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How I Combat the Negative Effects Fibromyalgia Can Have on My Self-Esteem

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Despite all my positivity and strength, I must admit there are moments when fibromyalgia gets the better of me and I feel miserable. There are some days where all I want to do is curl up in bed and shut the world out. I don’t want anyone to see me during those times, just leave me alone with my sadness. I appreciate those quiet times – they give time to reflect, and put things into perspective.

I get frustrated at my body at times for working against me – at least, that’s how I perceive it sometimes. If there’s one thing I’ve learned though, it’s that these feelings of powerlessness are not something that can be easily shaken off, they are something we must learn to conquer in our own way. My own normal stretches of sadness only last a few hours these days. Slowly the positive and rational part of my brain wins out, but it’s still horrible while it lasts. It just goes to show that even when we’ve come to terms with our fibromyalgia, there still are days when we feel burdened by its punches on our self-esteem.

I survive these by reminding myself that I am a warrior and have pulled through each and every time this has happened. I find my 100 percent success rate in surviving my moments of poor self-esteem extremely comforting.

Some of my coping skills during these times are:

It cannot be an all or nothing way of thinking – there must be balance. Just because I’m sick does not mean I cannot be happy.

I try not to focus on the negatives – I sometimes tend to dwell on them so I try replacing a negative thought with a positive one.

I am not fibromyalgia. It does not define me. Facts over feelings.

Try not to put myself down with phrases like “I am not attractive,” “I cannot do what others do,” etc.

Treat myself like I am my own best friend. “Even though it’s tough right
now, I can handle it.”

Forgive myself.

Stay away from “should have” and “could have.”

Focus on the positive.

Encourage myself – “I can do this.” “I do pretty well despite the fibro.”

Make a gratitude list.

We are all beautiful in our own special way, so let’s embrace it.

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Thinkstock photo via Ann-ka.

Originally published: July 11, 2017
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