I have been living with CFS for 20 years and more recently (about 6 years) FMS and in that time have gained a great deal of experience in managing life with a chronic illness. For me, this very much involves being honest about my feelings on any given day provided I am not hurting anybody else. I realise volunteers have a responsibility to be positive towards members, but I don't think this has to mean that we can't continue to use the site for support ourselves when required. Having been a peer counsellor in another self-help group for over ten years, I can sympathise, empathise and make practical suggestions to members where appropriate. I've worked most recently in Public Health where part of my job was to peer review research i.e. read it thoroughly, look for inconsistencies and/or look for other factors that might have influenced the results and provide an overall review of the reliability of the evidence presented. I really enjoy this type of critical analysis. I feel this experience and my natural curiosity would translate well into helping Fibroaction and individual members separate fact from fiction in what is written about FMS. In both professional and volunteer rolls, I am used to working within guidelines such as NICE guidance and voluntary sector 'Mission Statement, Aims and Objectives. I also have experience of representing my organisation with press, and media such as radio and websites. I was Tobacco Control Officer for a large PCT when England became Smoke Free and was responsible for press releases, radio show question and answer sessions and setting up and chairing press conferences.
I would love the opportunity to use this experience for the benefit of Fibroaction and forum members.