On the day I’m sitting to write this, I’ve had Fibromyalgia for 21 years. Yup, I’ve lived an entire person-who-can-drink’s lifespan of flare-ups, breakdowns, and life lessons. Starting as Juvenile Fibro at the age of 15, I know more years living with it than I can remember without it. It may sound odd to you, but I'm grateful for it and what it's taught me.
I’m not bitter. Truly, I’m not. There have been days I’ve hated this disease with every throbbing cell in my body. Tears have rolled down my cheeks, hurting my over-sensitive skin as they fell, but I am still not bitter. You are probably wondering if there is sarcasm in my voice, or if I took too many muscle relaxers today to think straight. Neither is true.
I’ve always been a believer in my mom’s constant mantra that everything happens for a reason. For example, it's possible that garbage truck blocking the street making you late for work is in reality keeping you from being t-boned by a texting driver who runs the red light a couple blocks ahead. You may never find out the reason for life’s annoyances or struggles. Or, like me, you may.
At this moment in my journey I believe that each time I’ve fallen on my face, tried the wrong medication regimen, or let shame cause me to hide my disability, I was to learn a lesson. To share the benefit of those lessons with other #Spoonies and those who love us, may be my reason for Fibromyalgia.
I recently heard this song that asserts, “Hurt people just hurt people, they do it, they do every day.” To exist in constant pain is the most defensible excuse one can have to be bitter at those around one. But what good does that do? Instead, I’ve searched for ways to make my life-sentence matter. I spent years seeking the answer to the question “how?”. Not “how did I get this?”, but “how do I live with it?” I craved an answer explaining how to work, have friends, cook dinner, write my term paper, and just be a young person, all with Fibromyalgia.
I can’t claim I’ve figured everything out. However, I can say with some certainty that I was “given” Fibro so I could empathize with others who suffer and be of service to them. I understand the plight of my fellow brothers and sisters with invisible disabilities ranging from Fibro, to mental illness, to addiction. I know what it’s like to “look normal”, (whatever normal is) and be misjudged when struggling to explain why I do ordinary tasks differently, or sometimes can’t do them altogether.
There are no quick fixes, no one size fits all treatment or diet because no two people’s Fibro is the same. Therefore, this is a place to discover resources to help you in your trial-and-error journey to find what works best for YOU!
My wish for you reading this, whether you’re an Invisible Illness Warrior or someone who loves us, is that you’ll find understanding and proof of hope in some corner of this site. Surviving can feel impossible if doing it alone. You aren’t alone. If a single one of my stories, resources, or recipes can help you push through this moment in even the slightest way, it’ll prove me right that every second of these last 21 years have had a purpose.
Feel free to reach out for a one-on-one chat with me.