What My 'Better' Days With Fibromyalgia Are Like
For me, fibromyalgia has become a debilitating illness. Managing the illness has become a full-time job. The fatigue and pain are often unbearable, and I have a tough time being able to handle heat and cold – which makes summer and winter almost excruciating. My new normal is often marked by an increased need to rest and constantly having to manage my pain, but there are days where I do feel better than others.
One of my better days usually begins with increased energy. I struggle with severe insomnia, but I have found that when I am able to sleep soundly, I wake up with lessened fibromyalgia symptoms. I find that most of the time I struggle with intense fatigue and I spend a lot of my time catching up on sleep and rest; however, on my better days, I feel as though my mood has been lifted and I have more of a desire and ability to participate in various activities. While my full-body pain is still present, it has lessened. I still feel tender in various areas, but I feel as though I have more control over the pain and my body, rather than the pain controlling me.
It is during these better days that I feel that I am better able to move my body, and I like to take part in light movement – such as gentle stretching and yoga or going for a walk. Being able to move my body without widespread, severe body pain brings me some release and helps me better connect to myself. Usually, my entire focus seems to be on my fatigue and body pain because it is so severe, and I can’t think of anything else. But on my better days, the fatigue and pain seem to be more in the background, so I have more mental space for other things in my life – such as being able to be more present with my family, participate in my passions, and enjoy the day. I have multiple mental illnesses on top of fibromyalgia, but when my pain and fatigue are low, I find that being able to manage my mental illnesses becomes much easier.
Managing all of my illnesses is exhausting, but having some better days allows me to remind myself of what my passions and values are, and I am more able to connect to myself spiritually. My better days allow me to reconnect with life and find the joy in it that is harder for me to see on my days where my pain and fatigue are incredibly high. On these better days, I also don’t experience brain fog as strongly as I usually do, and it feels like I can think more clearly. Having that extra mental space that is not focused only on my pain and fatigue makes me feel like a completely different person. It is during these days that I feel like there are so many possibilities for how I can enjoy my day.
Fibromyalgia pain is a huge part of my life. It impacts everything that I do, and I often struggle to help those I love to understand what I am going through. Each day is a gamble, and I can never predict how I might feel day-to-day. I wake up every morning and connect to my body to take stock in how I am feeling. Some days are better than others, and my better days are what keep me going. They allow me to remind myself of what I hold important while allowing me to find more joy in my life. Everyone’s experience with fibromyalgia is different, and if you are someone who has fibromyalgia, I am here to empathize with you. We will get through this. Keep on fighting.
Getty image by Fizkes.