dealing with severe chronic pain since 2008 and ME since 2011. I have often said “If only I JUST had pain”. The author of this article describes what this illness is and what it does. While it is easy to describe what ME is, describing what it does to our lives is a whole other matter. As I read her words, I felt like she was writing about my life, my experiences. I will share this article with others in the hopes that it gives them a better understanding of this dreaded illness.

    1. ClarissaShepherd says:

      What a lovely comment. You filled my heart. I’ve been ill with ME for almost 24 years – from a young age. I certainly understand. I had many years in which I was completely bed bound. This is an illness, that one must experience to truly understand. I’m very sorry that you live with the many debilitating symptoms as well. Thank you so very much for making my day.

  3. ClarissaShepherd says:

    Yes even in our struggle and pain, we do learn to bloom where we’re planted. Thank you so much.

  4. ClarissaShepherd says:

    Yes even in our struggle and pain, we do learn to bloom where we’re planted. Thank you so much.

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