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Why I'm OK With What I've Lost Because of Fibromyalgia

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For those of us dealing with chronic pain and fatigue, losing comes with the package. The first things you lose are on a very personal level as you slowly become aware that your body isn’t the one you once knew. As a matter of fact, you sort of mourn that loss, you mourn the body that is no more. That is the first blow.

Then comes the loss of your credibility. As much as people around you know you have been diagnosed with an illness, the fact remains that on the outside you look normal and that always deep down won’t add up to them. Those days you are so tired and sore. When brushing your teeth requires all your inner strength, or when you are so confused by fibro fog that you make no sense at all, others may think you’re exaggerating. You “surely” can do something about it.

Next there’s your social life. As you learn to cope with your new life status, canceling or leaving early becomes your new etiquette. People wonder why you are not dancing at your friend’s wedding and conclude you are plain rude or truly obnoxious. No one stops to think that maybe those heels you are wearing are proof that you are giving it your all, and that tomorrow you’ll struggle with the consequences of trying to appear normal.

What is there more to lose? Well, yourself. I believe that you can’t go through life carrying your medical history file under your arm so people acknowledge your illness. You also can’t keep trying to appear normal by pushing yourself to the limit at work or at home. Believe me, trying to appear normal is mentally exhausting, physically impossible and quite frankly, not a way to live. Accept the new you, with the good and the bad.

Chronic illnesses are a constant daily battle and having to explain yourself, hide yourself and pretend, will only eat at you. I say count your loses and count your blessings. You are here! You are battling it out! I’ve lost many things along the way, and it’s OK because this new me is stronger than my old self. I battle through pain and exhaustion every day. Some days I win, some days I lose – but is all right because I accepted that my illness is not going away, but neither am I.

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Originally published: May 9, 2018
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