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Moving the fight within to them
Posted on January 05 2015
Hearing the word Fibromyalgia was not only a relief of diagnosis but also a horror in the face of what the internet told me the journey I was about to embark. As an IT specialist I knew enough about the internet that it was personal stories that I should be listening to, rather than Wikipedia.
I formed a meeting group and began to hear other stories like my own. I spent years with other members of our group helping one another in ways only a support group can: listen, empathize, offer advice or a hug and come back next month. But this wasn't enough: why did I appear to be the only person doing this in my community and why didn't doctors have any answers for us?
Six years later I pushed myself through what could normally be described as a stressful period to become a nonprofit organization, aligned with National organizations with a common goal, to educate our communities on what FM truly was and how to treat it appropriately. To me, this wasn't stressful. Applying for Social Security Disability is stressful, in fact it was the most stressful thing I've ever done! Helping others, on the other hand, seemed natural and almost as a healing aid itself. How did I expect to help myself unless I took the responsibility to help find the answers to do so?
Fibromyalgia is not a personal fight, I have not gone through this alone. In fact, had it not been for my ever-patient husband, I may not have gotten this far at all. But it does not affect just he and I, it challenged our family, friends, jobs, stability, responsibilities, our mental capacity and mostly our marriage. We now know that to live with FM is to become one with others living in chronic pain.
Our most important lesson in this battle was to not give up living life to its fullest. To love life in spite of challenge. To love our bodies in spite of its resistance. To enjoy each day anew with a fresh outlook, regardless what our body is attempting to whisper in our ear each morning. To give into that whisper would be to give up and that just isn't in our vocabulary of life.