Monday, March 14, 2011

Cleared For Take-Off

Know how when you are taking off in an airplane and the flight attendants do a disaster demonstration and say "Secure your breathing mask first, then those of your children or others around you" and it makes perfect sense? Well that philosophy applies to plain ole' every day life as well. Unfortunately it takes a while and a few hard knocks for some of us to get it. I am one of those. I started this blog because I wanted to write a book. But the feedback from the blog was astounding and out of intense need a patient-based awareness campaign sprung up. I did not expect this but ran with it, because the quality of life most Fibromyalgia patients live with sucks and we need to get the word out that this is not okay! I had been in that miserable 7th circle myself and was fortunate enough to find a way up and out. My Fibromyalgia was managed. Having just survived 2 strokes with nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises, I felt a calling to be a voice for a patient body that was splintered, emotionally abused and barely hanging on. I was also on high-dose steroids to treat the strokes. It gave me manic and frenzy and boundless energy. Fibromyalgia, for all intents and purposes, felt "gone" and despite the abundance of hair growing on my body and my rapidly expanding mid-section, I was frantically racing around at top speed getting things done.

And then I tapered off Prednisone. I found my Fibromyalgia was not nearly as well managed as it had been before the strokes and underneath all that obsessive energy there was no energy. But I still tried to keep up with the pace I had established, ignoring my body and soul crying out for some attention, a break, some balance. But I kept demanding from myself and little miss type "A" was gleefully in control, running rampant at top speed. I was repeating the exact same behavior pattern that gifted me with a serious emotional breakdown during the worst of my CFS/FM journey. But I was unstoppable, would not listen, scoffed at those that told me to chill out, take it easy, relax. There is too much to do! To much awareness to spread, people to rally, maneuvers and tactics to launch!  I ignored my humanity and pushed my little-engine-that-could to the brink.

I never in my life thought I would be in a position to seek out fame or the public spotlight. Although I am far from "famous", with the expanding audience of the blog and awareness campaign I was attracting a fair amount of attention. Unfortunately with it comes the attention of those in our community that like to stir-up trouble. And some of them are quite skilled at their chosen craft! So as hole after hole was punched into the dam which was holding back the intensity of emotion, sensitivity, vulnerability and sanity residing inside my heart and soul, the dam weakened. Hole after hole. Punch after punch. At one point I declared myself impervious to hatred and attack. I was so proud that I could be verbally eviscerated and not give a rat's woo-ha! Hole punch. Hole punch. But my sensibilities are far too sensitive. I was still ignoring my heart and soul. And as each hole was punched into the dam it eventually weakened to the point that it burst. And that was last Thursday. I finally had to lie my head down and rest, for I had no more to give. Now I have rested, laughed, relaxed and regained my focus and perspective. And it is going to be different this time. I am taking care of myself first. I am blogging 5 days a week, not 6. I am engaging in hobbies that have been ignored for a long time. Reading, sunbathing, gardening, hanging out with my friends and family without guilt that I should be working. I am practicing yoga and meditating. For I am in this for the long haul, and have toughened up without giving my sensitivity away. So at a Fibro-pace, haters beware, I am ready to Crusade again.

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  1. Glad to have you back! XOXOXO

  2. The next step in our progression is to accept and then learn to ASK for help before we desperately need it. THIS was the hardest lesson for ME to learn. In fact.... I'm STILL learning it!! I'm so glad that you took the time you needed and are now taking care of your own needs! I'm proud of you!!!

  3. putting myself first was a concept totally alien to me, I was a single mom for years with three growing boys. Even after i remarried and he adopted the kids, I had a voice in my head screaming you have to do it all. You have to be everything for everyone and cant say no. Even after the Dr. said I had to slow down I still worked 60 hrs a week and took care of all those men, my three plus about 10 from the neighborhood. My kids are grown and gone, my husband is practically a saint and I still pushed and pushed. Now I have slowed down and I am trying to put my bodys needs ahead of that voice in my head. I am glad you are listening to the small voice we have in our heart that says "what about me?" I am trying to also