In the late 1980s, while he was studying at the University of Glasgow, Stuart Murdoch became ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was unable to work for seven years. Some reports indicate that he was housebound for eight years. Murdoch said that it was because of this isolation that he became a songwriter.
He said that over the course of a year, his life changed. He went from being an active human being in every way – he was a club DJ in addition to a student – and he found himself fantasizing about everyday life.
“Three years later, I’m sitting in a box bedroom in Ayr, unable to go out, and fantasizing about going down to the shops or being able to make a cup of coffee for somebody,” Murdoch said.
But anyone suffering from CFS and fibromyalgia knows that, sometimes, these simple activities are far out of reach.
“That was a big desert at the time, a kind of vacuum in my life,” he said. “From that, these songs started coming out, these melodies where I could express what I was feeling.
In 1995 he worked with a faith healer, whom he credits with his recovery. He said that she placed her hands above his body for an hour, and the recovery took several months.
“I actually got sicker for a few months, and I feel that was when the demons were being cast out,” Murdoch told New York Times reporter Stephen Rodrick.
Of course, he is not fully recovered and is still susceptible to lingering colds that can last for weeks, but his energy levels have returned to nearly what they were preillness and he is able to exercise regularly. Being sick and spending a lot of time alone at home, Murdoch learned an incredibly precious lesson about life.
“The thing I learned when I was sick was to do things when they felt right,” Murdoch told the Times. “Not hold on to things for a future time that may never come.”