Are you new to ME?

Pace Yourself

The best advice is simple – take things very gently at first to let your body do the really hard work of combating this illness. Some people are very badly affected by it – bedbound and in constant pain. You must take this illness seriously. Do not think that you can push yourself through. That is the way to make it so much worse.

If you have a good GP, only try to tackle one symptom at a time: they can also feel overwhelmed with it, as there are no clear answers. Some of your symptoms can be eased, others can be just weird with no solution. Talking to others with ME will help you to realise that you are not the only one with truly strange symptoms.

Sorry, but you have to be patient. You can move forward, but there is no simple pattern as to why we get ME, how badly it affects us, or how long it will take to improve. So many of us have gone round and round in circles trying to work it all out, so don't go down that route!

Your number one priority is to give your body the time and energy to repair itself. Spoil yourself, and eat healthily.

"Pacing yourself" is your first priority. That means NEVER pushing yourself to finish something when you start to flag. In fact the idea is to learn, with experience, to stop well before then. You must leave your body and brain with enough energy to rebuild and repair. Many people believe that those who do this properly right at the start of their illness have better prospects. Schools and employers may put pressure on you, but listen to your body.

It will feel as though you are climbing a slippery slope: we all hit bad patches for no obvious reasons, and slide back downwards, but looking back over time we can see that we make progress. Often, at the time, it doesn't feel like that. Don't get disheartened, and keep in touch with others.