Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Elephant In The Room

To talk or not talk about the elephant in the room, that is the question. Well I am always the one to want to talk! I was a manager on the sales floor of the largest cosmetic department in any retail store in downtown San Francisco for a number of years. With successful management of that job comes a pretty vast knowledge of people skills. Let's just say it is a very hands-on learning experience. When I got sick and quit for good I delved into the world of blogging and Facebook page administration, things I knew very little about. It became very personal yet physically disconnected, emotionally engaging while foreign to any actual proximity to people. You get to know folks in a very strange way on a support site on Facebook. You get to know their heart and soul without verifying any physical credentials. It is an entirely different world! So perhaps that is why I forgot the years of people management skills it took me to hone but I am really quite good at.

I have been going about the "management" of The Fibromyalgia Fun House the wrong way. I have been expecting everyone to get along! I wanted so badly for us to unite and just plain forgot how inherently complex and varied people can be. I believed if we came together under a common cause we would all be best snugglie wugglie friends and everyone would be nice and we could sit around in a big circle and braid each others hair. WRONG!  This is a large group of people. Sick people that are hurting and misunderstood and suffering in so many ways. People that are not necessarily going to enjoy each others company, don't have the same experiences, personalities or realities. A large and varied group of sorts. And that is just fine. The only thing we have to agree on is Fibromyalgia and the way it affects our lives. That is what we are here for, the promotion of Fibromyalgia awareness and support in navigating life with it. A nice and funny place to come and share your woes and gain a laugh for a bit of time out of your day. But like with any large group of people there need to be rules. And The Fibromyalgia Fun House has two of them.

1. Always respond to everything in the most pleasant way possible.
2. If there is a disagreement kindly take it off the floor and go to private message.

Follow these two and I think we will be able to move forward and keep building the momentum of Fibromyalgia awareness. This is how I managed dozens of 20-72 year old women (with the occasional man) successfully for years, promotion after promotion, climbing up that corporate ladder. Everyone was required to be on their best behavior and get along with each other and play nice and not fight over customers and clean up after themselves. Their job was to sell and those were the rules that were conducive to promoting that environment. The purpose of the support site is to show support. I am sorry to have to ask all that are here for any other reason or that cannot abide by our two rules to leave. I mean business. If I am left with a shell of a support site then that is what it is, I will start over, I will rebuild. But I am serious. The Fibromyalgia Fun House is not a come-as-you-are and spew your garbage all over the wall kind of place. It is a place to express your pain, fear, frustration, success, joy, sorrow, anguish, confusion hurt and laughter with other people that understand because the source is common, the source is Fibromyalgia.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Very well said, Leah! I missed the drama that prompted this blog...but I have seen how people can get obnoxious with their opinions and venom. I LIKE your rules! I don't like that you HAD to state them...but I appreciate that you did!!

  2. Well said! I've not posted a lot since the first one I posted was slammed by someone when I was only giving an option of reviewing an article I had seen. But, maybe I'll start contributing more. Thanks!

  3. Sue I am so sorry you had that experience and am grateful you are still with us and willing to give us another try! We are working out our kinks as we get bigger and better... Blessings to you!