Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Victor Over The Darkness

Becoming part of a community of fellow Fibrates has taught me SO much. It has validated a multitude of oddities I thought were happening to just me. It has given me a group of friends that know what living with Fibromyalgia is really like. Their strength and compassion making it easier to put unsupportive family and friends in their proper place, and not take their apathy so personally. It has opened my eyes to how severely this terrible illness will tear your life apart and how badly we need to shout out awareness, until everyone has heard and accepts Fibromyalgia as the serious and life-wrecking illness it is. There is a theme I see reoccurring time and time again. I myself have been down this path on more than a few occasions. It is the overwhelming and perfectly-rationalized wish to no longer exist. The pain is too much, the fatigue too consuming, the fight too hard. So we settle into that little place in our brains that tells us it makes far more sense to end the madness and discontinue living than to keep suffering.

I have watched perfectly rational and reasonable people become so distraught over their situation, the desire to end the lunacy becomes far stronger than our biological imperative to survive. I have seen some of the strongest people I know crumble into a million little pieces, weeping and waiting to be swept away. I myself have had moments where I truly believed anything would be better than a life with this illness, the restrictions it places on your life, the stronghold it wraps around your heart and soul. Fibromyalgia is not a terminal illness but a 7 year study determined the suicide rates among Fibro patients is 4.4% compared to the average 1.4% of non-Fibrates*.

But I have also watched every single one of these people work through it and get to the other side. The desire for life returns, the strength to keep fighting for survival resumes. And as I look at the next one spiral down the pit of darkness I pray they too can find that little pin-prick of light worth running towards with all their might. Life with Fibromyalgia is still worth living, but un-managed pain and insomnia, doubting and dismissive doctors, a society that tells us we are crazy, lazy, wimpy or junkies, may make the struggle to "managed" seem insurmountable. Please listen to my words and understand the severity with which they delivered. Seeking professional help is NOT OPTIONAL when one begins to feel those dark thoughts taking over. Psychiatrists, therapists, clergy, family and friends, your Fibro support group, they are all there to boost you up and carry you out of the bleakness and into the light. Rely on them, depend on them, and for heavens sakes USE THEM. It is not a sign of weakness to seek help when things are just not right in your head. It is actually a sign of strenght and responsiblility and a refusal to let the Fibro monster win.

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  1. Excellent.

    One problem is that when we start to spiral down into that deep, dark hole, we close ourselves off from all that supports us. We grow silent and don't tell those who could help us what we are thinking and planning. We don't want anyone to know. It's a secret.

    We have to blow this secret out into the clean clear air and lift a friend up and out of the hole.