Practice being assertive about your needs, this involves communicating clearly and respectfully. It is easier for those around you if you recognise and respond when you need to rest. Try to be patient with people, many don’t know how to treat people who are ill or disabled. They may not be willing or able to face the changes in your life. Learn about how to look after your health and be realistic about your limitations. Don’t let anybody persuade you into trying any treatment which you are not happy with. M.E. can be very isolating. It might be worth looking out for others locally who are also isolated for whatever reason. Many people with M.E. appreciate having contact with other M.E. sufferers, either through their local group, by phone, letters, E-mail or talking letters recorded onto cassette. It may be easier to explain about your illness to friends and relatives in writing, in your own words, or using leaflets, articles or books on M.E. Keep a handout of your medical history, your known allergies, what drugs you are on etc. to help with communication in an emergency.

Cooking : Coping Strategies : Doctors : Pacing : Telephone : Visitors : Writing : Young People

YAO HOW TO: Set up a Social Group; TYMES Education Special £1.50 (includes HOW TO: Educate Everyone Else about M.E.); TYMES Issue 29 £1.50 (inc HOW TO: Be a Good Friend to someone with M.E.); TYMES TRUST Friends Pack £1.90; AYME Friends, Relationships and M.E. £1.50; InterAction 19; 1995; pages 28-31 Relationships and M.E.