By Jody Smith December 28, 2010 - 9:25am
It's a universal impulse at this time of year to look back and to look
forward. This week closes out the old year, and opens the new.
It's the perennial Old Year/New Year reflection. Looking in two
directions at once.
People who are chronically ill do this too, at least the ones able to
think coherently enough for long enough periods. Some years, that
Some years, I spent the weeks after Christmas in bed, sleeping chaotic
hours around the clock. Dozing over an unread book. Staring
uncomprehending out a window.
But not this year. This year I'm quite coherent, thank you. And I am
doing the Old Year/New Year reflection.
We chronics ask many of the same universal human questions that
healthy people do. Then there are other issues unique to us.
1.Was I happy last year? Will I be happy in the coming year?
If the year winding down has been rough, it can be hard to hope that
something better will come. But ... hope anyway.
2.Was I healthy last year? Will I be healthy this year?
For some of us bad health has shrouded our past for more years than we
can count. Some chronic lives have been like a Gothic tale of horror.
A brand new year up ahead may inspire hope and anticipation, or fear
of falling off a new precipice.
3.Have I moved ahead this year? Or have I lost ground?
I can rarely make a blanket statement as to whether life has been bad
or good. I find it helps to look at different aspects of my life. And
if anything has improved, my preference is to take that and fan its
flames of hope, for all it's worth.
I've been viewed as being Pollyanna-esque or prey to wishful thinking.
But I've already lost a lot to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I'm not
letting it take anything more from me than I can help. And that
especially includes my ability to hope.
4.What new things am I hoping for in the coming year?
Some of us with CFS are hoping for a doctor who is sympathetic and
knowledgeable. We're all hoping that there will finally be more than
just a small handful of devoted heroes who've been investigating CFS
with little or no financial support.
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