Pokémon Go, ME/CFS & Me

Pokémon Go, ME/CFS & Me

When Pokémon Go was released I was somewhat sceptical of the game, I thought it was just for gamers and children. I really didn’t want to “catch ‘em all”, even though I grew up in nineties suburban Illinois where Pokémon was a hit. Being very girlie it was never something I took an interest in, only ever knowing the names of the cuter Pokémon like Pikachu and Jigglypuff. So when my fiancé (a games developer) kept going on about the app, jumping at every chance to go on errands; I felt a bit left out. So I caved and downloaded the free app, after all what could I lose?

I suffer from the condition Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME), more commonly know as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It means my body wears quicker than others, so normal tasks deplete my energy levels rapidly. There are many other symptoms which appear when I’m exhausted such as dizziness, vomiting and muscle pains. Due to the fear of over exhaustion which causes me to relapse, into a chronic state of fatigue I often avoid leaving the house. Only venturing out for a reason, never just for a random stroll. Which has become habit and a concrete perception of my ability.

I’m reluctant to go for walks as I have to go at a slow pace and require little breaks to rest. I find this extremely embarrassing, on occasions avoiding doing so, as I’m twenty-two years old and very self-conscious. Playing on the app allows me to stop/rest for a reason as I am catching a Pokémon, so don’t feel as embarrassed as the game to some extent hides my condition. Due to the Pokémon, Pokéstops and lures which are frequent here in Plymouth long distances don’t feel as tiresome.

The game is actually pretty fun and it makes you feel like you’ve achieved something when you catch a Pokémon.Silly I know! There’s also the incredible sense of community which I’ve never felt before, when everyone sits together in the sun on the Hoe in Plymouth looking over the sea, trying to catch Pokémon.It’s hilarious! From kids to grandmothers, everyone is playing it!

Pokemon Go hasn’t changed my condition, it has changed my mind set. I’m less anxious to leave the house, as I have become accustomed to getting out more. I don’t play the game every time I venture out, as I’m not that bothered about the actual levelling up or even the game, I just like catching Pokémon. Pokemon Go gave me the kick I needed to see the outside world, opening my eyes to my abilities which I had doubted for so long.

Do you play Pokémon Go? What team are you on?- Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!



23 thoughts on “Pokémon Go, ME/CFS & Me

  1. I’ve been hearing so much about this game though I’ve never had the chance to see what it’s all about.. I fear I’ll be addicted so I’m keeping myself away from it for the time being lol 😝

  2. How fantastic is that. I am so pleased that the little Pokemon has motivated you to get out, it’s good for your mental wellbeing to excercise whatever the pace or distance. Enjoy finding the cute ones x

  3. I have M.E. too! I’ve downloaded Pokemon Go because my boyfriend has become obsessed with it and I’ve too been a little more willing to leave the house and go with him. It enables me to do a little more and as you say, you have a reason to rest too without it being a majorly big deal! I hope you’re doing as well as you can be! X

    1. Thanks I am. It’s amazing how something so simple like a game app can help with a condition! Hope you’re well too and that you continue to venture out 🙂 X

  4. I have ME/CFS too, and have been playing! I manage to hatch eggs on slowing moving city trams, and get to pokéstops on the train. I really struggle with walking so I only leave the house for appointments.

    1. That’s great! I’ll have to try that out on public transport, as I too find walking hard. Luckily I only live five houses away from my university!

  5. You’re story is amazing! Found your Pokémon Go image through a search. Ok if I use it and blow it up as a backdrop for an event in Anchorage, Alaska?

    1. Hi thanks so much for asking, that’s totally fine as long as it’s for non-profit purposes. Please share a pic with me when it’s hung up at your event :]

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