Diane Shortland

Freelance Writer



This is a list of articles I wrote whilst a Columnist for AYME:


Understanding ME:  Part One - Looks at the misunderstandings surrounding our illness and how what we appear to be like is of little refection of the true us and how we are feeling.  


The Daft Things We Do When We Are Over-Tired - Looks at all the crazy little behaviours our illness forces us to take and all the times we try to appear ‘normal’ but ME lets us down and instead highlights us as the freak.


Pacing -  Looks at how the word ‘pacing’ is the answer to all our troubles and yet the cause of most of our frustrations!


Rest and Relaxation - Looks at getting proper neurological rest by doing numerous weird and wonderful styles of relaxation tapes and how we would of laughed at them all pre ME days.


Outings - Looks at ways of getting out and about when you are really not well enough, discussing the frustrations and embarrassments of having to build skills and activities up at a snail’s pace!


The Dating Game - Looks at how a housebound individual can still get up to mischief with the opposite sex, describing various ways of attracting male attention.


The Undercover ME World: Ebay Addicts Anonymous - Looks at how housebound sufferers have become addicted to the thrills of this ‘bid-to-shop’ accessible past-time to bring entertainment and excitement to our deprived livers, but how so easily such a hobby can get out of control!


The Joys of an ME Christmas - Looks at how to survive the grandeur of the festive season within very narrow energy limitations and states numerous ways in which Christmas is not an ME friendly holiday.


Un-miss-able Events;  Shorty’s Guide to ME Friendly Weddings - Looks at how you cope with the big social occasions you are just not willing to miss, and how you try to make the impossible possible - usually by military planning and imaginary adaptation.


Excuses we have given as to why we are still in our PJs at midday - Looks at how society views late risers, the preconceived assumptions of delivery people at our doors and excuse options we as MEers have learned to adapt to minimise embarrassment


Holidays - Looks at how it is still possible to get away if you take necessary plans and precautions into consideration (covering every eventuality), lower pre ME expectations and are determined to have a good time.


Understanding ME Part Two - Looks at taking a soapbox stand and telling the nation what they really need to know if they want to truly understand what living and empathising with ME is really like.


Marvels of ME Mates - Looks at how invaluable it is having fellow ME Sufferers as friends as they 'get you' in a way those ‘normal’ folk never truly can. Also they provide opportunity for socialising in ME friendly ways.  


Age Amnesia - Looks at how the notion of time and age take on new meaning when you suffer from a long term debilitating illness, and how it is possible to defy all such limitations and set new precedents.


Resolutions - Looks at the notion of New Year’s resolutions and illustrates how people with ME are constantly starting over again a desperate attempt to try harder at being angels, not give in to temptation of over doing it and thus improve chances of recovery - but how life and everyone in it constantly encourage us to do the opposite leaving us in an eternal state of turmoil and ‘sod it’ guilt!


Independence - Looks at the problems faced with trying to live on one’s own with such a debilitating disability, whilst sharing the joys of actually achieving independence again after many years or constant reliance on others.


Living Life: Look No Hands - Looks at personality traits and examines issues such as innate courage and determination to overcome obstacles in life; the value of becoming at peace with oneself and one’s circumstances in order to be truly happy.


ME Dictionary - Looks at how random words take on completely different meanings and significance when ME is present in your life.


Christmas Chaos - Looks at the stress of arranging a Christmas that meets family expectations whilst simultaneously not setting a sufferer back in their on-going goal of progression.


Awakening - Looks at what it is like to finally re-emerge into the world again after being housebound for a decade; how society has evolved and how everyday activities, places and scenarios can seem alien to someone who was oblivious to their changing status.


The Secret of Recovery - Looks at all the different stages of trying to get well, summarises all the ways it makes you struggle, and concludes how for me - my inner fight and determination is what gets me through, as well as the all important ability to laugh!