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Puncture repair kit.

For a very long time I have felt punctured.  Like happiness and joy were slowly seeping away from me.  And of course my family and my friends would fill me up again whenever I saw them, but in their absence, I would deflate.

I was forced to find an answer for my own M.E.  It was kill or cure.  I had stood against abuse in my community and found that my community wanted to keep the abuse and to lose me.  Since I was well-known and well-liked the process took them a number of years.

People came, friends came, and one by one they broke my heart.  Like my hero, The Doctor, I have two hearts.  My own feelings and emotions are carried in one.  The other is for other people.  I feel huge pain in both.

Imagine if someone lied about you, an M.E patient.  It would hurt. It's a horrible thing to be deliberately misrepresented.  It is awful to live the experience and watch as people think less of you and treat you differently.  But imagine if you could also feel the pain of being the very person who would do such thing.  You are hurt twice over.

Abuse has two victims.  Both target and perpetrator are harmed by every instance of mistreatment. 

Now that I am recovered and energy surges back throughout my veins and arteries, I fall over myself trying to achieve and be productive.  M.E patients are a valuable, untapped, resource.  They just need a little care and a little science to get them restarted, to get them back in the game.

Extracting myself from M.E advocacy was an unbelievably painful affair.

Though, I am away from this community and my body is repaired, my heart remains punctured.  Darts with hollow barrels allow hope and happiness to escape.

And though I am not responsible for much of the damage done to me, it remains my job to repair it.  During my dramatic and on times quite daring escape from M.E, I have found it necessary to end friendships, sever family ties and reject academics and physicians.  As I have done this, so the punctures are repaired.

I have often wondered why so many people hate and attack M.E patients.  They are sick, it seems so perverse.  But, then, this is the point.  Society too is sick: Good is bad, and bad has become de rigueur.  Beyond this, I guess M.E patients have a simple, basic, problem:  M.E forces them to tell the truth.  You cannot fake being well for very long.  In a society that demands pace and positivity, M.E is a deeply uncomfortable reminder that life can also be so, so, slow and really very hard indeed.

When people come and attack I am twice hurt.  Once for me, and once for them.  It seems irrational to me for patients to attack people who are trying to help them.

When you harm an altruist, you attack your own interests.

But you know, this is the toxicity, the smog that increasingly surrounds and envelops M.E patients and also the wider world.

Friends; Attend to your hearts.