Severe M.E has taken so much away from me, my identity, my independence, my future, my dreams and aspirations that I had for my life and so much more. Despite the many challenges that I face every single day having M.E has made me the person I am today.
I have so much more gratitude for life and when I am able to do things and having Severe M.E has made me a stronger and more resilient person. The loneliness and isolation is really challenging but I love sending letters to my friends; this is my version of socialising. I get so much joy creating and sending letters and it makes me smile to know that I’m sharing that joy with the person receiving the letters, some of whom have Severe M.E too.
Next to my bed I have a giant noticeboard and I love looking at it and it always fills me up with gratitude when I see all the cards and drawings and quotes and other things people have sent me. In our village the ladies who work in the Post Office always recognise my letters when my Dad or step mum go to send them and they always ask after me which I feel is so lovely and to know that I am thought after. This and writing and receiving letters really helps me to ease the isolation and loneliness that comes with having Severe M.E.
I know this past year many people have faced loneliness and isolation due to the pandemic and some of the things that I hope come from this is better understanding from the public of what it is like for the many people like myself who live in isolation for much longer than a few months. I also hope that the research going into long-covid will also support the much needed research into M.E.
by Naomi Gilchrist (aged 28)