This is a slightly different post from my usual ones but I hope you’ll bear with me and that you find something useful or interesting here.
Today is a global day of protest called ‘Millions Missing’, for people (like me) who live with the illness known as M.E/C.F.S. The idea behind it is to demonstrate the huge numbers of people who are missing from the careers, social lives and education that they were previously able to sustain and enjoy.
The ‘Millions Missing’ are both people and money, because it’s also about demanding more funding for reasearch into the causes of M.E so that effective treatments can be developed.
M.E is a fluctuating illness and can vary in its severity. I’m more fortunate, in that, although I’m unable to work full-time, I am usually able to go about most of my other daily activities. It’s an invisible illness but it’s also easy for the people who live with it to become invisible too. Lots of people with M.E are completely housebound or bedbound so events like today’s are important to make us all seen and heard.
This protest was planned with the unpredictability of M.E in mind, so patients, friends, family and anyone else who is affected by the illness are invited to join in virtually. One way to do this is to place a pair of shoes on your doorstep, driveway or in your garden to represent a person you know who is missing from their previous day-to-day life and activities. Lots of people are sharing photographs of their shoes on social media using the #millionsmissing hashtag.
You can also read what a few other people have had to say about Millions Missing and their experiences of M.E: