May 12 is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, But I’m 10 Years In.

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This Thursday, May 12th, will be a quiet day for me. It’s Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.  I’ll do what I usually do: strive to thrive, make it through another day, try to find ways to make a living, find balance, take better care of myself, wonder what the rest of the world is doing beyond my computer screen, etc.  Still, this year’s theme is “Your Voice Matters”, so I am writing today because I will likely not remember to do so on Thursday, whether by natural absent-mindedness or fibrofog.

However, there isn’t really much that I have to write about fibromyalgia today beyond the fact that it annoys me that WordPress’ word processor does not recognize the words fibromyalgia and fibrofog. Then again, it doesn’t even recognize the name WordPress, so perhaps I ought not to complain.

Well, I am ten years (by my symptoms) or eight years (by diagnosis) into this illness. Because of fibromyalgia, each day presents unique opportunities for me to learn more about myself, particularly my level of tolerance for the world around me and my position in it.  Even though I have had to make unexpected changes in my life and goals for my life, I am a far better human being because of it.

I cannot stress it enough: my illness has made me more human.

When you are usually on top, it is easy to spend your time looking down on others without ever realizing that you are doing it.  When you always have, you don’t understand the perspectives of those who do not.  When you only know yourself as competent, you cannot fathom the handicaps of others. When overachieving is all you ever do, you can never understand the satisfaction of mediocrity.

Fibromyalgia has taught me about my blind arrogance. It has shoved me off a very high platform and asked me to find my way back up.

I have accepted that challenge.

The challenge is neither to become blind once more nor to fight against fibromyalgia.  The challenge is to love, learn and live, embracing who you are, who others are, and especially who you decide to be.

On may 12th, if you have fibromyalgia or know someone who does, take a moment in your day to pause and appreciate what you have, who you are, and what you can do to make a difference in the lives around you.

Until Next Time,

D.

 

Hey, It’s Mother’s Day, But…

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I’m burnt out.  Absolutely.  Utterly. Completely. My entire being is spent.  I assure you that this is far from the ideal way to begin either Mother’s Day or a blog post. Still, this is where I am physically and emotionally.

So, beginning with the obvious: I’ve not been writing. Period. Full stop. End of story.

The fact is that when I am this drained, it is enough just getting through the day. Still, this isn’t about my being drained. The point is that I am sorry for my inconsistency as it goes against my own goals and (possibly) your expectations as my readers…then again, if you’ve followed this blog over the years, then you already know about my consistent inconsistency.  🙂

I’ve already apologized to myself and so to you, I’ll state it again, “I am truly sorry.”

I shan’t go into the details of why I am so burnt out, but I will give a summary here: 3-month visit of my mother, 3 moves, decision to leave Rome, health issues, work issues, life issues, etc., etc.

Still, it is Mother’s Day–which I already celebrated last Sunday, believing it was Mother’s Day–and I plan to spend it doing what I think is most important on this day: being a good mother to myself.

I think oftentimes we forget that we need to ensure that we have internalized a “good parent,” especially if we lacked that growing up. In my case, I didn’t really grow up in a family, and lived a total of perhaps 12 years with my mother and never with my father (at least not in my memory).  To add to that mix is the fact that I have older siblings, who are twins. Unfortunately in my experience, living with twins who were significantly older (6 years) meant that I was on the outskirts–they had each other and I could not relate to their experience.

Growing up without parents and without siblings can be and was challenging. To be frank, I have zero concept of what family means in a real sense (of course, I understand it technically), much less have any particular feelings around Mother’s Day or any other family-related days (birthdays, marriages, etc.).

It’s a sad thought to have on this particular day, especially when I have my mother so very close by, which is not something I had for the most part of my life. So…

Where does this leave me? Hmm…back to the understanding that on this day, Mother’s Day, also means taking care of one’s self.  Regardless of your situation, remember that to enjoy this day means enjoying and celebrating who you are, what you have done in your life, and recognizing those who have supported you towards those ends.

So, Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! Please, take good care of you. 🙂

 

Travel | Image of the Day: Iraqi-Japanese Linda Kuniyama (living in Rome)

Image by Linda Kuniyama. Click to visit read article about her on John Cabot University website.

Image by Linda Kuniyama. Click to visit read article about her on John Cabot University website.

Quick Note | I’m Back!

“No Excuses. Right?” (Image: http://krnb.com)

To My Readers & Followers:

My apologies for not having posted over the past 12 days.  Let’s chalk it up to being overwhelmed and morphing into a proverbial hot mess. 😉  It happens, and probably even more so when you have FMS.  Who knows?

Either way, I am back and getting myself and blog sorted out for the month of October.  Of course, NaNoWriMo is on its way next month, in which I will participate, and I hope you will too.

Also, I did keep up with my ATR Challenge and Prayer/Meditation Challenge, both of which are still going strong!

Look out later on for a regular post from me.  In the meanwhile, enjoy this video (with an adorable little girl  doing some incredible dancing) I found lately by Japanese actor and musician Asahi Uchida. 🙂


Until Next Time,

D.

FMS | Yoga in Bed & ATR Challenge Update!

I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul. ~ by Rumi 

Today, the yoga mat looks too far away–to be honest, for two days I denied the existence of my mat…What mat?–and I don’t know that I feel like excessive movement is an option for me today, much like yesterday and the day before that.

Still, I am into opposite action, so I unroll the mat.  Like the walls and most everything else in my room, the mat is  pink, a nice loving colour, and I need some unconditional love right about now.

Fun fact: I’ve practiced yoga since the age of 3

I take a moment just to be in tadasana, listening to and regulating my breathing while centering my core.  Today, given my level of pain and fatigue, I will only do a modified Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation–slowly.

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So, Why Yoga? And How Does FMS Fit into All of This?  

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, yoga is extremely useful for people who suffer from chronic illnesses, which would include fibromyalgia.

Just search online for yoga and fibromyalgia and you will see the many sites that have dedicated a page or two to discuss the benefits of yoga.  One of the first is a 2010 article by WebMD that discusses a study done on yoga and women with fibromyalgia.  Here is an excerpt:

Women with fibromyalgia can reduce symptoms of the disease and improve their function by practicing the mind-body techniques of yoga, a new study says.

Researchers in Oregon who enrolled 53 women aged 21 or older for the study say that women who participated in a “Yoga of Awareness” health program showed significantly greater improvement infibromyalgia symptoms

Women in the “Yoga of Awareness” class participated for eight weeks in a program of instruction and exercise.

Classes included 40 minutes of gentle stretching poses, 25 minutes of meditation, 10 minutes of breathing techniques, 20 minutes of teaching presentations on using yoga principles for coping, and 25 minutes of group discussions, in which participants talked about practicing yoga in their homes.

So, What Can You Do?

Well, I always believe in meeting yourself where you are.

  • Locate and Assess your level of pain.  What and how much you can do depends upon your understanding of where and how severe your pain is.
  • Ask yourself lots of  questions, like “Can I  leave the house? Can I get out of bed?”
  • Depending on your answer, use the yoga resource that is most beneficial to you.  If you can go to a recommended class, then go.  If you cannot, YouTube and Amazon.com could serve as potential resources–of course, use your own judgement to decide what practice is safest for you to do.    

 

Below is an example of a resource that may be useful for you if you are experiencing low mobility, i.e. getting out of bed is not an option.  It is the Yoga in Bed Morning Stretch Series; there are 6 videos durations ranging between 6-11 minutes.

Good luck!

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ATR Challenge Update: Days 12 & 13

Wow, it continues! 🙂  Yesterday, I was unable to do much of anything, but I think I have already made up for it today.

So, What is right in my life?

Increasing Self-Love |Improving Self-Efficacy | Believing in Self-Worth

Connecting with the New| Reconnecting with the Old | Externalizing Love

Extending Help | Breathing Sunshine | Sleeping to Rain

Watching Cartoons | Laughing with my Child-Self | Laughing with my Pain

Laughing with my Hope | Laughing with my Sincerity | Laughing with my Life

Discovering Happiness | Enjoying Happiness | Accepting Sadness

Comforting Anger | Welcoming Mindfulness | Welcoming Internal Peace

Welcoming solitude | Welcoming togetherness | Welcoming Simplicity in

Everyone | Everything.

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In essence, it’s all good, because I believe and know it is–even if I’m stuck in bed. 😉

Until Next Time,

D.

ATR Challenge: Day 7 & Rilke’s “Live the Questions”

Where Has The Time Gone

My face today. 🙂

Just a brief note to check-in about the Challenge. All is well.  The things for which I am grateful and consider right are the new relationships that I am developing and the new habits that I am forming.

For the most part, what is right is my simple state of being: in myself, in the moment, in connection with others.

Some Words of Encouragement

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Until Next Time,

D.