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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: 'It Was Like A Switch Had Been Flipped. I Couldn't Stand Up'

Wednesday 6 March 2019


From The Irish Times:


Rosa Devine
Rosa Devine creating comic art.
(Photograph: Bryan O’Brien)

Chronic fatigue syndrome: ‘It was like a switch had been flipped. I couldn’t stand up’

Rosa Devine was a ‘strong and fit’ teen when chronic fatigue syndrome took over her life

By Louise Ní Chríodáin
February 26, 2019
© 2019 The Irish Times.

Aspiring dancer Rosa Devine was 16 when illness took her legs from under her. Bedridden, by what she came to know as chronic fatigue syndrome, comic books and art would become first a solace, and then the trajectory to a new future.

“It was easier to follow a visual page than read a sentence. Reading was exhausting. Talking to people was exhausting. Television was exhausting – it hurt my eyes, and my head and my ears.

“And it was easy to have a sketchbook in bed. I’d wake for 20 minutes, draw a bit, and then fall asleep again. The next time I had a bit of energy I could go back to the same drawing.”

From reading comics – the first was Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, brought to her from the school library – Devine graduated to drawing her own.

A version of her Rebalance, which is published here today, was drawn in 2014 for an American anthology. That collection’s focus was reinvention and renewal, and Devine made her illness the subject of the comic, “as it was CFS which had redirected my life into art”.


Full article…



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