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Dear Husband: You Can't 'Fix' My Fibromyalgia

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Dear Husband,

You can’t fix me. I wish you could but you can’t cure my fibromyalgia any more than the doctors can. We have researched until our eyes have crossed. You’ve supported me in all my dietary changes and you’ve exercised with me. You’ve held me when I’ve cried from pain, anger, and frustration. I know that you love me and that’s why I’m sending you this letter.

It’s time you stopped trying to fix me. You can’t fix fibromyalgia and you can’t stop my chronic pain.

I’m telling you this because I love you. Because I see the pain and frustration on your face every time we try something different and it doesn’t help. I watch the excited twinkle in your eye die each time another remedy fails to bring me any comfort and I can’t watch it anymore.

We had the relationship most people prayed for, our marathons lasting until the wee hours of the morning. Now, I’m lucky if I see 10 p.m., I’m usually in bed by 9. A hug is something that is only tolerable to me on my best days. My skin is so hypersensitive that even clothing gives me pause, snuggling is just too much. I wish you really understood that it’s not you, it really is me when I push you away. You’re still as attractive to me as you always were, I’m just having a bad day, bad week, or bad month.

Our spontaneity has now been replaced with copious plans, which I know you hate. I have to do it so I can have the energy to do the other things I need to do. Every day I live with choices I know will have a direct impact on how I feel the following day. I would love to stay up late with you, watch TV, snuggle on the couch, and have our time. If I do that, will I be able to get up the next morning and take the kids to school or will you have to miss another meeting to do it for me?

I want to be able to do everything for you, be everything for you and most days I don’t accomplish that despite my best efforts. On the days where I have to order takeout again over making my kids a healthy dinner, it makes me feel like less of a mother. I hate seeing the disappointment on their faces when they ask me to play with them and I physically can’t. Living with fibromyalgia and chronic pain makes me feel less of everything because I only have room for the pain.

I don’t know what it’s like to walk in your shoes. To watch as someone you love faces each day in pain, knowing there is nothing you can do. I think it must feel like a hell you can’t escape from, but at least we are there together. That’s how it feels during my worst weeks, like a hell I just can’t escape from. My family is my hope. The thing that makes it better is seeing you and the kids smile. You are the reason I push myself when I want to give up. Because I know that even in this darkness, there is some light.

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Thinkstock photo by Jupiter Images

Originally published: February 22, 2017
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