Fibromyalgia: My Curse and My Blessing
Since fibromyalgia awareness is something this world needs to take more of an interest in, I wanted to explain what living with chronic pain is like. What is a better way to do that than to tell my story?
Fibromyalgia is my curse and my blessing.
Chronic pain is unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. It’s nothing like pain from a surgery or from an injury. It’s relentless. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, no physical therapy, and no medication, nor time, can heal my pain. It is with you every moment, every second of everyday.
It took me, a problem-solving, hardworking overachiever, and it broke me. Years later and I am still trying to put the pieces of my life back together. My dreams became unachievable, my life forever difficult, forever changed.
People stepped out of my life; they didn’t understand. Having lived it myself, I realize they couldn’t possibly understand.
How do you explain to a healthy person what my life is like each day? That I awake each day to a nightmare? Each morning my 27 year old body feels older than its age. Waking up feels like I have been run over by a Mack Truck several times. Getting up sounds like rocks shifting into place…Snap, crackle and pop.
My body feels weighted down by hundreds of extra pounds when I’m struggling to get out of bed. Exhaustion sets in and showers turn to baths. It’s not just constant unrelenting pain and fatigue that I live with either. I experience constant headaches and migraines. I battle bladder, stomach and nausea problems on a daily basis, and the bathroom has become my friend and third most visited place in the house – besides the couch and your bed.
I’m out of breath and struggle to walk small distances or climb stairs. I experience brain fog, have memory problems and have lost intelligence. At times, being able to think or concentrate becomes an impossible task. I can never experience comfort again and can find no comfortable place, position or clothing.
Doctors and hospitals become all too familiar. There are always medications, blood work, lab work, and testing. Medical bills are always coming. Older and wiser family members ask me what they can expect from ultrasounds, cystoscopies, colonoscopies, laparoscopies, MRIs, among other tests.
Depression sets in because even simple, daily tasks become too difficult and too much to bear. Restless legs keep me up at night. Sleep can be unreachable or I can’t get enough. The bed has become a restless place filled with tossing and turning all night long. I will never get a break from my reality because no vacation is a getaway from my daily battle, your worries never left behind. Each day the whole world continues to go on around me when I feel as though mine has ended. I spend each day watching everyone around me live a life I can no longer dream of. This is my curse.
But as each day goes on it becomes a bit more bearable; I stop looking back on the life I once lived and begin to look towards the future. I find my joy in the simple things in life. I come out of the fog I was once living in and open your eyes to the incredible beauty of the world around me. I see what others do not. I have more understanding and a profound compassion and I stop judging others, not knowing what secret life may be going on behind closed doors. I try and smile more and be grateful for everything in my life that I do have.
I truly appreciate and love those who stood by my side; they are now my true friends, my true family. Through turmoil and strife I have finally become the person I have always wanted to be.
This is my blessing.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.
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