Hi bright and sue, and anyone else interested,
I have a complicated medical situation, where CFS is just a small part of the picture. Because of limitations imposed by other symptoms, I can't push myself hard enough to cause a relapse of fatigue. But chronic pain being my worst symptom, I well know the disappointment and psychological impact of a relapse of pain. It's absolutely devastating, and the more I have improved since the last relapse, the less I can tolerate it. But the one thing that is as certain as the occurrence of future relapses, is that I will pull out of this one.
After a certain point, in the progression of my combined illnesses, maybe a few years into it, I found I could no longer bear the disappointment of a relapse. Of course, I felt that way, to a certain extent, (and still feel) with each relapse. But there came a point where I lost the will to pursue the hopes and dreams, which I had so carefully maintained, since becoming ill. At this point, it was not so much the disappointment, or the loss, which is hard enough to deal with by itself, with each relapse; but I could not continue to renew my hopes and dreams, did not have the will to renew them, as I recovered from each relapse.
If I had my own family, or husband, or even a close family of friends; or the beginnings of a career or project that I felt passionate about, like a mission in life or something; I think I could still manage to hold out hope and renew it after each relapse. But sadly, tragically, for the kind of effort it was taking to survive, I had very little in the way of hopes and dreams, to anticipate or even to work towards, for which making the effort was worth. :-(
Suicidal? Oh yes, I can't say for how long it was a daily thought. Neither can I say why it never happened... But fortunately, recently, I've made an important transformation. I went through a period of grieving for the hopes and dreams that I lost. In the middle of that, I realized that I could still have hopes and dreams, if I kind of "adjusted" them. So I set out to ponder what kind of hopes and dreams would be worthy of the effort it takes me to survive.
It has been both surprising, and surprisingly rewarding! And I'll leave it at that. I'm still in the process of "adjusting", and learning what reasonable hopes and dreams are worth living through the pain.
I realize this message might be hard to understand, but I've reread it many times, and can't come up with any other words to express what I want to say about what relapses are to me. So, from my heart to the internet....here it is!
brynn, Moderator for Chronic Pain forums
and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome forums