Posted by: Bruce Proctor | August 13, 2008

Bringing my CFS illness up to the Commons group

On Sunday I woke late in the morning to find this note from my housemate, nicely written up:

“Bruce—Reminder: ACM Today 1-3 pm@ Common House.

Attendance at All Community Meetings is Mandatory

(>50% of 12 meetings per year is the standard)”

I was feeling pretty sick at the time, and this note just floored me. I did The Work sheet on it and wrote out my upset:

“There’s a big meeting I’m supposed to go to today, and it seems too much. And I’m afraid I’ll be too sick to go. That I won’t be able to sit up. That I’ll have to leave. That being with a whole group will be overwhelming. That I will not be able to think properly. That I will be too disoriented to function. That even more will be expected of me.”

I finished out The Work sheet and got some peace about it and clarity. I also realized that my peace wasn’t enough. Hob, my roommate, although he’s well aware of my illness, didn’t know enough about it yet, and the Wasatch Commons community at large needed to know more about me, too. Things that almost everyone takes for granted, for instance, walking to the Commons House just a couple doors away is often a challenge for me—I consider it and choose my moments.

So Hob was downstairs, and I wanted his opinion on what I should do. I read my Work Sheet to him and we talked about the issues. That I don’t want the group to think I’m just blowing them off. That it’s possible there might be some resentment, if they don’t understand my situation. That I might not be welcome in the community, or to stay here. That I’d chosen to live here because I felt that it might be healthier for me here (and I think it is), and happier (I love the kids and animals and trees and plants all around!). I brought down some literature on CFS for Hob to see.

He spoke my concerns back to me, clearly and accurately. And before I’d even considered it, he volunteered to present my situation at the imminent group meeting himself, taking the literature with him for support.

I know the folks here are fine. But we don’t know each other yet. And my situation calls for some understanding. And it’s such a personal thing. I suppose that I hoped I wouldn’t have to bring it up in public. Later in the day, Hob reported back to me, saying that there had been a few questions, and that they were free to call or talk to me, but that the group had been fine about it.

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