When M.E. prevents us from fulfilling our dreams

Illness has been a big part of my daily life for nearly two decades during which I reluctantly let go of most of the dreams I had for myself. In my forties, one of the dreams I cherished was to continue moving forward in my career. 

I have lived like an elderly person way before my time. Having just reached the age of 65, it has now become a harsh reality that most healthy 90 year olds could trot circles around me. This is what ME has done to my body and in its wake, this illness has taken even the most modest dreams that remained in my heart. As I search the deep recesses of my being, I find that I do still dream of becoming a successful screenwriter but, if I’m realistic, fulfilling this ardent long-time wish has become pretty much out of reach. ME had confined me to a space and a pace where me and my one treasured, “winning” screenplay are hidden away. I am out of touch with a world I can only see from the sidelines and this sometimes makes me feel sad and angry.

I can still dream of dipping my toes in the ocean, of glamour camping in the woods, of getting pampered at a spa for a few days or climbing to a mountain top but I am well aware that it would also take a miracle for these to happen. Some would say that I am being negative, that anything can manifest itself. I used to be one of those people and I still am to some degree. But at this point, there are too many hugs and birthdays I’ve missed as my grandchildren grow up, too many quiet Holidays spent at home while the family assembles without me, too many days gone by feeling like a hermit, too many heartaches caused by pain and isolation. I just can’t find it in me to let dreams bring more disappointment.

As I sit there, staring down the Dragon, I feel it has won another piece of my life: After all, people who can’t dare to dream are no longer young at heart. Huh. That can’t be right, can it? I’m not dead yet!

Oh, how the Dragon pushes my buttons, ever spurring me on to find the last fiber of inner strength I can muster, not only to go on another day but also to make it a better one. I want to punch it in the snout! Often. I know…It would only make me feel worse.

There is no other reasonable recourse but to allow myself a few sweet, attainable dreams, like the promise of fall foliage that I will soon enjoy if only from my window or maybe during a short walk with my dog. I can dream of the Star Wars movie I’ll be seeing at Christmas with my husband (and earplugs!).

As for bigger dreams, I keep a quote on hand because when doubt creeps in, it gives me the courage to keep on believing in them. I don’t know who wrote it but it’s brilliant: “Give thanks for unknown Blessings already on their way”.

See you on the path of healing and beyond,




Canadian author Marianne Granger lives with ME/CFS. She is a Life/Wellnes Coach and the author of Higher Maintenance, a self-help book published by Balboa Press.

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