Sunday, September 19, 2010

Major Brainstorming Going On

I am very excited to report The Fibromyalgia Crusade* (see below for definition) is taking shape over here. I have identified our key points, platform and positions and am working diligently on perfecting them before I roll it out to you. Such a misunderstood and diverse syndrome as Fibromyalgia is hard to define, unite and mobilize, but we are going to do it! 2 major points of difference between The Fibromyalgia Crusade and other awareness campaigns are ACCEPTANCE and UNITY. Acceptance of our differences in symptoms, severity, treatment, management and even core beliefs surrounding the cause of the condition itself. And unity in that through this acceptance we are going to stand as a collective patient body and demand the world take us seriously! We cannot achieve either of these in the current state we exist in. Quite frankly we are a mess, our own worst enemy in fact! Disorganized and judgmental, smug and uncompassionate towards others that express different opinions, methods, symptoms or levels of recovery. Die-hards that believe if something worked for them, it is going to work for everyone. Sufferers that believe if someone has recovered or is managed then they must not really have had it in the first place. But this is not a one-size-fits-all illness, folks! What I see time and time again is each person feeling so alone and desperate that we have internalized the struggle and can only see it from our own limited and pain-filled perspective. But we are not alone, there are 2-6 million of us just in the USA! We have created so much dissent among ourselves (through no malicious intention of our own) it's no wonder we are doubted and not taken seriously!

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is one of the oldest and most successful books on military strategy ever written. Dating back to China during the 6th century BC, its concepts are still widely used today in business and political theory. One chapter addresses causing division among your opponent. If you can create in-fighting you never have a need to go to war, your opponent is so busy fighting amongst themselves you have already won! Sadly this is what is happening with us, Fibro-friends. But I believe with a change in mentality we can rise above this and focus on the true enemy. Doubt and disbelief are our real opponents, and they enter our camp and infest and spread dissent among us. Dissent so strong that we cannot even begin to come together as a collective and arm ourselves to change the reality of living life with Fibromyalgia, whatever that may mean to each person who has been given that vague and muddled diagnosis of exclusion. What I am proposing is not easy and requires an opening of the heart, mind and soul. It challenges whatever comfort zone we have created as a way to survive each day living in throbbing, shooting pain all the while required to slip into a thick coat of armor to protect ourselves as we venture into the outside world. But I am hard-pressed to find a Fibromyalgia patient that is satisfied with the knowledge, treatment, awareness, research or management modern medicine has to offer. Something has to give, and it starts with us! Stay much more is on its way. In the meantime, search your heart and mind and see if you are ready to be but a small puzzle-piece in a huge revolution that is going to change the way each person with Fibromyalgia experiences life going forward.

I also want to take a moment to address the advertising that you now see on my blog. I have compiled links and resources that I believe in, have used myself and have worked well for me. I will never ever list a resource that I have been solely paid to endorse. In fact, I will endorse for free (Resource Links) over profit any day if I have had personal success. Your success in managing Fibromyalgia is my success. I have linked up with Swanson Vitamins, a fabulous company that supplies nutritional supplements at a fraction of retail costs. I order from them monthly and they have saved me a ton over the years. I also have linked up with ProHealth. They are an awesome company that is a bit more expensive yet specialized with the products they offer and still much cheaper than clinic or practitioner office costs. They also have oodles of research and information about Fibromyalgia on their website. If you are inclined to use these companies and click from my blog I get a couple of pennies.

When I first became sick and the failure of modern medicine's resources became blatantly obvious in offering any kind of treatment or cure or hell, even answers, the first book I picked up was From Fatigued To Fantastic. It opened up a whole new world to me. A holistic world as I now understand it; relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts.** I started viewing my body as complete in its entirety and have found my way to managed Fibromyalgia using the best of both modern & alternative medicine. That book led me to The Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Center and I would not be where I am today, managed and living life, without them. Ageless is a trip. Suzanne Somers is a trip. But she has some amazing things to say and I learned a lot from her experience. If you wait until menopause to read this book you have missed out on years of preparing your body to age gracefully, naturally. Yoga For Fibromyalgia is a gentle, adaptable way to release some tension and pain out of our too-tight muscles without overdoing it. Oh and The Shack is just a really interesting take on God minus religion as told from one man's perspective. I liked it so I linked it. Once again I get a bit of credit for those purchases if clicked from my blog, & the "Support Fibromyalgia" goodies, too. Please in no way feel obligated, I still make my husband work 14 hours-a-day to support me, I just wanted you all to know what was going on ;) And The Daily Puppy is not an add, just a daily dose of puppy!

We are all on our own journey through this life. We have our distinct challenges and individual theories and beliefs and things we are willing or not willing to try. The point of all this is not to force change or express criticism but to offer respect and compassion to each other. I share what has worked for me, but that is all I can speak to. I cannot tell someone else what will work for them. We each have to figure it out for ourselves. So research, learn, read and educate yourself as much as possible. Don't give up on the never-ending nightmare that is life with Fibromyalgia. This disease will take EVERYTHING if you let it, but be stronger and push back harder! This is your life we are talking about. And please remember to treat yourself well, for that is the first step in guiding others to do the same.

Thanks for joining,

*Definition of Crusade: Exert oneself continuously, vigorously, or obtrusively to gain an end for a certain cause or person; be an advocate for.
**Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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