I watched rugby! For the first time in my life, I watched rugby and almost understood it. What’s more, I actually enjoyed it. For a spectator, it’s vastly superior to a football match. There’s always something happening – surfing over the line with the ball, or a kick, or wrestling someone to the ground, or a group hug, or a ballet jump. Plus, when there’s a foul, it’s not someone jumping in the air and clinging onto their ankle like a baby. If there’s a foul in rugby, you’re gonna see some actual blood.
Whenever I’m feeling the sense of shame of not achieving as much as I would have liked, I remind myself that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. Change often comes through lots of people doing small things imperfectly.
Have you noticed that the Church often talks about grief in the same way that we often talk about illness and other forms of suffering? We expect people to just “get over it,” that if they believe hard enough, all will be well.
It is not just the lack of make-up that makes me feel particularly vulnerable and ‘naked’ about this film: I tell stories here that I have confided to very few others. The aim is to assist awareness of this much-misunderstood disease, and to campaign for a review of the Nice guidelines for M.E./CFS in the UK.
The Telegraph article gave the impression that Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) offer the best chance of recovery for M.E. patients. Actually, the study found something quite different – that those in the GET and CBT groups had no greater improvements, long-term, than those in the Pacing group (APT) and those who did nothing at all (Standard Medical Care). In other words, their new follow-up study showed that there is no advantage in Graded Exercise Therapy over other therapies.
But God was there, at the edges, in every one of these homes. I couldn’t always see him straight on. He was in the neighbor who gave me safe harbor, the sister who prayed with me, the teacher who called social services.
All the odds were against me, against my survival, but God kept showing up.
That encounter stays in my mind, because it was some of the best advice I’ve ever received—quit while you still love it. I had felt the restlessness and I had tried to press it down. But God was in the restlessness.
I’ve recently notched up my 10th anniversary – but forget the champagne corks. There was nothing whatsoever to celebrate, either by me or those closest to me. That’s because this summer saw ten years of living with what Churchill called the black dog.