Living with Fibromyalgia
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Living with Fibromyalgia

Living with fibromyalgia can be a huge challenge....but the curse can also be a secret blessing, if you look hard enough...

Living with fibro can be such a challenge sometimes. Somedays I feel just fine, ready to conquer the world.  But then the weather will change, or other factors such as hormones and stress kick in, and "bam!"... here's a flare day again. Sometimes, it gets so overwhelming, I just cry. But then that last about 15 minutes, and its over, (the crying, that is). But the inner and outer pain never is.

When I first got diagnosed, about 4 years ago, I went through a strong period of denial and depression.  I couldn't believe that, here I was in my 30's, and I was being diagnosed with a chronic condition. Not only that, but a condition that is pretty much incurable. I asked God "Why?" and just stopped living to a certain extent. I thought my life was over, that I had nothing more to contribute. Being a theatre person, one of the most physically challenging positions ever, I felt like that rug of my life was being literally swept from underneath me. How could I act now? How can I work with kids, my second biggest passion? What do I do? Now that I know that I have this, will my life ever be the same?

It has taken me 4 years to finally realize that there is truly life with fibromyalgia; you just have to reset your priorities and know your limitations. For instance, if you hurt from a flare, and don't really need to go anywhere (such as a job), don't. Take care of yourself. Stay home, read a book, surf the net, watch TV....anything, just don't over exert yourself. Give yourself the care and attention you need. It's ok. For the longest time, I felt guilty about canceling activities...but I have since learned, that if I don't take care of myself, I will be miserable (as well as the people I am with). 

Having fibro also makes you explore your other talents as well. If you were once active, and a go-getter, and get diagnosed, don't let it stop you from trying to contribute in other ways, that aren't quite so hard on the the body. Also, take advantage of the little "spurts" of energy that you do have, to keep doing the things you once did,  and just take a nice nap afterwards. Remember, with fibro, rest and care are key. Not too much rest though, or you'll get sluggish and even more blue (something that has happened to me quite often).

Having fibro doesn't have to be a death sentence. It can actually give you the gift of empathy, because you really do understand pain. It can give you the gift of patience, because it takes alot of patience to endure it. It can give you the gift of humility, because you now realize that you're not quite the dynamo you once were. I encourage you, if you have it, to take your fibro, and search out the differant secret gifts that can benefit you. Believe me, they are there. You just have to seek them out.

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