Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Time, My Choice

In the vaguest sense of the word I had a bit of a family reunion this past weekend. A gathering of many I have known through the years and had not visited with in quite a while. And while it was good to see all, it was not a particularly pleasant visit. For I was put in that wonderful scenario we Fibrates are especially fond of: Family Obligation. Now we may talk about setting limits or putting ourselves first or refusing to allow others to treat us in a way we don't deserve. But the reality of life is there are simply occasions that come up that must be tended to. And we are not the star of the show. Nobody is considering our needs and to expect them to would, quite frankly, be overwhelmingly self-absorbed and completely out of touch with reality. So yes, every so often important things happen to those we know and love. Weddings, funerals, birthday parties, important anniversaries, you name it, that throw a big fat wrench into the carefully constructed lives of a Fibromyalgia patient. 

We traipsed around town all weekend, racing from place to place, activity to activity, obligation after obligation, with Yorkie & Porkie in tow. I quickly slipped from flare to LMA, popping pills to survive the pain all that activity stirred up. Porkie stopped eating, my little routine girl was so stressed out because she had no idea what was going on. We fulfilled our obligations and managed to have a bit of fun, too. But you have never seen 4 souls happier to hit the road home than the motley crew the four of us made that night. And for much of the ride home my wheels were turning. How, my dear friends, can we do better? What do we need to do so we don't become the sacrificial lamb if we choose to participate in life with those we know and love? For if home is where the heart is then I belong right here, sunk into my sofa, snuggled up in my bed.

And that is where it lies, I decided. I have to create my home base away from home. A place where I can have some down time, crash between activities. And all those people I was running around to see, jumping through hoops to make happy, I can stop doing that, too. And start expecting people to come to me. Some will and some won't, and others will marvel at what a selfish little twit I have become. Let them, I say! For that sure beats feeling the way I did at the close of those frenzy filled days. Basically I can stop worrying about the convenience of others, or what they will think of me, and do what lots and lots of other people do without even thinking twice about it. Because they are too busy taking care of themselves to even get Fibromyalgia. I can take care of me.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Great post and great questions. My husband travels quite a bit around the country as a worship leader. Sometimes I go with him & when I do we always get a hotel, rather than stay with friends. I am involved in whatever is happening on my terms. I spend time with people & I also spend time napping at the hotel.

    It took a while for people to get used to it (and some still aren't) but the important thing is that I get to do what I love (travel & meet people)and spend time with my husband without pushing myself into a downward spiral.

    Sometimes we have to be "selfish". No one else is going to endure our pain so caring for ourselves is what we must do.

  2. really enjoyed this post. so often you put into words exactly what i'm feeling. i'm trying to figure out how to continue homeschooling my three sons without suffering complete collapse. and still meet all those family obligations. and i'm taking care of my 87 year old mother in law who recently had a heart attack and is now living with us.....in the room I used for my schoolroom.....oh well. we must soldier on. I so enjoy reading your posts. I feel like you know exactly how I feel. Keep blogging Leah!
    Karen Weiss

  3. THANK YOU for this blog, and for acknowledging that there are non-negotiable commitments. Twice this year I have over-committed myself due to family obligations, and paid the price in a big way. Friends, doctors, everybody said "don't do it"....but there are some things you can't blow off, and family is one of them. Two family reunions, including three flights and about 8 hours of driving all in ten days was, I know, unwise; but it had to be done. I found that the trick was to build in non-negotiable rest periods. It's upsetting to miss family events, but not as upsetting as a six-month recovery period.