I'll be 45 in April and I first developed CFS in 1999. Up until 5 years ago, I kept my hopes up that I would be able to finally get out of my house, get off of SSI, and maybe be able to work somewhat. Through it all, I tried to keep a positive attitude. Through the crashing fatigue, brain fog, vertigo, anxiety/panic attacks...I dealt with it the best I could. In addition to the CFS, other health issues materialized, such as, ringing in the ears and optic neuritis. The optic neuritis finally blinded me in my right eye. But, for me anyway, the crushing blow came 5 years ago when, at the age of 40, I was told that I needed a pacemaker to correct an electrical malfunction in my heart. For 15 months, everyday after that, I cried. Inside, there was only emptiness, almost like a void. I felt nothing but sorrow. It was as if a part of me died before I left the hospital. Hard to explain in words. Time has passed, and although I don't weep as I used to, I still cannot find the girl I used to be. She simply isn't there anymore. Some tears are shed, but, mostly it is a lot of anger. I snap at people that haven't done anything to deserve it. My self-esteem is through the floor. I cannot find any worth in myself. Before I became ill in '99, I had been caring for and helping my mother, so, I never married or had children. I'm all alone. I was only approved for SSI, so, I can't live on my own. I can't even afford a month's worth of food for myself. 75% of the clothes that I have have been given to me by family or the local charities. Since I can't exercise, I am overweight. My doctor doesn't understand why I can't lose weight like she wants me too. And, I explain why, but, it goes in one ear and out the other. As I type this, I realize that there are many, many others who suffer from this hideous disease that are much worse off than I am. I guess what gets me is that I am worthless. I cannot support myself, I can't work or go to school(I tried already), and all I can do is watch the rest of my family that live nearby go about their daily lives. They go to work, go to school. My niece and brother-in-law have recently began a martial arts class together. It's just getting to be unbearable to watch my days pass as I get older and can only be an observer in life. I missed my niece's graduation from high school because I was in bed. I just hate where I have come to. I hate my life. I hate myself. And, I hate that I cannot do anything about it. I've tried counseling and couldn't make myself go to the appointments. So, now they won't see me anymore. Being around others if very difficult. I sleep through the day and am awake most of the night. I'm sorry this has been so long. I just wanted to put in words what it is like for me. I have no one that understands what it is like for me. My family tries, but, they don't. It's a chore to care for myself and much of the time that goes undone. I don't see the point in caring for something that is broken. And, that's what I am. I'm broken. There is a lot more I can say, but, I will stop typing here. Thank ya'll very much for reading this and letting me vent.