How the Adversity From An Illness Can Be Empowering

Guest post by James Simpson

As an 11 year sufferer of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I feel like the odds have been stacked heavily against me. Even members of my own family look at me in disbelief when I talk about my symptoms. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not just possible for people to understand what i’m dealing with, because “I look completely normal”. In this way, CFS and PTSD are very much connected. It’s easy to fall into this negativity, but one thing I found out about myself is that adversity makes me want to succeed.

Find Out What You Can Do and Go For It 10 Times Over

After I got sick, what I could do was definitely limited. In the first 5 years of my illness, I spent most of my time laying down in a dark room. My concentration issues were the most difficult part, as they made it tough to hold conversations and connect with people. I knew my life was different, so I had to adapt. I came across an article about a young guy making $100 per day with a website he built about his TIVO. I thought that would be something I could do from home and decided that I was going to learn how to make money on the internet at all costs. At first it was pretty slow going. I had a few minor successes, but more often alot of failures. But after these first few missteps, things really started to pick up. I eventually got to the point where i was making more money than most people I knew. It all peaked 2 years ago, when I was able to buy my first home.

Ironically I chose to live by the beach, even though I never went (which I do admit is kind of funny). In spite of not taking full advantage of a nice beach house, I was really happy that I had come this far on my own terms. I was able to accomplish things that most people who feel well couldn’t do, and that felt like a major victory to me.

Accepting that Things Have Changed

For a long time I was really angry about the whole situation and I felt robbed. But lately my attitude has really changed. I realized that I might not get back to how I used to be, but i can still do well in spite of it. After 11 years of being sick, I just started to accept that I was different. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to the guy I was, but i’m going to do the best I can with what I have.

Plans For The Future

I plan on going forward with new internet businesses and am looking into stock market investing. I figure that with enough time and hard work, I can grow to understand how to invest and be profitable with stocks, just as I had done with the internet. Having work to do every day was definitely important for me to find a purpose. Watching television in the dark is not a good way to live. Making money made me feel successful and I really hadn’t felt that in a long time.

James spends time on his sites like Chronic Fatigue Treatments which focuses on fatiguing illnesses like CFS, adrenal fatigue, and sleep apnea. He’s currently working on new projects and planning to launch more sites.

The ideas contained in this post solely represent the perspective of the author. To contribute to ‘Survivors Speak’ contact Michele.


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