The Mighty Logo

When Fibromyalgia Makes Me Tired of Talking to People

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I don’t know if you are like me, I have extended periods of quiet. The quiet comes out of nowhere and I don’t tick the usual boxes of depressive states. I simply have nothing to say.

Since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and depression I have found I like quiet spaces. The phone ringing irritates me, and even though I can use speaker phone, talking to people is difficult. So I sat and reflected, wondering why this was happening. I know my behavior when depressed.

Then the “aha” moment came: I am tired of talking about my illness. I am tired of trying to explain to people who do not want to understand that just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it does not exist. I am tired of all the suggestions of this diet or the other, this supplement and something else worked for them! I have had the grand opportunity of literally swiping my kitchen counter with all the pills I was taking in a fit of rage. I looked like a pharmacy and a witch with all the concoctions. Unsolicited advice does my head in. I am working on not griping, complaining and talking too much. I find it irritates my nerves.

This whole journey came from the fact there are days I am able to make phone calls, joke like the old me but after that I am tired. I feel I let down friends and yet there is the little voice that says put yourself first and do what makes you comfortable. You can almost hear the little judgment in people’s voices when you don’t return calls until a week or two later.

I miss being part of an active life as a trade union rep and an admin manager. I cannot do it anymore – too much information causes my brain to go higgly piggly. It is even worse when I have brain fog, I have to speak slowly and at times I cannot even remember the last sentence I said. I wonder sometimes if I have unrealistic expectations of people. I am a good speaker but I wonder if I can sit for an hour or 45 minutes and give a talk on fibromyalgia without forgetting my name. So I keep quiet.

There are times I want to participate in meetings on mental health and invisible illnesses like fibromyalgia, but I can only do it from my couch. I have tried Skype and video messaging and that is always funny because I rarely put my makeup on. My hair is nappy and nasty and I don’t look like my normal self and it makes me self-conscious. I also find sitting on a chair more than an hour difficult due to my butt muscles.

I keep quiet because I have nothing to say and it is OK. I believe there comes a time to speak and a time to be silent. The current need to keep talking or even updating each activity on social media is becoming boring and irritating. I just want to sit in my house and potter around the house talking to myself methinks.

I wonder if there is anyone else who struggles with the malaise of not wanting to talk to people. Perhaps people need to step into our shoes sometimes and understand we are not hiding, we may simply have no words to grapple with this monstrosity that can come into your whole life!

Getty Image by skyNext

Originally published: March 27, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home