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Fibromyalgia May Tether My Body, but It Cannot Tether My Spirit


There came a time, recently, when I realized I no longer consider my body as “me.” I refer to my inner self, my thoughts and feelings and dreams and ideas, as “me.” But my body, that mystical, difficult, stubborn, bewildering being, is now referred to as “it.”

The two no longer live in sync. When I was a child, the fantasies of my mind, the fairy tales I told myself, the adventures of my imagination, were carried out by my body. For a time, we lived beside a large, empty lot and that was my kingdom, complete with the beauty of lilacs and pussy willows, the dangers of the upper-field kingdom, the safety of the lower-field kingdom and my dear pet log-dinosaur. When I was older, we moved to a beach in Mexico, where my body carried me on long, solitary walks finding washed up trees from other countries, containers, bottles, shells and creatures, the wind in my hair, the sun drying the salt on my face, the elements and my body very much an intrinsic part of the life of my imagination.

And as a young adult, living in the big city, my body more troublesome and slower, but still, it carried me on long adventures through the streets, for why use the subway when you could walk and see every type of person and every culture laid out before you while your ears filled with languages from around the world? I walked and imagined and learned and explored.

But now my imaginings drift alone, fighting the tether of my body. My body is an anchor, slow and tired, only able to carry my mind on short walks. They’ve become disparate beings, coexisting, but not comfortably.

“It” is slow, cumbersome. “It” makes my eyes ache and makes reading, food for my brain, difficult. “It” makes my muscles painful, my steps slow and careful. “It” makes my body stiff and my feet in their wanderings sore and tender. “It” hurts inexplicably in places where there has been no strain, where there is no reason for pain. “It” is tired, despite hours of rest. “It” won’t sleep no matter how exhausted I am.

“It” is a conundrum, a puzzle I try to solve with logic when there is no logic that will apply. I have a migraine because… my feet hurt because… my back is strained because… I shouldn’t have eaten… I shouldn’t have done… I shouldn’t have…

But “I” am still here imagining, exploring the beaches and the fields and the forests of my mind. You can see glimpses in the green of my eyes and the orange flame of my hair. I am still here, vibrantly dreaming, thinking, wondering.

“I” am still here.

Getty Image by RossHelen