I was speaking on the phone to a friend with ME yesterday and we wondered what it would be like to have this illness without having to deal with the constant assault of ignorance. Imagine just having an illness, without the stress of feeling you are on trial constantly. (Imagine what our poor adrenal glands are dealing with, years and years and years of having to defend ourselves.) Most of the time you try and switch off, rise above it, get on with things, but then one morning you wake up to broadsheet headlines telling you that 'ME can be cured by exercise' - clever scientists say so! This unleashes such feelings of injustice and rage, you can't ignore it. You have to fight it. There is too much at stake. Then a few weeks later, as you are just calming down, back on an even keel, you happen to catch the end of a radio programme, a programme you wouldn't usually listen to, you are not usually awake. You are once again assaulted - by a tiny detail that may have gone unnoticed by many listeners, but not by you. You hear an actress whom you have admired in The Thick of It and Getting On, Joanna Scanlan, referring to her collapse from nervous exhaustion which led to a year's illness in the nineties. She describes how she had to give up her job as a senior lecturer and go back and live with her parents. She describes (51:30 mins in) how she had become disconnected from her passion for acting and how listening to Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' really helped her 'get back in touch with this creative path'. But in the middle of the conversation she slips in something deadly: Eventually the doctor diagnosed my illness to be what is sometimes called ME, probably in the old days used to be called a nervous breakdown... So once again the myth that ME is a mental illness is being perpetuated by a long, slow drip. I'm sure this actress has no idea of the blow she has just delivered, after all her doctor told her she had ME. It's great she recovered from her own particular exhaustion and found Kurt so rousing. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if the next headline is 'ME cured by listening to Nirvana'. It never fucking stops. And that is why we are so angry.