I Haven’t Forgotten

You may or may not know that I am now working full-time. I am a single parent now and I am living a busy and hectic life. I have fibromyalgia, but I certainly don’t look the picture, if there is one. What I think is amazing is how I have been able to do so much more than I thought I could even a year ago, it truly does feel miraculous… but what I sometimes wonder is “how long can I keep this up?” or sometimes I just selfishly wish people knew that things were hurting and difficult, sometimes I wish people knew that things might be harder for me. But mostly, I am simply grateful.

I was able to rise to the occasion for the most part. I learned to eat healthier, I lost weight, and reaped great rewards. I am now able to provide for my children. I am able to look forward to a future, a future that I really didn’t dream of even one year ago. Things don’t look all rosy, but they look a lot better than I imagined a life with fibromyalgia could ever look! Yet, I still struggle with exhaustion, pain and so many of the challenges that fibromyalgia brings, just usually on a smaller scale than I did before. I haven’t forgotten what it used to be like, I haven’t forgotten at all.

Last weekend I was forced to spend the weekend predominantly at rest. I had been dealing with constant headaches all week that I just could not shake. I felt so awful on Friday night and Saturday I become overwhelmed with emotion… fear and a sense of hopelessness came over me. It felt all too familiar. That sinking feeling in my gut was back, knowing I was unable to play and do with my children what I wanted to be able to do, what they wanted for me to be able to do. So often while coping with fibromyalgia the sense of helplessness and hopelessness has become predominant. The pain has crippled me but my emotions have crippled me just as much. They go hand in hand. Any kind of chronic pain can do this  to you…blatantly,  it can really f*** with your head!

One thing I don’t want to take for granted is the fabulous gift it is to feel better, but also how easily it can all disappear. When I am not taking care of myself as well as I should, when stress levels get too high, and sometimes for no apparent reason, the symptoms return and remind me that I don’t have the same kind of reserves as a lot of other people. I also think so often of the amazing community of fibromyalgia friends and friends with other types of chronic pain who are not experiencing the kind of “reprieve” that I am. I want you to know, I have not forgotten you, what you endure, what you have taught me and what we share. I also have not forgotten what it feels like to be limited by chronic pain, for I still live with limitations, but these limitations happen to be “invisible” now more than ever before.

I haven’t forgotten.

Tug of War

Life feels so messy today… like that build up of laundry that somehow multiplied over night into an enormous heap, things sometimes feel insurmountable. I know I am not alone in juggling all of the many things entailed in raising children as a single mother, working full-time, paying bills, buying groceries, doctors appointments, social obligations, etc. All of us cope with these things on some level. I don’t want to play the fibromyalgia and depression cards either. While not everyone copes with those issues, we all have something, don’t we? For some of us it is just more out in the open than others.

There are days and moments when I feel empowered and there are times when I work diligently to assert my confidence into the world. In fact, I work daily to feel the empowerment that comes from knowing who I am. Recently, I have attempted to do this in what I felt was a healthy way, only to feel “shot down” by some people very close to me. This kind of a set-back has me reeling.

I am working to re-establish my sense of self and power that I feel like I somehow lost in some important relationships. I don’t want to feel power over anyone else, just confident in my own. It seems that in order to do that I have to worry less about what others think of me and my decisions. I have to set up boundaries and I must choose to defend them. At the same time, I want to be loving and kind and respect the viewpoints of those I love. I also want only to make solid and healthy choices. This can be a tricky balance.

While I realize I am speaking quite vaguely here, I am hoping that someone will relate to the back and forth, tug-of-war if you will, between asserting your independence and self-confidence and the reaction from people with whom you are in relationships… family, friends, significant others, etc; meanwhile working hard to make the right choices and hoping that those you love can love you enough to allow you to learn from your own choices, rather than try too hard to protect you from them. And it sure can be difficult to know, at times, what the healthiest choices are! Wouldn’t it be great if all decisions were as obvious as picking fresh vegetables over french fries?

Seeking that inner knowledge and the guidance from God right now to lead me in the healthiest directions, to carry me when I am unsure and to lift me up when I need it most… and I wish the same for you.