“Jennifer Brea’s Sundance award-winning documentary, Unrest, is a personal journey from patient to advocate to storyteller. Jennifer is twenty-eight years old, working on her PhD at Harvard, and months away from marrying the love of her life when a mysterious fever leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her it’s ‘all in her head,’ she picks up her camera as an act of defiance and brings us into a hidden world of millions that medicine abandoned. In this story of love and loss, newlyweds Jennifer and Omar search for answered as the face unexpected obstacles with great heart. Often confined by her illness to the private space of her bed, Jennifer connects with others around the globe. Like a modern-day Odysseus, she travels by Skype into a forgotten community, crafting intimate portraits of four other families suffering similarly. Jennifer Brea’s wonderfully honest and humane portrayal asks us to rethink the stigma around an illness that affects millions. Unrest is a vulnerable and eloquent personal documentary that is sure to hit closer to home than many could imagine.”
I first heard about this documentary a few months ago from a fellow suffer and I was immediately overwhelmed. After having it sit in ‘My List’ on Netflix for about two months, I finally found the courage to watch it. It was raw, real, emotional and left me speechless. Speechless because this woman had hit the nail on the head in every aspect. Emotional because I know how it feels. Raw but more importantly real because that’s the reality of day to day life with someone who has ME/CFS.
Creating awareness is important. ME/CFS isn’t well known and we need to be spreading awareness so that others can educate themselves on this mysterious invisible illness. For those of you who don’t know what ME/CFS is, I’ll explain.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or ME/CFS, is a devastating multi-system disease that causes dysfunction of the neurological, immune, endocrine and energy metabolism systems. It often follows an infection and leaves 75% of those affected unable to work and 25% homebound are bedridden. An estimated 15-30 million people worldwide have ME. That’s the basics of it but I’m going to link more information here, along with the documentary if you’re interested in educating yourself more.