brown and blue bras

14 Bra Brands Women With Fibromyalgia Recommend


When you’re dealing with the skin sensitivities and widespread pain of fibromyalgia, the last thing you probably want to do is put on a bra. If you’re at home, wearing several layers or have a small chest, you may feel totally comfortable skipping a bra entirely — and that’s great! But for many women, there are occasions when a bra feels necessary. Perhaps you feel physically uncomfortable and unsupported without one, or you need to go run errands and feel self-conscious skipping it.

On these occasions, you’ll want a bra that’s soft, isn’t too tight and doesn’t add to the pain you’re already feeling. As any person with fibromyalgia who’s gone bra shopping knows, many bra styles and brands just won’t work. 

We asked our Mighty fibro community to share which brands offer styles they can tolerate. Check out their recommendations below.

Remember, too, that fit plays a huge role in whether or not bras are comfortable, so be sure to ask a salesperson to measure you, or grab a tape measure and use a bra calculator to find out your correct size.

Just so you know, we’ve selected these links to make shopping easier for you. We do not receive any funds from purchases you make.

1. True & Co.

true and co true body scoop neck bra

“True & Co. True Body Collection. So comfy! Feels like wearing nothing!” said Jess Pflieger.

“True Body is the only bra I can wear anymore. I don’t know how much money I wasted buying hoards of bras until I found something that didn’t hurt,” Lisa Hero said.

Buy the True Body Scoop Neck Bra featured above for $44 at True & Co.

2. Glamorise

glamorise sports bra

“Glamorise sports bra! It is all I can wear. I am a 44G and it is the only type that holds them up without underwire and doesn’t make my neck and back hurt,” Adrienne Heeren said. “Anytime I try to wear a different bra within a couple of hours the pain becomes unbearable.”

Buy the Glamorise Ultimate Full-Figure Bra featured above for $48.99 at Glamorise.

3. Hanes

hanes pink and gray bra

Truthfully my favorites are these cheap Hanes bras (they are non-compression athletic-looking bras) from Walmart,” said Karen Lyons.

“I’ve used Hanes with no underwire, the material is very soft and flexible,” explained Sonya Ouellet.

Buy the Hanes X-Temp Foam Wirefree Bra featured above for $12.50 at Hanes.

4. Wonderbra

wonderbra strapless lace bra

“One hundred percent this one [featured above] by Wonderbra!” Michelle Green recommended. “Discovered it when researching for my wedding day lingerie and have since bought two more.”

Buy the Wonderbra Refined Glamour Ultimate Lace Strapless Everyday Bra featured above starting at $49.99 on Amazon.

5. Maidenform

maidenform bra

“Maidenform has been my life saver!” said Kelsi Jones. “It actually has great support, looks cute and the straps are soft and wide enough that they don’t dig in.”

Buy the Maidenform Comfort Devotion Tailored Extra Coverage T-Shirt Bra featured above for $20 at One Hanes Place.

6. Aerie

aerie bralette

“Aerie all the way! It’s American Eagle’s version of [Victoria’s Secret] PINK but their stuff is so much better and so comfortable,” Bea Cohen said. “The sales associates are super helpful too and make sure you find exactly what you’re looking for.”

“Unwired bralettes are the best I’ve found,” Jessica Lentz recommended. “Aerie has some amazing ones that are priced fair and are a quality product from my experience.”

Buy the Aerie Real Me Bralette featured above for $34.95 at American Eagle.

7. Victoria’s Secret

victoria's secret bralette

“Always Victoria’s Secret,” recommended Alexandra Cook. “They have so many different types to find the perfect type and you get a personal bra fitting and they last forever — completely worth the money.”

“I have a handful of bralettes from Victoria’s Secret. Fortunately for me, I am rather small chested so they offer the comfort and support I need,” said Cameron Leff.

Buy the Victoria’s Secret Easy Plunge Bra featured above for $29.50 at Victoria’s Secret.

8. Reebok

reebok sports bra

“Reebok sports bras: I’m almost a DDD, and it’s supportive enough for the level of exercise I can manage to do, it’s not constricting, and it’s a very soft material,” said Mattie McAfoos.

Buy the Reebok Hero Racer Padded Sports Bra featured above for $40 at Reebok.

9. La Senza

la senza turquoise bra

“La Senza is the only brand I can wear. It’s not too thin that it cuts and the bras with and without underwire seem to not hurt me until the end of the day. Plus they still give me that yummy cleavage!” said Koroleva Voyny.

Buy the La Senza Lightly Lined Full Coverage Bra featured above for $25.95 at La Senza.

10. Rosie For Autograph

rosie for autograph blue floral bra

“Rosie bras at Marks & Spencer are amazing,” Claire Hewitt recommended. “So, so comfy and pretty, too. I got loads in the sale recently.”

Buy the Silk & Lace Padded Plunge Bra featured above for $44 at Marks & Spencer.

11. Miss Mary of Sweden

miss mary of sweden bra

“Miss Mary of Sweden make a really good front fastening posture bra. When my arms are tired or painful I can’t handle a back fastening bra, even fastening it at the front and twisting it around isn’t an option,” Sophie Robinson explained. “When I’m tired I know I slouch, being rather top heavy this means going bra-free causes even more posture problems. It doesn’t completely solve the problem but it definitely helps. Definitely not a thing of beauty but I really don’t care!”

Buy the Miss Mary of Sweden Soft Cup Bra With Front Closure featured above for $53.99 at Miss Mary of Sweden.

12. Champion

champion brand sports bra

“Champion brand sports bras. No underwire. Adjustable straps. Soft and comfortable,” said Nicole Marie.

Buy the Champion Spot Comfort Sports Bra featured above for $28.99 from Champion.

12. Genie

pink genie bra

“Genie bras. Inexpensive and extremely comfortable,” said Alice Charbarneau.

“I love Genie bras. It has been the only bras I have bought in the last five years,” recommended Abby Pinch.

Buy the Genie Bra featured above for $9.99 at Genie Bra.

13. Pact Organic camisole

black camisole tank top

“I’m all about the cami! That’s what I wear under my shirts instead of bras,” Krystina Kari Ferrari said. “And sometimes even that’s too much pressure on my chest!”

“At home, I have spandex tank tops I’ll put on under my shirts. It works well because I get cold easily too and it helps warm me up,” said Ashley Allison. “They’re a size smaller than what I wear so they’re a little snug. That provides decent support and I’m a DDD!”

Buy the Pact Organic Super Soft Cotton Women’s Camisole With Shelf Bra featured above for $16.99 from Target.

14. Uniqlo

uniqlo bra

“Love these wireless bras and straps don’t dig in,” said Danielle Masuda.

Buy the Uniqlo Wireless Bra featured above for $19.90 at Uniqlo.



, , Listicle

How I Approach Self-Care as Someone With a Chronic Illness


Before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, whenever I saw articles telling me how to take care of myself and to practice self-care, I would roll my eyes and move on without reading the advice. Since my diagnosis, I’ve been more open to understanding how I can make my life easier and more enjoyable, but I don’t want to hear about airy-fairy ideas – I want practical ways I can take better care of myself.

When you have a chronic illness, it can be difficult to see the positive sides of life. In the middle of a flare, being battered by chronic pain and fatigue, it’s hard to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. When you can’t even stand for long enough to cook your favorite meal, thinking about getting out and doing something you enjoy can be quite unrealistic.

In terms of treatment, a multi-pronged attack can be the best way to target fibromyalgia and make it somewhat bearable.


Over the past 12 months, I have been feeling better in myself – less pain, less fatigue – but a flare can strike at any time, and if you’re feeling stressed, it can rear its ugly head to make your life even harder. At times like this, I turn to self-care.

Taking pleasure in the little things is the key to practicing self-care. It’s a state of mind, rather than a short-term goal. Just switching off for five minutes and focusing on your breathing can work wonders for your state of mind.

Something happened to me recently that I’m not quite ready to talk about yet, but it has affected me in so many ways. I can’t sleep properly – despite the amitriptyline, the medication I’m on for fibromyalgia – and my appetite is non-existent. I’m no longer interested in doing anything. And, of course, the stress has caused the fibromyalgia to flare up, causing me pain and extra fatigue (as if I wasn’t already tired enough).

To get through this time, I’m trying to focus on the little things.

Instead of staring blankly at my phone during my lunch break, I read a book or listen to an audiobook. Since I blog about books (amongst other things), reading is one of my favorite things to do, but I’ve been finding it difficult to concentrate at times. Putting my phone away and getting a book out is a deliberate act, as if I’m trying to remind myself I do love reading. I always feel better afterwards.

I’ve been watching a lot of great TV recently – “Game of Thrones,” “Poldark,” “Nashville” – but during this flare, I haven’t been interested in watching anything. It’s easy to think, what’s the point, but the point is you have to take care of yourself, even if it means carving out an hour of your evening to watch your favorite show. It’s such a simple thing, but it means, for that hour, your mind is elsewhere, with the fictional characters on the screen.

My home is a great comfort to me.

Hygge is a state of mind, not just a fashion statement, and it complements self-care wonderfully. My house is full of books and art and games, photographs and snuggly throws and cats. It’s a safe haven. I bought a diffuser, often light candles and draw the curtains against the darkening evenings. We recently bought the Philips Hue light bulbs that connect with Alexa, and often pick a scene with soft colors for the living room – light pinks, cool blues, warm reds. When you’re curled up on the sofa in pain – mentally or physically, or both – it can be hard to care about anything, but I find that setting the scene can really lift my mood. I always try to sit down with a cup of tea before heading to bed, and spend some time reading, or chatting to my partner, or playing with the cats.

Sometimes, you need to get out of your head, but other times, you need to get into it. I don’t have trouble falling asleep, but I have been waking up in the early hours of the morning. Instead of getting frustrated and upset, I try to focus on my breathing, slowing it down, and clearing my mind. I find it helps me get back to sleep easier, and I stay asleep until my alarm goes off. Taking five minutes to just breathe can make a huge difference.

If you, like me, work full-time, your mind can be full of things to do – meetings, paperwork, solving problems – so it can be hard to find time in your day to turn inwards and focus on yourself. Getting up, taking a short walk (outside, weather permitting!), and enjoying the time away from my desk can prepare me for going back, facing it all again with a fresh mind. If something in particular is bugging me, I take it out with me and turn it over in my mind during my walk. A lot of the time, I come up with a solution, or, at the very least, a better way to approach it.

We love cooking in our house. Fibromyalgia can make it difficult to cook fresh food – after a long day of work, my body is often too tired to chop vegetables and stand in the kitchen. Thankfully, I have a partner who loves cooking too, and will always share the load with me. Between us, we manage to cook fresh, delicious meals a few times a week, always making more to serve as leftovers for another meal. Making sure your diet is as healthy as it can be is another way you can take care of yourself. Just like drinking plenty of water, eating healthy food you love keeps your body happy, and your mind benefits too. I also make it an occasion to enjoy a treat. Rather than stealing opportunities to snack throughout the day, I like to sit down in the evening, or on the weekend, with a delicious cake, and savor it.

Self-care really is about the little things. Taking joy out of small moments in your day – whether that’s receiving a compliment from a colleague, making a rather good cup of tea, hugging your partner or spending an hour with your nose in a good book – can really make a positive impact. Fibromyalgia, and other chronic illnesses, can make an already busy or stressful life that much harder, so I try to focus on finding joy amongst the chaos, and knowing that for every dark period, there’s always a small candle to light your way.

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Thinkstock photo via vladans.


Why Vacations Can Be Exhausting for People With Chronic Illnesses


Something misunderstood by people free from a chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia, is that going away on holiday can be exhausting. My husband loves traveling and doing all the tourist things, and when I developed my condition, our daughter was only 12 years old. As a result, I was determined to keep up our pattern of family vacations. Fortunately, my family understands the effort I have made to do this and what it has cost me in health terms, but others do not, and think I can’t be all that unwell if I can go away on holiday. They roll their eyes when I return and say how tired I am. The following is what I would like them to know.

First of all, there is everything to organize before we go. I heave a sigh of relief once we’re in the car, train or airport departure lounge. I’m too tired to help with driving if that’s what we’re doing. I need rest but am too wired with thinking about things to sleep on the journey. When we arrive, I do find that excitement and adrenaline kicks in, which helps me at first. I’m eager to embrace my new surroundings and explore, but how long that continues will depend on the conditions. I have dragged myself, exhausted and in pain, across several European cities. In general, to someone unused to city life, the noise, smells, crowds and over-stimulation are too much. My family have had to leave me sitting in cafes or on benches all over the place, while they carried on exploring. I have been forced to return to the hotel for rest.

Temperatures can be another issue. I am Scottish, so am not used to great heat! I used to love Mediterranean summer vacations for the sunshine and warmth, but no longer. On holiday in Spain, I wasn’t fit for any sightseeing. I spent the days seeking shade or air conditioning. One dip in the pool was enough — I thought it would help, but the contrast of going from extreme heat to freezing water brought on a flare and instant, agonizing pain. Strangely enough, though, two autumn breaks in Iceland suited me well – the cold has a different quality to our damp Scottish climate, and I found it energizing.

In general, however, especially now that our daughter has left home, we are admitting that we need to take things easier and choose quieter destinations. Last month, on what was probably our last holiday as a family, we visited the beautiful city of York. I couldn’t sleep due to the noise of traffic. We had plans which had to be abandoned because I simply wasn’t up to going out. Several days, we ventured out and I had to return to the holiday rental to rest. I’m relieved we had rented a house rather than staying in a hotel, because it meant I could remain in bed in the mornings and return to rest at any time. In the past, I’ve often gone back to hotels to find the room being cleaned.

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that I need a holiday after a vacation! Unfortunately, it’s one of those aspects of chronic illness that people don’t understand. We may be accused of whinging – I’ve certainly been met with sarcastic comments. I know we are fortunate if we have the finances and are fit enough in any degree to travel. The change of scene can be refreshing, and it’s a temporary release from work, housework and all those jobs piling up which keep nagging. However, even a healthy person finds difficulty in returning to daily life and demands after a vacation, so it can often be much worse for someone with chronic illness. We may well return from holiday feeling even more fatigued than before we went.

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Thinkstock Image By: seb_ra


Constantly Adjusting to Season Changes With Fibromyalgia


Hello, September. For the past week, I’ve been noticing more trees have started shedding their leaves, the golden-browns and reds bursting into life before settling on the grass. The temperature is slowly dropping; the evenings are closing in earlier and earlier. Summer is on its way out.

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons – while I love a bit of sun, I find the heat unbearable at times, thanks to the perimenopausal symptoms caused by my contraception and exacerbated by fibromyalgia. The constant hot flushes and the feeling of overheating can make the summer months – short though they are in England – pretty difficult for someone with a chronic illness. I also have a big problem with staying hydrated during summer, something my GP told me could also be put down to fibromyalgia.


By the end of August, I’m longing for the cooler nights, a brisk breeze, an excuse to wrap up in a blanket. Now we’re finally moving into autumn, my favorite time of the year can begin. Watery afternoon sunlight streaming through the blinds, a chill in the air. One of my favorite things to do is curl up on such a weekend, huddled into a comfy hoodie with a blanket thrown over my lap, and lose myself in a good book. I love the comfort food of the cooler months – beef stew, roast dinners, potato and leek soup. Good, homemade food that warms you from the inside out. I love watching TV dramas on darkening evenings, closing the curtains early and turning on the soft, comforting lamps. I love Halloween, and the run-up to Christmas – all the lights and markets, the Christmas music and the ridiculous jumpers.

But autumn isn’t all fun and games for me. I find it difficult to get out of bed when it’s still dark – maybe that’s just a personality trait, or maybe the combination of my medication and the dark mornings tricks my brain into wanting more sleep. I don’t know. What I do know is the dark mornings seem to last forever, once we move past October and into the depths of winter.

The rainy days can also be a challenge. You know when it feels like it’s been raining nonstop, and the cold seeps into your bones? It makes me more sluggish, less motivated. It just makes me want to stay in bed all day – which isn’t practical for many of us. The colder months also make going out more precarious. Slippery mud, icy paths – one trip and I can put myself back weeks, trigger a horrendous flare.

Each season presents its own challenges when you’re living with a chronic illness. In summer, it can get too hot; in winter, too cold. I know we Brits like to complain about the weather almost as much as we enjoy talking about the perfect cup of tea or queuing, but, just like most other aspects of life, living with a chronic illness can make things that little bit harder. The pain and fatigue fibromyalgia is known for can be worse when the weather starts to turn. Just as you feel like you’re getting used to the heat or the cold, the seasons change. It’s like a constant feeling of adapting to your surroundings, but you never fully get there.

Living with any kind of chronic illness always involves adjustment, whether it’s making changes to your home to make life easier, or introducing different foods into your diet, or just arming yourself with the things you need, and as we move out of summer and towards winter, I’ll need to start preparing, like a bear preparing for hibernation. Many people don’t understand these rituals we have to complete, in order to continue functioning as a “normal” human being, but we always seem to manage it, and, before we know it, spring will be around the corner.

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Thinkstock photo via Comstock.


I'm Not Really Too Busy to See You, I Just Can't Fake That I'm Not in Pain


It’s 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night, and I’m in bed. With my husband and dogs right beside me. Nothing new here, and honestly, most of our friends are probably doing the same thing, but I really wouldn’t know.

It wasn’t the diagnosis, or even the pain really, that caused me to start avoiding party invites and happy hour texts from my girlfriends. I don’t really remember when I started drifting so far away, but I have recently realized that I miss my friends. And my sisters and brothers. And my former colleagues. I miss talking to people. I truly miss laughing out loud with my girlfriends. I even miss seeing how handsome and stunning my husband is when he’s in a crowd.

But, as for my friends and out families that we rarely see anymore, I do wonder what they think. I assume they think my husband and I (married three years in December) are still in the honeymoon phase, that our kids keep us very busy, or they may not think twice about it. But, I bet they haven’t thought for a second that I have avoided pretty much every opportunity to see them that there has been the last couple of years.

I’ve cancelled or just not shown up, I’ve postponed or used my typical, “maybe,” or, “probably,” responses, which they’ve all figured out is the same as a “no.” And, when I have made it to dinner or lunch, I had probably been a nervous wreck and even considered canceling the day before.

The truth is that I’m not a good faker anymore. I hurt. More often than not lately, I hurt. Something always hurts. And, because I’m not great at pretending like I feel great these days, I’ve made the choice to let everyone I love think that I’m just really busy and head over heels in love, and that they are the ones that don’t fit into my schedule anymore. And, that’s not true at all… so far from true.

I feel stuck, and I’ve never been comfortable admitting it until now. I don’t want to pretend that I am just fine anymore. But, I don’t want to moan and groan, or for people to worry or feel sorry or pity me. I don’t want to overpower the conversation when someone asks how I’ve been feeling, because I could talk all night. But, geez, I really do want to talk sometimes.

In all honestly, I have always been the person in my many circles that organized the get-togethers, ensured the girls free drinks from the bars that we would close down, and throw my nieces and nephews the best Christmas parties ever.

And, it sucks not being able to be that person anymore. It sucks to not even have the energy to go to dinner, let alone host one. Fibro sucks.  So, if I’m being honest, I don’t feel like my old self at all. And, I guess I’m a little afraid that my friends and family may not enjoy my company anymore, that I may not be as funny as they expect me to be, or as good at conversation as I once was. I definitely won’t close the bar down if I even make it. But, I guess I should tell them that. Because, as I write this I’ve realized that if I was them, I’d want to know.

So, here it goes. I miss you, all of you. And, I’m sorry for the excuses. Instead of reaching out to you when I’ve needed you most, I’ve hidden from you, and even lied to you. I’m sorry. And, if I am ever going to find myself again, I need you. So, from now on, I’ll be honest and tell you when I just don’t feel like putting a bra on to leave the house. And, maybe instead of canceling or postponing, you can just stop by. I’d love to see you. I would really love that.

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Thinkstock Image By: Goldfinch4ever


What I Learned From Having Fibromyalgia, but Not Fully Understanding It


I was kind of diagnosed by accident. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.

I hadn’t been in contact with my family for some time (long and sordid story) when I got a call. I don’t even remember who called me – I believe it was a departmental secretary – but I was told I needed to get to the rheumatology department at my local hospital as soon as I could, because I needed tests. I think I remember being more confused than concerned; I hadn’t had a recent appointment with my doctor, and I would have made a diary note if they had expressed any need to make a referral for anything, so I asked why they needed to see me, and was told that both my mother and younger sister had just been diagnosed with SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus).

I had no idea what that was, but I agreed to get myself over to the hospital later that day, then fetched out my medical dictionary and looked up SLE. Oh. Wow. OK. It sounded scary. I tried to prepare myself.

The actual assessment was anticlimatic. Blood tests, lots of questions and then a physical examination which proved to be surprisingly painful. Eventually, after a long wait in a very uncomfortable chair, the rheumatologist called me back into his office, and announced, “Well, you don’t have lupus, you’ll be happy to hear. There were some indications in your blood tests that suggest it may be present, but only in a very minimal way. So you may be a carrier for it (?!) but you don’t have active SLE.” That was a relief. But then he followed it up with, “But you do have fibromyalgia.” That baffled me, but… he handed me a leaflet and advised me to read it, then told me I was discharged, since there was nothing further he was able, or needed, to do for me, and sent me home.


Looking back on that experience now, I think that while it was slightly surreal and cold, as well as supremely uninformative, that consultant also did me something of a favor. By not describing all the symptoms and effects of fibro, he gave me no preconceived ideas or expectations about my future with it.

I was 27 years old and just diagnosed with a condition that was going to profoundly affect me for the rest of my life. I’d already been experiencing many of the issues connected to it without really understanding what was happening. His vagueness allowed me to continue as I always had – pushing myself beyond what I really should have been able to do, partly because I had no idea that was what I was doing, and partly because I was not prepared to accept I was struggling.

I didn’t realize for a while that this was going to be a lifelong situation, so I didn’t stop myself from doing and experiencing the things I wanted. It may have been that if I took a place on a training course that involved working in a stable yard, I would find myself physically exhausted and in pain every day. I just assumed I was unfit, and everyone felt that constant, violent, bone-deep ache and slept every spare minute of the day. If I found myself confused and had lapses in memory and concentration, well, at the time I had a great deal going on, and that was normal, right?

Basically, I got the diagnosis, read the leaflet… then did my best to completely ignore what was happening with and to my body. It was only later, when I realized that doing the simplest of things was leaving me useless for the rest of the day, that I understood. Washing my hair? Managed, but then my arms, shoulders and neck would be painful and swollen for the rest of the day, if not longer, to the point where picking up a cup or a pen was an ordeal. Housework? I’d do it, but then I’d be so painful and exhausted for days afterward I could barely move… and yet I did, because I had no choice. If I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done.

The constant cycle of pain, exhaustion, stomach problems, memory and concentration issues and weird body temperature fluctuations confused and upset me, but they were normal for me too, so I did my best to ignore them and get on with things. It was only much, much later, after a long and enlightening conversation with an understanding and informed GP, that I finally understood the full scope and impact of what I was dealing with. And, being a stubborn woman, I went ahead and carried on exactly as I had before – because I had no idea what else to do.

Having fibro has taught me many things. Yes, it has taught me this body has limitations. Sometimes I will find myself fighting it just to be able to feel some sense of normalcy. I’m not invincible, and there are some things that simply cannot be ignored.

lilac tree
The lilac tree in my garden.

It has also taught me I have far more strength and determination than I ever realized. I can tolerate more pain than I thought. I am sometimes too stubborn and independent for my own good. It has taught me to be creative and innovative as I find ways to be able to do things without causing a flare-up, or adding to one. It has taught me that sometimes, no matter how important I think it is I do something, what I need to do is slow down, stop. Take some time. I’ve learned that what I can’t manage to do today will still be there tomorrow. I’ve learned to better prioritize the things I need to do, and to pare down a “to do” list so I don’t feel so overloaded. I’ve learned, hard as it is, to say “no” and not over-explain. I’ve learned that some people will accept and understand my limitations, and others will not. I don’t have any control or any say in how they will react.

In short, I’ve learned I am living with a condition that affects my day-to-day life – not one that has ended it. I’ve learned how to be kind to myself, even when others can’t be. I’m not alone in having these issues, but how I choose to deal with them is for me to decide.

I do have my moments of depression about it. Of course I’d prefer to be fully healthy and not have to live with all of this. But the fact that I can, and have, is something I am realizing I should be more proud of than I have been. I’m doing the best I can, and I’m making the best of who I am. I’ve achieved so much already – maybe I should be making plans for a future where I find more cans than can’ts. I need to see my fibro less as a shackle stopping me from moving forward as I want, and more as a heavy pack… something I have to carry that can make it harder, but with which I can still move forward – if maybe a bit more slowly than I’d like!

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