themighty logo

How Revealing My Fibromyalgia Diagnosis Has Helped Me Heal

When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia I didn’t want anyone to
know. I wasn’t proud of it. I wanted it hidden from any possible
judgment, so no one would think I was incapable, less than or different.

It didn’t take me long too long to come to terms with letting my
inner crowd know. Having a diagnosis gave authenticity to all of my
ongoing complaints. I truly wasn’t a hypochondriac or dying of some unknown illness! It had a name! Letting everyone else know was a different story…

I realized at the moment I was told I had fibromyalgia, I would never
be the same person with the same health I longed for. In a sense,
that person was dead. I would become something else and it was my choice what I wanted that to be.

I gave myself time to accept the diagnosis. After months of mourning
the loss of my old self, because oh boy, did I mourn it – all seven steps of
grieving included! – I came to acceptance and wanted to stop hiding. It
felt bizarre that I was going through something that impacted my daily
life, but I was hiding every single aspect of it to seem normal. It felt
false and inauthentic, and that wasn’t who I wanted to be.

The moment I chose to post a few things on social media about my
struggle, a shocking thing happened. I got various DMs from friends I
had known for ages, telling me that they too were quietly dealing with
chronic illnesses and others offering heartfelt support! All this time
I had wasted energy worrying about what other people might think and
offering up my struggle gave others the key to sharing theirs.

“You can’t heal what you never reveal.” – Jay Z

There is an innate power in sharing our stories. It helps avoid the
path of isolation and loneliness that can go hand-in-hand with having a
chronic illness. It’s not all roses and sunshine though, sharing can
leave us up for possible negative judgment and critical ignorant
comments, but the way I see it, that only helps us weed out toxicity
from our lives!

To anyone quietly struggling, when you’re ready, come and find us. Your tribe is here and waiting.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo via Archv on Getty Images