the MIRREN LEE

The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Day 84 I’d Like to Thank Fibromyalgia!

Posted by themirrenlee on 24/03/2012

I’d like to thank Fibromyalgia!

Without it, I wouldn’t have been informed by purplelawlady.com that she has nominated me for an award due to my writing about Fibromyalgia. Right off, I’d like to recommend you check out her site, as it’s pretty amazing. She has all sorts of interesting quotes, information, and fascinating facts about herself.

I'll take the orange one, thanks, as it's my favorite color!

These types of little awards seem to pop up all over WordPress on various topics, and I applaud them as a good marketing exercise in introducing bloggers to each other. In this case, it also introduced me to fibromodem.com, an unbelievably informative site about Fibromyalgia. It just amazes and touches me every time I see this awful, life changing condition, which was disgustingly written off for years as “an imaginary condition in the minds of middle aged women,” treated with such respect and detail.

Out of all the horrible things that come with Fibro, not the least being chronic pain and fatigue, I think the very worst is the ultimate loss of one’s sense of identity. Especially for Type A personalities, used to having the boundless energy and enthusiasm needed for projects, work, creative pursuits, a social life, etc. etc., when it all comes crashing down and we find we’re actually LIMITED by our unco-operative bodies, well, it’s not easy to take.

What we learn very quickly is that we can no longer be identified by what we DO, or our job title. Many of us actually can’t work at all sometimes, or have to work to a very curtailed schedule. It’s maddening, frustrating, and depressing. I love it when people say, “You seem depressed.” Oh no, not at all. I love being in pain all the time, never having any consistent energy, not being able to run a business like I used to, constantly battling new symptoms because it’s a “reactive condition” (I call it), so if there’s anything that can flare up with a new sensitivity, it will. Of course sometimes I’m fucking depressed, but it’s not a depression that an antidepressant can help; they just help the pain, in low doses. I kinda think that anyone suffering a chronic condition (without a cure), who doesn’t experience periods of depression, is someone I’d have trouble relating to. Maybe they enjoy it?

So we take pain management courses to learn to distract ourselves from the pain, and counselling sessions to learn not to blame ourselves for how we got in this situation, as well as learning how to forge out a new identity within limited parameters.

And all the time, endlessly, relentlessly, we continue to educate people – our family/friends/doctors/others – on what exactly is wrong with us. Sometimes it works, often they just can’t comprehend it. It’s not visible, we look too well, we don’t sound in pain, we don’t seem sick. The joke is, all the hard work we put into trying to appear “normal”, and not like an invalid, is the very thing that works against us!

A friend of mine said it best when someone commented on how well he looked: “I’m like a defective apple – rosy on the outside, but rotten to the core!”

Part of the “conditions” of the nomination is I have to try and nominate 6 others for it (nominating our “competition”? lol), so I will go and look for them now. There are so many people out there writing about Fibromyalgia, it’s truly inspiring.

So thank you, Fibromyalgia, for giving something back, instead of just taking from me all the time – my health, energy, patience, sense of identity. You still haven’t got my optimism, though, or my fighting spirit. And you never will. I may not be able to defeat you … yet … but I sure as hell can control you.

I accept this nomination in the name of all Fibromites: rock on and don’t give up!

I’m just fightin’ …

One Response to “Day 84 I’d Like to Thank Fibromyalgia!”

  1. I love the apple analogy!

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