Lauren

@lauxren
Here to share random thoughts and to remember that I'm not alone on this journey. Single mom of twins, nature lover, iced coffee addict, writer and editor. BPD, GAD, PTSD, Endometriosis, IBS, Fibro. Recovered anorexic.
Community Voices

Has anyone done Keto diet for #Fibromyalgia

Does it work to give more energy?

6 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Fybro and Covid

Does Covid affect we fybro warriors badly across the board ? #fybrocovidhell

2 people are talking about this
Joanna Dwyer

7 Things I Told My Children When I Told Them About My Chronic Pain

“Mommy, why don’t we go running anymore?” My daughter’s words hit me like a brick. (Or a cotton ball, which would have the same affect, thanks to fibromyalgia.) I had stopped jogging, something we often did together, with no explanation. I thought about all the things we used to do that I just cut out of my life, forgetting that I was cutting it out of hers, too. I never once considered the confusion and disappointment she must have felt. I had always been active and often took my daughter along for workouts, jogs, soccer in the park and even dance class. Eventually, the pain in my hips and knees stopped me in my tracks, leaving my daughter wondering why we weren’t doing our usual activities anymore. After beating myself up with guilt, I decided it was time to tell my kids that I’m sick. But how do I explain it? I felt like I was about to scare the hell out of them and hated myself for having to do it. But kids are perceptive and you can only hide something from them for so long. It’s better to be honest and upfront. Don’t patronize them. Believe me, they will know. I took a deep breath and dove in. 1. I have a sickness but you can’t see it. It’s not like a cold or flu, it is inside of my body. 2. Sometimes I can’t do things with you because my body doesn’t feel good. 3. Some days I feel better, some days I need you to be gentle with me and let me rest. 4. I love spending time with you, but some days I just can’t do all the things you want to. We can still spend time together, we just have to do things differently. 5. I have to take medicine to help my body feel better. 6. My body will always be sick. The doctors can’t fix it, but they help me find ways to feel as good as I can. 7. Mommy is not going to die from this. This last line was difficult, but also the most important thing to convey. I didn’t plan it, but I could see in their faces that they were scared when I told them it can’t be “fixed.” After tenderly explaining it to them, I braced myself for the emotional outbursts, the tears and panic – but none of that came. Actually, I was shocked and relieved by their calm, rational responses. Once they knew they weren’t going to lose their mom, they nonchalantly went back to painting, agreeing to be gentle and understanding. I then asked them how they felt about it and if they had any questions. I imagined their little brains being overwhelmed and their hearts crying with fear. Instead, my daughter shrugged me a “no” and my son sat pensively, eyes looking up at the ceiling in thought. I took a deep breath and waited for his deep and meaningful question, my hand reaching out to squeeze his. “Mommy, can I have some yogurt?”

Community Voices

A world of regret

My son left today. He moved out. And he really needed to as his behavior has been so toxic and triggering for me. We needed a break from each other. I knew this day was coming so it’s no surprise. But it’s on the heels of another blowup filled with his manipulation, excuses, disrespect vs my indignation and cruel words.

I’ve written before about how he triggers me. How he causes my anxiety and flight vs fight responses to go into high alert. He’s 19 now. And he is learning EVERYTHING the hard way. It’s been painful to watch. Slowly he has become someone that I don’t understand. Someone that I don’t know anymore.

My childhood trauma/baggage was being ignored. There was always something more important going on. And in retrospect I know it wasn’t intentional or mean. My mom was widowed at 24 with 3 kids under 6, me being the youngest. She was busy. My job was (everyone say it with me now….) to be seen, not heard and not cause my mom any unnecessary stress. She worked nights so she wouldn’t have to miss work if my sisters and I were sick. As a mom now, I know she did an amazing job with what she had on her plate. But, as with most childhoods, there was some form of damage done.

I have done a lot of therapy to understand how my childhood has shaped who I am as a person and have been able to feel at peace with it all. But I never stopped to think how my childhood shaped who I am as a mother.

We are all doomed to repeat the patterns of our past, right? Or at least hold the responsibility to identify the bad patterns and fix them. I always worried about being emotionally unavailable to my kids since it was the only method of parenting I was exposed to. I wanted to BE THERE for them. And I did consciously make certain changes in my life to achieve that. I worked from home just about all their lives so they would know I am always here. I encouraged and supported any and all extracurricular interests, got the great house in the cul-de-sac with the pool in the backyard. Birthday parties, trips, they never “wanted”’for anything. I feel pretty good about the kind of mother I was up until the teenage years. When their emotional needs changed.

But I didn’t fight for the family dinner time every night as they got older and started sprouting their wings. I didn’t want to impose the guilt that was shamed into me by forcing them to choose between family time and what they wanted to do. Slowly we started to all drift into our own worlds and apart from each other. I saw it happening. I knew it was happening. But emotional intimacy was such an uncomfortable thing for me that I just let it happen. I never wanted my kids to feel forced to spend time with me. If they wanted to connect, they knew where I was. I did all the obligatory check-ins through high school to take a temp on their lives, friends, needs. But never pushed beyond that. I told myself because they were boys and I am mom, the connection was foreign to both of us and it was all normal.

Tonight I have realized so much more damage that I have caused. Growing up emotionally ignored transformed me to put my thoughts, opinions and emotions front and center as an adult. I am able to speak with conviction and have no problem asking for what I need. But I am realizing that I have been so focused on my position to defend and protect that ignored little girl, that I have irreparably ignored my childrens needs. Disagreements and arguments have been fueled with my desire to be heard and to be right, instead of listening, supporting, understanding. I have been so focused on standing up for myself that I forced my kids into having to stand up for themselves against their own mother. I am supposed to be there to support them, encourage them, to put their needs first. Instead I put my own emotional baggage in the way. I look back now and see so many missed opportunities where I should have paused, put my subconscious agenda away, and been there for them. I repeated my childhood by ignoring my own children emotional needs.

Tonight I am feeling like a complete failure as a mom. The strings that are supposed to connect a mothers heart to her sons feels severed. And I honestly don’t know if it will ever be recovered. I feel like I have caused permanent damage. I am so ashamed of myself.

Now it has to be said that my son that moved out hasbeen no peach. He proudly acknowledges he is on the train tracks and playing chicken with the train but that this is “how he learns”. That’s a hard process to watch. He has been disrespectful to me, my husband, our home. A lot of it the usual teenage crap, but heightened because he has ADD, depression and anxiety. He has not been an easy child. But my heart is breaking over realizing that I didn’t necessarily make it easier on him. Or maybe I am pointing out all of his shortcomings to ease my guilt. Or maybe I am the reason why he is this way.

What I do know is the guilt, regret, shame and heartache I feel tonight is very very heavy.

And I am so very sorry. #Anxiety #Depression #Motherhood

2 people are talking about this
Carly Fox

Why Identifying as Disabled Is a Complex and Personal Journey

Unfortunately, becoming disabled is not as easy as someone coming along, handing you an accessible parking pass, and sending you on your way. Becoming disabled is a complex, deeply personal journey that rarely has one tipping point. For chronic, complex, and mental illnesses, even with diagnoses — for those of us privileged enough to have access — you’re usually never told you’re disabled. You’re told you have ADHD, PTSD, fibromyalgia, JIA — but no doctor comes along and says you are disabled. (Take that, medical model.) I hadn’t really considered how I became disabled until now. I assumed I began identifying as disabled when I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at 16, but that’s not true. I only started considering myself diagnosed a year and a bit later. And as I thought about it, my whole disability experience unraveled to show me that I was disabled long before that JIA diagnosis, or any diagnosis for that matter. I just never knew enough about disability to consider myself disabled, and I held a lot (a lot!) of internalized ableism. So, let’s unravel my disability experience together. I was a deeply anxious kid. While I still did well in school and with others, I was always feeling sick and wanting to stay home. Then, I was a deeply in pain kid, and my above average height at the time made “growing pains” an easy excuse for doctors to dismiss me (shout out to the arthritis pals, who all went through the exact same thing.) I was always coming down with something and never felt as healthy as my peers seemed to be. At age 11, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Looking back, it seems strange I knew how to ask for help so young. I deleted the part where I wrote that I didn’t feel shame — I absolutely did, and hid my diagnoses and medication from my family aside from my mom for years. (Shout out to Mother Fox!) At 11, my anxiety and depression kept me in bed and riddled my attendance — but I didn’t consider myself disabled. At that time, I don’t believe I had any real understanding of what disability meant, besides wheelchairs and the “special ed” kids we would volunteer with. At age 13, my anxiety and depression were joined by disordered eating. Besties, I know. It was rough. And it was hard to beat. And it came back a few times. And I won’t rule out another relapse. And at age 13, with anxiety and depression and disordered eating that made it hard to go to school at all, I still didn’t consider myself disabled. In fact, I probably considered myself too cool for it — consider this your daily reminder to condemn 2014 Tumblr and its current Instagram-fast fashion renaissance from hell. At age 14, my chronic pain and constant illnesses began to accelerate, and teachers began to hate me for my poor attendance. My peers would make fun of me when I returned after multiple days off, and someone gifted me a copy of Ferris Bueller. Maybe I played it off like I was ditching, but I was in pain, sick, and confused. But I still didn’t consider myself disabled. At age 15, after becoming exceptionally bad at math (a new development), I went to my guidance counselor and told her I was going to drop out – a cry for help if I’ve ever heard one. She said, “Numerically, your grades are too high to fail this semester.” I swear, guidance counselors have to make a commission every time they get a kid to drop out. Fortunately, I went back to the doctor who had diagnosed my anxiety disorder and depression, and I was then diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD was never really explained to me (is anything ever in our overwhelmed healthcare system?), but a medication finally helping me cope with an illness was a significant tipping point in my disability journey. I was able to get my mind back on track, and slowly build up coping skills to function in a way that suited my life again. At age 15, my PTSD began. This is the one thing I still struggle discussing, and the one disability whose full history I’m going to mostly keep to myself for now. While I wouldn’t be properly diagnosed until age 17, I had never been more disabled in my life — and yet, I still did not consider myself disabled. (One day we’ll talk about it folks, one day.) At age 16, I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. You’re probably now thinking, “This is it, she’s disabled now, we’ve done it!” If this is you, thank you for the emotional involvement in this retelling, but we aren’t quite there yet. While something deeply transformative happened in that doctor’s office when the rheumatologist poked at all my joints and I knew my life was about to be significantly altered, I still didn’t consider myself disabled. Instead, I considered myself chronically ill, which is a differentiation I still have to explore and learn more about. Disclaimer: you are valid if you identify as chronically ill. You are valid if you identify as disabled. You are valid if you identify as both. There is no finite amount of validation here — it’s not pie. At age 17, I nearly dropped out of school (again). My body was practically falling apart, and I just couldn’t keep living my life how I was; I couldn’t keep up. I was on near-bedrest for weeks. After that, I couldn’t return to school. Instead, I ended up meeting an itinerant teacher once a week, teaching myself a few courses, and petting a lot of therapy dogs at the public library I knowingly arranged to meet my teacher at — disability excellence, folks. I was also so lucky to have understanding, albeit pretty confused and concerned, teachers who went out of their way to accommodate me. My band teacher let me show up once a week in the mornings, and I went to a literature studies course right after those band practices. And as I was negotiating all of these accommodations and explaining my situation to those involved, I began to start using disability in my vocabulary. Soon enough, I was calling myself disabled. Disabled, disabled, disabled. And for good measure, at age 18, I transferred into adult care and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I did not have the heart to leave fibro out of here, narrative flow be damned. So, there you have it. Six years after the first diagnosis, I finally identified as disabled. Some people will have their personal preferences to not identify this way — which is totally cool — but for me, it opened doors. Most people understand that they don’t understand disability. They will (sometimes) listen to your experiences and what you need. (Or maybe they’re just nosy. Whatever works.) When you identify as disabled, an even wider community with shared experiences opens up. More resources are available. More accommodations are considered. More things become possible. A lot of people ask me if I think they’re disabled. And while it is kinda weird for me (I don’t believe myself to be some kind of disability fairy godmother), I understand where they’re coming from. Disability is confusing. And overwhelming. And personal. So, sometimes it’s easier to seek external validation of your disability identity than to find that validation in yourself. For anyone out there wondering if they’re disabled, or if they’re disabled enough — that’s your call. Sorry. Only you know how your disability, or illness, or disorder, impacts your life. No one else out there can make that call for you — and no one else out there gets to judge who is and who is not disabled (in the social sense, please don’t go commit tax fraud or something). The takeaway here is that there is no one way to become disabled. There is no set timeline or list of requirements you have to meet. If you’re wondering if you’re disabled, I would tell you that you probably are, but that would reinforce my alleged disability fairy godmother status. Instead, I’ll ask you this: do you feel disabled? Do you feel as though your ability to function is negatively impacted by your health? And how would you feel if you did identify as disabled? If you felt relief, closure, or peace, it might be time to look at your own disability journey. Depending on how that goes, either try again later, or welcome to the club. I’ll see you around.

Community Voices

Has anyone done Keto diet for #Fibromyalgia

Does it work to give more energy?

6 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Borderline= complicated

Ugh... okay I was on the side of ever thinking I needed to ask advice on here. I mostly just lurk and take in what I find useful. I was diagnosed the end of my marriage and was never really challenged or tested with my BPD while in a relationship. Cause as soon as I got it... my husband bailed. But I finally after being in a 12 year toxic relationship then divorced and separated for 5. I've worked heavily on myself to understand what's going on with me. And I've managed to find some balance while alone. And decided to take up dating again. And found someone I really REALLY like. Because of circumstances we kinda pushed our relationship pretty fast but it all seemed to feel right. But I think in doing so I have also created an accidental favorite person situation. He's been so attentive and wanting to come over everyday and texting frequently. And now that we are almost to 3 weeks dating.. and life happens like it does all the clinging is starting to dwindle. But I've been spending 3 weeks being spoon fed that I'm worth being excited about and desirable and pursued... and it's not like he's even pulling back I think life is just balancing out we can't see eachother everyday he's got kids and a life and other things and hobbies of interest. But because I've been in a was feeling "pampered" and put on a "pedestal" for 3 weeks this leveling out is starting to feel like he's pulling away. And losing interest. And all I wanna do is ask and ask and ask for reassurance. I feel like a crazy person for being butt hurt that he's just living life and being normal while I'm over here thinking the love has died and that he's just sparing my feelings by not telling me the truth. And I'm just falling all over myself trying to save a situation that might not even exist. He hasn't shared any interest of leaving. He has reassured me countless times that he wants the long game. But I'm so damn used to liars being liars.. I feel he is too... like and I wanna talk to him about it.. but I am so scared of scaring him away. I know having mental illness doesn't make me crazy... but that stigma still exists. And I am so scared to ruin things with this person. I'm not ready to let go of him yet. If ever. I still want more time. I just wanna know any advice on what the best way to handle all this is. Therapy needs to happen I know but is complicated at the moment. How do I/ should I approach these findings and thoughts to him. How do I counter act the emotional feelings I have of feeling abandoned when he's not here or close to me. Just asking for any sort of tip. I wanna do this right. #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #BPD #favoritperson #AvoidantPersonalityDisorder #CPTSD #Anxiety #Depression

8 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Borderline= complicated

Ugh... okay I was on the side of ever thinking I needed to ask advice on here. I mostly just lurk and take in what I find useful. I was diagnosed the end of my marriage and was never really challenged or tested with my BPD while in a relationship. Cause as soon as I got it... my husband bailed. But I finally after being in a 12 year toxic relationship then divorced and separated for 5. I've worked heavily on myself to understand what's going on with me. And I've managed to find some balance while alone. And decided to take up dating again. And found someone I really REALLY like. Because of circumstances we kinda pushed our relationship pretty fast but it all seemed to feel right. But I think in doing so I have also created an accidental favorite person situation. He's been so attentive and wanting to come over everyday and texting frequently. And now that we are almost to 3 weeks dating.. and life happens like it does all the clinging is starting to dwindle. But I've been spending 3 weeks being spoon fed that I'm worth being excited about and desirable and pursued... and it's not like he's even pulling back I think life is just balancing out we can't see eachother everyday he's got kids and a life and other things and hobbies of interest. But because I've been in a was feeling "pampered" and put on a "pedestal" for 3 weeks this leveling out is starting to feel like he's pulling away. And losing interest. And all I wanna do is ask and ask and ask for reassurance. I feel like a crazy person for being butt hurt that he's just living life and being normal while I'm over here thinking the love has died and that he's just sparing my feelings by not telling me the truth. And I'm just falling all over myself trying to save a situation that might not even exist. He hasn't shared any interest of leaving. He has reassured me countless times that he wants the long game. But I'm so damn used to liars being liars.. I feel he is too... like and I wanna talk to him about it.. but I am so scared of scaring him away. I know having mental illness doesn't make me crazy... but that stigma still exists. And I am so scared to ruin things with this person. I'm not ready to let go of him yet. If ever. I still want more time. I just wanna know any advice on what the best way to handle all this is. Therapy needs to happen I know but is complicated at the moment. How do I/ should I approach these findings and thoughts to him. How do I counter act the emotional feelings I have of feeling abandoned when he's not here or close to me. Just asking for any sort of tip. I wanna do this right. #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #BPD #favoritperson #AvoidantPersonalityDisorder #CPTSD #Anxiety #Depression

8 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Lessons we Learn

I've been in a horrible headspace lately so I thought: What is it that fibro has taught me which has helped me in life?

For me, it's slowing down and taking care of myself. I ran around like crazy, always trying to do it all, and I often neglected my own feelings and time. Now I have been forced to do something which I probably should've done a long time ago.

What positive thing has fibro brought to your life or taught you?

#Fibromyalgia #ChronicPain #LifeLessons

5 people are talking about this
Community Voices
zoe

What has helped you ease any pain you get after a long day?

I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year when i was 16 and i’m currently at sixth form but i really struggle to get around all day as i don’t get much time to sit and rest. If anyone could help with some ideas of how to ease this pain that would be great! #fibromyalga

14 people are talking about this