I shouldn’t be writing this post.
No, seriously, I really ought to be writing something else, something relevant to advancing my studies or career or something else that I know is more important.
Even more seriously, typing this actually hurts. My hands, arms, chest, back, stomach, sides, thighs, knees, calves and ankles hurt. You name it, it hurts. There are parts of me that are hurting that I didn’t know could hurt. Then I remember:
This is the nature of fibromyalgia.
I am used to the pain. Thus, I cannot truly complain about it. This post is not about that. It is about how to deal with the randomness of the pain or any other FMS symptoms, of being the unsuspecting victim of your own body.
So, What Do I Do?
THE 5 Gs
GIVE (IN)| GET (ORGANIZED) | GRATITUDE | GROW | GATHER
1. Give in / Give up – Not on getting better, but on denying your experience. What it basically means is accepting the reality of the situation. For a long while, I was really hard on myself whenever I had a significant flare-up. I was constantly seeking to figure out when I would feel better, as though there were a timer ticking away and counting down to zero. Give it up, that’s not the way it goes.
2. Get Organized – Take a look at your obligations and figure out what can be put on the back-burner, what can be modified, and what needs to be immediately addressed. The next step is to notify anyone who may be directly impacted by your current state. Don’t leave others in the lurch just because you are ill. Be clear with everyone about what you can do and when you can do it, if at all.
3. Go for Gratitude – The world didn’t collapse because you are having a flare-up. It’s not that serious. Be grateful for what you can do, what you have already accomplished, and what you will be able to do. Wallowing in self-pity will get you nowhere very, very quickly. So, try not to be about that life.
4. Get Ready to Grow – Every moment, regardless of the value we assign to it, is an opportunity for personal growth. Use this time to explore yourself. If you are able to do something, read something new. If you aren’t able to do anything at all, listen to music or close your eyes and allow your imagination to take you on new adventures. Do your best to remember that you are more than this moment.
5. Gather Positivity – Whether alone or with loved ones, choose activities that reinforce the positives of your life, rather than focus on the negative. I find it best to avoid discussing my current state.
Sometimes you may encounter people, I call fixers, who are very invested in solving your illness, and who will bombard you with seemingly never-ending questions–politely refuse to answer or simply avoid them.
Some people have limited patience for your illness, and these are people who you most definitely should do your best to avoid.
Negativity will only serve to bring you down, causing you to feel stressed and may severely impact your recovery time. Gather around you people who bring with them a bit of sunshine, especially in the winter months.
No Matter What, Keep It Positive While You Find Your Way Back On Your Path.
Until Next Time,