“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
When was the last time this quote accurately described your life?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when this statement was true for me. There are a few times in my life when I could describe times as being both the best and worst but I believe the most recent time has been the last six years of my life as a whole.
These six years have been the worst of times because I have been battling with a depressive mood disorder and likely Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The way these diseases have limited my life seem unbelievable to me. I had to give up driving because I cannot pay attention very well and do not have the reflexes I once did. Someday I hope I can just drive to the grocery store or Shoppers Drug Mart and back but that someday isn’t right now.
I use to be an extremely social person and was very close to my friends. Now I feel because of my disease that gap has widened. Partly because I can attend so few events. Night is a difficult time for me so I often can’t go out that late and transportation and money are always an issue because I often do not have money to take a cab both ways or to bus because of energy. I can bus one way in the day usually but I’m just less alert and more fatigued during the night.
Chronic fatigue has also made it impossible for me to exercise at a level where I can lose weight put on from medications and inactivity. I love exercise, I have for a very long time but my body wears out quickly even during 20 minutes of yoga and cardio usually just makes me sick to my stomach and completely wears me out for the rest of the day, especially lately. It is a symptom of CF Syndrome.
Another big issue is that I can usually only concentrate for a couple hours at a time and when I go out I use to be able to do about 4-5 hours but now 3 is all I can handle. Then I go home so exhausted I have to crawl into bed and just sleep for hours, sometimes days. I have malais, which means after a big activity I require often a day or two of recovery time.
Those are the worst of times for me but despite my illness there have been some good times as well. There have been vacations with my Mom and Dad and/or brother to Las Vegas, Anaheim, Phoenix, and Montreal. All of which, despite becoming exhausted by mid-afternoon I have enjoyed so much and have fought to rest up in time at night for dinner and shows.
I have found out who my real friends are because they are the one’s who have stuck by me through thick and through thin. They were there to visit me in the hospital when I was first sick and they are here now with a ride, to share some coffee or wine with, and to invite me out and hang out when we have the time in our busy lives. They understand I need time to rest and cannot make it to every event and they can tell when I have had enough when I’m out with them.
I met my boyfriend A through a dating website called Plenty of Fish. Our first date we went for coffee at the 2nd Cup and went to the movie 21 Jump Street downtown. He has been my guy since and despite the fact we fight and get really mad at each other at times we have been together over three years. At first I was too sick for the first three years of my illness to consider boyfriends but when the time came that I was interested in guys again, he was there.
I have become so much closer to my family both my parents and brothers, and my grandparents, godparents, and extended family. I have learnt that I can rely on them and that we can take care of each other. I have rediscovered religion and the place that has in my life. My illness began with a psychotic episode in which I was so afraid I was separated from God and experiencing Hell. So, I’m grateful to be able to say I truly believe in God and his son Jesus and have no desire to be a part from them but to share them with others who want that. I have learnt not to be so selfish but to talk to others whether they are strangers who just need a smile or friends who I have not seen in ages.
This is why the past 6 years have been the best years of my life. And I think If I’m truthful, the best of times would not be the best without having those bad times.