Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Facebook, What A Strange Relationship

I wrote a blog months ago about my former relationship with Facebook, Sorority Life & I became this psycho-obsessed lab-rat pushing the same button over and over again at 3am so I could collect the most money possible or compulsively decorating every little room with meticulous attention to detail. I reconnected with a ton of friends from my past; childhood, high school, college and everything in between. It was a very absorbing experience. My husband was barely tolerant and resented my glazed over eyes and obsession with the computer but allowed me to indulge... I was still on Lyrica & Cymbalta and in retrospect suppose I needed that time to zone out and decompress after years of hell battling the CFS/Fibromyalgia dragon. But I became embittered. I was 33 at the time and each day friend after friend would post their fabulous and wonderful news that they were pregnant or just had a baby. I was at the age where if one did not already have kids, they were sure to be on the way shortly. I did not want a baby and could not figure out why it was bothering me so much. Still time after time I would read each elated post and get all bent out of shape, and my bitterness was becoming apparent to everyone, including myself. I really had to sit down and soul search this one.

I came to realize what my friends were doing was normal. And it was pissing me off so badly because I did not have the choice to choose normal. Sure I could try and get pregnant and fear Pancreatitis the entire time, unable to take triglyceride medication during pregnancy. I could chance what the Fibromyalgia would do during and after...but my husband and I decided we were okay with adoption later once life (and my health) calmed down. So no, it was not the baby itself that was causing my distress. It was the fact that even if I decided to try and have a baby there would be nothing normal about my experience. The choice had been made for me. And that is what was making me so angry and bitter. It was a GLARING reminder that my life was so out of my control. I was victim to physical maladies that made something as natural and organic as having a baby a huge risk to my very life itself. One day I just up and quit. I believe I was off Cymbalta at this point and coming off Lyrica. I had taken over my husbands Facebook so I could play Sorority Life with his account and was spending the better part of 6-7 hours a day playing games. The sheer absurdity of what I was doing struck me hard one afternoon and within a matter of minutes, without a word to anyone, both accounts were deleted. I started paying attention to my life and took that Spanish class that gave me so much confidence, began writing my "private" blog and started feeling better, recognizing for the first time ever my Fibromyalgia was finally manageable.

After the 2 strokes in July God put into my head I was to open up my life, my experience, and lead Fibromyalgia out of the darkness and into the light. I knew my journey had been a nightmare but had amazingly enough seen it through to the other side. I assumed there were others out there that were needing a community, guidance, comfort. So naturally I  turned to Facebook again. Well I don't have to tell you how that turned out... To date my blog has over 19,500 hits and The Fibromyalgia Fun House, my support site on Facebook, celebrated its 1,000th member this past weekend. We have knitted together a support network unlike any I have ever seen. I think all the awesome Fibrates have flocked over to The Fun House because it truly is a place to be understood, not judged and have a laugh in the midst of constant and pervasive misery, for crying out loud! I am so pleased, surprised and amazed at what this has turned into. But the relationships formed on Facebook are different from those from the physical life. All you know about someone is what they post and a little itty bitty picture. That's all the information one has to glean the total of a person. Perceptions are different and based on each persons interpretation of the limited information others give about themselves. It is kind of fun to "create" each person I have a relationship with into who I think they are. I am sure my idea is miles off from reality but it really does not matter. What you get is the pure heart and soul of a person, and then get to play dress-up with the rest of the details of their life. So I guess Facebook is here to stay. This time, though, it is my life and not a fantasy version of some glam-obsessed avatar or cartoonish caricature. It is real relationships with real people with real issues in common guiding each other through this crazy thing we call life.

Thanks for joining,


  1. My daughter who has epilepsy, a brain tumor, degenerative spine and about to have a baby. God works with those who work with him. Best of luck.

  2. Who's to say God is not working with Leah now? If you read back on all of Leah's posts, you'll find she attributes all of her success to God. Some paths in life with are rich with God's goodness don't always include children. Leah, whether or not both you and your husband ever have or adopt a child is your business. Either way, you're a true source of inspiration and it's not lost on this Fibrate that God is working through you with each post. God Bless and VIVA LA FIBROMYALGIA FUNHOUSE!!!!!!

  3. Anonymous 1: Your daughter is a brave woman, as are all that conquer pregnancy and child rearing with illness. She has my deepest respect and admiration and congratulations grandma!
    Anonymous 2: Thank you for your heartfelt response! I so appreciate your support and enthusiasm!