When You're Stuck in the 'Fibro Funk'
For the past two weeks I have been in a fibro funk. More pain, even less energy than usual, finding it harder to do simple tasks, etc. etc. I guess some would call it a flare — when your symptoms become worse for a short period of time. When I was in the pain clinic I was told that a flare lasts no more than two days. Anything over two days is a setback. Neither of these terms seem right, however, for what I have been experiencing. For me, when I have a flare or a setback I still have motivation. Yes, my symptoms increase but I still have a drive to do things. I want to get better. As much as it hurts, I want to go for my morning walk because I know it will help me become stronger and eventually will become easier to do.
These past two weeks however, I’ve been lacking that motivation. That drive to get through the flare/setback has been missing. I lost my drive to get better. On my days off work I made it from the bed to the kitchen to the couch. And back again at the end of the day. I lacked the drive to eat healthily so I either ate nothing at all or everything in the house. On the days I had work, I made it there and then straight back to the couch.
I was feeling down about my lot. Down about my condition. Down about its effect on my life. Down about the fact that it was making me feel down. Total funk. Fibro funk. I wondered what I could do to get out of the funk. Can I make myself get out of it? Do I have the energy to bother? Will I naturally come out of it in time? Do I care?
In the end, I came back to one answer. Fibro funk is natural. Who wouldn’t occasionally get in a funk living with this condition? The thing is, while I know it’s not healthy to dwell in the funk forever, sometimes I just need to embrace it, if only for a little while. Embracing the fibro funk acknowledges that it exists. It allows me to say, “You know what? This sucks. Having fibromyalgia sucks. It’s no fair that I have to go through this. It’s not fair that I have to feel like this.” It’s OK to acknowledge those feelings. It’s necessary to acknowledge those feelings if I’m going to work through them.
So, I allowed myself time to acknowledge the funk and embraced it. I stayed on the couch with a packet of BBQ Shapes and watched TV show after TV show. I heated up frozen meals for dinner and went to bed early to scroll through my Twitter feed. I allowed myself to stay in this funk for a little while. Until yesterday. Yesterday, my alarm went off and, as had become my fibro funk habit, I hit the snooze button a few times. Then I remembered I had a massage booked for 9 a.m. Damn, I can’t even be bothered to get out of bed for a massage. Better go. So I did and on the way there I realized I needed to stop off at the grocery store on the way home. I don’t want to. I can’t be bothered. I just want to go home to the couch. If you go, you can get soda water. You like soda water. You’ve got the whole weekend ahead of you minus soda water.
So I stopped off at the grocery store. Later, while putting the groceries away, I poured myself a glass of soda water. Ahh bubbles. Maybe I’ll just put away those clothes that have been hanging on the clothes horse for three days. Maybe I’ll just rearrange this side of the wardrobe. Hang on a minute, I’m getting stuff done. And I feel good. Maybe I’ll finally change the sheets that have been on the bed for [way too long to admit]. OK, you may have overdone it. Have a sit down.
And that was it. I rested for about an hour before getting back up to finish off some more household chores that have been neglected for quite some time. I am a total homebody and an organizer. I get so much joy and satisfaction out of my house being organized just the way I like. Yesterday, I had the energy to sort out a few small things and those simple acts took me out of my funk. I’m still more tired than usual but my motivation is slowly returning. I want to be able to do things again. I want to get better so I can participate in life. Yes, I plan on spending this afternoon on the couch but I completed some chores this morning and will cook dinner for myself tonight. I’m sure that doesn’t sound like an achievement to a healthy person. I guess they’re everyday tasks. But to me, they’re big and they’re helping me to remember why I continue to fight the fibro.
If I hadn’t given into the funk I would have continued on, getting more and more tired, more and more sore until finally I crashed. In a big way. A crash is a much harder thing to come back from.