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The Range of Emotions You Experience With Fibromyalgia

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Since I’ve been sick, people have went on with their lives. Which is great! I’m so glad the ones I love have been able to adapt and cope with my absence because that means I haven’t ruined things too much for them.

The downside is, while they get to move on, I’m still here, dealing with fighting a war with my body on a daily basis. And sometimes – no one is fine all the time – I feel a bit unimportant because everyone is fine without me.

Being chronically ill, you will experience every emotion in existence. Even the most well-adjusted person has their moments, or sometimes even their weeks, when they are not in the best state of mind due to circumstances happening at that time. I am definitely no exception.

Actually, I’d say I probably spend a good 80 percent of my time feeling “not fine.” Every day I feel guilt that my family has to deal with me being sick. I feel like a burden. I stress constantly about how much it affects the people I love, knowing I don’t have any control over it. I feel worthless because I can’t do things like I used to. Every day is harder than the one before when I desperately need a day where it at least stays the same.

Financial issues are constant. Every penny made is already spent before it’s earned either on the everyday things humans need to survive or medical things. Specialists, diagnostic testing, prescriptions. Yeah, insurance takes care of some things, but they’ll only pay out so much. Then it’s up to you to somehow earn the money to keep yourself alive. Hard enough when you just have the basic human needs. Waaaay harder when you have the basic human needs plus need around $350 worth of meds a week. Yeah, fun stuff. Especially when you aren’t able to stand without getting so nauseous you almost pass out. Or when your skin is so sensitive that simply putting clothing on feels like someone is beating you.

Hard to keep a job if you have to miss, at the very least, two or three days a month because you’re stuck in the hospital. Most places don’t even give you the option for time off for things like that in the first year of employment. When you’re sick, even if you’re normally the most reliable person on the planet, you can’t think of yourself as reliable because your body may take a notion to not let you walk one day, or make one side of your top half numb, or put so many spots in your vision, you can’t see. The type of work is irrelevant if I’m unable to be present to do it.

And forget trying to work eight hours at a time. My body might let me last four hours before some of the above symptoms display themselves, but they usually start coming on after only a couple of hours of working. Probably because I have to plan my meds around work. Can’t be at work on pain meds because I might not be as attentive as usual. So within a couple of hours of it wearing off, I’m almost in tears. And the longer I go, the worse it gets. When I first started feeling badly, I could get away with working and taking my meds when I came home. Things have now progressed to where I start feeling really rough after only an hour, and completely exhausted and in blinding pain by the two-hour mark. To the point where no amount of money is worth going any longer. It’s not a fun way to live.

The point is, all of us who are chronically ill go through some version of this experience and have these feelings of worthlessness, guilt, fear, anger, bitterness, etc. It’s OK. No really, it’s fine. You are totally allowed to feel however want whenever you want about your chronic illness and the fallout because it is your body. You are the one having to go through this physically, mentally and emotionally. Maybe there are a few rare people out there who don’t go through the gambit of emotions I’ve described, but I think if they were being honest with themselves, they would have to admit to at least a couple of these feelings.

The important thing to remember is not to let yourself stay in those negative thoughts and emotions. Do something to remember all the good things about yourself if necessary. Make a list of the good.

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Photo via opohodzhay on Getty Images

Originally published: January 4, 2018
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