Sundog –noun 1. parhelion. 2. a small or incomplete rainbow.

Archive for November, 2009

Tides of the Storm

Approaching Storm by Nuno Milheiro

Crashing is synonymous with CFS, a state of bodily destruction for which you often do not know the cause but that can come upon you with little regard for what you might have planned in life.

Pulled under by the unrelenting tide of another crash, it is hard not to at times feel suffocated by the merciless pressure exerted against my fragile body.

Time crawls by while still I tumble about in this ocean of madness for how could an illness such as this be anything sane.

Day blends into day as time passes along without me. Now and then I come up for air, the gasping of breath painful in my ears before I feel the tug of the tide pulling me down once more.

This limbo of increased pain, fatigue so great I feel hardly able to sit to eat most meals, and incredible cloudiness to my thoughts all blend into a background mosaic upon which is seen the anguish of my homelessness in sharp relief.

Life passes on, the tide rolls in and with it I am consumed once more.

Ex nihilo

From the outside, my life would seem very simple. I do not work, there is no place I must be more than a couple times a year, my income is steady, and my needs predictable. Yet in this simplicity there is a large void that comes from not feeling as though I have accomplished much in any given day.

When life itself is a daily accomplishment, there is little satisfaction in it because tomorrow it will be as though today hardly was; in that the exact same things will need doing again. Little carries over because I do not have very much to show for all my spent energy in any given day. It is so frustrating to have such a small amount of energy to give life because I still remember the feeling of having completed something after a hard day’s work.

The simply joy in having worked till I felt as though I was going to drop, then looking around me to see the world was transformed by what I had done. My house would be clean from top to bottom, everything at work fully caught up and running smoothly, or my feet carrying me miles into the backcountry with nothing but a heavy pack on my back and a dog by my side. All of these things I took for granted when I had them, never seeing how precious this sense of having done something ordinary could actually be extraordinary in the size of feat accomplished.

Twenty minutes of cleaning up is now infinitely harder, equal only to the most taxing days before. My great trips to the backcountry are a walk to the end of my driveway and back. I never have the feeling of being caught up in my work or it running smoothly, as I now lack the capacity to do more than those things which are vital or time sensitive. Everything else must wait until they fall into one of those two categories, otherwise I will crash from over exhaustion and be unable to complete even the little I do now.

I really miss that feeling of accomplishment that was so easy to come by when I had more energy. It is very difficult even after these last eight years of CFS to accept that being able to wash one plate is a worthy goal. Paying one bill online actually is a day’s work well done.

Now managing to pace myself, to conserve energy every day so my body has some with which to bring about healing and a means to wellness, is the greatest accomplishment I can do and it involves me doing absolutely nothing.

Whoever originally said “Nothing comes from nothing” obviously never had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.