The endless energy of a hooligan

Around the beginning of the football season (2016–2017), I still lived in my old apartment near the Ajax stadium in Amsterdam. I used to see football matches as a waste of my time; I rather wanted to be productive. But since I was at home after I stopped working, I decided to watch Ajax’s matches in the Champions League qualifications. I saw and heard the supporters walking by my apartment chanting club songs; they were so full of energy. I had to admit that I really liked following the team and the way they played football. At the end of the season, they made it all the way to the Europa League final. By then, I had already lived at my stepdad’s house, and I was too tired to watch an entire match. That half-year in this place, being isolated, really didn’t do me any good.

Chronic disease

I was always jealous of the supporters and the hooligans for having so much energy. They could scream and jump an entire match, and even before and after the game, they seemed to have a great time. Some were violent and had enough energy to break things up and attack the police. Wouldn’t it be great to one day have so much energy myself again?

Does diet play an important role in developing a chronic disease?

I started observing the difference between them and me. Sometimes when people urged me to do a liver rescue healing diet, I always wondered, How come a hooligan, who eats crap all day, has so much energy? I used to always make sure I ate a healthy diet, while the supporters were drinking lots of beer, fried food, etc. How did I end up in this place? Some people told me to eat even healthier, while these hooligans can go on and on without taking care about anything related to diet. I also noticed that most ‘diet advice people’ with ME/CFS were not healing themselves or only made a little progress. Pretty crappy advice to follow if it doesn’t even work for them. No, it seemed that I could learn much more from the hooligans than from the ‘diet’ people.

Fatty liver?

The argument about having a fatty liver really didn’t resonate with me. Of course, having a fatty liver will make you feel weak, but it wouldn’t be like the typical ME/CFS symptoms with the delayed crashes. Someone with a fatty liver has a body type that is usually quite different from mine. Mine looked more like someone with adrenal issues.

There is more to health than just your diet.

It seemed obvious that the difference between me and the hooligans and overenthusiastic supporters was something else. The supporters were part of a group, whereas I was in bed. But most of all, there is the issue of self-control. When they were angry, they expressed it without any filter. I couldn’t even remember being angry myself. I was always trying to control myself, my emotions, my thoughts, and my behavior. While the supporters don’t seem to have any problem expressing anything that comes up, It’s clear that some of them have problems—problems that people with ME/CFS don’t have—but they had so much energy and I hadn’t.

Ajax did lose the final against Manchester United, but I seemed to be able to know where to look to win my own battle.