“CFIDS support groups come in many shapes and forms.
Some offer much-needed basic support, others provide education, while
others take a more activist approach. People
with CFIDS sometimes find that their need for a particular type of group changes
during the course of their illness….”
Huneycutt, CFIDS Support Network
describes her feelings after her first visit to a support group.
“I was searching for understanding; someone just to listen to my
feelings, fears and concerns; someone to validate that I wasn’t crazy; someone
to remind me that I wasn’t alone. I
was searching for reassurance, a role model of the optimism that so often eludes
me. I was searching for acceptance,
someone to know and value me for who I am, since I am no longer what I do.
I was searching for a place to belong, somewhere I could be myself
without pretending, without having to hide a part of myself. And I was searching for a place to contribute, so that
I might reach out to help others, and in so doing I might lift myself up as
continued, “While our bodies (and for
many of us even our minds) are sick, our hearts have the capacity to experience
joy and love. Most importantly, we
have the ability to reach out to others, to give and receive support.
We can remind each other that we are not alone, that we have value and
that ‘this too shall pass.’ When
we are feeling a bit stronger, those who are weaker can lean on us.
And we can teach what we have learned to those who have not yet traveled
that road. We need not decide that
the rest of the world is against us, but rather we can share ideas of how to
connect and promote the understanding we long for and deserve. We can express our rage and sadness at the limits CFS has
placed upon our lives, but we can also share the daily blessings we may have
come to appreciate.”