Boom & Bust

I’ve not blogged for a while. I’ve been firefighting.

You see, while I’ve tried to put my best game face on, I’ve been experiencing the oh so familiar experience of boom and bust that comes with not quite managing my ME symptoms properly.

And it’s all down to habit. My old habit of doing as much as I can as soon as I can is a hard habit to break.

It means on a good day, or a good morning, or a good hour I’ve been doing doing doing.

And then I crash.

Sometimes I crash for the day. Sometimes for a few days. Sometimes for a week or more.

Then just as I begin to feel a little bit human again I convince myself I’m ‘better’ and the boom and bust cycle begins over.


I sat down and talked this habit through with somebody the other day. I found talking about my habits, instincts and routines aloud to a stranger really helpful. I found myself noticing things about my actions that I hadn’t properly registered.

You see, I do know it. I know this boom and bust is a fool’s errand. I know trying to be “old me” while I’m living with ME is plain stupid. But I forget! And then it’s too late.

So. I’m using this blog as a chance to pause, reflect, share this with you, and – in turn – hopefully learn from it myself.

I’m going back to some basics. Being more careful with managing my limited energy. Listening to my body. Stopping trying to fight it… as I always lose!

I wrote many months ago about the power of saying “no”. The benefit of cancelling things. The realisation that people are usually very understanding!

And now I’ve gone back through some of my very oldest posts and blogs and come to the conclusion there’s merit in going back and reading them all myself. I might do one or two a week on an ongoing cycle.

It could prove wise.

For now, I need to break this boom and bust cycle. It’s no way to live!


  1. Hi Gary
    Do you think getting up early to do the radio show hasn’t helped?I know if I get up too early the rest of my day suffers badly 😦 (I have fibro)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Debbie. That’s certainly part of the most recent cycle – which I partly expected. I was using it as a practical test to see where my limits currently lie. Sending best wishes.


  2. Hi Gary, I have just read your post & omg its like looking in the mirror, how true!!! Guilty as charged, think sometimes although its fool hardy we convince ourselfs that we can do normal things & then have a small feeling of life before M.E. and before you know it Bang!!!! and the M.E. shows you who the Boss is. Hope you start feeling better soon & many thanks for all that you do for us it is really appreciated xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well Gary, I am just the same and have been for 23years, I will never learn, I just love to do normal things and live life and it’s good when I can but it’s so awful and depressing and sad when I relapse. I just try and make myself remember the good times and tell myself I will again, but when it takes weeks of feeling so ill and no energy it’s the pits. I still don’t know how to control it and sometimes I can do things and seem ok and other times I am so very very tired of everything. I don’t tell some people about my m.e. as I know they wouldn’t understand, it really is so hard to live with. How can I go on holiday and swim with dolphins, snorkel and have the energy to dance at night and then have to have wheel chair assistance for my next holiday and can do no more than lay on a sun bed. I thank my lucky stars when I’m well enough to be able to have a holiday or a night out as I know there are lots that can’t. You will have better times believe it but I can’t wait for the day someone can give us an answer as to why this is happening to us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gina, you sound exactly like me, and I’ve been the same for about 27 years. I think I am starting to learn, but it is still so easy to overdo things. Sometimes when I relapse though there really doesn’t seem to be any reason for it. I am starting to see cycles in my relapses. I’ll have 3-4 months virtually housebound and in bed or on the couch most of the time, then 3 months able to function better (but I still have to pace myself). I don’t get anywhere near “normal”, but as you say I can go on holiday or a night out. It can be very hard during the relapses when I sometimes wonder if I can carry on, but at least I do always have better times to look forward to. I feel like I am only living half a life, but that is better than a lot of people get. There is a theory that our bodies go into a type of hibernation and that is exactly what it feels like. I also can’t wait for a breakthrough in why we are sick and maybe one day a cure! I hope you feel better soon Gary.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Omg Gary, everything you said there is so true! I have only had M.E. since end of September just past and im struggling with it all. I’ve always been reliable, and saying no or letting people down is so hard. Worst is I say yes because my old brain is still in there, then i feel i cant let people down and pay for it. I guess its all a learning curve! I have also had to give up my job after 9 and a half years….life changes so much but its trying to make the best out of a bad situation which is easier said than done!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Gary, it is so very true what you say, I am exactly the same and by the replies here we are all suffering the same problem. When you have been an active person it is so difficult to get your head around the fact that you are not going to be just a bit tired when you do something but you are going to feel really ill. It just doesn’t compute in our brains. Also some days you can do that little bit more and get away with it but another day even half that activity will have you completely wiped out for days. Really wish we properly knew what was happening to our bodies as nothing makes sense. It is hard to live for the good days when every one seems bad. Also as others have said it is so so hard to say “no” especially if you crave contact with the outside world. So, we are all with you Gary and know exactly how you feel. You are doing a fantastic job with your M E blogs, I have found them really interesting and inspiring listening to people like Trish who is bravely dealing with not only her own problems but her daughters as well. My heart goes out to everyone. XX

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so glad someone else forgets their limitations 😂
    People look at me as if I’m mad if I’ve crashed and said I forgot that I can’t do that much. You’d think after nearly ten years I would have figured it out but I don’t think I ever will 🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. hi Gary,

    Oh what a familair tale, will we ever learn?? Like whenever I feel a wee bit better, ah that’s it, lift off, only to crash back down, but one day, yes one day I will not crash, will I????

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gary, your words & how you explain things are spot on! We can all relate to that feeling. Every time after a crash I think I’ll try to spot myself saying “I’ll just do this.. or just do that” & push through. I think what I’ve already done & even if I feel “ok” to carry on I try to stop before it’s too late. Easier said than done I know & I don’t always get it right or practice what I preach. When we use up more energy than we have banked we go into the reserves which can have adverse consequences, as we use up tomorrow’s energy or days or weeks worth… It’s much like going over your overdraft- you will be charged, & sometimes heavier than others if you’ve used too much. We feel at times we are gaining some control back over our lives, but the m.e raises its head to let us know who’s in charge! If we can change our mindset & notice when we need to slow down or stop it is a way of gaining control as it is our decision & a very wise one that we benefit from. I hope you’ve managed to recharge your battery a little. If you need to take time out we all understand. You must look after yourself & put yourself first. Difficult when you’ve always been so selfless but it’s a valuable lesson we have to learn. In the meantime we wait in hope a cure will come & we will one day get our lives back 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The boom & bust is an almighty BIG issue for me Gary, & has been for most of my life. Had Fibro/ME/CFS for 40+ yrs, only diagnosed finally in 2013. I’m a do’er, a get on with it, get it done person… it’s in my nature, my DNA. I forget all of the time, to do a bit, then rest for as long as possible i.e. if I’ve done an hour or two, then I need to rest for at least an hour or two, & not just half an hour! & I have to make sure I do it every single day too! If I have to be out for the day i.e. hospital app, then I need to take the day before & the day after as complete rest days in quiet, darkened room.

    It is hard, very hard, to make yourself rest. Fortunately for me, I’ve partly solved it, as I have issues with the stairs, I send myself off up to bed to sit on & to rest, so it stops me from getting up every few minutes…. I’ll just do that, which as you know is not resting for us!

    I still make loads of mistakes, but I do my upmost not to beat myself up too much, just roll my eyes @ myself! Knowing somewhere down the line I’ll no doubt do it all over again!

    You are very lucky to have good friends & family who understand. Mine sadly don’t, & have abdicated &/or just disappeared, which is difficult, as I’m on my own, nobody but me to do those chores that need doing. Good job I don’t mind my own company, & am happy to just potter about the place. The moving boxes will get emptied one day!

    Wishing you all the very best for your future, to you & your other half. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Gary
    It is so encouraging, to sit and finally get to read
    about you Gary. i received this from a friend
    many months ago, but only now is the time right I know you know what I mean.
    I feel im looking at my own symptoms when I read of yours. God bless you. but as others have said you put your symptoms down so so well on paper ,I could not because of the many variety of symptoms, that change from day to day ,minute by minute, or even hourly.
    I have so much sympathy for you being so young and many other young people, because it is such a dreadful debilitating condition. But we must stay positive. Not easy , but it’s a must.
    And I hope n pray for a cure in our time , as I loved life , still do. like each of us , we all want it back and we cant give up wanting .
    Even though others have given up on us.
    Shame on them, but they too love life!
    Maybe there lies the problem .for those who have no choice but to sit , wait and see will someone think to knock, sorry im having a bad day accepting ME/ FMS today. But I also know I will be more positive when this episode passes.
    My motto is do and enjoy what you like to do and enjoy doing , when you can, even if its only fr 10 minutes . The satsifaction is so well worth while.
    Do keep plodding along Gary and anyone who is on this journey . As our day will come that is our hope. Hold on to it.
    God bless you dear Gary.
    And all of you on this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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