A lot of people ask me ‘If you have a chronic illness, how are you well enough to go to so many gigs and festivals? It is something many people don’t understand so I would like to explain from my perspective. It takes a lot of effort and preparation in order to attend a gig or festival, I never know how I am going to feel on the day and a lot of the time I get so anxious leading up to the day about whether I’ll be well enough to actually go or how my body will react whilst I’m there. It takes up so much energy even just travelling to the festival that I only go to day festivals now, as from the past I have learnt that camping is just too much for me. I make sure I drink plenty of water throughout the day and have lots of rests and sit down as much as possible between bands. I definitely can’t stand all day. It is always a very tiring day and uses so much energy and I am always in a lot of pain by the end of the day. It is even worse if I have to get the train and walk back to the station, there have been times where I have struggled to walk any further and then I know I’ve really over done it and I know I shouldn’t have!
Basically what I am trying to say is the reason I go through all of this is because of my love of music and seeing live bands. The anticipation of waiting for your favourite band to appear on stage, the rush of adrenaline you get when the first song starts, the feeling you get when you are singing along to your favourite songs and getting lost in the words, it’s like you go into a different world, for the next 90 minutes all of your worries disappear, you forget about how unwell you feel, you forget all of the everyday stresses, you connect with every single word you hear, your happiness and enjoyment of the music is all you know and at that moment nothing else matters. That is why I love going to gigs so much! It means that I feel awful and takes me weeks to ‘recover’ but it is worth it all to have an amazing day out with your friends and watching your favourite bands. I know I am very lucky and grateful as I know this is not possible for many people with M.E/CFS. It does suck to have a chronic illness and it does take over a big part of your life, but if you try hard enough you can always find some positives to focus on, no matter how small or what situation you are in and for me having a festival or a gig booked up gives me something to look forward, to which definitely helps If I am having a particularly bad day.