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What Tomorrow Means to Me as a Person With Fibromyalgia

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“Tomorrow is a new day.” Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there’s hope of waking up and feeling 100 percent better, right? Perhaps that’s a little too optimistic. The reality is living with fibromyalgia is challenging and unpredictable at times. Each day is an uphill battle full of difficulties — silent, yet painful difficulties.

It’s tough to explain a day in my life to those who aren’t actively living with fibromyalgia. Not to mention, there are still some healthcare professionals who don’t believe it exists. As a result, “hiding” is much easier than explaining. 

When your best friend asks you to go on a shopping trip at Target or you’re invited to a family dinner, obliging isn’t as simple as it may seem. Outings are exhausting. Anything outside of the ordinary means a day of recovery ahead. The pain that ensues makes a person rethink those simple invitations. 

What you see on the outside isn’t always what you get. The effort that goes into showering, getting dressed and putting on makeup is similar to a workout for others. That doesn’t include getting the kids ready, planning and preparation. Staying home seems much more manageable than an outing. 

What’s hard for others to understand is that we aren’t actually “hiding.” We aren’t isolating ourselves. We’re simply protecting ourselves. We’re reserving our energy stores for the everyday tasks that we have to perform. We’re conserving our strength. 

In my silence, I’m aching. While “hiding,” I’m in pain. Bare with me. I might say “yes” tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is a new day. 

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: January 13, 2017
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