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When Others With Your Condition Are Able to Do More Than You

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Have you ever been part of a Facebook group, or had friends who live with similar conditions to you and thought to yourself, “how on earth do they manage to do so much?”

This happens to me all the time. I’ve woken up on a good day and thought to myself I’ll be able to pop into town today and get a few bits we’ve run out of, or I might be able to have a look round and get myself something. And then I go on Facebook. Or I talk to someone who has a health condition. They ask what I’m doing and I reply with my boring answer and they will come back with “I’m taking little Alfie to the theme park,” or “I’m going out for a bike ride,” or “I’m going for a long walk with the dogs.”

I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel like I should be doing more and why aren’t I? These people have fibromyalgia or hypermobility, they go to work, they drive, they have a life. Why can’t I? Why do I seem to be unable to do physical activities when others who have similar conditions to me can do it?

And then it gets me to thinking how much I miss going for long walks and spending time out with friends without suffering any consequences. It reminds me of what I feel I’m missing out on, the life I once had. The life where I got up every morning, took my children to school and playgroup, then went to work. I’d pick them up, go home, do the usual house bits (bearing in mind I’ve been single for 12 years now!), do the shopping and at weekends and holidays we would spend time together and go places, do fun things. I could go out for a few days in a row, I could have fun.

Now, I can’t work, I struggle with anxiety just to make it more difficult. I have to have my food shop delivered, I have to get someone to do my garden as I just can’t look after it. I have to plan my days out around appointments. If I have a day out, I have to rest the next. It’s miserable, frustrating and downright annoying! A lot of friends don’t ask me out anymore because I usually let them down. That’s tough. But then I get why they don’t ask me. Would you ask someone who always lets you down or says no? I’m sure we would all get fed up with it after a while.

Instead, I have a handful of friends who understand, and for that I’m grateful. Especially at the moment. I have recently got over a chest infection and Tietze flare, when I first went out after getting better, I ended up with another bout of tonsillitis and a fibro flare in my neck thanks to the infection. I can’t seem to shake anything off – either my immune system  is shot to pieces or I’m allergic to the outside! I seem to recover, leave the house and become ill within a day or two.

Anyway, I’m trying to stay positive and when I have a good day I am going to promise myself that I will enjoy it whatever I do. And on a bad day, I will remind myself that my body needs the rest and I’m not being lazy. I must also remember to stop comparing myself to others. We are all living our own journey and it will never be exactly the same for any two people.

Getty Image by demaerre

Originally published: April 14, 2018
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