Fatigue is an oppressive cocoon. It has made me seek joy wherever I can

I have not ‘overcome’ anything, but I am happy and hopeful. Chronic illness is sometimes described as a form of grief, but I prefer to think of it as beginning the next stage

Four years ago, I caught the flu – and I am still stuck in bed, struggling to breathe. A bit like those with long Covid now, I developed postviral fatigue after a short illness. You could say I was into viruses before their mainstream second album.

Born with a muscle weakness, I was already familiar with the fragility of the human body. But the overnight change, post‑flu complications, hit me like a truck. In the early days, stuck on a ventilator and barely able to move, my brain was so traumatised that I thought my bedroom curtains were on fire. I didn’t even have curtains.

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