I'm a big believer in the cliche that gets beaten into every writing workshop student: show, don't tell. I'd rather someone show me that he or she is kind or smart or funny than merely tell me he or she is kind or smart or funny. Because Twitter is filled with a lot of anger (which is often very valid), accusation, and angst, and because ME patients are viewed (absolutely incorrectly) as just whining (the whole "fatigue" thing doesn't help), I thought a Twitter meme in which we ME/CFS patients posted tweets about what we are grateful for with an eye to showing what it's like to live with this disease might be helpful. Examples: (Note, I've not ever posted my tweets here so fingers-crossed I'm doing it correctly. Also, I'm not an especially prolific tweeter.) or or or In each instance, the tweets show that I'm pretty functionally impaired. I'm in bed. I can't go to the forest but there's a YouTube video. I need and am grateful for a home care worker. I keep a tea kettle next to my bed (I'll be grateful for the microwave and mini fridge/freezer in future tweets). I struggle to change positions in bed so I'm grateful for my adjustable bed. By focusing on my gratitude, showing my illness feels less like complaining and may have more impact than simply telling people I'm functionally impaired, i.e. really f***ing sick. I'm using the #GratefulME and suggest this might be something we could try as a community. If nothing else, it will make Twitter just a slightly less nasty place. That said, I do feel frustrated by the way healthy people use the sick and disabled for "inspiration." And that legitimate concerns of the ill and disabled -- especially people with ME -- get ignored by their being labeled "complaining." But, alas, we must work with the socio-cultural situation we have rather than the one we should have. And this does have the effect of making a horrible situation--being bedbound/homebound--a little more endurable by focusing on what one has to be grateful for.