Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Chronic pain.
It makes you invisible.
It's Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

Sometimes it isn't wise to be strong. Sometimes we shouldn't pretend that we feel "fine." Sometimes the smile shouldn't reach our eyes. Sometimes we should just let it all out.

I know it goes against everything that we used to be. Everything in us tells us that we need to mask the pain. We are better than that and it cannot win. We have too much to do to be sick.  We were movers and shakers. We were the typical Type A that plans all, thinks all, and believes that we can do all things and leap tall buildings in a single bound. 

We were Superwoman or men.

Limitations. This is a word that we don't like. Maybe because deep down we think we shouldn't have them. We actually feel bad that we have to describe a shopping cart full of symptoms to anyone, whether it be doctors, friends or family. Limitations should not be synonymous with weakness. I'll admit that I have trouble making that distinction. I forget that the words determination, perseverance and an incredible pain tolerance also come into view. 

I think I help perpetuate the viewpoint that this is an invisible illness. Because I consider some of my limitations as weakness, I have a problem letting people see the pain that I live with on a daily basis. I want people to see me the way I used to be. I know that's not right but I also hate appearing weak. When I do have a good day, I like to make the most of it. I break the cardinal rule of chronic illness all the time.

If you push you will pay.

I've always felt I could control my body. Well, not only my body. I love control. Whether it be my body or the environment around me....control is me. That is a huge part of my personality and that has been the hardest part to relinquish. I've had to realize that I can control my body about as much as I can control the weather. 

Speaking of...........I hate humidity.

But I digress. I hate the invisibility of this illness but I also wrap it around myself like a cloak. I'm not defined by this illness but the struggles of it all are tough. Just when I think I've moved into the stage of acceptance I find that I still struggle. I struggle with the fact that there will be days when the pain takes over. I struggle with the fact that technically I am disabled (whew, that was tough to write). I still struggle with the fact that my memory is not what it used to be (it isn't even close). I struggle with the muscle spasms that hit me mostly at night. I struggle with the feeling that I'm a slug.

Mostly, I struggle with being afraid of my own body.

Maybe it's time to take stock of those big girl panties.

Maybe it's not time to put them on.

Maybe it's time to take them off.


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