A few days have passed without me sharing anything due to the impact of my myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). This is one of the reasons why I enjoy writing poems about disabilities and special needs so much, as there is often little understanding of their true impact. Instead, there is a current trend, especially among young people, to pretend they have certain special needs and disabilities when they do not. By doing so, they fail to comprehend the impact they have on people like myself who do have these special needs and disabilities. They increase the stigma while often also benefiting from their pretense. For most people with special needs and disabilities, the only wish is for others to stop judging them and for there to be some acceptance and understanding, no matter how small it may be. The fakers’ acceptance of benefits is a clear indication that they do not have the conditions that we truly do. Moreover, in my case, I am not even affected by ME/CFS as severely as some others are. I can still do most things I enjoy, such as writing these poems, while others cannot.
The exhaustion seeps into my bones,
Deeper than most will ever know.
An ache that makes each movement a chore,
As I plead for the energy for just one more.
The fog fills my addled brain,
Clarity and focus I struggle to attain.
Simple tasks seem monumental each day,
Always needing more rest along the way.
But you cannot see my battle,
You judge me as lazy, malingering or rattled.
You claim my illness is all in my head,
As I long to stay in my bed.
The crash can come without warning,
All my reserves leave me mourning.
The life I once lived now lost,
The high price my health has cost.
You say you have CFS too,
But your actions say it isn’t true.
You live your life without pause or care,
While I fight each day this illness to bear.
The stigma and judgment cuts like a knife,
As I wage this invisible fight.
For validation and understanding,
While fakers keep demanding.
The years pass in a haze,
Always needing more days and days.
To rest and recover my energy,
This is the reality of living with ME.
The battle is real, though you may not see,
One day I hope to break free.
Be cured of this condition at last,
And leave these struggles in the past.
But until then I remain,
Doing all I can to maintain.
Some semblance of the life I once led,
Before the fog filled my head.
I hope that one day you will understand,
What it is like to live with this demand.
This illness takes away without consent,
My energy, hopes and time are spent.
Fighting each day to survive,
With CFS, so I can thrive.
Despite the disbelievers and fakers too,
My battle is real, if only you knew.